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Seasoned with Sage
Before You Call It Quits

I have first-hand experience with “sticking it out” in a bad job situation. However, there are also benefits to seeking out change. If you can no longer thrive in the environment you are in, move on. But how do you know when to stick it out or start looking for a new job?
1. Gauge your feelings over a long period of time (six months or more) instead of making a decision based on just a few bad weeks.

2. Choose an activity you enjoy doing outside of work, and schedule it in so it is a priority. You may just need a little distraction—then the work issues can be put in perspective.

3. Ask yourself a few hard questions:
Am I contributing to the negativity at work? For a while, gossip had gotten out of control at work, and I had to take a hard look at myself and see how I was contributing to the cycle. Then I had to make a conscious decision to watch my own mouth. I began focusing on positive aspects of others and correcting misinformation when I heard it.
Can I help change things for the better? There are things you can control, and things you cannot. You might be surprised what things you may be able to influence, even if they are not directly within your control. For example, morale was very low in our unit, so a friend and I teamed up to start a newsletter to recognize our peers who were going above and beyond.
Do I need to change my attitude? Sometimes when you are stuck in a rut, your attitude gets stuck there, too. That’s when it’s important to get a fresh perspective. Make a conscious decision to start each day with a good attitude, even if it at first feels forced. For example, there maybe be a “difficult person” you’ve predetermined is impossible and miserable to work with. Try changing your attitude about that person and finding a positive trait in them. All it takes is one kind gesture to get the other person to change as well.

If you have given it a fair amount of time, and are consistently unhappy at your place of work despite trying to make it better, it may be time to consider a change. Here’s what to consider:
1. Look for something that utilizes your skills and passions in a positive way. You don’t always have to look for another job in the exact same area. Maybe your skills/passions could be harnessed through a new position or area you hadn’t previously considered.
2. Listen to your peers/family. Sometimes people see qualities in you that you can’t see in yourself. Are others always commenting that you would be great in a certain field or department? Try it out. You might just find out they are right!
3. Know it won’t be perfect. Just like your last job, you’ll work with unlikable people and patients, do tasks you won’t always enjoy, and feel like throwing in the towel. But knowing this, you can be proactive and keep things positive from the get-go.

Read more Seasoned with Sage articles

3 Responses to “Before You Call It Quits”

  1. Kate Says:

    Hi, thanks for the advice. I have been going through a similar situation, call it quits or stay. Everyone I spoke to had differing view, but at the end of the day it was my decision to make.
    I need a new and challenging environment with education and a reasonable level of support. So I will be leaving. At the end of the day, you get what you want out of any experience. Kate.

  2. bobby Says:

    I think we all get to a point in our nursing career when you start to want to seek out new experiences, and learn additional skills in varied environments. No one should feel bad about making a change to grow professionally. I am one to stay at a job a few years before moving on, I reflect on my experiences. when you feel comfortable enough to know that you made the best effort to get the most of your experience, then you can feel comfortable moving on with life. I think it is important not to stagnate. You know it is time to move on when you keep asking yourself it is time to move on. Learning new skills and being a jack of all trades makes you only a better asset to your employers, patients, and coworkers. In the end you have to do what makes you happy.

  3. Denise Says:

    I have to tell you that some of this is scaring the bejesus out of me. I’m in college for nursing and expect to graduate in about 4 years. Any advice on what questions to ask a prospective employer? I don’t wantto be thrown into the deep end w/o a life preserver.

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