You approach an organisation like you'd approach a romantic relationship. You start excited at the thought of a new job, but with time you notice flaws and quirks of the organisation and start to doubt your decision. Any relationship can shape you and help you become a better person; it is always about the company you keep, figuratively and literally. The downside is that it can also bring you down and become a source of stress and negativity. Sometimes, the best relationships are the ones you are willing to fight and put in the work for to make them great. Thriving in a company is very similar to that.
Nowadays, we are quick to leave our jobs citing statements such as “The job is too hard and boring” or “I can't get along with my coworkers and I'm paid too little to put up with it”. Facing challenges while being averse to them, is not a quality many employers will respect or admire. While boredom (and lack of a challenge) can be absolutely derogatory to your professional development, it is not a good enough reason to immediately move on, at least not until you've explored other options within your company. There's probably a lot more you could be doing if you just asked. It's one thing if the corporate culture just isn't the right fit for you, but if you're moving from job to job because you've fallen out with your co-workers or your boss, it might be time to do some thorough soul searching. The only common denominator in the equation is you. It might be a good idea to restructure your thought process if increasing your salary is your only incentive for job-hopping. Otherwise, you're more likely to end up unsatisfied in the long run.
When you're in a love-hate relationship with your job for too long, your primary instinct might be to leave and end it for good. But before you do any permanent damage, you might want to consider the following things and rethink:
If you stay at one company for a prolonged stretch of time, your seniority will definitely establish an air of credibility around you and the work you do. You don't have to scratch and fight to establish a stronger role, something that you might have to do if you switch companies every now and then.
Your seniority will give you the chance to lead others and mentor newcomers as they make their transition to their new jobs. Your success refines your abilities, builds a loyal following and makes you an esteemed leader in your workplace.
If you're constantly worrying about where you'll be in the next year, it's difficult to make long-term plans. A little stability in your career and workplace can help you cope more effectively with the stress that is predestined to occupy you for the rest of your life.
Many companies increase employees' paid time off if they stay at a job for a certain number of years. You can spend more time with your family and achieve non-work goals with the extra time off and maybe even start your retirement savings.
Most people who stay at a company for a decade or more, proceed through increasingly challenging roles with time. It gives them an opportunity to try their hands at a variety of roles to help determine what they're the most passionate about. By moving within the company, you retain your status and benefits, but you're also free to experiment and try some new things.
It is completely understandable if you want to quit over serious reasons or grave challenges. But if the challenges are bearable, your character strengthens as you persevere, solve problems, repair and take an active role in turning a situation around. However, if you work in a genuinely toxic corporate environment, you should absolutely take your leave, as quickly as possible.
CREATING A DIFFERENCE
You can have a positive influence on your company's direction over the years, if you're willing to stick with the company through thick and thin. That is, if you have acquired a good amount of knowledge and experience over the years, you are at a position to make tangible, structural changes within the organisation.
Is your organisation worth fighting and staying for? In many cases, the answer to that question also answers if you should stay at your company or not. The answer always comes down to what you genuinely feel like. Just like all relationships, your relationship with your company takes work and won't always be perfect. There will be ups and downs, but you'll know deep down if it is worth fighting for.
Shabiba is a senior at BRAC University. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.