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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Always Just Quit a Job You Hate

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Always Just Quit a Job You Hate

There are some days when a day at work can feel like a prison sentence with an extra dose of torture thrown in. Your boss is cranky, some of your colleagues are acting like jerks and you have no idea how you will ever finish the growing pile of work that’s accumulating on your desk. The temptation to walk out for good and quit a job you hate can be overwhelming. Indeed it has led to many spur-of-the-moment resignations by people all over the world.

But is it wise to just quit? As ideal as it might seem in the heat of the moment, it might be useful to consider these five reasons before you throw in the towel.

1. Quitting your job without having anything else lined up can put you into panic mode.

This is hardly a helpful state to be in if you’re starting your own business or looking for another job. Potential clients and new employers alike will smell desperation a mile away and chances are, they will be put off by it. Wait until your side business is earning enough to pay your rent and bills, or until you have a new job offer, and you’ll be in a much better place to ditch your current job.

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2. You might be quitting for the wrong reasons.

I remember being tempted to quit a great job because I couldn’t stand a colleague I worked with. After a huge argument I sat at my desk and wrote my letter of resignation. Luckily I waited to calm down before I handed it in. I soon realised that it would be a huge mistake to resign. I loved my job, I was learning lots and had I quit I would have missed out on some great experience-building. When I realised this I made an effort to improve the relationship with my colleague and chose projects that meant I had very little to do with her (just to be on the safe side).

Before you hand in that letter, ask yourself: Is it the whole job or just a particular aspect of it that’s making you unhappy? Can it be changed? Who can help you change it?

3. You could miss out on some great learning opportunities.

Being a little more strategic about your departure can set you up for a great next move.

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The minute you realise you want to leave your job, spend some time thinking about what you’d like to do next. What kind of skills and experience does your planned next step require? Can you start building this experience at your current job? Are there any courses that your current employer offers that could prove beneficial for your future? Is there a particular company you’d like to work with? Can you start creating some connections now?

Work on building the skills and connections you’ll need for the future and those few extra months you spend in your job will be very worthwhile.

4.  Some of the toughest challenges will become the highlights of your career.

If you’re thinking of quitting your job because it feels too hard … STOP. Often when we’re in the middle of something that takes us out of our comfort zone, it can feel very uncomfortable. While our natural reaction is to escape, it may not always be the wisest one. The first time I ran a training course for a group of people I nearly fainted with fear. It left me thinking that this job was not for me, that it was too hard. I stuck it out because I knew it was what I wanted to do. Twelve years later, I now train trainers and run workshops all over the world. Had I given up at that first hurdle my life would look very different to what it does now.

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Think about these questions to decide whether this challenge is worth sticking around for. Are you more capable of dealing with this than you were a week ago? Can you get more training and support to help you cope better? Are you learning useful skills? If the answer to any of these is YES, then you might benefit from staying around a little longer.

5. Your current job can develop a key element of success.

Science shows that one of the best predictors of success in life is your level of resilience. That is, how capable you are of rising above the tough challenges that life throws at you. Resilience also tends to work like a muscle, in that it gets stronger the more we use it.

Can you use this job to learn how to deal with adversity? Will the experience make you stronger in the end? If so, how can you use the experience to build your resilience muscle?

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While there are many valid reasons to stick to your job right now there may be just as many reasons for why you should quit. If your job is making you ill, creating high anxiety or if you are in a situation that is toxic or abusive, if your instinct is telling you to leave, then sit down at your desk and write that letter today.

Featured photo credit: Sybren A. Stuvel via creativecommons.org

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Published on January 7, 2021

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

How To Train Yourself When You Lack Attention To Details

Some people see the trees for the forest, and some see only the forest, meaning they lack strong attention to detail. But even if you’re one of the people who take a macro rather than a micro view, true professionalism requires balancing both.

If focusing on the fine points is not your forte, you will benefit from training yourself to pay attention to details. You will profit by saving yourself time, effort, money, and credibility.

