Best Boss Minute | Should I Stay or Should I Go?

🎶 May is Music Month with our questions to Danny suggested by song titles.

Today’s Question:

“Like The Clash asks, Should I Stay or Should I Go? How do I know when it’s time to leave my job and look for the next opportunity?”

— Ready in Redding

Deciding when it’s time to leave your job can be a difficult decision, and there are several factors to consider before making a final decision. Here are some signs that it may be time to start looking for your next opportunity.

I think about it in terms of a system model. There are so many systems that we are a part of. There’s the classic organizational system, the family system, community system, but there’s also the system of how you are thinking through and understanding whether you are in the right place or not. I use a model called the IPOF model, which stands for Input, Process, Output, Feedback. Then lastly is environment or context.


First of all, think about your decision in terms of the input. Are you getting what you need in order to feel fulfilled? Are you getting growth opportunities? Or do you feel like you’ve hit your ceiling in terms of career advancement and there are no opportunities for skill development or learning? Do you have what you need? So are you getting the input?


Then in terms of process and feedback, are you getting what you need in terms of compensation? But just as importantly, in terms of feedback and feeling valued. If you feel like you’re not being compensated fairly, or you are not receiving the recognition or appreciation for your contributions, that might be a really good indication that you’re not getting the feedback and in a process that allows you to grow, to flourish, to be in a place of being valued.


Third is the output. What’s going on for you when you come home? Are you feeling burned out? Are you feeling dissatisfied, unfulfilled, exhausted? If all of that stuff is coming through I would highly consider hiring a coach before you exit. Look to me, look to another coach — maybe even in a short term way — and just get a sense if there is something you could do in terms of mindset, ability, management, managing up. Make sure you’re exploring all those options.

But if all those options are explored and they’re not yielding anything and you’re still feeling like your output is just too much, then by all means consider whether this is a good time to leave.


Then lastly, the fourth component is the environment. A system exists in and of itself, but also its part and parcel of the environment. Ask yourself, are you in an organizational culture, a team culture, a place where you feel like you belong? If you don’t feel like you fit in, or values don’t align with your own, it can be really challenging to thrive in that environment.

Oftentimes when we’re in an organization, we can’t see outside of the organization because we’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing, which is to be committed, devoted, to do the work that we need to do. But see if you can pull yourself out, ask your friends. See what else is out there. See if there is indeed a better place for you, a better environment where you can be.

Also keep in mind, wherever you go, there you are. If it’s about you, make sure that you’re paying attention to the things that you need to do in order to be most successful in this current environment or your next environment.

It’s disheartening when folks are in an environment where they are not in alignment with the values, the culture, the way of being in your organization. 

It’s those four things. Make sure the input that you’re getting is good. Make sure the process and the feedback is something that’s fulfilling for you. Make sure your output is one of positivity and energy and feeling fulfilled. And then lastly, make sure that your environment is one that supports you and has your best interest at heart.

Ultimately, the decision to leave your job should be based on your individual circumstances and priorities. Take some time to reflect on your current situation and goals, and consider discussing your options with a trusted friend or mentor.

About Danny

With over 20 years experience in training and leadership development  — and holding an MBA and an MA in Organizational Development — Danny Ceballos has worked with organizations across the country to strengthen their effectiveness in leading and managing others through supervision+motivation best practices and strategies.