13 Signs To Help You Decide When To Quit Your Job
Updated March 21, 2023
Deciding whether to leave a job is a vital moment in your career. Although work challenges are sometimes unavoidable, knowing when to explore other career options is important. Recognizing when to quit your job can help you make the appropriate decision between confronting a challenge or resigning from the position. In this article, we explore 13 signs that show you it's time to quit your current job and discuss some considerations if you decide to quit.
13 signs to know when to quit your job
Here are some signs that can indicate when to quit your job:
1. When you're underutilizing your skills
While a job might be comfortable, you can consider leaving if it rarely challenges you to become a better professional. Usually, staying in this environment can limit your development and lead to complacency. Also, if you have a wide skill set but are without the opportunity to apply them in your current job, you can consider leaving your company. Getting a new job where your skills are relevant ensures you can improve your skill set and enjoy professional development.
Related: Should I Quit My Job?
2. When the job misaligns with your passion
If you lack passion for your job, the role can feel stressful and monotonous. If you rarely feel excited about your current position, you can consider looking for a new role. Being passionate about your work is important to feel fulfilled in your career. This can inspire dedication, commitment, and improved productivity, as you usually enjoy what you do when you feel passionate about it.
3. When you're in an unhealthy work environment
An unhealthy work environment refers to a work environment that's negative for employees. It may include controlling and punitive management practices, harassment, public shaming of employees, dishonesty and distrust among executives and senior leaders, ineffective communication, poor relationships among coworkers and colleagues, and high employee turnover. This environment can have negative implications on your personal and professional happiness.
If you're in such an environment, consider quitting your job. While you search for a new job, research coping techniques and use them to protect yourself. New opportunities in a healthy work environment ensure you have a better work-life balance, feel appreciated at work, and enjoy your overall work experience.
Related: The 6 Types of Work Environments
4. When there are few growth and development opportunities
Opportunities for growth and development in your workplace are of great importance to help you feel fulfilled. Where there's rarely such opportunity, consider leaving that role. Growth opportunities include vertical advances or promotions, the opportunity to work on a new project or learn a new skill, mentorship from a senior executive or team lead, and mid-level leadership roles. You can inquire about these opportunities by speaking to your manager before deciding to leave.
Related: How to Find a Mentor Step by Step
5. When the company's future is uncertain
Your company's stability affects your employment status, so consider leaving if your company is underperforming and likely to close. To determine if your company is underperforming, you can consider its sales and revenue for a profit-oriented organization. Access the company's financial reports where they're available to determine its potential longevity and financial health. For non-profit organizations, consider their financial health by assessing their access to government contributions and grants. Leaving such an organization early ensures you can find a more suitable workplace with adequate compensation and increased job security.
6. When your job threatens to compromise your ethics
Ethical compromises are actions that require you to perform unacceptable conduct for personal or company gains. For example, implementing misleading or harmful customer policies while prioritizing profit. If your job puts you in a position to compromise your decision-making or ethics, it may be time to resign. This is very important in professional contexts where an ethical breach or improper conduct can affect your career. Instead, you can leave the job and maintain your integrity.
Even where the compromise seems necessary for survival at your current job, try to avoid it. Usually, companies are more likely to put individuals who have strong ethics in leadership positions. In turn, this can improve your employability with future employers and increase your likelihood of future promotions.
7. When you're considerably under-compensated
Accepting a lower salary in a role that presents various non-financial benefits and a special opportunity for you to gain specialized industry knowledge is acceptable. In contrast, if you feel like you're considerably under-compensated, consider leaving. Sometimes, being under-compensated can reflect that the company has little value for your capacity, role, or growth ability.
Usually, this can affect your longevity and growth potential in such an organization. Staying in the role can cause resentment and frustration, so consider leaving to avoid that. Gaining new employment where you're appropriately compensated also helps ensure that your lifestyle and benefits are proportional to your contributions in the workplace.
8. When the organizational values rarely align with your values
Your personal values are other aspects of your life that need to align with the organization's values to feel fulfilled in your workplace. If you have different values, consider leaving your current job. Conflict in personal values is likely to result in conflicting ethical opinions and pressure to compromise your ethics.
Beyond this, a match in personal values also has implications for other aspects of your professional life. Usually, this match involves similar approaches to work, comparable prioritization of tasks, related opinions on key strategies and policies, and positive management techniques. These similarities can influence your comfort in the workplace and make you more productive.
9. When you're unable to fulfill your duties
Structural changes in an organization, changes in your life, and other circumstances can make it challenging and sometimes impossible for you to fulfill your duties. In such a case, you can consider quitting your job. Usually, staying when you're unable to complete your tasks increases your chances of termination. In contrast, leaving can allow you to pursue other employment opportunities while also improving your pay and benefits. Instead of waiting when you cannot adjust to these changes, you can take it as a signal to quit the job.
10. When there's a better offer at another organization
While a job might offer comfort, be a positive workplace, and include supportive colleagues, you can consider quitting if you find a better opportunity in another organization. This might involve career advancement, increased personal fulfillment, higher salaries, and a wider professional network. In addition, you can research other companies to determine the opportunities they offer employees.
11. When you require a better work-life balance
Work-life balance is essential for your productivity and personal happiness. Also, working moderately with adequate rest and time for your personal needs can improve your health and general well-being. If you realize you cannot enjoy a good work-life balance and find it challenging to set work boundaries and make time for your needs in your current position, consider researching other opportunities and quitting your job. Eventually, this can improve your work quality and overall productivity.
12. When you rarely enjoy going to work
Feeling sad and frustrated when the weekend is over and constantly looking forward to your vacation and days off are signs that you're unhappy. Similarly, feeling anxious about work or dreading your return from a break signifies that you might need a better job. This can affect your mental and physical health, so consider quitting that job and finding somewhere you enjoy working. Working somewhere you enjoy can influence creativity and innovation and make you more productive.
13. When the position seems like a short-term option
If you're unable to imagine your position with a company in the future, consider quitting your role. Usually, this is because of different long-term interests, lack of growth opportunities in such a position, or inadequate financial remuneration. You may be able to access improved growth opportunities, better compensation, and work where your long-term interests align by getting a new job.
Considerations before quitting your job
If you decide to leave your job, there are two main factors to consider:
Timeline: Usually, rather than resigning immediately once you decide to leave your job, it's better to secure other employment first. Having an employment offer before quitting ensures your employment security, regardless of your reasons for resigning, and helps you avoid employment gaps on your resume.
Workplace environment: Ensure you also assess your current situation when quitting your job and choosing a new employer. Identify what you want in a role, the company, and the development potential to help ensure you can find employment at a suitable company and enjoy a productive new experience.
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