Here’s what some of them had to say.
Jack Welch, executive chairman of the Jack Welch Management Institute
For many people, knowing when to leave a job is hard to determine. “What criteria can you use to determine if you have been with the same company too long?,” asked Welch in his post Four Reasons to Quit Your Job.
“Usually, angst about work creeps in, and then builds until it consumes you. And that can happen early or late in a career. Gone are the days when, after graduation, you took the best available job and stayed for as many years as you could possibly stand, frustration be damned,” wrote Welch. So how can you sort out whether or not you should quit? The first two things of four to consider:
“Do you want to go to work every morning?,” Welch wrote. “Does the prospect of going in each day excite you or fill you with dread? Does the work feel interesting and meaningful or are you just going through motions to pull a pay check? Are you still learning and growing?” If not, he suggested, it might be time to move on.
Secondly, do you enjoy spending time with your colleagues or “do they generally bug the living daylights out of you,” wrote Welch. “We’re not saying you should only stay at your company if you want to [organise a ] barbecue with your team every weekend, but if you don’t sincerely enjoy and respect the people you spend 10 hours a day with, you can be sure you will eventually decide to leave your organisation. Why not make the break sooner rather than later and start cultivating relationships at a company where you might actually plant roots?”
James Altucher, entrepreneur and owner, Formula Capital
“My boss screamed at me in front of my colleagues. I had done something wrong of course,” wrote Altucher in his post 10 Reasons You Have to Quit Your Job in 2014. “But I don’t like being yelled at. So the next day I said the magic words, ‘I quit’.”
Fortunately, for Altucher he had a job offer already in-hand. But it wasn’t the last time he quit a job — and eventually he left the corporate world, he wrote. You should do the same, he suggested. Among his 10 reasons you should leave your job and venture out on your own this year:
“You’ve been replaced. Technology, outsourcing, a growing temporary staffing industry, productivity efficiencies, have all replaced the middle class. The working class. Most jobs that existed 20 years ago aren’t needed now. Maybe they never were needed,” he wrote.
“Money is not happiness. First, the science: studies show that an increase in salary only offers marginal to zero increase in ‘happiness’ above a certain level.” because people spend what they make, Altucher wrote. “I have never once seen anyone save the increase in their salary. In other words, don’t stay at the job for safe salary increases over time.”
“It’s ok to take baby steps.,” he wrote, suggesting people make a list of every dream they have first. “These are not goals, these are themes,” he wrote. Then ask yourself every day, “what do I need to do to practice those themes? This is how you take baby steps. This is how eventually you run towards freedom.”
John Ryan, president and chief executive officer at Center for Creative Leadership
Being strategic in managing a career and not changing jobs in a reckless way is important, wrote Ryan on his post Stop Playing It Safe With Your Career. “But, at one time or another, or perhaps many times during our working lives, we will face an unsettling choice – do we simply stay in our lanes or risk exiting onto an entirely new road?”
At those critical points, what should you do? Ryan suggested a few points to ponder. Among them:
“Do you believe you cannot go farther in your career than your natural abilities take you, or do you believe you can develop new skills and talents with repeated practice? Again, it’s not just about proving yourself; it’s about improving yourself” he wrote. “New assignments can drive exceptional leadership growth. Your mindset will powerfully influence your willingness to rise to the challenge.”
Still uncertain? “Call on your mentors,” wrote Ryan. “Most of us have had at least one or two good ones in our careers… Turn to them for help. You aren’t always going to like what they say.”
And, Ryan wrote, consider that “the longer we work, especially in the same fields, the more prone we become to tunnel vision, to staying stuck in our lanes. It’s hard to break out of the narrative we’ve created about ourselves and our abilities,” he wrote. But that doesn’t mean you should stay where you are.