When To Quit Your Job

As I was doing my daily Quora answering routine, I came across an interesting question:

What questions should I ask myself if I want to quit a startup?

I appreciated that this person was wondering what questions to ask, rather than just asking someone else what he or she should do (which I see a lot of on Quora). 

Knowing if you should quit your job is simply a matter of comparing what you want from work to what your current job is able to offer you. If it can't offer you what you want, then perhaps it's time to look for something else. The hardest part for most people lies in that first part, in knowing what they want out of work. 

Many of us got jobs out of college because that was what we were supposed to do. We never took the time to think about what kind of work and environment we would really enjoy. 

In order to understand if a job or workplace is right for you, you need to understand the following about yourself:

1. Intrinsic motivations

This is essentially the activities that bring you energy and joy. They are the types of work activities that when you're doing them, time just seems to fly by, you can get lost in your work, and you make look natural what is difficult to others. 

2. Context/Subject Interest

What subject matter or topic space do you want to be working in? Is it bringing water to those that lack it, building communication platforms to connect people, cars, sports, religion, finances, etc.? What can you talk about for hours, or find yourself thinking about while driving in your car or in the shower? 

3. Lifestyle Desires

A job provides you with income and benefits, and those go towards supporting a certain level of lifestyle. Depending on what level of lifestyle is important to you, and what level of comfort and security you want, this can be a huge motivator for many people. 

Once you know what you want, it becomes much easier to judge whether your current job satisfies it. What often happens however is that we don't have that clarity, so we pick other metrics that we try to feel good about fulfilling, such as working hard for the respect of our peers, or for money to fill our bank accounts. These are often shallow and leave us feeling tired, empty, and wanting more. 

Getting this clarity about ourselves isn't easy. Most people deeply struggle with understanding what they want, that's why so many are not only unhappy with their jobs, but stuck and unsure of how to proceed. 

Are you thining about quitting your job? If so my first question to you would be, do you clearly understand your:

  • Intrinsic motivations
  • Context/Subject matter interests
  • Lifestyle Desires

These are the building blocks to a fulfilling and enjoyable career. 

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