We’ve been thinking about what happens when things are simply NOT working at work.

In Part One of this series, I acknowledged that there are times when we’ve tried everything and it has become clear that it’s simply time to move on. In Part Two, we looked at a four reasons why it may be time to quit — and examined some actions we could take.

But what if the ONLY answer is to leave?

You’ve done good work! You have done your best. It’s time to get out and get a different job.

My language may seem flippant. The job market can be hard, I know. It may have taken you a long time to get this job. If you cannot leave or cannot find another job right now — go back to my last post and look at all the other ways you can survive and make the best out of the crappy situation in the job you have.

BUT just because finding another job is hard and scary DOES NOT mean you should not explore the idea. You may find that a new and better job is actually right around the corner.

You do not know if you do not try. Really. Preschool teachers say this all the time because it is TRUE. You do not know if you do not try.

Think about it…

WHAT IF you could leave? What else would you do? Where could you go?

The first step is small. It is not quitting or even pulling out an old resume. Start by talking to a few folks you trust. Have coffee with a friend and chat about finding a different job. Then have a tea date with a friend of a friend. Begin to think about different options. You got this.

Decide. Do you want to leave this job? Decide to leave. You do not have to leave yet. But if you do not make the decision to leave, time will just keep passing. And you will still be right where you are.

Once you decide it is time to leave, you will need to explore other possibilities for work. This is not a quick process. Continue to chat with trusted friends and network with their friends. Think about all the possible fields you could work in. What jobs use your skills? Consider the amount of money you need to earn. Make sure to give yourself plenty time and space alone as you explore what you are good at doing and what you enjoy doing.

Once you get clear about what you want and you begin looking around, people and resources will begin to show up and show you how to get out of there. I’ve seen this happen time and again.

The process is not going to be easy. It may take a while. But isn’t making a new choice better than staying stuck forever, feeling physically and emotionally spent, and dreading work?

You can find something better.

Work doesn’t have to suck. Really. Lots of people have jobs they do not mind going to — jobs that are pretty okay most days, and some days are even FUN. You can have this too. Figure out what you want and need from a job and what you have to offer. Then take action — and take care of yourself.

Are fear and overwhelm creeping in and overpowering your sense of possibility? If you are overwhelmed, please find a friend who will listen to you and support your plans. Consider talking to a professional about this. Reach out to people for support outside of your work space.