BIKRAM Vohra Have you heard of the hassle factor? Thats where the salary is higher than the job dissatisfaction, so you stay. Then the hassle increases to the point where either you get more or you go. Ta da. The trick lies in being able to balance one against the other. For most of us there is unnecessary stress because we fail in spectacular fashion to enter all the elements into the equation before we make a decision. We allow emotion to come in the way, we pretend we have values, we are men and women of principle, or we march to our own drumbeat. Humbug. We do it for ego, to be talked about, the centre of attention for five minutes and we mess it up. On the earning side, there are four parameters. One, since business logic suggests you are earning less than you deserve it is up to you to work out how wide the gap is and how much of it you can span without burning the bridge down. Pretty silly, you would look demanding the X factor and being told here are your marching orders, start moving, sunshine. Two, what is the market like in your line of work and where do you stand in it, left of centre, right of centre or halfway lukewarm and no big deal, no one will miss you if you fallout. Three, what are the options available to you on the outside. Can you get another job in the same line, will you have to change or adjust, and will there be negative fallout from your departure. Before you engage in the shift, are you motivated by heroics and hope rather than pragmatism...remember you could be putting the wife and children on the line. If you have doubts over even one of these factors you could be walking into trouble, my friend. Far too many people swan off on half-baked premises then discover they would bend over backwards to turn the clock to yesterday. Before you rush off, therefore, and make a complete mess of things sit back and do the following things. Check out how you are placed at the moment. Dull but steady? No hope whatsoever of things changing? Simply frustrated and wanting another shot at the cherry, never mind the risk. If it is the first then stay where you are. Dull is another word for job security. If it is the second, be sure that the alternative is actually greener grass and not weeds, like it often turns out to be. And if it is the third, which is the most dangerous, because you are in a reckless state of mind and most likely to go off half-cocked, do yourself a favour. Lie back in bed and enjoy the idea of leaving. Savour it, embroider it, indulge in it, enjoy the giving of the resignation, visualise the reaction of your peers, do all that and then see if there is a reduction in the tension. If so, you are not yet ready for the real thing. At this point, there are two golden rules that most people, who quit cold turkey completely forget. If there is another offer available make sure the financial difference is at least 20 to 30 percent in cash and perks. Not much point in doing it for less. Because the next place will have its own set of hassles and if your cash factor isnt higher why are you doing it? Also, dont be nave and fall for the prestige and the image angles and the designation and what the neighbours will say in envy. These are not cash substitutes. That is a one-way recipe for disaster. The simple rule is, what are you getting for it. In cold terms. Thats what counts. Finally, be honest with yourself. Can you deliver. If you are getting the better deal be sure the person, who is paying you wants results. All too often we promote ourselves from levels of success and competence to levels of incompetence and subsequent failure. Peters principle holds true. Then we flounder and wish we could go back to that wonderful horrible job we had. And throughout the agonising period keep one thing uppermost in mind. The other side of the hill isnt all that it is cracked up to be.