How to assess if your job is right for you in the long run

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How do you know if you’ve made the right decision? You were offered the job, accepted it excitedly– albeit, maybe a little too hastily – and now, a couple of weeks in, you’re unsure about your decision. Maybe it’s been longer, but the same feeling of indecision remains.

I have found myself in a similar position. The feeling of not knowing is one of the most difficult for me on a personal level. Not being able to come to a conclusive decision one way or the other haunts me to the point of exhaustion.

I believe in the mantra that, ultimately, you should do what is best for you. That doesn’t mean making a selfish decision but making a self-conscious one.

Some things to consider when deciding to stay or go:

Are you financially secure to the point where you can comfortably say goodbye? Harsh realities dictate that sometimes we have to commit to a job even if we despise the work simply to make ends meet.

Do you believe you will be able to find another position within 3-6 months? Setting a time limit helps to quantify the reality of the choice you’re about to make. In an economy such as ours, it might be better for you to tough through it until the job market is a little more secure.

Do you enjoy the work but hate the job? I know this one sounds ambiguous, but it is possible. Take me as an example: I’m in marketing and love doing work related to marketing, but maybe my job doesn’t offer me enough opportunities, responsibilities or autonomy. It is certainly about determining if one outweighs the other.

Do you fit in with your work environment? I think that ‘fit’ is one of the most important things to consider in a job. Does the work environment – the surroundings, day-to-day banter, your peers and superiors – complement you and your working style? If not, you may be setting yourself up for low productivity and performance, and overall job dissatisfaction. Consider how the quality and efficiency of your work improves on days when you’re happy to go to work and enjoy the people around you.

Are you up for the challenge? Again, this one has a slight tone of ambiguity, but this is because some people (like myself) enjoy being thrown a curveball, such as a job that proves to be less than ideal but still promising because of the difficulty it poses. Others desire stability and control, which doesn’t necessarily mean job security but rather job affinity.

Can you still learn and grow from this position even though it isn’t your dream job? If yes, then it makes the job a perfect resumé-building opportunity. Having a solid year of work experience in your area of speciality (despite your lack of overall satisfaction) is much better than having a three-month stint that can come off as flighty, unreliable and even disloyal.

It is crucial to consider the consequences of your decision. We can’t always make the right choices and maybe this job isn’t right for you – trust me, you’re entitled to how you feel. But how will it look on your resume? What will you tell prospective employers? Can you make something out of nothing?

The bigger risk might be to stay with it and incite change as opposed to folding too soon. Don’t make a decision like this one in haste. Give it time and think all aspects of it through.

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About the author

Simren Deogun recently graduated with high distinction from the management and English programs at the University of Toronto with a CGPA of 3.6. Her career goals include establishing herself within the field of marketing and communications, and engaging in writing or literature-related ventures in her free time. She enjoys dabbling in graphic design and is always finding new ways to enhance her skill set. She also developed and runs her own marketing blog.