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When is it right to quit?

When is it right to quit?
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Dr Raj: Quitting a job, they are in a hurry to move out and some say they are not in a hurry, but definitely like to move out in the next few

In the last few months, I have been inundated with the resumes of people from across industries, departments and levels. Some seniors are really fed up with their careers and are urgently looking for change. Some juniors desperately want to have a career break so that they will be in a job that they wish to be in. Some say that they are in a hurry to move out and some say they are not in a hurry, but definitely like to move out in the next few months.

That brings us to the main question – when is it right to call it quits and change a job? Let me present a few case studies which will help in our reflection.

Case Study – 1: Ankit is at middle management level heading a function in an IT organisation. It has been just about two years since he joined this organisation. The first year by with him trying to find his feet and understanding the organisation. The second year was filled with some attempts he made in initiating some processes. His attempts were met with utmost resistance from long-time employees. Ankit slowly started understanding the undercurrents and political nature of the organisation. He experienced his first feeling of suffocation.

The final and firm decision to quit came in more recently after a huge altercation. One of his team members was involved in some unethical practices, which Ankit spotted with evidence. He wanted to sack his team member immediately. His team member, who has been in the system for more than six years, approached the senior management and had his say in stalling any attempts by Ankit. Ankit tried to push the decision but was rudely shocked with the senior management’s response. Instead of backing his decision, the senior management framed Ankit as being vindictive with his team members and he was given a warning. That was the moment when Ankit decided to quit.

The question is: Has Ankit failed in building his space within the organisation? Is he running away because he could not influence the system? Or is he a victim of organisational politics?

Case Study – 2: Ravi has been in HR function with an infrastructure organisation for the past five years. He is paid well and does not have much work pressure either. Owing to economic factors, the infrastructure industry has been going through a bit of turbulence and many of their projects are stalled. However, the company has been paying salaries on time to all the existing employees though they decided not to hire any new people.

Ravi says there is no immediate threat to his job, but still has decided to move out. The reason he says is that there is no scope to do anything new and that is crippling his learning curve.

The question is: Is Ravi being unfair to the organisation, which has taken care of him even during, troubled times? Is he being too selfish and ditching the organisation when perhaps it needs his HR support during the challenging economic scenario? Or is he being pragmatic and proactive?

Case Study – 3: Manohar has been in the organisation for close to four years. He has gained very good access to the senior management. Though somewhat junior in stature, his word is well respected and he could drive many initiatives over the past few years.

The restlessness started in Manohar after the recent salary hike. According to him, his market value is much more than what the present organisation is paying him. He feels it is time to step out and fully realise his earning potential.

The question again is: Is Manohar being unreasonable in expecting freedom, respect and also money – all in one place? Should he amend his thinking and be contented with all the positives in the present organisation? Or is he correct in his desire to earn to his potential by quitting the present organisation?

These case studies highlight the fact that you should take a measured decision by weighing the facts both from the organisation’s as well as your personal point of view before deciding to quit. Track this column for some more case studies and some more insights!

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