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Is it time to leave my job?

  1. Sep 14, 2014 #1
    I've been in my current position for about 1.5 years. I've been taking on more and more responsibilities and i feel like nobody cares/has the time to care.

    The other day my manager emailed me out of nowhere a "success" award for "team efforts". The next day in our overall larger team meeting the big boss was saying that he wants to get our team survey scores up. I realized that my manager basically tossed me some award that sounded good in hopes that i would give better scores next year.

    Anyway, i could give more reasons why i'm unhappy but it doesn't matter - the fact is: i'm unhappy with my position, i feel that i could definitely land a higher paying position, i feel that i'm not learning as much as i should be, and i feel that the engineers that i work with are worthless and don't know how to do anything except copy-paste things written 10 years ago.

    That's pretty harsh but, that's just how i feel. Do you guys think i should leave my job and look for another job with all the extra time or should i have something lined up ahead of time?

    Some stats on me: I'm in graduate school for CS - doing pretty well so far, I have quite a bit of $$ saved up from the past 1.5 years, and noone depends on me financially.

    I guess i'm just looking for some words of advice.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 14, 2014 #2
    I would never quit a job without one lined up. Maybe you should wait till your graduate degree is done though. What the eta on that?
  4. Sep 14, 2014 #3
    3 years ._.
  5. Sep 14, 2014 #4


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    I think this is one of those "no right answer" scenarios. Most of what follows is probably pretty obvious, but sometimes it can help when someone else writes it out.

    One thing to avoid burning bridges if you don't have to. Rather than simply up and leaving your current position, make sure that you give them ample notice and ideally try to complete any major projects or at least leave them in a state where the next guy can easily pick them up. Also, although sometimes it may be tricky, you may want to consider articulating (in as constructive manner as possible) you reasons for choosing to leave. This might make things better for the next guy.

    One the one hand leaving before having another job will give you "the fear." You'll make an effort to find something else because you won't have anything else on your plate. The major down side to this of course is that it could be a long time before you find something else. And that means you'll have an "unexplained gap" on your resume. Although, I suppose if you're currently attending graduate school, that's completely understandable, and therefore not carry the same weight as it might for someone else.

    Also to consider under this heading (quit now) is the issue of when your money will run out. Are you good for a month? Six months? A year? Are you comfortable tightening your belt? What is the job market like in your field? Without any dependents you can probably afford to be a little more risky in your decision, but remember, generally speaking the economy is slow these days and it's not unreasonable expect to go six months without work or a steady paycheque. And even when you start, the cash doesn't always flow immediately. You have to work for a couple of weeks first.

    Staying brings with it the basic issues of remaining in a position you're not happy in. This is something only you can gauge. Would you rather claw out your own eyes than step into that office again? Or is it just the politics than lack of opportunity are getting to you? If you can tolerate the work environment, but just aren't happy or fulfilled there, you may want to lean a little more towards staying until a better ship comes along.

    One final thought... no position is problem free. There will always be politics to deal with or co-workers you would rather avoid. When you change positions you're not getting rid of problems. You're trading in old ones for another dice roll. Sometimes it can be worth taking a hard look at the source of your dissatisfaction and asking a few tough questions. For example, is your lack of opportunity the result of no one handing opportunities to you, or are you shot down whenever you show initiative and try to lead something new? And if you are shot down, why are you shot down? Anyway... you probably get the picture.
  6. Sep 14, 2014 #5


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    That's good advice. Looking at it from the other side of the interview room, why would I want to hire somebody who has a track record of walking out on people?

    If you have the option of reducing your 3 years for a degree by studying full time, that's a different (and positive) story of course.
  7. Sep 15, 2014 #6

    D H

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    It's a bit paradoxical, but making finding a job your full-time job is a considerably tougher task than is finding a job on a part-time basis when you already have a job. In other words, don't quit your job to find a new job. Make finding a new job a part-time hobby instead.

    If your current employer is a decent sized company, don't forget to look for new jobs within that company. A good-sized company will always have some unfulfilled jobs, and the best way to fulfill these openings is offer them to known quantities (e.g., you). People hired from the outside are unknown quantities and represent a big risk.

