Get some distance, seek advice, and build up your savings before heading for pastures new
Get some clarity and distance
It could just be that you are exhausted and need some sleep, a different perspective or expert advice. Sleep allows our bodies to repair and our brains to process information, so it stands to reason that a lack of it can impair judgement and decision-making as well as have a negative impact on our moods and relationships. Sleep deprivation increases the amount of cortisol in our bodies too – this is often called the “stress hormone” and maintaining healthy levels is vital for mental functioning and cell regeneration.
Physically removing yourself from your routine can also give you time to reflect, as seeing problems from a distance (literally) can often allow you to see them more clearly. Specialist help can be hugely beneficial, as they are trained to quickly get to the root of issues ranging from the physical to mental. Sometimes simple changes such as sorting out your diet with practical nutritional advice can tip the balance as to how you feel and cope on an everyday level.
Studies have shown that meditation enhances cognitive abilities, boosts energy and promotes the ability to see things from others’ points of view. Learning how to switch off, maintain balance in your life and increase your emotional intelligence could mean the difference between wanting to run away from your job and understanding the changes you need to make to improve what you have.
Think about what really interests you and where your skills lie
You might need to re-train or refresh your skills before you can change the direction of your career. It’s also worth considering whether the things you love are actually the things you want to pursue as a career, day in, day out. Ask advice from people who do what you would love to do and find out their career paths . Most people love sharing their experiences, so ask them to give you the inside track as well as the upsides and downsides.
Make sure you have savings to tide you over
If you’ve taken the time to think and research and are sure that leaving is right for you, make sure you are fully prepared. Six months’ salary is generally considered a good amount to give you some wriggle room whilst you find a new role. This is also important as it stops you from panicking and taking the first thing that is offered: what’s the point of making a change if you then default back to your comfort zone? If you find it hard to save, then consider how you can make small changes every day, such as foregoing your morning coffee or wasting money on shop-bought lunches.
Ignore the naysayers
Whenever you make a bold decision, the entire world will suddenly pop up to offer you “helpful” advice. Listen to your instincts and do what feels right for you because it’s your life, your career and ultimately you know best. Let “fortune favours the brave” be your mantra.
Be honest with colleagues about why you are seeking pastures new
It’s really important not to bad-mouth your current company or burn your bridges. The world is a small place and they may come back into your life or prove useful in the future. Stay professional and polite and they’ll only be able to say good things about you if your name pops up in the future.
This article was written by Stella Photi, for theguardian.com on Monday 30th November 2015 07.09 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010