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Career Column: How Do You Know When It's Time to Call It Quits?

Dear Career Advisor:

I'm unhappy with my new job. I've only been on it for four months and it seems like, each day, I'm less and less satisfied with the office environment. My job is stressful, and the environment is not as professional as the office where I was previously employed. But how do I know that it's not just me having a hard time adjusting? Have I given the job enough time? It's a totally new career field that I like very much, so I was willing to take a pay cut. But now, I'm struggling to pay my bills. In addition, I don't feel supported by my new boss with some of the new skills I'm learning. I heard that I'm missed at my old job but I don't like jumping ship. How do you know when it's time to call it quits?

Unhappy Camper

Dear Unhappy Camper:

It is assumed that most of us, at some point, have felt underpaid and under appreciated for our efforts on a job. But what about situations where we are seriously struggling to make a decision about whether to go or stay? What about situations where our finances, families or health may be compromised by staying too long? Such circumstances must be assessed at a more grave level than mere 'disappointment' with a job. The following questionnaire will help with that assessment.

Note that this questionnaire does not necessarily apply to contract work, home-based enterprises or other self-employment (although some of the same conditions may be present). It applies to employment for which you receive a wage, salary or commission from an established company.

As with any self-assessment, the most important factor is that you are completely honest with yourself. Your results are private. So why not take a few minutes to honestly assess your situation, and then read the interpretation? You could be doing yourself a big favor. The assessment could even help to re-shape your job future.
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