Four Signs That it Might Be Time to Quit Your Job
Deciding whether to quit a job is among the most important career decisions you have to make in your professional journey. Coated with fears and insecurities, it’s also one of the hardest ones.
Throughout my career in human resources, and now as a career happiness coach, many women have come to me to consult about such a decision. Here are the four biggest warning signs that it might be time to quit your job.
[Related: Exit Stage Right]
1) You don't love your job anymore.
There are many reasons why you might not love a job anymore. Doing piles after piles of the same tasks repetitively, regardless of your profession, can make anyone bored. Having no challenges that match your skill set can make you dread your job. Finding no growth opportunities, whether it's a stretch assignment, a side project or a training program, can make you feel unfulfilled. Seeing your role marginalized can make you feel depressed.
You might wake up every morning and feel that going to the office is so suffocating. Spending every minute at work might feel like it's killing your precious life.
You might be aware of this terrible situation, but aren't ready to give up yet. You might proactively try to find ways to love your job again. You might talk to your manager a few times, but then nothing changes over the next few months. You still aren't being challenged. You aren't utilizing your strengths. You still don’t find joy in daily tasks. You see zero to minimal impact from your work. You aren't growing.
It’s true that you own your career, but if the company you work for doesn’t show any interest in supporting your development, then you may be better off finding one that does.
2) You can’t tolerate your boss anymore.
It can be hard to be a good manager. Even a great one has to start somewhere. So if you work for someone who at least shows that they care about people in some ways, then you're lucky.
However, if your boss is a tyrant who never listens to their team and keeps pouring tasks on your plates, doesn’t protect you against unreasonable demands, has zero interest in your well-being, or clearly discriminates against you because of your gender, skin color, family status, or anything else, then you may need to take some action.
Before making the decision to quit, consider bringing up these issues with your boss and/or the relevant authorities in the company, including HR and the equivalent of an ethics and compliance office. If your work life still suffers, then it might be time to leave. It’s probably not worth investing your precious time at such an organization.
[Related: Bad Bosses Happen, But Suffering Is Optional]
3) You can’t stand the people you work with anymore.
Maybe it's not your boss, but your co-workers who are pushing you into the corner. Some might be uncooperative, secretive, and difficult in other ways because they see you as a competitor. Some might even go a step further and shamelessly claim your credits as theirs. Perhaps the majority of those you directly work with are in one of these two camps.
You may have tried to be professional and assertively provide constructive feedback. However, your feedback was ignored or buried. Your manager and the higher management don’t seem to want to fix the problem.
It could be that they don’t value you enough to take some action. It could be that the culture doesn’t prioritize cooperation, respect, professionalism, and fairness. Or, sadly, it could be part of a bigger scheme to force you to leave. In my experience, some immature organizations go that route to push people out.
When you feel like you're a lone soldier and your gut tells you that an environment isn't the place for you, it might be time to move on.
4) You don't recognize the body, mind, and soul you used to have.
This is possibly the biggest and most direct warning sign. You may have tried your best to save the situation, but you see yourself going nowhere at your job. You might go home each day with work-related worries continuing to flood your head. You might find it hard to sleep as your mind actively replays the negativity from your office life.
In addition, you may feel tired and exhausted on a daily basis. You may be so consumed by what's happening at work that you don’t exercise anymore, and neither enjoy your meals nor fully engage with your loved ones. You may even break down in tears and ask yourself, “Is this all that life is about?” Be truthful with yourself: It’s not.
Different individuals have different tolerance levels with each of the above situations. What’s most important is to know your threshold and listen to your gut. Don’t allow work to override your whole life and who you are, as the world is full of opportunities for you to explore. Your talents and passion deserve to be where they can flourish.
If your current job feels like torture, it may be time to quit. But make sure you deeply reflect on and articulate what you truly want in your next job. This can help you find you a great role in a great workplace.
Amy Nguyen is a passionate and highly-skilled career happiness coach based in the New York City area.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Founder, Career Happiness Coach & Strategist
Happiness Infinity LLC
My name is Amy Nguyen. I am an absolutely passionate and highly-skilled Career Happiness Coach, based in New York City area. I am an official member of Forbes Coaches Council and a Brain-Based Coach trained by the NeuroLeadership Institute. With unique experience taking charge of Happiness within myself, at home and at work, my mission is to help highly motivated and heart-centered women to, happily and practically, discover their Career Happiness Infinity Zone, map out... Continue Reading
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