Here we are at the beginning of October, with the end-of-the-year holiday period not quite staring us in the face but close enough to inspire some thought about what’s next for us. If someone said to you now, “You should consider leaving your current job in the near future,” would your reaction be “Leave my job now? Are you crazy?!!!”
Mind you, I’m not exactly advocating that you should leap into the unknown and chuck your current job (if you have one) without having something else (better) already lined up. I believe in taking calculated risks, but that’s not one. I’d describe that as not much better than sticking your finger in a flame to see if it hurts!
On the other hand, as I’ve noted before, a lot of you are less than thrilled with your current employment situation, and some of you might be downright miserable in it. That said, I don’t recommend stewing about it for the remaining 3 months or so of this year. Think about it, yes, but then start putting some plans into action.
Maybe you’re already considering a change but thinking in terms of changing careers and not just your current job. If so, you’re not alone. According to a MoneyWatch post by Margaret Heffernan, titled “Thinking of a career change? Don’t delay,” there’s a lot to be said for making a change sooner rather than later.
As Heffernan says, “Everyone I’ve ever known who made a big transition had left it later than they should. Between mild discontent and raging frustration, about a year of unproductive ambivalence passed. Afterwards, when a jump has been successfully negotiated, everyone looked back and asked, what took me so long?”
As long as you have the option (you’re not facing a mandated job change/loss), you can choose the timing for leaving your current job, at least to some extent. Maybe it’s not a great idea to target a change before the end of this year. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t set things in motion, especially since events don’t always move as quickly as you might think or hope. If you use the coming months to prepare wisely, you’ll be in a much better place for making the change early in the new year–I can almost guarantee that.
And who knows? You might be surprised to find a new opportunity staring you in the face much faster than you expected, and there’s certainly nothing wrong with that–as long as you’ve done your homework and preparation as thoroughly as you should, so you’re poised to respond appropriately. For example, if you’re considering the possibility of a geographical relocation and that would mean things like selling your current home and finding a new one in the new area, that’s not a small task to accomplish over a holiday period. You’ll need to have your ducks in a row as much as you can before that occurs.
Whatever happens, avoid letting job or career frustration drive you to a premature job departure. You might get really lucky and have it work out okay, but maybe not. Make sure you’re doing it at the right time and for the right reasons.