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To quit or not to quit the job?

A new job offer can boost your sense of self-worth. But check first if the change will help you. Be cautious, but not inhibited.

india Updated: Feb 23, 2006 15:39 IST
HT Style
HT Style

Getting a job offer can boost your self-worth, give you an opportunity to beef up your resume and make you tingle with excitement. But if you already have a good job, that enticing offer can also make you sick. Why sick? Because if you decide to jump ship, maybe the change turns out to be a disaster. Your new boss could turn out to be a jerk. Or worse, the boss could tell you it's just not working out.

On the other hand, life is about taking chances.

If you shy away from risks, your career and, therefore, a big portion of your life -- could become stagnant.

Taking the leap is probably easier for younger workers, says employment counsellor Arlene Dyer. Younger workers don't have as much invested, like a retirement plan or seniority. But even older workers shouldn't become complacent.

"Decent and better are two different things," said Dyer, author of You Got the Job! Now What?

"You can have a decent job, but if you feel that you won't succeed, be promoted or it's a deadend job, then you need to look for something else."

There is something to be said about stability. Dyer recommends people to research a would-be employer before giving up a good job.

Even if a prospective job looks great, you might have a gut feeling that something isn't quite right.

In that case, listen to your instincts. Dyer says, "You've got to go with your gut," she said. "But you have to know your gut. You might just have a stomachache." Hot tips

Be a sleuth: Ask non management employees about work environment, peers and expectations.

Read anything you can find on the prospective workplace.

Consider the little things: What's the commute, dress code and office environment like? Will you get a laptop? Parking? Combined, these little things make a big difference.

Ask for a counteroffer: Tell your current boss about the offer. A better counter-offer might motivate you to stay put. If none is offered, that might be a sign that the current employer doesn't value you.

When in doubt, aim high: If you're pretty sure the new job offer is not for you, there isn't much to lose? Swing for the fences and ask for a substantial increase in pay. The response might change your opinion about the offer.

Consider vacation time: If you leave a job where you have accrued three or four weeks leave per year, you could wind up back at one or two weeks off unless you can negotiate more time.

First Published: Feb 23, 2006 14:18 IST