Thinking About Quitting Your Job? Ten Key Signs It Might Be a Good Idea

Ten on billiard ball for ten signs quitting your job is a good idea

How do you know when quitting your job makes sense? Here are 10 signs that you should start looking to make a move.

1. You weren’t really that crazy about the job to start with.

Often new grads take almost any decent job offered, just to get started on paying off student loans and “living in the real world.” Almost any work experience seems better than none.

But within a few years it may be clear the job just isn’t a good fit. Maybe it’s not challenging, doesn’t use your best skills, is just plain boring, etc.

The same can be true of a job you took while you were unemployed and desperate to get back to work doing something — anything.

So quitting your job might be a good move if it enables you to switch to something more in line with your education, interests, and skills. While you’re still employed is a good time to begin looking for such an improvement because you’re not under the kind of pressure you had when you first graduated or were unemployed. When you find that better job, quitting your job will make sense. But quitting before you have your next job lined up is not usually a smart move — you’re much more attractive to an employer if you’re still employed.

2. You’re not getting the management support you need.

If you’re not getting the feedback and support that others around you are getting, and they’re getting promoted but not you, quitting your job and heading for greener pastures where you’ll be better appreciated and will have better opportunities for advancement might be a good idea.

3. You just dread Monday morning, and then spend the rest of the week waiting for that “TGIF” moment on Friday.

Quitting your job might be a good idea if you’ve come to really hate going to work — and when you’re working you keep thinking about the next break, or end of the day, or weekend, or holiday, or vacation. Life’s too short and you spend too much of it at work to put up with being this miserable.

If this describes you, then quitting your job and moving on to something more pleasant will work wonders for your mental and physical health. Your friends and family will probably benefit too!

4. By far the best thing about work is the people you work with.

If the only thing holding you back from quitting your job is that you work with some great people, don’t let this get in your way. When you move on, you can just make it a point to stay in touch with these folks, whether through Facebook, regular phone calls, getting together for lunch, etc.

Those left behind — and the organization — will do fine without you!

5. Fear of the unknown is all that’s keeping you from quitting your job.

There are 1000’s of jobs from sales jobs to engineering and manufacturing jobs out there, which can make the choices seem overwhelming. Maybe you think you’re too late in your career to make a major change.

You’ll never know what other jobs might be perfect for you unless you look, and people with a lot of experience can be quite attractive candidates for hire. Your long tenure at one place may be reassuring to an employer sick and tired of dealing with “job-hoppers.”

Dead end sign - for when it's time to change jobs

6. You feel like you’re at the end of a dead end street.

If you have the ambition to progress to a position with more responsibility and higher pay, but don’t see any opportunities for that within your present company, your only way to advance is quitting your job.

7. You’re thinking about quitting your job for personal reasons.

Sick of spending two hours a day in your car commuting? Or weeks at a time on business travel away from home and family? Or working 60-plus hour weeks every week? Want to spend more time at home or maybe even telecommute? These can all be valid reasons for quitting your job. Even a lower-paid job may be worthwhile if it gets you a better lifestyle — and working closer to home can save a lot on auto and fuel expenses.

8. Your company feels shaky.

Understandably, many who have survived rounds of layoffs in the recession and ongoing weak labor market are thankful to just have a job. But if you know the company is really struggling to make it, that nagging feeling that your job may be one of the next to be cut may have some validity. Better to start looking before that pink slip comes.

9. You feel you are falling behind on professional training, which for many careers needs to be ongoing.

In a recession, companies often cut back on training budgets. This can leave you with your skills fast becoming outdated. Another job may offer superior training or tuition reimbursement, as well as superior advancement opportunities.

10. You’d be thinking about divorce if your job was a marriage

With the amount of time you spend at work, and many people feeling “married to the job,” you should be no more accepting of a miserable work situation than a miserable personal relationship. Sometimes you just have to cut your losses!

1 Comment

  1. HI George, great post, and something I think a lot of people go through. There are so many reasons why you should actually quit your job if you aren’t happy there – namely, you spend most of your life there! I work in the recruitment field, and find that lack of management support, or difficult co-workers are the main reasons why people quit. If people make you miserable, why stay? Rather move to a position where you can learn, grow and get promoted :)

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