9 Signs It's Time to Quit Your Job (and What to Do Before You Leave)
As the Great Resignation continues, you may find yourself wondering if it's time to quit your job, too.
Mark Twain once said, “find a job you enjoy doing, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” And he’s right. It takes proactivity to find fulfillment with your work. When work conditions aren’t exactly favorable, you have the power to act and change your situation.
Are you asking yourself, “Should I quit my job?” Here are some compelling reasons professionals consider leaving their jobs—and what you should do before you choose to cut ties with your employer.
There’s a mass exodus
Are you the only veteran member on your team? Have you attended numerous farewell events in recent months? If so, your organization may be experiencing high turnover. If your company is consistently experiencing high employee turnover, it’s likely a sign there are some workplace issues that need to be resolved, or your former colleagues are finding better opportunities outside the organization.
You don’t want to blindly follow the crowd out the door, but it’s important to understand the factors that are driving them to leave. If there are layoffs, you need to think about your job security. If there’s growing, disgruntled sentiment among your peers, consider your own feelings about the complaints.
You dread starting your workday
Dreading starting work each day is an obvious sign you’re not happy. Having a mix of good and bad days is standard in the workplace. However, if you consistently lack motivation and investment in current projects, it may be time to reevaluate your current job.
Passion is extremely important in the workplace. Passion for your work creates a sense of purpose and fulfillment. A lack of passion can make your work feel more like a job than a career and may result in decreased levels of motivation, productivity or quality of work.
Finding meaningful work often begins with a little self-reflection. Before you quit your job, it is important to identify the source of your discontent, so you know what you don’t want in your next job. Completing a personal SWOT analysis can help you assess the things you don’t like about your current position and discover opportunities that embrace the things you like during your job search.
Work doesn’t foster your growth
Your job has become second nature. You are seldom given tasks or projects that challenge you to leave your comfort zone or expand your skill set. This is a sign you are overqualified for the role you are in. It’s human nature to thrive on challenge. And when we’re not becoming masters of our craft, we often feel idle, stuck and unstimulated. Even if you feel comfortable, if your job is no longer pushing you to grow, it may be time to look for more challenging opportunities.
To grow, we must seek development. Is there a latest technology certification or tool that can transform your role or increase your team’s productivity? Learn it! Is there a new training available that can expand your skill set and bring value to your team? Sign up! If you have exhausted all learning and development opportunities available in your current role, then you are likely overqualified for the position. This is a sure sign it is time to make your next career move.
Your career is stagnated
You’ve been in the same role for the last few years and much of your day-to-day life has become mundane. Coworkers have come and gone, but you are still in the same position you started in. You might be ready to make a career move, but your current organization doesn’t have anywhere for you to move. Whether it’s a promotion or a horizontal move to another position that you desire, if these opportunities aren’t available at your current employer, you should look to see what else is available.
Career growth doesn’t always have to mean climbing the corporate ladder. If you are in the same position but are continuing to sharpen and develop your skills to become better in your role, that is also growth. Ask yourself what your progress will look like if you stay in your position another year. If you believe your job is hindering your career, talk to a recruiter to learn more about advancement opportunities in your field.
Your efforts go unnoticed or are undervalued
You repeatedly deliver results. When there’s a project, you go beyond what’s expected. You even prevent issues before they happen. You’re at the top of your game. Yet, no one notices. Not getting the recognition you deserve for your contributions is hurtful. It can even make the brightest professionals feel small and insignificant. When no one is acknowledging your accomplishments or appreciating your ongoing efforts, work can become less fulfilling and frustrating.
Your boss and coworkers should show they value and appreciate your contributions to the team. Keep a list of the projects you contribute to and the outcomes of your work. Use this list during one-on-one meetings and performance reviews with your leader. If you continue to feel unappreciated for your work, you’ll have a portfolio of accomplishments to reference as you update your resume and begin your job search.
There's a break in communication between you and management
Everyone likes a sense of ease at work. But you, unfortunately, feel doubtful and unconfident. You have no idea whether you’re performing well or not. You are nervous when your manager is present because you can’t put a gauge on how they feel about you and there is no foundation of open and honest communication. Without constructive feedback, we’re unaware of where we’re excelling and where we could improve. Thus, making it awkward and extremely difficult to grow and reach our goals.
It’s possible your manager is simply unaware of your desire for feedback. Every employee has unique needs, and there are several different leadership styles. If your leader isn’t naturally providing you constructive feedback, it’s in your best interest to speak up and ask for it.
Everyone deserves to feel comfortable enough at work to voice their needs and share their thoughts and opinions. If you are sure your manager is aware of your needs and you’re still not receiving feedback, it’s time to start looking for a job with better lines of communication.
You can't be yourself at work
Does your work require you to do things that compromise your ethics? Do you feel like you have to “hide yourself” at work? Misalignment between your values and your company’s culture can create significant conflict within both the workplace and your personal life.
A company’s core values and culture play a big role in how comfortable you feel “being yourself” at work. It’s just as important that your company is a good fit for you as it is for you to be a good fit for the company. Staying in an environment that isn’t a good fit for you can lead to personality changes that make it hard to recognize yourself, even when you’re not at work.
You should always feel confident being your true self at work. Take time to reflect on the core values and characteristics that make you who you are and compare them to the values and culture of your company. If you’re in a culture that doesn’t support your values, it’s time to look for a company that will embrace who you are.
Your current work culture is toxic
Are you working so many hours you don’t have enough time to eat healthily, workout or get enough sleep? Are physical symptoms of stress suddenly forcing you to take more sick days than usual? These are warning signs of a toxic workplace. Working in a toxic culture is ineffective and counterintuitive to productivity. No job is worth sacrificing your health and wellness for.
Your company’s culture should blend well with your personal work preferences and lifestyle. If you haven’t already, identify what’s making your job toxic and have a serious talk about it with a trusted change agent at your employer, whether a manager or an HR professional. If you’ve tried to address the toxicity in your workplace and haven’t seen significant improvement, it’s time to find a company with a culture that fits your needs.
Your instincts tell you it's time for a change
Why did you choose to read this article? Something about the question “Should I quit my job?” must have resonated with you. Maybe you spend more time daydreaming about new opportunities than you do thinking about your actual job. Or you find yourself complaining or making excuses for your job when talking to friends, family or colleagues. Even if you can’t pinpoint an exact reason, you should listen to the unsettling feeling in your gut telling you it’s time to consider other options.
You should always trust your instincts. If you read this article and one or more of these warning signs resonated with you, it is time to start looking for something new. But this doesn’t necessarily mean you should leave right away. It’s almost always better to wait until you’ve accepted an offer before quitting your job. Ready to start your job search? Contact us and a recruiter will help you find a role that aligns with your skills, interests and needs so you can continue to work as you navigate each phase of your job search.