Why Training Yourself in Attention to Details Pays Off

You add value to your organization when you make the effort to ensure that you performed your work thoroughly and effectively. This is why job postings often list “attention to details” among the required skills.

When you present your supervisor or client with well-completed, high-quality work the first time, it maximizes your value and minimizes wasted time. Detail-oriented people are also more adept at catching mistakes that could lead to costly blunders.

Moreover, attention to detail is an indicator of possessing other in-demand employee qualities, such as organization, thoroughness, and focus. In some professions, such as accounting, engineering, medical research, and more, you can only excel if you have trained yourself to pay attention to details.

In other professions, possessing strong attention to detail is the very quality that will get you promoted to a position where you will be asked to consider the big picture.

Finally, if you are the “go-to” details person, everyone else on the team can relax a bit. They know the project is in good hands and will likely throw you more projects as a reward. This will ultimately lead to your advancement.

3 Important Aspects of Becoming More Detail-Oriented

Here are the 3 important things you need to learn if you want to remedy your lack of attention to detail:

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  1. Respect deadlines
  2. Understand the work-flow plan
  3. Build in time to mess up

1. Respect Deadlines

Deadlines lend all projects a finish line. One smart idea is to take the given deadline and work backward from it, calculating when your piece of the project is due. Then, if you stick to the proscribed schedule for completing the mini-projects that you have, you will never miss a deadline.

One important note on this: It is smarter to stick to the deadline and turn in work that merits a “B+” than to blow the deadline with “A” work. Chances are, through revision and suggested changes from others on the team, you can bring up your B+ work to an A later. But if you disregard deadlines, you will lose the respect of your boss and fellow teammates.

2. Understand the Work-Flow Plan

Your team is developing work in conjunction with other teams who have projects and deadlines of their own. When you grasp the whole work-flow plan, you may be able to either add insight to the greater project or to your own smaller piece of it that others at the firm will consider valuable.

3. Build in Time to Mess Up

You can expect that “what can go wrong will go wrong.” Don’t overpromise on deadlines. Something likely will mess up, but when it does if you built in the time to fix it, those around you won’t freak out.

Chances are, you already give your attention to several details. Take heart. You can do this! You can overcome your lack of attention to detail and become more detail-oriented.

For starters, consider this: Most people take the time and put in extra effort into the activities or undertakings that matter to them most. Training yourself to become more detail-oriented can mean adopting a similar pattern of behavior.

Apply the same attention you give to your appearance. Are you a meticulous dresser? Do you pay attention to how you pair patterns and colors, and how you accessorize a particular outfit?

This is the same system to use when you lack attention to detail with your work. Give every item careful consideration so that each one contributes to the perfectly pieced-together whole.

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Assemble the ingredients the way you do when you cook. Cooking and baking from scratch require close attention to details as you measure and add each ingredient in sequence, and you time everything so that the meal comes together at the same time.

Similarly, your work product requires you to gauge whether all the ingredients have been added and that your final product is delivered on time.

Organize your business network like you do your social contacts. If you follow a broad base of friends and acquaintances on social media, you can apply similar skills to stay up-to-date on details associated with business acquaintances.

When you meet somebody who could be influential to your career or a resource for improving your skills, follow that person on social media. Respond to their posts to keep the lines of communication flowing.

12 Tips to Help You if You Lack Attention to Detail

Teaching yourself to take note of important details involves sharpening your perceptions and thinking ahead. The following tips will help you adopt these practices. Master these habits when training yourself to become detail-oriented.

1. Learn to Listen Well

You will pick up relevant information and needed nuance when you apply the skills of active listening. In conversations, train yourself to make eye contact, give your undivided attention to the speaker, and ask pertinent follow-up questions.

Training yourself to pay better attention to details in conversations includes learning to fully concentrate on what others have to say. If you find it hard, there’s no harm in taking notes on what they say.

