Working for long hours has been the common norm in Singapore and many other Asian countries with competitive work cultures. At times, this breeds a massive work-related stress which prompts diseases on the workers’ part. There are even instances where it leads to death, like the recent case of a South Korean mother of three who died of a heart attack shortly after returning from her maternity leave to work 12 hour long shifts.
And while the problem is not as bad in Singapore, with the work hours not as inordinately long, stressing about work can take up a lot of head space which can affect one’s personal life in general. If your work is only becoming more toxic — chances are leaving your job may be the best option to take, but there are a few things you need to consider first before making such a decision.
• Explore possible benefits, challenges
You might not want to keep it all to yourself when you’re thinking of quitting your current job. Talking it out with your family or a loved one may offer you a different perspective on things. It pays to be practical in today’s cutthroat economy. Such a big decision will bring benefits and challenges to your life, and it is ideal for you to think about them and weigh them out before you officially say goodbye to your job.
• Ask yourself: what’s next?
Once you stop work, you now have all the time in the world (if not most) for you to spend it on activities you have been longing to do. Remember that mountain climbing trip you postponed because of work? Now is the time to embark on that journey. Been waiting for a chance to reconnect with old friends? Ring them and tell them you are free when they’re available. Planning your time efficiently will help you in the long run.
• Goodbye old job, hello new?
Allot at least six months ahead if you plan to look for a new job. Sure, taking a break won’t hurt, but there may come a point in your life where you find yourself needing to go to work. Partly, this may be because of the tremendous self-worth that a job brings, the feeling of actually contributing to something — but you also have to consider the financial aspect of things. You need to have an income for your daily expenses.
• Decide if you need a career shift
The root of your work dissatisfaction may be because you don’t feel challenged enough in your current work. To solve this, you have to spend time discerning if this line of work is truly what you want to do. If you plan on sticking with the same position, perhaps a new company to work for might offer you a breather. But if you find yourself wanting to try out something entirely different, then do it. You never know unless you try.