What's your reason for wanting to leave your job?

by Michael Kwan in Blog

DatePosted on February 09, 2016 at 04:45 PM
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Job seekers often have diverse reasons for moving on to new pastures.  Sometimes, they just want to have a change of scenery (find a different team/people/bosses), advancement (or even downgrading) of job scope and responsibilities, for improved remuneration, or even for company size or location (less commute/travel).

Everyone has their own way of measuring what a 'good job' or a 'great job' is. For me, boiling down a job to purely monetary terms and hunting for that mythical “market rate” (which I will discuss in a future post), is meaningless.

Here’s the questions which I ask myself when considering my own job situation, and I would urge all current and potential job seekers to ask themselves the same when thinking about their career path:

1. Do you have a good manager and leader?

A management team should possess both a good manager and a good leader. Sometimes, one person can take on both roles. Whether it’s one person or more than one, it’s important to have people who you enjoy working for, have respect for, and motivates you to want to give all your commitment.

2. Do you enjoy seeing and working with your colleagues?

Some people enjoy and/or prefer working alone (and actually prefer it), others enjoy creating rewarding and trusting relationships in a collegiate environment whereas others may prefer to engage in office gossips and rumour mongering. 

3. Do you feel happy at the end of each day?

This is a really simple indicator which I like to use, and I think most ignore because they are chasing for that higher pay, better title or working in a bigger company. It's best to ask yourself at the end of the day: how do you feel? Do you feel happy? Do you leave the office with a smile on your face? Or do you feel stressed, irritated and angry? If I’m feeling all these negative emotions at the end of each day, all the money in the world wouldn’t keep me in that job for long.

4. Do you feel valued?

Value takes on many meanings – not just in terms of financial compensation. Do your peers and colleagues respect what you bring to the table and give credit where credit is due?

5. Do you feel challenged and engaged?

Most recent statistics show that the average annual working hours in Hong Kong totalled to 2,606, far more than other major cities such as Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, New York and London (which all average at around 2,000 or under). With all those hours in the work place, I would need to feel engaged with the work I do and intellectually stimulated. Otherwise, those 2,606 hours will feel like 5,000!

6. Does your job allow you to pursue your leisure activities and hobbies?

Everyone needs some “ME” time away from the office. For example, do you need stable hours so that you can walk your dog on a daily basis, take care of family members, help your kids do their homework, pursue extra curricular activities such as exercising or learning new languages or just simply wish to spend quality time with friends and family and be able to go travelling on a regular basis?

If the answer to all or most of the above is a clear NO, then it’s time to explore alternative options. 

If you’re on the fence and want to have a confidential discussion, feel free to reach out to me at michael.kwan@staranise.com.hk


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About the Author

Michael Kwan

Michael was an Associate Director at Star Anise, leaving the legal recruitment industry in 2018 after 4.5 years.  

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