Sunday Night Blues? Deciding If It's Time to Move On
by Joan Lloyd
Do you have the Sunday night blues? You know...that dread in your gut about going to work the next day? Most people have experienced the bummed out feeling that comes at the end of the weekend. But if your dread is a regular depression, it's time to do some re-thinking about your job.
Before abandoning what you have, you'd be wise to take a closer look before bidding adieu. Once you have a better idea about where the angst is coming from, you will be positioned to run toward a better situation, rather than simply away from a problem.
For example, if it's your manager or co-workers you detest, it may be a matter of moving to a similar job in a different company. If you dislike the work, perhaps a move to another department in your own company will do the trick. If it's part of your work that you dislike, a conversation with your manager may enable you to change the mix enough to make it tolerable. Sometimes it's the hours-maybe a later start time, or working part time, will be enough to cause more satisfaction.
It sometimes helps to set a deadline for a stay or leave decision. For instance, picking a decision date six months away can make you feel as if you are doing something to get the ball rolling. Then you have six months to weigh options, discuss the situation with people you trust and then make a decision. Often, without much action at all, a decision will start to gel in the back of your mind and by the time the date arrives you are clear about what you want to do.
Use the time between now and the deadline to gather information
Surf the web and check out job boards, career pages on companies you admire, and websites of professional organizations in your field. There are so many sites to choose from and it's a safe and confidential way to look around. Start reading industry journals and local business publications. Save articles about interesting companies and jobs you'd like to explore.
Step up your networking
It's best to start with people you know and work outward from their contacts to the next tier of contacts. Be ready to describe what you are looking for, but more importantly, be ready to sell what you can offer. Talk about the results you have achieved and the skills you want to apply on your next job. That will put the listener in a position to help you with specific ideas.
It may be time to go to that convention you've been putting off. Use the time between sessions to meet people and let them know you are conducting a discrete job search. They may have a contact for you, or know about a job opening. Bring your resume along-you'd be surprised how many employers use conventions as recruiting venues.
Do some informational interviewing
Start making lists of companies or fields you are interested in and start asking people you know for names of people who could give you advice. In spite of the tools on the Web, networking is still the number one means by which people find jobs.
Talk with your significant others
It's time to take stock of your financial situation. Talk with your significant other about how much money you need to make, where you want to live, and the job conditions that are agreeable to you both.
Don't think it will be better to quit your job to look for another job. It's a fallacy to think, "I will have more time to look." That may be true but being unemployed makes future employers suspicious and you may have more trouble getting in the door.
This may be the time to pay down debt and sell that stuff you never use. Lightening the load can make you more emotionally and physically mobile.
When decision day rolls around, set a meeting with yourself and see where you are in the process. If you need more time, set another date in the future. If the decision has been made to leave, start your job hunt in earnest. And if you decide to stay, you will fell more settled, knowing you have explored your options and for now, this is the decision you are making. When you feel in control, it makes a big difference. When Sunday night rolls around, you will feel better knowing you've made an educated choice.
Joan Lloyd has a solid track record of excellent results. Her firm, Joan Lloyd & Associates, specializes in leadership development, organizational change and teambuilding. This includes executive coaching, 360-degree feedback processes, customized leadership training, team assessment/teambuilding and retreat facilitation. Her line of management, career and job hunting tools (booklets, audios, CD & video) are available on her website. Email Joan if you have a question you would like considered for publication. Visit her website, www.JoanLloyd.com, to search her archive of more than 1100 articles, by keyword or category.