2. Pay Attention to Social Cues

Make a point of noticing body language and facial expressions that provide insights into how others perceive a situation. Social cues offer details that give you an understanding of how words and actions impact others. The infamous character Michael Scott of the television show “The Office” epitomizes the consequences of not paying attention to others’ body language.[1]

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3. Follow Rules

Rules and protocols usually come about from lessons learned and are put in place to avoid further mishaps—whether from a safety or efficiency standpoint. If you’re given step-by-step procedures to follow, check them off as you go. Also, return to the rules at the project’s end just to make sure you adhered to them all.

4. Take Notes

Note-taking is a way to boost your retention and gives you something to refer back to when you need to keep track of pertinent details. You will also heighten your focus as you listen for relevant information. Review your notes shortly after the meeting or conversation and highlight the content that you intend to apply.

5. Prioritize What Needs Your Attention Now

When you have a full slate of work that demands your attention, take a few moments to sort assignments from most to least urgent. Keep a calendar, spreadsheet, or project planning software up-to-date with schedules and deadlines to help you stay organized.

As you tackle each urgent assignment, give it your full attention so no details are missed. Give yourself ample time—especially if you tend to be someone who waits until the last minute—as rushing can make you overlook important details.

6. Have a Detail-Oriented Assistant Check Your Work

If you lack attention to detail, then it makes sense to seek help from someone detail-oriented. If you have this option, take advantage of it. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Just be sure to credit your assistant for their help once the project is completed.

7. Learn the Rules of Writing Well

English is a difficult language, and grammar, punctuation, and spelling can all sabotage you unless you pay attention to detail. When in doubt, look it up. Free to use website services such as Grammarly can help.

8. Proofread Before You Hit Send

Nothing is perfect in its first draft. If you lack attention to detail, then put in the extra effort before submitting things. Before you send off any written work, check carefully not only for misspellings and incomplete sentences but also for improper tone, inappropriate colloquialisms, and inconsistent formatting. When your written communications are error-free, they will have their intended impact.

9. Minimize Distractions

It is impossible to stay focused when colleagues carry on conversations nearby or your mobile notifications ding you throughout the day. Do your best to limit distractions.

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If you are working where there is a lot of noise or side activity, try wearing noise-canceling headphones or seeking out a quiet corner. Disable your notifications when you need to focus, and resolve to only check them after you have completed your assignment.

10. Take Breaks

It may sound counter-intuitive to stop and take a walk, but it’s necessary. Walk away from the screen. Moving from one task to the next across the span of your workday is a recipe for brain fatigue. Give your brain a recess time when you come to a natural stopping place or after you complete one project and before you start the next. These short pauses are necessary for sorting through all the details needed for coming up with successful solutions.

11. Make Time for Reflection

At the end of a workday, take a few minutes to go over the day’s events in your mind. What was said or relayed in conversations? What is the status of the projects you worked on? What else occurred that you should pay attention to? Could there have been any details you might have missed that you should address tomorrow?

12. Keep a Detailed To-Do List

This simple organizational tool is your best ally for getting your work done on time and for paying attention to the details. If you are pressed for time (and who isn’t?), write your list to coordinate with dayparts.

Allot a certain number of hours to complete each task, do it, and then check it off. Nothing feels more rewarding than completing all the tasks on your list. But if you can’t finish them, then carry them over to the following day.

Final Thoughts

Details may seem small, but they can become a lot larger when they are overlooked. If you know you lack attention to detail, commit to training yourself to embrace the many facets that can help you consistently excel in the tasks you set out to accomplish.

When you begin to catch your mistakes in advance or apply the tidbits of information you gathered from paying close attention, you will know that you have trained yourself in the fundamentals of becoming detail-oriented. After that, you should start hearing the phrase “Great job!” more often.

More Tips on Boosting Your Attention to Detail

Featured photo credit: Cristina Gottardi via unsplash.com

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