KNOWING WHEN IT’S TIME TO GO
By: Nikky Brown
Knowing when to leave a company is a skill that many of us haven’t quite mastered. We always seem to have all the perfect reasons for not leaving a company, even when we truly aren’t happy with the company for a plethora of reasons. I remember back when I started my legal career in 2012. After obtaining my paralegal certificate, I landed a job at a law office as a Paralegal. It was my first real legal job outside of interning at law firms. I was so happy to have found this position and I felt as though I had to put in enough time there before I could move on elsewhere. I was getting paid minimum wage yet I had it in my mind that I had to stay there and deal with it so that I could have a certain amount of years under my belt before I could move on. I know now in my adult career that isn’t the case. A lot of us fall into this idea of having to stay and commit to a place of business so that we don’t look like we are jumping around from company to company. Even when there are so many things the company is failing to provide us, we still stay. While I am all for longevity and being loyal to ones company, there are just certain things that lets you know that it’s time to start looking for better. Work life balance is not a reality: There isn’t a great work life balance. You find yourself dedicating more time to work than to your family, friends and loved ones. You begin to neglect your body and/or your health because all of your time and energy is invested in work leaving you with no life. Work is work and it’s important to have some down time from work to not only give your body a break, but also your mind to rest and recover. If you feel as if you are forced to work around the clock, often staying late and even working weekends because there just isn’t enough time in the day to complete your work responsibilities, then you may want to start looking for other opportunities. That really is no way to live and there are places that actually believe in a healthy work life balance. They won’t run you into the ground until you’re completely depleted because they know how important it is to have their employees well rested and energized. You’ve stopped learning: Ok, you never really stop learning, but with some roles you get to a point where you’ve learned your position so well that you’re just going in day to day and executing what you already know how to do so well. You're not really taking in anything new. I don’t know about you guys, but for me, once the learning stops my mind tends to get bored and I start to crave something new. If you happen to be that unlucky one that’s in a company that has no opportunities for you to take on new tasks, or learn a new role, it may be time to start looking outside of the company. Lack of support and encouragement from management: It’s the absolute worst when you have a terrible boss. Like literally the worst feeling in the world! I’m speaking from experience. We spend more time with our co-workers than we do with our family members so for me it is crucial to have a drama free, stress free, hostile free environment at all times. I’ve come to realize that some people just don’t know how to manage a staff and they wind up making terrible bosses because of it. Crappy salary: You took the position because they spoke highly about the company and its work environment and it seemed like a good career move. You agree on a salary at the start of your employment with the understanding that as you learn, grow and contribute more to the company your salary would grow as well. You soon realize that isn’t the case. Often times a company is prospering, business is flowing, the company is expanding and doing very well, yet you are still stuck with the same salary, raises are hard to come by and when they do, it’s like pulling teeth trying to get a few extra dollars in your pay check, even though you know you are making a valuable contribution to the company. You can literally layout all you’ve accomplished for the company and can relate them to what you can achieve for them in the future, and they still won’t pay! It takes me about 6 months to figure out the likelihood of financial growth with a company. I am hoping some of you realize that sooner and make the decision to get out sooner, especially if you are working towards making a particular salary. Once you evaluate the situation and realize that your salary most likely will not grow at the pace in which you want it to, leave. It’s not worth waiting around and “sticking it out”. Little to no benefits: There are careers out there that require you to come ready with a Bachelors degree, “X” amount of years of experience, ability to do this, skilled in that, and the list goes on. They have a laundry list of requirements for the position but they are only offering a salary (pray that it is decent) with little to no benefits. The bare minimum that some places offer is medical benefits and 401K, be lucky that you end up in a company that matches in your first year of employment. Turn over rate: When a company is constantly hiring and people are coming and going and they aren’t staying for very long, it’s a bit worrying. Constantly having to adjust to new faces can take a toll on anyone especially in the workplace. There’s also that period of time where it’s very possible that additional tasks are temporarily tacked on to your work load from people who have left the company until the company has time to adjust and find a new hire. All of this can be draining especially when it’s happening constantly and in a short time frame. The fact that people are coming and not staying says a lot about the company in many different ways. Combine this with the fact that you’re underpaid, the benefits aren’t great and you get no support or encouragement from management— definitely time to chuck up the deuces beloved.