Think you are ready to leave your development job? Let's talk about that.
Everyone fantasizes about leaving their jobs––it is normal and goes with the ups and downs of the work day and work week. Why do you want to leave?
Perhaps you have discovered you really don't like your job after all?
Not inspired by the mission? You have more passion to give?
You are not really happy with your boss?
The culture is somewhat toxic? Very toxic?
You are not learning much from the people around you?
You may have found a new opportunity that is more appealing?
You need to make more money?
Leadership thinks they know more about fundraising than you do?
Just not feeling challenged? No room to grow?
Your conversations at home and in the office are dominated by workplace complaints?
Dreaming of retirement but you are too young?
Can't sleep? Eating more and gaining weight? Losing weight?
Don't feel that you have control over your day and your work?
If you don't leave now, they may ask you to leave because you have simply not met your goals? (I like this reason least of all, but it is very common).
Clearly there are many reasons why people feel restless and want to leave their jobs. It can be a real challenge. I surely have had many of these thoughts over the course of my career and I left a few jobs for a variety of reasons, and sometimes, for reasons that haven't even made this list. And many times, I have stayed and worked it out. I worked in a variety of departments across the medical center, I appreciated all of them and certainly loved the mission of the organization.
If you want to leave, keep some things in mind.
If you feel that you want to move on, perhaps you can move on within your current organization. If you are in a large organization, there may be other departments that would offer an opportunity for you to thrive. Explore those opportunities before you start looking for something else.
We all have different stages of our lives. Perhaps now you have significant financial obligations that would require you to ensure a steady income stream. If so, perhaps you can talk with a friend and develop a strategy to maximize your current situation.
Figure out if you can be temporarily uncomfortable. Discuss the situation with your supervisor, and try and resolve the issues bothering you. For a permanent improvement, what needs to change to make you feel better? Articulate all of this.
Before you decide to leave, can you articulate what you have accomplished in this past position that qualifies you to secure another, better position? Write it down. If you have not brought value, don't move on yet––stay until you have accomplished something significant for the organization. You can use this as a springboard to secure your next position and your job search would be much more directed and successful than just meandering from job to job.
Sometimes, a crisis at work can be a stimulus to move on to what you really want to do with your life. If you have reached the point of no return, keep these things in mind:
You likely have gained many more effective tools in your toolkit to deal with disappointments when they arise. Use them, hone them. It is not always easy to start over and you must rise to the occasion. New co-workers can help you get there.
If there were genuine problems in your job, perhaps you can explain them to your current supervisor in a productive, dispassionate way. Everyone deserves to understand the issue and have the chance to fix the situation, even if it is for the next person. Alternatively, if there were some wonderful things about the job, share those as well. That's reinforcing for everyone.
Be sure to go to a job where you can make more money and have more responsibilities––otherwise, why leave yet? The process of such a change can help you recognize your true value. Once you recognize it, it is important to keep moving forward.
If you decide to leave, do it right. Be sure to notify your current supervisor first and give sufficient notice. While this may seem obvious, I have noted that this is not always the case. Sometimes people are so eager to move on that they ignore this requirement.
Be sure to notify your co-workers and let them know what you are planning––of course, it means that you must have a position before you leave. It is much easier to get another job if you have a job, so don't turn on your heel and go––be sure that you have stabilized your own situation before you make any moves.
Reach high enough so that you can be happy in the next position for a long time.
And then, once you have decided to leave and you find a new job, learn from the past. What will you always do in the future? What would you prefer to change? You are in a new situation––make it happen for yourself. Do amazing things. Visualize success.