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How to Know When It’s OK to Walk Away

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Over the last few weeks, a lot of powerful women have talked about the significance of knowing when to walk away from ventures that no longer feel rewarding. At the end of September, for example, we watched as Blake Lively gracefully and humbly announced the shutting down of her lifestyle site, Preserve, which she ultimately didn’t feel lived up to its original mission of “making a difference in people’s lives.” Not long afterward, we learned that our favorite funny lady, Amy Schumer, walked away from a $1 million book deal because she knew she deserved more—and ultimately landed an $8 million book deal. (You go, girl.)

While we don’t have Blake or Amy’s cell phone number (they’d be such good mentors!), we do have the ultimate questions to ask yourself when dealing with a similar, should-I-walk-or-should-I-stay job dilemma. Compliments of Millennial career coach Ashley Stahl, if you answer “no” to two or more of these questions, Stahl says it’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself and consider moving on. If you answer “no” to one (or none)? Don’t walk away yet—you might just be going through a temporary rough patch.

[Related: What 9 Successful People Learned from Failing Forward]

1. “Is this experience serving me?”

What are you gaining from your current role? If the answer is “not much,” it may be a sign that it’s time to walk away—but not without analyzing what, if anything, you enjoyed during your time with the company. “[Understanding] those benefits can translate into a much better fit in your next step,” said Stahl.

[Related: 5 Ways Failure Can Lead to Success]

2. “Are there more opportunities for growth?”

This question is especially important for those who are still new to the job. Things may not feel right just yet, but remember that you’re still adjusting. Think about the future of your current gig: If you can see opportunities for learning and growing, you owe it to yourself to keep exploring this new step in your career.

3. “Do I feel valued?”

Do you feel like your work is being recognized for what it’s truly worth? “We want to feel a basic level of respect in our work,” Stahl pointed out, so if your employer isn’t recognizing your efforts or if your audience doesn’t seem to value your product, then you’re going to feel disrespected.

[Related: Are Celebs Crushing the Stigma About Crying at Work?]

4. “Would someone I admire stick around?”

Think of one of your role models, and how you want to embody that person in your own career. Would that person stick around in your current situation? Stahl said this Q&A has provided some of the biggest clarity for her clients.

5. “Am I taking criticism too personally?”

Sure, this question might feel a little silly, but if you’re letting constructive criticism get to you, you might just need to develop a thicker skin. “A lot of people expel a lot of energy managing other people’s experiences of them,” Stahl said. Remember: an appropriate level of feedback from your boss means he or she actually cares about your growth and development.

6. Does this experience still light me up?

Plain and simple: If the fire is gone, maybe it’s time for you to move on, too.

Photo: Gary Burchell / Getty Images

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