You work long hours, you’re bored, and you don’t get any recognition. Some days it can be hard to fight off that urge to quit on a whim — but in today’s questionable economy, it’s important to protect your career. Before you up and leave a perfectly good job, ask yourself these questions.

Do you have unrealistic expectations?

Is your work situation really that bad? Or do you just expect more than you should? Let’s face it: everyone becomes disenchanted after a little time on the job. What was once exciting and new can become boring pretty quickly. But is the grass really greener on the other side? Take a step back and try to gain a different perspective.

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What makes a new job seem so appealing?

Is it a better paycheck? An impressive title? More vacation time? Before you jump ship, talk to your current employer and see if they’re willing to work with you. Chances are, you can negotiate a title change, a raise, or even more time off (without starting over somewhere new).

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Will quitting your job cost you valuable relationships?

When you’re at a job for a long time, you build relationships with the people you work with. You have people you know you can count on in a pinch …  and maybe even friends you see socially. It can take a long time to build up that same level of trust and camaraderie with new people. Is it worth giving up?

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Can you afford to quit your job?

Quitting a job can be a costly move – especially if you don’t have something new lined up. Think about how much money you have in savings. How long will it last if you don’t find something right away? You don’t want to end up holding a yard sale to pay your phone bill.

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How will a career change affect your family?

Before you make a career change, make sure you discuss it with the people in your life – especially if you’re married and have children.  A new job for you can affect the rest of your family in a number of ways, from budgeting concerns to childcare issues. Make sure everyone is on board before you do anything rash.

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