The generational change in the workforce that is taking place is very evident. Enter a global pandemic and all the harder it is for employers to keep key employees and for employees to stay with a single employer for extended periods of time. So many factors make it difficult to stay with an employer however sometimes it is right to maintain employment, even when everyone else seems to be changing. Like my mom used to say "if everyone else was doing something stupid, would you have to do it too?" haha thank goodness I grew up when there was NOT social media! Changing jobs right now isn't stupid but staying isn't the worst idea either. If you have made it through the pivot and rollercoaster of the last 18 months and feel confident in the financial stability of the company you work for, by all means, let's ask a few key questions that help you decide if you should truly stay or if it's time to go.
1) How much of your PTO (Paid Time Off) went unused last year?
Paid time off, in the American culture, goes unused at staggering statistics. When was the last time you had a physical at your doctor's or had your eyes checked? Not for your kiddos or your pet kiddos, but for yourself? If you have PTO left, then it's time to schedule a physical and get a baseline. If you are working for a company that doesn't prioritize your health, that's something to think about. Show up as your best self and the reality is, if you have PTO left, you have time to go to the doctor.
If you have more than just a few days left of vacation time each year that you are "rolling over" then it's time to decide why. Are you not making enough money to actually go somewhere? Don't feel comfortable leaving your job for an extended period of time? Both of these should be items you can review with your boss. Do you need a raise? Do you need a job swap person? Is your boss too distant? This topic could go on and on in its own article.
2) Can you say, "If I step away from my job for vacation/ family emergency/ illness, I would be confident that things would roll smoothly at work without me for a week or so"?
If you can't say this phrase confidently, it's time to have a real conversation with your mentor and your boss. This is a drain on your mental health and maybe even your physical health depending on the range of your duties. If you can't ever shut off your work brain, then no matter how much you love or are impassioned by your job, you aren't resting your brain to show up the next day in the most authentic way possible, rested and rejuvenated. You are a slow boil.... slowly evaporating even though you look bubbly and happy on top.
3) Can you confidently say "no" and set healthy boundaries at work when it starts to overtake your personal life?
Boundaries are a tough item for most people and the pandemic closures and restrictions forced a lot of boundaries on all of us. Now we have to be cautious that we aren't allowing things to re-enter our lives that we were happy we lost by the restrictions imposed on us. We have to use our sea-legs and exercise our boundaries on our own now but do so remembering that we liked zoom calls with our friends while drinking our own (much cheaper) bottle of wine, or dinner with our families every night at the same table. Items like this seemed like they had become a cost of being a busy family however the pandemic showed us we can have our job AND dinner with our family back again if that's what is important to us, we just have to know the place we choose to put ourselves in honors the need we have to show up as our best selves and that's what we are asking for in exchange for a job well done at work.
Experiencing a global pandemic gave us the ability to stop prioritizing busyness. We now have an opportunity to balance our lives and decide if how we are spending our time is the right amount. Balance doesn't have to mean equal amounts of time, it means an amount of time that makes you feel satisfied. So if you are working somewhere that you feel your needs are being met, physically, emotionally, financially, mentally, and you have stability there then it sounds like you are very fortunate... if you can't say yes to all those questions, it sounds like you have the unique opportunity to start a job search. Best of luck to you in whichever you choose because this is all about perspective and the only person who can decide what is best for you, is you! #CreateMeaning for yourself ;)