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Work & Life
May 17, 2023
Should I Stay or Should I Go: Work Edition

Carolyn McIntosh

woman sitting at a desk with hands on her head looking frustratingly at a computer

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Making the Decision to Leave Your Job…or Not

Work. It sure can take up a lot of real estate in our minds. There are usually good and not-so-good parts of our job. And if we can say that we truly feel that the work we do matters and is appreciated by those around us – and that it allows us to pay those ever-present bills – then maybe we are doing pretty well. But what if we no longer feel that way? What if the work we do now leaves us feeling uninspired? What if we feel disillusioned, disconnected or simply discontent when it comes to our employment?

It’s important to understand that one always has options. It might be hard to recognize – that’s true. We always have the option of quitting our jobs. But for many of us, that option might be a little too drastic, at least for now. We always have the option of staying and doing what we can to make the best out of a perhaps less-than-ideal situation. 

As we mull the possibilities in our minds, it may help to ask ourselves the following questions to get a clearer picture of the direction that might be best for us:

  • Speak with people you know who have left their jobs, both those within and outside of your workplace (if possible) – discuss the good parts but also the not-so-good parts of the impact of their decision. Would you be willing to live with these identified negative aspects in a new job environment?
  • Ask yourself: have I done everything within my control to make my job situation the best it can be? Spend some time reflecting upon your efforts and your attitude about your work. 
  • Consider what you do outside of work. Are you prioritizing self-care? Are you doing things to “fill your cup” when you are off the clock? You must come to work feeling restored regularly and therefore ready to take on the tasks at hand.
  • Envision yourself in five years at your current place of employment. Can you see yourself in this same job? Might things improve over the next few years?  Or do you have a more pessimistic view of what might be?
  • Imagine your child thirty years into the future and they share with you that they are unhappy with their job for the same reasons you are unhappy today. What would you tell them? Is this the same advice you can give to yourself?


All these considerations aside, something else that could really help is reaching out and connecting with one of our therapists here at Shift who specialize in work stress, work-life balance and even major life changes. We can support you as you consider your options so that you can make the best possible decision for you and your future.


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