Should I Quit My Job? When Enough Is Enough And Other Things To Consider
Should I quit my job?” For a question with a simple yes or no answer, it takes a lot of thought. There are numerous things to consider, and the reasons for wanting to quit vary from individual to individual. You don’t want to make a risky decision and regret it down the line.
Why Do You Want to Quit?
If you’re asking if you should quit, that may be enough of a sign, especially if it’s not the first time you’ve considered the question. The modern job market is much more flexible than it has been in the past, and there are plenty of opportunities for those who want work and career changes. But before you make that big life change, first consider just what is motivating you in the first place.
Feeling bored with your work environment is one of the common reasons to think about quitting your job. Almost everyone suffers from the feeling of dragging through their work week with no interest or excitement, so boredom isn’t reason enough on its own. When it’s prolonged, though, it becomes a bit more substantial of an argument.
If this is the case, make sure there’s no other way you can grow from your role first. There may be additional responsibilities or positions you can take on to brighten your work days. Complacency can make your job seem like a slog, but there’s a chance there are other opportunities within your company you could take instead of outright quitting.
Everyone wants their values and work to align, but sometimes the two have different priorities. Your position may require a different schedule than what would work for you, and yet there’s no flexibility in what hours and work type you can take on. This misalignment of values can make it frustrating to stick in your current position.
While it can be easy to think of being unsatisfied with your company’s values, you don’t want to base a decision to quit on that alone. Make sure you have a good picture of what you want instead, otherwise leaving will lead to the same problem further down the line. However, if you know what you want and are aware of jobs that match it, it can be time to start looking for other opportunities.
Negative Impacts on Your Health
Stress from work is another common motivator to want to quit your job. You can ignore some minimal stressors, but once it starts to have an adverse impact on your health, then that may be a red flag that it’s time to find new work.
This idea naturally applies to physical health; no form of work should cause you have an ulcer or other stress-related problem. However, it also holds true for when your job is impacting your mental health, too. If heading to the office causes you high levels of anxiety, then you have a substantial reason to consider quitting. If you don’t think there’s something a change in the workplace or action by HR can accomplish, prioritize yourself.
The Desire for Career Change
Life is often a series of experiments to find out what we want to do, from our college majors to our career paths. Sometimes we start out pursuing one line of work, only to discover that something else is calling for us. If this is the case for you, then there can be a benefit to switching around your career goals so that you don’t feel like you’re working a dead-end job.
Even so, it can be smarter to line up a plan to get into your new career before outright quitting your current position. Like when you have mismatched values, this reason to leave requires a clear image of where you want to go to avoid encountering the same problem in a different circumstance.
Problems with Your Boss
A good boss can make or break a job for anyone. Unfortunately, you can’t just quit a boss; you tend to have to resign the position entirely. Problems with your management can range from micromanagement to communication issues to downright abusive situations, and all can make you want to run for the hills as fast as possible.
For more severe issues, such as a boss who is verbally abusive or takes advantage of the staff, quitting is often the best option. In other instances, you may not like the way your boss acts, but if it’s encouraging growth, you may still have more to gain for your career in the position. Sometimes you may need to try to resolve the issue by talking to your boss—but if you already have and there’s still no change, planning to quit may be for the best.
Lack of Recognition
You may enjoy your job, and it’s no issue heading to the workplace every day. But no matter what effort you put in, you’re still treated the same as your colleagues who may not do the same. Or, even worse, your management has noticed that you go the extra mile but has instead decided to use that to dump more work on you without any fair compensation.
Working without recognition is frustrating and demoralizing. If you feel this way, you may need to talk to your boss to see if there are any changes they can make. If that discussion gets you nowhere, start looking into a company that will acknowledge your skills and effort.
While we all want a job that satisfies us, there’s no denying we work because we need to make a living. But if your income is stagnant, that can take away the desire to grow—after all, why should you make yourself a more valuable resource if your company isn’t going to match your effort with a raise?
Talking about raises can be awkward, but you should still try to have an informed discussion on the matter. If doing your research yields no results, you can start looking at other opportunities. Sometimes switching jobs can give your income a significant boost, but this is a situation where you want to line up other work before you cut the cord.
When to Quit
If you’ve thought it through and you’ve decided that the answer to “Should I quit my job?” is “yes,” then you want to do it correctly. A poorly timed resignation can have negative consequences down the line, either for your career or financial situation. Ask yourself these questions:
- Have I done everything in my power to improve my situation?
- Do I have other work lined up?
- Can I afford to quit without picking up another job right away?
- Since I’m switching careers, am I sure I’ll be satisfied with my new work?
- Have I worked here long enough that quitting won’t look concerning to a new employer on my resume?
- Can I tough it out a bit longer to put myself in the best position possible?
In the end, quitting is a big move. If you have another source of income or enough financial support to leave, then it’s less of a strain than if you won’t be able to pay your bills. Consider sticking with your current work while you apply for new positions, then make the change when you get a better off.
Note that it often takes six months (or longer) to find new work. If you don’t want to stay in your current position for that long, it’s an option to save up the money you’d need to cover your expenses for the six-month period. Once you have the funds, you can quit with confidence while you continue your search.
For more severe situations, such as abusive work conditions and significant physical and mental health concerns, quitting might be for the best. Talk the case over with those around you to see what help you can receive. Discussing the matter with friends and family can also provide a fresh perspective on just how your work environment is affecting you.
When You Do Quit
If you’ve decided to quit, then it’ll be in your best interest to do so professionally. Don’t just choose to not show up to the office one day; be courteous and put in a two-week notice or resignation letter. You may not like your job and want to get out as fast as possible, but bailing without warning will lose you valuable references when pursuing a new career.
If you have the time, plan for what steps you’ll take next. This planning is even more critical if you’re switching to self-employment, as you want to make sure you’ll be able to handle the workload and still be able to support yourself financially.
Asking “Should I quit my job?” may be a sign you do need a change in your workplace, but you don’t want to make a risky decision without due consideration. Sometimes, though, enough is enough, and the stress far outweighs any good that can come with staying. When this is the case, make your choice with confidence and step towards a new phase in your career.