Before You Quit: Steps To Take When Things Go Wrong At Work
A question I get asked on a regular basis is “How do I leave my full-time job?” I’m an honest, open and real kind of person, so I always let them know “Before you quit, make sure you’re really about this entrepreneur life!” It’s not all sunshine and daisies. There are sacrifices, tears and frustrations a plenty.
Job dissatisfaction is a common conversation. Before you quit, there are steps you can and should take to address them.
Let’s be real. Careers are rarely plain sailing. There are ups and downs for everyone. And sometimes, despite how hard we work, things go wrong. And because of the amount of time we spend working, it can often feel insurmountable. Before you take drastic action, read our steps to overcoming problems at work.
When To Call In The Experts
There are some problems that are too big or too complex to tackle yourself. For example, if you suffer an injury at work. In these situations, you should seek professional advice straight away. Ensure you find a reputable company. And look for someone who specializes in your field. As an example, companies such as Zehl & Associates assist with offshore or maritime accidents. Don’t just opt for a general, ‘jack of all trades’ attorney. You need to find someone who is familiar with your industry and unique set of circumstances.
Before You Quit: Four Areas to Address
Your Hours Are Too Long
This is a problem that many people face. You are contracted to work a certain number of hours, but they keep creeping up. What began as a couple of nights working overtime suddenly became working late every night. You’re tired, and other aspects of your life are suffering as a result. What should you do?
The first thing to work out is why you are required to work so many additional hours. Are you covering for someone else? Is the work too difficult and requires additional training? Is there just too much work? Can any of the work be delegated?
Once you have worked out the cause, it’s time to sit down and discuss this with your boss. This can feel quite daunting. It’s important to dispel your self-doubt and make an appointment to speak to him/her.
During the meeting explain calmly what has been happening. Decide in advance what you would like the outcome of the meeting to be. Would you be happy working late one or two nights a week? Do you need additional training? Do you need to delegate some work or recruit a new member of staff? It is important to be clear about what is acceptable to you.
Once you have reached a solution, make sure you keep to what was agreed. If you have decided to work late a couple of nights, then don’t go beyond this. Decide on a time you will work up to on those evenings and keep to it. Stand firm on what is and isn’t acceptable to you.
You’re Feeling Stressed
For some time now you have been feeling stressed and worried about your job. It doesn’t just happen during working hours; it has crept into your home life too. You have difficulty switching off. You can’t sleep properly, and you dread coming into work each day. You frequently feel tired and sick.
While a small amount of stress is normal and healthy, excessive stress can have a detrimental effect on your life. It interferes with your productivity at work. Out of work it can affect your relationships, and your physical and emotional health. If you’re suffering from work stress, it is time to take action.
The first step is to understand the root causes of your stress. There could be several reasons for this:
- Fear of losing your job
- Disputes with co-workers
- Too much work and long hours
- Pressure to succeed/achieve targets
- Inadequate training
- Lack of support
There are several steps you can take to reduce work stress. However, if you feel unable to cope alone, seek help. A therapist can help you work out the underlying problems and take steps to remedy them.
Steps to reduce work stress include:
- Talking through issues with co-workers or your boss
- Prioritizing tasks
- Accept there are only so many hours in the day and what is/isn’t possible
- Stop plugging the holes by working excessive hours
- Make sure you exercise
- Eat healthily
- Take care of yourself by doing things you love outside of work
- Take up yoga, meditation, or mindful practices
- Learn strategies to cope with stressful situations
- Learn to say no
You Don’t Get Along With A Co-Worker
You spend a significant portion of your waking life at work, and so it is important to get along with your co-workers. When a working relationship breaks down, it can be challenging.
The first thing to remember is that you don’t have to be friends with everyone. And you don’t have to like everyone. Co-workers can be just co-workers. Is it possible to be polite and communicate enough to get your job done?
It can also be useful to work out what you don’t like about that person. Is it their behavior or something they have said? Work out what it is and see if you can either let it go or rectify it.
If the issue is affecting your work and making you unhappy, you will need to take action. Depending on the circumstances, is it possible to sit down and talk to that person? Can you talk it through and try to reach a solution?
If anything more sinister is taking place, such as bullying, you may need to get other people involved.
You Feel As Though You’re Standing Still
You have been working in this job for some time. You do it well and achieve good results. But you feel as though you’re standing still. You’re not learning anything new, and you’re not progressing.
The first thing to do in this situation is to work out what you want to be doing. Do you want to learn more and carry out additional training? Do you want to progress to the next step of your career ladder? Or, do you just want to be aware of the opportunities.
Once you’re clear in your own mind as to what you would like to do, speak to your boss about options. Explain where you’re up to and where you want to be. Ask about the opportunities that are available to you. Don’t rule anything out. If training opportunities are not available through work, could you take a course in your spare time? If progression isn’t an option at work, you might want to consider a move.
When things go wrong at work, spend some time figuring out the underlying problems. Be clear in your own mind what you want to happen. From there you can take action.