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This article was originally published November 2020.  Updated September 2022

Read this first if you’re stuck in a career limbo

You are grateful that you have a job but you never truly fancy your job, and you’re just staying put for the feeling of security that comes with having a stable job.  Or do you actually enjoy what you’re doing but you have reached career stagnancy? These are two differing factors that you should deeply consider before making any radical moves.

Did the transition to hybrid or remote working heighten your current discontent at work or you were already dissatisfied prior but complacency prevented you from thriving further, and now you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, your mind is reinforcing you with metaphorical quotes of “the grass is always greener on the other side” and “your job is the bane of your existence”, so now you’re ruminating on what could have materialized if you have left your job earlier.

Do not leave your job for the wrong reasons

It is sensible to leave your current job only if these criteria are met:

  • It is taking a toll on your overall health, mentally and physically. For instance, you’re experiencing nausea, migraines, sleeplessness, depression and anxiety, these are symptoms that would not only impact your health in the long run should you choose to stay but it will predominantly affect how you react towards the relationships you have with your co-workers, family and friends. In a science-backed survey by AIA Insurance, the 2019 survey has shown that in a pool of 17,595 employees, 51% suffers from work-related stress and 53% sleeps less than seven hours per night, 84% of employees suffer from upper body pain and musculoskeletal conditions.
  • You have this sense of disarray that your skill sets are not being fed through the right funnel, you feel like you’re not contributing enough to your company. You might be thinking to yourself, am I even in the right role? Are my visions and interests aligned with the company’s long-term objectives? You’re dreadful because you’re not achieving anything significant, you’re demotivated at work, your productivity and output has dropped. Human beings seek for high value work, one that requires us to be creative, analytical, involves human engagement that brings an overall sense of happiness.
  • No growth opportunities and poor remuneration in your current job. Your job is very mechanical and routine based, Joyce K. Reynolds an Expert Business Coach stated that “If you feel static and you can’t earn further responsibilities or get ahead after pitching ideas on a subject matter, you’re most likely in a dead-end job”, this could mean prejudiced treatment, favouritism in management practices, you notice your co-workers are getting career opportunities that you aren’t getting. Remuneration does not justify the workload and treatment being imposed on you, if this has been communicated to your line leader and no clarity has been given after countless occasions, then you should make your move.

From another standpoint, leaving your job for the wrong reasons might pose major career upheavals:

  • Don’t leave your job if you’re being given a strenuous task that is not within your expertise, it is a golden opportunity to experience a new learning curve. In today’s fast paced environment, you’re bound to be given unfamiliarized tasks, by accepting it without hesitation directly showcase your ability and willingness to learn. Job scopes are constantly changing and are becoming more cumbersome hence we need to alter our ways of working.
  • Don’t leave your job if your company is undergoing a corporate restructure.  Organizational restructuring  to align to management’s corporate planning is something that will happen from time to time.  So are downsizing and outsourcing of some work functions
  • With this ongoing pandemic, many organizations have to downsize and end up outsourcing some work functions to contractors. Upon receiving this news, most employees would panic, frantically updating their resumes and LinkedIn profiles in hopes of landing a new job before a career catastrophe occurs. Always remember, if you’re an asset to the company, you would not be easily replaced, don’t rush into unwise actions, have a transparent conversation with your line leader during your performance review, constantly upskill yourself, identify knowledge gaps and discuss opportunities.
  • Don’t leave your job if your workplace relationships aren’t blooming. There’s this catchphrase that one should manifest “Do not take workplace relationships personally”. In a corporate setting, it rarely revolves around you as an individual but on your work performance and other factors as well. All relationships need effort, managing expectations and it requires a two-way communication.  Contemplate if you have been contributing to a less positive rapport with your line leaders or colleagues. How can these relationships be improved to help in your career?

    Ensure that you have 3 to 6 months of emergency savings before leaving your job

However, if you have well taken into consideration the above components and you’re adamant about leaving your job, continue reading as these are risks to be evaluated upon making a decision:

  • Ensure that you have enough savings to cover your fixed expenditures and commitments such as home mortgage and rentals, car loans, health insurance, food expenses
  • Sharpen your soft skills in communication, problem solving, analytical thinking, leadership, stress and conflict management, adaptability
  • Recognize your credit score to ease future borrowings
  • Redo your budget and eliminate unnecessary spending
  • Set up an emergency fund that will cover your expenses for 3-6 months
  • Notify your line leader a month or two in advance prior to leaving and provide adequate justification of your resignation
  • Express gratitude and appreciation towards your co-workers, peers and line leaders. Don’t burn bridges and leave your workplace with dignity and respect

Before making that drastic leap, cultivate self-reflection and identify the fundamental cause of your job misery, ask yourself, would you regret this decision in the long run? It is a precarious choice to make if you leave your comfortable job with or without a backup plan, the repercussions would hit you, psychologically, physically and financially. Keep in mind that we are in the midst of an uncertain job market hence it is essential to plan ahead and implement various strategies before making this bold move, keep in mind that leaving your job does not equal to a personal failure but merely embarking on a brand-new endeavour.



February 2021

Head of Innovation for an Accelerator Hub in Jiangsu providing funding and infrastructure support for Singapore companies expanding to China in the areas of biomedical science, nanotechnology, and advanced manufacturing


February 2021

Successfully placed the role of Freight Forwarding Sales Director, China for a multi-modal Transportation and Intelligent Logistics Park in Chongqing under Singapore-China (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative Framework, integrating land, rail, water and air transportation at western part of China

February 2021

Closed the position of General Ledger Manager, Singapore for a world leading solutions provider of smart electronic devices