At some point, we all ask the question. It is inevitable. Should I quit? It’s like tossing a coin to break a tie. You don’t know how you truly feel until that coin is in the air, and at that moment when you realize that you’re stuck with one or the other, you know the answer. But what if it’s not that simple? After all, it’s a bigger decision than you may realize, and it merits some consideration.
So before you take a dump on your boss’ desk and send that email to all of your coworkers that you’ve had in your outbox for 8 years, take this short quiz and find out if you’re about to start your second act or if you’ll be taking out a second mortgage.
Let’s get right down to it. The touchy-feely stuff can wait until the remaining questions. Are you paid? Adequate compensation can be measured in many ways. There is data online for various salary ranges based on position, years of experience and region. If you’re more analytical, this might be how you answer this question. If you’re more of a gut-feeling person, you can look at other indicators. Are you meeting your basic requirements? Do you vacation? How’s your savings account? Do you still live at home? Do you want to still be living at home?
However you evaluate the answer to this question, ask yourself this: Am I paid as much as I think I should be?
The Pursuit of Happiness
Now we start digging into the existential questions. Why am I here? What am I doing? There are a million rabbit holes that one can get lost down while chasing the answer to this one, so let us keep it simple. Three are a couple of ways to measure how happy you are at your current position. Do you like your coworkers? I mean genuinely like them? If you feel like you’re managing your workload and not underwater, that’s good. If you complain about your job while you’re not at your job, that’s not so good.
Happiness is harder to quantify in a workplace setting, so use this as your tiebreaker. Do you look forward to the Holiday Party?
Free at Last
And last, when all else fails, you have your freedom. Unless you don’t. This isn’t something that one considers very often in their working career, but I would argue that it’s the one that stings the most when you realize you don’t have it. If you do have freedom, most likely you don’t know it. The trust of your boss to handle your work and deliver on time. The respect of your coworkers to count on you and look to you for leadership and guidance. These aren’t things we appreciate daily, but they are key to maintaining al even of freedom at work.
If you want to know how free you are, ask yourself, how comfortable would I be asking my boss to work from home two days a week?
Sadly, if you answered no to two or more questions, you should probably quit. This is not scientific, but I would wager if you took this quiz at all seriously, that’s a bad sign. There are better jobs out there where you can get more money, happiness or freedom. Don’t waste any more time waiting for things to change.
If you only had one no, maybe it’s a situation that you could improve? Can you ask for more money? Maybe apply for that new position in another department. Maybe your job has flexibility around working from home. One NO isn’t the end of the world, but it would be nice to have them all be YES.
That being said, money’s not the key to happiness. Being creatively fulfilled might not be something we all get to attain at work. And as long as you need that paycheck to live the life you built, is there such a thing as actual freedom?
You might just need a raise.