The stereotypically bland and depressive work environment of a corporate office is not the most ideal place for a creative person. We arrive early, tired, and dreading the mundane tasks that make up our long eight hour day. Even if you don’t consider yourself a creative, the above-mentioned description might hold true for you. If you’re contemplating leaving your position, but find yourself stalled, consider the answers to these five questions before finally taking action.
Question # 1: Can you grow in this position? If you work hard, is there a promotion in your future? If so, is that a position you would be qualified to do? If you’re unsure of what I mean, let’s use a “real world” example. A friend of mine has worked in a coordinator position for more than three years. Directly above her position is a management position that includes functions that she would never develop in her current role. Even if she somehow was given the manager role, she knew that she would not fully be qualified and would be constantly trying to keep above water until she learned the skills needed to do her job (not very appealing). If you answered no, get off the hamster wheel and find a company that provides an opportunity for growth. There is nothing worse than working your ass off and getting nowhere.
Question # 2: Is your work detrimental to your physical health? I’m not a licensed doctor, but I know that stress can kill you. It can kill you physically, such as a heart attack. It can kill you mentally, by causing depression and anxiety (which also have physical effects on your body). I’m still a young woman, but the stress at my (soon to be) former job gave me migraines and hypertension, two conditions that I’d never had before. Hypertension also caused me to gain several pounds, which affected my asthma negatively. If you answered yes, it’s time to go. Consider your resignation self-care.
Question # 3: Are your co-workers “toxic”? I will not give any specific names, but some of the women at my (soon to be) former employer acted like children. I’ve witnessed co-workers talking down to or belittling other co-workers just because they had a lower job title. You should not fear work, especially if that fear is anxiety about who will make you cry today. This type of fear affects your confidence and eventually, you’ll feel like you deserved to be yelled at or gossipped about at work, which of course….IS NEVER OKAY! If you answered yes, consider this self-care as well and resign.
Question # 4: Is this career where your heart “truly” lies? If you’re a creative person with a dream of becoming a filmmaker, writer, singer, dancer, or artist, do you need to be doing this? At some point, you’ll have to conquer your fears and follow your dreams. Think of all the people who are making a living doing what you want to do, why can’t you? If the fear of failure is keeping you at your current job, consider the words of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” writer Jack Canfield ~ “ Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” If you answered no, you already know what to do, so shoot your shot!
Question # 5: Can I afford to survive without a job and for how long? Unfortunately, we need money to live. Develop a budget and determine how much you’ll need to survive for at least 3 months. If you don’t have enough money, consider ways to save money. If you’re afraid that you won’t have enough money to survive until you find a new job, stay in your current position until you save up enough to quit. You should also look into passive income as a way to increase your savings or as an alternative to working. Forbes has an article about passive income, if your interested.
Whatever you decided, I wish you the best in your future endeavors! I know that you’re capable of great things!