12 Signs it is REALLY Time to Leave Your Job
If you're not thrilled with your present job, you're not alone. In fact, you're in the majority. A survey in Quality Digest magazine of 5,000 U.S. households found that fewer than half of all Americans are satisfied with their jobs.
"The level of job satisfaction has been steadily on the decline since reaching nearly 59 percent in 1995," says Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board's Consumer Research Center. "As technology transforms the workplace--accelerating the pace of activities, increasing expectations and productivity demands, and blurring the lines between work and play--workers are steadily growing more unhappy with their jobs."
So how do you know when your level of unhappiness has reached the point of no return and you're better of leaving your job than sticking it out? While there's no tried-and-true formula to know for sure, if you notice any of the 12 signs below, it could be a very good indication that it's time to leave your job.
You're getting sick. Stress-related illness like migraines, insomnia, depression, anxiety or frequent infections or other illnesses are all signs that your job worries are taking a toll on your physical health. If your health is suffering physically, mentally or both, your job may not be worth it.
Your values aren't met. Maybe your company provides products you don't believe in or exaggerates their quality to customers. Or, your company's vision is out of sync with your own. Whatever the reason, if your ethics are being violated at work you'll have a hard time feeling fulfilled with your career.
You're not challenged. You'd like the chance to use your public relations/management/sales or (you fill in the blank) skills, but you're stuck doing busy work all day. A job that is not challenging you and allowing you to use the skills you've developed may be a hindrance in the long-term.
No room for advancement. If your company's workforce is stagnant, it means that your career won't be able to advance. An environment that offers no room for you to move up or take on more responsibility, no promotions and no rewards is not a good place to be in for long.
You feel belittled. Your manager is condescending and no one asks you your opinion. You don't get to sit in on important meetings and you feel your work doesn't make much of a difference. If this sounds like your job, it may be time to consider other options.
Your friends notice something's wrong. If the people close to you start noticing that you're "not the same person you used to be" or are often concerned that something is bothering you, it's a major sign that your work is making you unhappy--to the point that your mood and health are suffering (see #1 above).
The company is in trouble. It's important to work in a stable, reputable environment. A company that is constantly reorganizing, downsizing or changing leadership may not be a good long-term choice. The same goes for a company that provides no rules and procedures to protect employees (or provides them but they're not followed).
Your relationship with your boss/coworkers has been damaged beyond repair. Many disagreements can be resolved, but if, for whatever reason, your relationship with your boss and/or coworkers has been irreparably damaged, it may be time to bail.
You dread going to work every day. This is a sign that your job is not meeting your needs--financially, ethically or motivationally--and life's too short to spend it being miserable.
Family circumstances. A change in your personal life (marriage, having children, etc.) may make it necessary to find a new job because of location, finances or a need to spend more time at home.
It's an emotionally abusive environment. A work environment that's violent, is led by abusive management, and offers no route to solve grievances is an emotionally abusive one. This type of atmosphere could lead to physical and mental suffering on your end.
A better opportunity comes along. There may come a point in your career when a new opportunity presents itself. At this point, make a list weighing the pros and cons of each position, and if the new job comes out on top, don't be afraid to make the switch.
You've Decided to Quit... Now What?
If you think quitting your job is the right decision, going through this checklist (before making any real decisions) is a good idea:
- Discuss your thoughts about quitting with your spouse and family (it will affect them too.)
- Think about all your options. Can your current job situation be improved by talking to a manager? If not, have you researched other career options or companies that you'd like to explore?
- Figure out if you can afford to quit financially. If not, try to line up a new job (even a temporary one) before you leave, or, at the very least, start sending your resume out to potential employers.
- If necessary, reduce your living expenses to save money before (and after) you quit.
Whatever decision you make, try to stay positive about it. It will make it easier to find a new job or improve the one you're already in.
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