5 tips to know it’s time to resign

Should I stay or should I go now?
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go, there will be trouble
And if I stay it will be double…

Such a great song by the English punk rock band The Clash, but coincidentally, a song that also expresses what many people are thinking when they turn up for work each day!  So, be honest, are you thinking about leaving your job? What about selling your business, or retiring? Assessing the right time to exit the building is a difficult judgement call. Here are some tips to get it right:

  1. Do you have a better opportunity? Don’t be in a rush to leave your paddock unless you can see greener pastures. We ultimately sold our childcare business because every hour we spent there was an hour we couldn’t spend on growing My Food Bag. While we loved Au Pair Link, My Food Bag was the much better opportunity – simple as that.
  2. Does the fire still burn? Okay – so every job has its ups and downs, that’s a given. But if your fire has long been extinguished, then that’s a sure bet it’s time to move on. You need energy and motivation to inspire those around you and to give your best. Sporting superstars that keep playing past “their prime” often do so because that fire still burns. If you’re playing well and still have the motivation – keep going!
  3. Are your values aligned? You change. Companies change. If your core values are no longer aligned – get out, fast. On the other hand, if you’re looking to find a new job, it’s best to make sure you closely assess company culture and purpose before joining. When hiring staff into your business, don’t just ask a manager for a character reference, ask a colleague or better yet, someone that reported to them. This is a surefire way to avoid employing those who smile up and kick down.
  4. Are you still needed? It’s not all about you, okay?! If your team or company still needs you, you need to carefully consider such impacts. If the company has given you loyalty, show it in return and you’ll only improve your reputation. Perhaps a longer notice period or a phased retirement? We talk to a lot of CEOs and Founders who say they’re simply “over it”. But, sometimes it’s better to move to another seat on the bus and bring in fresh blood, rather than exit entirely.
  5. Ask yourself, is this fun? Life’s short. If you’re not having fun, then maybe the writing is on the wall. Clearly your life and career won’t be fun 24/7, and you need emotional resilience to succeed. But hell, if you hate it what are you doing there? Chances are you not the best person for the job anyway. Start looking for a new, more enriching and exciting opportunity.

Ultimately, if you’re thinking about leaving, its probably only matter of time until you do leave (or should leave). Often, the judgment to be exercised is more about how you decide to leave rather than when. The world’s a small place (New Zealand tiny), so it’s best to avoid burning bridges if possible. And to all bosses out there – be wary of retaining staff (even the highly capable ones) when they want to leave. If the attitude or motivation has gone, performance will quickly follow downhill.

This indecision’s bugging me.
If you don’t want me, set me free.