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How do you know when its time to leave?

By Presidio ·
Is it time for a change?
Just a job change or a career change?

I?ve been programming for over 10 years (several different companies). There was a time when I loved it, now I dread coming to work. For about 6 months now I leave work each day with my jaw clenched; shoulder/neck muscles tight; stomach in a knot and spend my entire drive home trying to relax.

Sometimes I think that it is this particular work environment. My supervisor has changed, company location has changed, and there is major staff turnover. There is also no chance to keep up with new technology. However I live in a small community with very limited new opportunities.

Sometimes I think I need a complete new direction. I still have moments where I really get into the code and enjoy developing, but I wonder if both the IT industry and I have changed too much.

I?ve had personal life changes too and would actually rather work part time. Working more then 8 hours in a day feels like such punishment.

Getting a paycheck is 95% of the reason I show up for work every day. I get paid well but would rather earn less and enjoy my job.

So where does one go from here?

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Excellent Book !

by Dilbert-Tom In reply to Dianetics

I was fortunate enough to stumble onto this book when I was only 20... It made a great deal of sense and helped me to know enough about myself to know what I really want to be doing and what is really significant (as opposed to worrying about 'workplace politics' etc.).
I've been laid off several times (anyone remember when Mortgage rates were 25%, laid off from Bank's Mortgage Staff, I was supporting BAL Assembler applications at the time). Generally I was working elsewhere within a week, taking the layoff as an opportunity (and presenting it honestly to propective employers as 'bad news - good news', bad: just laid off, good: I can start today or tomorrow).
The principles in this book can be applied to minimize 'thoughtless reaction' which most often leads to regret later anyway...
A great book - should be required reading in High School (9th-10th grade ?).

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by tlcst In reply to DianEtics

Did you find the book?

If so what did you think?


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by Chuckypoo In reply to I here ya!

Dianetics was written by L. Ron Hubbard, who founded Scientology. It considered by many to be a very dangerous cult that has ruined many lives. Go check out for information.

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When it stops being fun!

by dennis_merola In reply to How do you know when its ...

When it stops being fun...for what ever reason....its time to go....BUT....just dont leave on the spur of the moment....stay till you find a better situation...use the time to find something better suited to how you feel about yourself or your life. Sometimes its just a better mix of work/family that will make you happy. I know...Ive been there and never regretted leaving a position I was unhappy at, even if it meant less $$.

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Time to leave you say ...

by lyn.lyn In reply to How do you know when its ...

I've been in the business for the past 15 years. Came in bright eyed and full of ambitious, will go places, blablabla.

Groom for this, groom for that, do long hours, get noticed. Get involved in office politics. Got abused and exploited plenty, thank you.

Gradually with time, I have understood that this job - any job - is a means to living (finances) my real life which is NOT in the office. It took me almost 10 years to get that.

Most of live's gratification, self-worth is to be gotten elsewhere than at work *unless it is your company - and you run the show*.

So, you want me to do more and longer hours than what I am paid for then *FU pay me* I say smilingly/calmly :)

Emotional detachment from the work environment is key. Taking at least 3 weeks of holidays will help too.

My 2 cents.

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Spot on

by cchinukwue In reply to Time to leave you say ...

How true.

My advice is never take any reminder of work beyond the office door after hours. You'll be the healthier for it.

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Do some Research

by jackmail In reply to How do you know when its ...

Changing jobs is hard work - especially for someone who has been with a single employer for a long period of time. I found myself in a similar situation a while back and decided I needed to do something about it. Here's the plan:

Take charge of your career ? it is your responsibility to create opportunities for growth. DEcide where you want to be and then come up with a plan to get there.

Revitalize and expand your network. Track down coworkers who have left your company. Join local networking groups, become more active in organizations and be a useful resource to those you network with.

Update your resume and find a recruiter in your field who will critique it. Stay in frequent touch with 2-3 different recruiters you are comfortable with. They will appreciate any leads you could provide to them as well (your previous coworkers for instance).

Remember you are responsible for keeping up to date on the tools of the trade ? not your company - take some classes or buy a book and use the tools so that you will feel comfortable enough to list it as a skill on your resume. Also do some moonlighting with newly acquired skills ?pro bono work usually provides a good reference.

As it has turned out ? I am still at my job but I feel better knowing that I have some options and now I get the occasional call from a recruiter ? I haven?t changed jobs but it is good to know there are alternatives.

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Figure out what you enjoy

by TjD In reply to How do you know when its ...

After leaving the service, I took a job as an engineer in a large manufacturing facilty handling day to day operation of 9 production lines. Three months later I was so miserable that I hated Sundays because all I could think about was that I had to go to work the next day. Not to mention that I was a new father.
I spent the next three months doing research and "soul search" to figure out what I wanted to do. Then another 6 months developing the skill to swap careers and secure a new position.
Two jobs later, I've happily been a net admin/sys admin/it manager for nearly 5 years. I still rely on the skills I learned as a military officer and as and engineer. As the "IT guy" at a small manufacturer now, I not only handle the computer systems, I get to get my hands dirty troubleshooting and repairing various equipment on the shop floor. My diversity of experience was a great plus in securing my current position and in maintaining my value and reputation to the company.
Don't forget your current skills and experience in looking for something new take your time to figure out what would be best for you and realize that it may take some time to position yourself for a new career.

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Re: How do you know when its time to leave?

by CoachRick In reply to How do you know when its ...


This can be a tough decision to make, especially when you see limited choices available to you. However, I believe there are more choices than what you may see yourself.

Have you considered a personal coach? Someone who might assist you in finding new possibilities in what is available to you? A personal coach does not bring a 'fix' to the table, but new insights and a different set of personal experiences and perspectives that can make all the difference in what is available to you.

If you are interested in pursuing the idea of a personal coach, I am willing to share my experience with you. Email me, we'll "talk" about it. Then you can decide if this is something useful for you.


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The answer is more internal than external

by km8295 In reply to How do you know when its ...

I went through a period that sounds like where you are now. I also realized there were good aspects to my job, that it was really a decent job as they go. What did the most good was realizing my purpose. I prayed for options, and none came, so I decided that I was where God wanted me for now. So I determined to make God proud, to do good work and even take on some junk assignments when needed. As a result, I gradually received praise and perks at work, and inside I felt better about myself, which translated into a better view of my job as well.
See, without God all this is meaningless anyway. With Him, if I decide I am really working for Him and not the company, none of this is wasted. He can move me elsewhere if He wants to open a door. In the meantime, there is lots I can do here.
You may find peripheral things that help both your work and your interests that you can add to your day, such as learning a parallel skill -- more about the programming language(s) you currently use, or other languages or techniques. Intermix yourself and your interests with your work, and try to make everyone the winner. But check everyday with Jesus to see what you can do for Him today -- you may find you are actually the winner after awhile.

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