CAD Manager's Q&A: Should I Quit My Job?12 Jul, 2006 By: Robert Green
Should I quit my job?
Robert Green replies: I’m frequently approached by CAD managers who list a litany of complaints about their current job situation with the ultimate question being whether or not they should leave.
This question is hard to answer because we all have a variety of things we like and don’t like about our current jobs. Therefore, the answer I will give you is a list of guiding principles you can use to decide for yourself. Below are the factors that I would use to decide whether you’re in the right job or you should move on.
Can you be effective? If, given hard work and effort, you can make progress and move your company’s CAD installation forward to meet business objectives and increase efficiency, then your job may be hard, but it can ultimately be rewarding. If, on the other hand, no matter what you do you can’t seem to get any traction or make any progress, then you’re either in the wrong company or you don’t have the personality or skills to fit that company and should probably consider moving on.
Are you totally burned out? If you dread going to work, feel bored, can’t get motivated or wish you were doing something else, then it may be time for a switch. As an indicator, I always recommend taking the “vacation test” to see if you feel as bad about your job after a refreshing vacation break. If you feel just as bad about your job after a vacation as before, then you’re in the wrong place or have outgrown the job and should look at moving on for everyone’s sake.
Do you want to explore a totally different type of industry or software? If so, then you should focus on doing your current job well and leave on great terms when you find your new challenge. Your employer will most likely understand your desire for new challenges and will genuinely appreciate your professionalism in handling the transition. The key in this situation is to find your new job quickly and with gusto rather than hanging around and growing sick of your current situation.
Are you in a family company but not in the family? From a career standpoint, nonfamily employees are at a disadvantage in small family-owned companies. In family companies you know you won’t become the next president or get big stock options, right? The question is, can you come to terms with the lack of control and be OK with it? If not, move on.
The common thread in all these factors is whether you're in a situation where you can control the progress of your career. My attitude has always been that as long as I can learn new things, make progress and become a better CAD manager, I’m in a good situation. As soon as a job situation stifles your ability to learn, grow and advance, it’s time to look for something new.
I’ll continue my answer to this question in the next CAD Manager’s Newsletter Q&A section.