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Career Expert Advises Using Emotional Intelligence to Make Better Career Decisions

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Apr 18, 2023

Emotions are something to consider when contemplating whether to leave a job, emotional intelligence expert, author and speaker Harvey Deutschendorf wrote in Fast Company.

Aside from financial and financial and logistical variables, “[h]ow well we are able to manage, and leverage, our emotions to make the right decision will determine whether we will look back with regrets, or with gratitude—that we did what was best for us,” he wrote, emphasizing that self-awareness is the basis of emotional intelligence.

“[T]he better we know ourselves, the more likely we are to make decisions that are best for us,” he wrote, using an example of a friend who sought counseling that helped him to realize that his relationship with his partner, not his job, was the source of his unhappiness.

Advising workers not to make important decisions such as leaving a job “while in a highly charged emotional state,” he suggested waiting, thinking it over, and sharing one’s feelings with those directly affected by such a decision. “Talking to someone we trust, respect, and know will give us honest, unbiased feedback is important," he wrote.

Emotional intelligence provides important information about whether to quit, and when, he wrote. Feeling that skills and potential are being underutilized could lead to frustration and boredom. That could be an indicator that it is time to seek out more satisfying and rewarding work opportunities. So could a lack of passion for one’s job, he wrote.

But satisfaction and fulfillment in one’s job may not be enough reason to stay, he warned. Emotional intelligence can help identify an unhealthy work environment. A situation in which someone feels unsafe, for example, can affect one’s well-being, mental health and self-respect. Unsuccessfully attempting to change the situation makes the cost of staying intolerable.

“Oftentimes, we end up wishing we had left these environments earlier,” he concluded. “While it may be difficult to make the big decisions about our futures while we are in a work situation defined by these unhealthy characteristics, our future selves will be grateful that we did.”