    On the other hand, if you work for a smaller company then your only option is to move elsewhere or stay with what you are doing.
  8. Sep 15, 2014 #7
    IMO - finding a job WHILE working ( full or PT) is easier than finding a job while not working - not that LOOKING for the job is easier, but the success rate is much higher. - Also 1.5 to 3 years is not that long, the better question is if this job will make you more valuable in 2 - 3 years... if the experience is not good for your future, then you have a perfectly valid interview answer regarding why you want to leave your present position.
  9. Sep 15, 2014 #8
    Could that be explained more please ?
  10. Sep 15, 2014 #9

    D H

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    Rightly or wrongly, employers take a dim view of hiring the unemployed.

    If you are unemployed because you were laid off, the first thing a potential employer is going to wonder is whether you were laid off because you were inept. In good economic times (which we haven't seen for years), ineptitude is the number one reason people are let go. Even in bad economic times, employers go out of their way to hold on to their very best employees. It's only in very bad situations where employers lay off their best employees.

    If you are unemployed because you just up and quit, that is perhaps even worse than being laid off. You had better have a very, very good rationale for why you quit. You have perhaps made yourself unhirable if you don't. Some acceptable excuses:
    • I wanted the advanced degree you see listed on my resume. Getting that was a full time job. I tried balancing working and going to graduate school at the same time, but it just didn't work. I had to quit one or the other, and getting that advanced degree won.
    • I won the lottery! I gave a fourth away in taxes, another fourth to charity. The third fourth went toward my retirement, and the last fourth let me take that yearlong trip around the world I've always wanted to take. Now I need to get back to work.
    • The love of my life died a tragic death, and I needed some time off to get myself together.
  11. Sep 15, 2014 #10
    You sound right about my past situation. Now I see why I got fired, I was inept :cry: , and I don't have a boss's mind, any sort of strategic plans to hire or fire people, I definitely can't run a business.
    Also, I used to be up and quit a couple of jobs and I have had reasonable good excuses (I used to bluntly ask my boss for sending me back to my country while working onsite because I was tooo low paid and had to live a terrible condition). Looking back on these makes me happy about myself. But that was nice experience I would keep to share with people for a laugh or two.
    Based on my observation, I find it's quite true to say that it's not really how much one can do or understand the job for him to get hired in a company but it's probably how long he could endure sticking to one company., as recorded in his CV. Do you think so too ?
    BTW I like your second excuse :biggrin: .
  12. Sep 15, 2014 #11


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    I don't know your full work history, but in my experience, the highlighted sentence is above is not true in general. It is not at all uncommon, especially in multinational firms, for entire departments to be laid off due to corporate restructuring without reducing overall global head count, even when the company's financial situation is fairly good.

    I will give you a concrete example. I used to work for the clinical department for a large pharma company with 3 primary locations (Canada, US, France), with the clinical department split geographically across the 3 locations. When the new CEO of the parent company came in around 2008, a decision was made to restructure the entire company, which included consolidating the clinical department within the US and France, and getting rid of the department in Canada (where I had worked). Although to be fair, my colleagues and I were given 1 year to find a new position (which we all did) plus were given a fairly generous severance package (so in essence, I earned extra money without loss). And remember, this had taken place when corporate earnings for that company was still fairly strong.
  13. Sep 15, 2014 #12
    Getting off track on the layoff issue - these are not hard and fast rules. If you can justify that it was aprt of a larger issue ( large layoff, restructure) less of an issue. But IN GENERAL if you are out of work it it is harder to get a new job...
  14. Sep 15, 2014 #13
    I suppose i will do my best to tough it out. I am handed out opportunities (more like they are forced down my throat) but, nobody seems to care and they only come to expect it out of me everytime a new project is thrown at my feet at the last minute.

    I spoke with the one person in the office that i respect and he feels the same way i do. I asked him what his plans were and he told me that if he did not get a promotion on his next bi-annual review that he would quit and go find work elsewhere.

    I think i would not dislike my job as much if i could at least work with motivated talented people. Everyone i work with is itching to get out at 4:59:59pm (eastern) and they don't care about what they do. Pretty much every meeting i attend is a bunch of adult children fighting in order to protect their team or themselves from doing work.

    Anyway, i feel like i have another 6-8 months in me as far as staying in this current position. I will use that time to line up something better. I understand that every job will have these sorts of problems but, at least i would be getting paid more which would help to keep me motivated for a while.
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