Take a moment for a reality check. Ask yourself these questions – how many positive answers do you get?
- Is what I do really worthwhile? In other words: Does my work make a difference to people? Does it help people? Am I adding something of value to the world? Doing something worthwhile makes us feel worthwhile and can compensate for other shortcomings in the position.
- Do I enjoy my job? Do you you get a buzz from what you do?
- Am I learning? If you are still developing and learning in the job then it is an investment of your time. If you have stopped learning and are repeating experiences then it may be time for a change.
- Does this job lead to somewhere I want to go? Is this experience useful in preparing you for something else you might want to do?
- Am I well paid? On an objective assessment are you fairly compensated for what you contribute?
- Do I get on with my boss? A difficult boss can make your time at work miserable. If you answer this question no then see the article ‘What to do if you do not get on with your boss.’
- Do I get on with my colleagues? A good social environment and friendly workmates can make up for many other problems at work.
- Am I empowered to be creative and do things my way? This is more important for some people than others. Does it matter for you?
- Is my work/life balance acceptable? Most people would like more time with their families but work is demanding so they accept some kind of balance. Are you getting at least the minimum free time you need to live your life?
- Is my job title prestigious? This really matters to some people but is irrelevant to others. Do you feel proud when you tell people where you work and what you do?
The more yes answers the better. How many did you get? Now rank the questions in importance for you. For some people doing something really worthwhile is most important while others place greater value on working with friends in a sociable atmosphere. Compare the yes answers and the no answers. Do the positive answers outweigh the negatives in number and importance? For example it might be fine to work in a low paid job if it is important to you that you gain the right experience.
If you have few positive answers and they are not in your top priorities then you should do some soul-searching about what you really want out of life and whether it is time to look for a better job.