Should You Stay or Should You Go? Five Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Job

Three students studying

Ask yourself if your work is gratifying. If you want a more prominent role, it is time to identify what that might be.

It can be tough to know when to stay put and when to call it quits. On one hand, you promised yourself not to get complacent in your career. On the other, your current work situation is a stepping stone, one in a series of strategic career goals. When is it time to move on?

Before making any rash decisions, you need to assess if there is any way to accomplish your other career goals through your current role.

Dr. Beth Fisher-Yoshida, Academic Director of the Master of Science in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies, offers five questions to ask yourself to help determine what is worth negotiating—and when it may be time to negotiate your departure.

1. Are there opportunities for professional development?

It is important to ask yourself, "Where do I want to be in five years? 10 years?" If your current work will not get you there, you need to see what other learning opportunities your employer can offer you to fit your longer-term strategic goals.

2. Is the quality of work gratifying?

You want to enjoy the work you are doing and the contribution you are making to the organization and the world at large. If you want a more prominent role, it is time to identify what that might be.

3. Is this a healthy working environment?

When you wake up in the morning, are you revved up and ready to go? If you are feeling stressed more often than feeling relaxed, and this is affecting your quality of life, you need to consider negotiating a healthier work environment.

4. Are working relationships productive or unproductive?

It is said you stay or leave workplaces because of the people. If it is difficult to work with certain people, or it is impacting your ability to do your job effectively, it is time to negotiate better working relationships.

5. Am I valued and appreciated?

You make more than the basic contributions expected and, in turn, you want to be acknowledged for these efforts. If you are not, then take the initiative to seek out opportunities for feedback.

For negotiation tactics associated with each of these points, read the full article on Inc. and learn more about the M.S. in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program at Columbia University’s School of Professional Studies.