“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” - Confucius

Many of us choose work simply to earn a paycheck, and rightly so. We must work to pay bills and buy the necessities, and sometimes the extras, of life. Most employers would agree that they want employees who want to do their job, not simply get by with barely completing the daily tasks. How does one know when to stay on a job and work harder, versus leaving for greener pastures?

You should quit a job when it’s too stressful

There are times when a job will most certainly be stressful but what about when the stress turns to anxiety and sleepless nights? If you are working a job that has become anxiety provoking for an extended period of time, this can lead to certain health risks. When a person doesn’t sleep well due to worry and anxiety, this can lead to irritability, poor eating habits, and most certainly decreased bodily health. Long term stress has been know to lead to weight gain and increased risk of heart attack. If you notice any of the warning signs of stress, it may be time to leave your job in order to protect your health and mental stability.

You should quit a job when the passion is gone

When you no longer feel that your job is bringing you any joy and the desire to do your work is gone, maybe it is time to look for other work. Sometimes the waning passion for a job can be due to factors that can be improved with some minor adjustments, but what about when the desire for your job has left you completely. When you can no longer perform your job to its fullest and you see that your work is falling on other people. Or you are making a lot of costly mistakes, it could be due to a loss of desire for the work. Your employer needs people who have a desire for and want to do the job to its fullest, otherwise your work will become shoddy and the end result is like a domino effect within an organization. An article in USA Today, quoted a study by VitalSmarts says: ”slacking colleagues cause a quarter of workers to put in more time each week, and 4 of 5 employees report their work quality declines when they have to cover for a co-worker.” If you find that you have become an idler at work, maybe it’s time to rethink the job and look for work elsewhere.

You should work harder when you make mistakes

Now, I am not advocating feeling as though every mistake is your fault; let’s face it, often people are not always trained well for their positions. What I am advocating is, not assuming that you have all the pieces of the puzzle when it comes to doing your job. If you find that you are making mistakes quite frequently, maybe it’s time to put in some extra work and sit down with your supervisor and ask some questions. Making a list of things you need to do a better job on and presenting them to your boss in a coherent manner may just impress them enough to make sure you have the tools needed to perform better at the tasks your given. This is what I term working smart, which in turn will make working harder seem less tedious.

You need to work harder when your team needs you

I am not advocating doing all of the work for your team, but when it is clear that your team is working hard and you are a key piece to the puzzle, then it may be time for you to work harder. Each team member should contribute his or her talent to seeing a project to its completion, and you are no exception. I have worked on teams where it was clear that one person was not contributing and their talent was sorely needed. This will not only help with completing assignments on time but also to the extent that an assignment can be presented with the utmost professionalism.

If you find that you are struggling with knowing when to leave a job or when to work harder at it, I hope you will find these tips something on which to ponder. Remember, you will work your best at a job that is most suitable to your personality and passion in life. Whatever you decide, I wish you much success at your life’s work!

Featured photo credit: morgue via morguefile.com

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