Ask the Experts: How Do I know When to Quit my Job?

November 2, 2017

In our first advice column, we answer questions like when you should quit your job and how to manage day-to-day tasks with more strategic ones.

Editor’s Note: Welcome to our first advice column here at LinkedIn Learning, created to answer all your work-related questions. Our advice columnists are leadership experts (and mother-daughter duo) Elizabeth and Lisa McLeod. Enjoy!

Recently, we asked our followers via the LinkedIn Learning Facebook page the biggest work challenges they're currently facing. And we got back a truckload of responses.

Here are three of the most popular challenges mentioned (edited slightly for length and grammar), followed by our advice on how to overcome them:

1. As a management-level employee, I find myself having to take on more line-level tasks simply because I'm without the proper resources. I don't mind doing the line-level tasks, but that means the pile of management tasks that need to be addressed grows. How do you lead in the face of a never-ending to-do list?

- Robert S.

Our advice: The best solution here is to carve out a little bit of time in the morning to focus on management and strategic tasks. And the reason we say morning is because if you wait, you’ll spend all day punching your to-do list and fighting fires, and never get to that more strategic – and ultimately more important – work.

You also have your best brain in the morning, as opposed to the afternoon. And you don't want to approach these more strategic, high-level tasks with a tired brain.

2. How do you know when to quit a job?

-Tara Z.

Our advice: When you ask “how do you know when to quit” on a public LinkedIn post (kidding... sorta). In all seriousness, if you are unhappy with your organization, it is only a matter of time before they become unhappy with you.

That said, you need to take your happiness into your own hands. Try to focus on the meaning of your job and the impact you have on your customers or colleagues. We talk a lot about this in our course, Leading Yourself

But, if you truly make a valiant effort for 90 days or so, and you’re still unhappy, it’s time to go. What you absolutely shouldn't do though – quit and stay, meaning to check out mentally while still holding onto your job.

3. No matter what we say, our senior leadership doesn't seem to listen. How do you make your voice heard?

-Tammy M.

Our advice: This is a real challenge. Because often you'll see problems and opportunities in your job and you bring them to senior leadership and you feel like they don’t care. To combat this, you have to frame your talking points in the language of senior leadership. What are their metrics? Their organizational goals? Their strategic initiatives?

Start with that and then tell them how what you're saying contributes to those goals. That'll inspire them to listen.

Do you have a question for Lisa and Elizabeth on a challenge your facing in your career? Email it to them at lisa@mcleodandmore.com

Or, if you are looking for help right now, check out one of their LinkedIn Learning courses:

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