When Should You Quit?
There are all kinds of reasons people quit their jobs, but some are much better than others.
There’s little doubt the days of working for the same company for 40 years and then retiring with a gold watch are long since gone. In fact, the average worker stays in a job for just less than five years, according to 2012 statistics from the US Department of Labor. So if you’re quitting strategically to avoid getting stuck in a career rut, good for you. But if not, you might be taking an unnecessary risk.
But before you quit, think about a very simple question that far too many people fail to answer – why are you quitting? If it’s one of these reasons, you’re probably on the right path.
9. Bad Company
Has your company had consecutive quarters of layoffs? Is the stock plummeting? Raises been frozen? If the writing is on the wall, don’t ignore it.
There are certain indicators that paint a picture of a sinking ship, and you don’t want to be on it when it finally goes down. If your company has had several rounds of layoffs recently, if you haven’t received a raise in five years, and if all signs point to financial ruin and impending doom, then you’re probably justified in quitting to take something better. Hopefully you can find a company with a more positive long term outlook.
8. You Hate Your Boss/Coworkers
This one comes with a caveat.
If you truly have a terrible boss who makes your life hell, or coworkers you battle with who make daily life that much of a hassle, then yes – it’s probably better to find employment elsewhere. But before you do that, make sure you take a long, hard look in the mirror and consider for a moment that YOU might be the problem as well.
If the company is a good one and you’re at a job with room for advancement, try to bridge gaps with bosses and coworkers before you bail. It’d be a shame to throw away an opportunity just because you didn’t want to work at getting along with others. But if the situation is truly unbearable, then bon voyage.
7. You're Completely Bored
Again, you need to figure out why you’re bored and unchallenged before you jump ship.
If you’re bored because you feel you’re not being challenged, have you done anything about it? If you haven’t asked for more on your plate or sought new challenges, then that’s on you. And if you’re just slacking off, then obviously you’ll probably bring that trait over to any job you’re at.
But if you’ve actively looked for more job responsibilities but been turned down repeatedly, then perhaps it is time to find something a little more stimulating. You don’t want to get stuck in a mindless position and start to decompose, so if there’s no possibility to do more, then get out and find something that keeps your head in the game.
6. Too Much Stress
A little stress to keep you on your toes might be a good thing. But if your stressful job is taking a toll on your physical well-being, it could be time to consider a change.
For instance, I worked a journalist for the better part of a decade. I loved it, for the most part, but eventually I left the field and stress was one of the reasons. You work on a deadline every day, trying to nail down sources and stories before the paper goes to print. You’re at deadly accident scenes, fires, murders, court cases, and every mistake you make is right there in public for everyone to see. The burn out factor is pretty high.
Now imagine what police officers, firefighters, military personnel, teachers, and others in high stress fields endure. They say all you have is your health, so if your job is really causing yours to deteriorate then do what you have to do.
5. No Work/Life Balance
old script says men work, women stay home, and that’s just the way it is. Now? Not so much.
More women than ever before are entering the workforce, while more men are either staying at home full time with kids or placing more of an emphasis on flexible scheduling. For workers who have tried to attain more of a work/life balance because they’re tired of never seeing their spouses/kids, it’s getting to the point that if an employer doesn’t bend in this area, good employees are breaking with the company and going somewhere else.
If your priority is spending more time at home and you have an opportunity somewhere else to do that, then take it. No one on a deathbed has ever said “I wish I spent more time at work.”
4. No Possibility of Advancement
Sure your job was great for you – three years ago.
But times change and so do your priorities. When you took the job after graduating college, you were just trying to get your feet wet and find something entry-level to pay your bar tabs – er, I mean, bills. But now, with a few years of experience under your belt, you’re looking to move up the old corporate ladder and find a position within the company with more responsibility and a higher salary. But if you look up and see a dead end with no possibility of advancement, it could very well be time to jump ship.
When you take a job don’t just think of the one to which you’re applying, poke around and see if the job you want two jobs from now even exists.
3. You Can't Get No Respect
Rodney Dangerfield was a comedian, but don’t underestimate the importance of feeling appreciated – especially as more Millennials enter the workforce.
Look, I’m not saying your boss should be in a constant state of praising your every move. Recognition simply for doing what you were hired to do is overrated and unnecessary. However, when you consistently go above and beyond the call of duty and no one bats an eyelash over the course of a few years, that’s a legitimate gripe.
When you exceed your goals, put in extra time at the office, bring in that client, or take on added responsibilities that aren’t even in your job description, yet no one bothers to give you a raise, a promotion, a certificate of recognition, etc – then it’s clear you’re not being valued and you’d be justified in seeking out employment at a company that does.
2. You Dread Every Day
Let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we?
If you dread going into work everyday, it’s time to move on. You know what I’m talking about here. You’re happy for five minutes when your work day ends, but then you spend the car ride home getting melancholy because you know you have to get up and do it all again the next day. You hate the morning because it leads to work, you get sick at the sight of your office building, and there mere thought of your cubicle nearly sends you into a depression.
I understand many people aren’t in a position to quit their jobs because of bills and other responsibilities. But if you really feel this despondent about your job and attempts to remedy your situation haven’t worked, get out as soon as you can. Life is too short to be that miserable.
1. Low Pay
Shocker that Salary.com would have this as the #1 answer right?
But the fact remains, getting a salary bump is still the one thing that will keep most workers in their current jobs and make them feel truly valued. Granted, times have been tough since the recession in late 2008. And while the economy hasn’t completely recovered, it’s moving in the right direction and things are getting better. So if you’ve smashed all your goals year after year yet all of your raise requests have been denied, then don’t be afraid to find a company that will pay you what you’re worth.
Money isn’t everything, but it’s certainly a huge part of the equation.
Get Paid What You're Worth
We can't help you with everything on this list, but the one thing we can do is make sure you know how much you're worth, and help you negotiate for that amount.
The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.
How much are you worth?
- Personal Salary Report
- Search US Salaries
- Search Canadian Salaries
- Browse Job Openings