We’ve all had bad days at work. But when the bad days start outnumbering the good ones, it may be time to make a change. After all, your work should fill you with energy, not suck the life out of you. It should be something you look forward to, not something you dread. Having a job you can’t stand has the potential to not only destroy your personal relationships but it can also interfere with your mental and physical well-being. So how do you know when it’s finally time to move on? Recently, I connected with Sarah Dewey, Recruiter and Career Expert at Jobscan, who offers these five signs that it’s time to quit your job:
The work environment is toxic
Dreading the beginning of each new workweek is the first indication that it’s time to quit your job. This is because it’s often a symptom of a hostile work environment, poor work-life balance and burnout. One sign of a toxic company culture is when leadership focuses on the negative rather than balancing criticism with praise. Some other obvious signals include constant gossiping, significant turnover, and a reluctance to engage employees in open dialogue. You should feel comfortable enough at work to voice your opinion. If your co-workers are always complaining and your boss is a grouchy micromanager, it’s time to find an environment that’s a better fit.
You are compromising your values
According to Liz Cannata, Sr. Manager of HR Operations at CareerBuilder, “Just like personal values, work values have to do with your preferences, purpose and desired path. It’s important to consider these values as you explore your current job satisfaction level and think about future career development.” If you feel like you need to compromise your values to keep your job, that’s a huge red flag. Have you ever felt pressure to manipulate revenue figures to impress stakeholders or mislead your employees regarding company performance? When you find yourself consistently operating in those gray areas, it could be a sign that it’s time to quit your job.
You are no longer being challenged
Staying in a job where you aren’t pushing yourself to learn new skills can leave you feeling like you’re in a career rut. It’s one thing to love what you do and do it well, but if you’re just going through the motions, it might be time to quit your job and find a more fulfilling role. Staying in this type of situation might limit your growth potential and also lead to feelings of resentment. This is especially true if you have asked for opportunities to stretch yourself and they were denied by your manager or senior leaders.
There is no room for advancement
Your manager should be helping you advance professionally. If they’re not, that may indicate a lack of upward mobility. If you’re unable to qualify for promotions at a large company, consider looking for something new. And that goes for startups as well. Small companies often lack established career paths. But if management is unwilling to discuss how your role will evolve as the team grows, that’s a problem. Even in an ambiguous startup environment, there needs to be a plan for career development. If you’re wondering whether you have stayed at your company for too long, it might be time to move on.
Your pay doesn’t reflect your responsibilities and performance
You may want to quit your job if your employer cannot or will not pay you fairly for the work you’re doing. While you should be receiving regular cost-of-living raises at a minimum, your compensation should also reflect your responsibilities and performance. Being undercompensated can reflect a mismatch between what you and the company perceive to be your value and growth potential. And staying in this situation will lead to frustration and resentment over time. Remember, there are other companies out there that will pay you what you’re worth.
Were you unhappy at work even before the pandemic? If you’ve been thinking about whether you should quit your job, listen to your intuition. But be strategic at the same time. Try to look for other roles while you’re still employed. And most importantly, trust yourself. If you believe deep down that you’re meant for something bigger and better, you are.