Is It Time to Leave your Job?

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: January 18, 2012

There are many reasons for wanting to quit a job. In Salary.com’s 2007/08 Job Satisfaction Survey released earlier this year, respondents who were unhappy in their current job felt they were underpaid, not given opportunities to advance, not adequately recognized, bored, and not given access to learning opportunities leading to career advancement.

Given individual circumstances, these may be legitimate excuses. But when do you know you’ve really reached the breaking point? How do you know that the time is right to say good bye? Here are six possible scenarios:

You really are underpaid!

Being undercompensated is the most common complaint among workers – but is this really true? If you want to determine your market value, you must first find employer or HR-reported pay data, like Salary.com’s Salary Wizard®.

Find a job in the data source that most closely matches the job you perform.

Tips:

  • Be careful not to match jobs based solely on job title
  • Understand that salaries for similar jobs vary by industry type, geography and company size.
  • Present your findings to your employer to begin an open dialogue about your pay.

You feel that you’ve outgrown your job

You have grown from the entry level to an experienced employee. Unfortunately, there do not seem to be any new opportunities within your current organization where you can use those skills and move further along in your career.

If you can’t fully utilize your experience at your current job, it’s probably time to start looking for a job where you can put your skills to good use.

Job stress is out of control

If stress in the workplace is giving you headaches, backaches, or causing you to lose sleep, there is cause for concern. If you can’t work out the problems at work, either directly with your boss or through human resources, you may have to remove yourself from the stressful situation.

Hostile work environment

Good workplace relationships are extremely important. Hostility in an office setting can be distracting and upsetting.

  • Make every effort to settle the situation with your boss. If your boss is the source of the issue, try speaking with human resources.

  • Discuss the issue rationally and emphasize your interest in having the situation resolved.

  • If the situation cannot be resolved satisfactorily, it may be time to move on.

Work is interfering with home life

Your current job may make it difficult to balance your work and family obligations. If you have this problem, you should first try to establish a flexible arrangement with your employer such as:

  • an alternative work schedule
  • telecommuting agreement for part of the week
  • perhaps a leave of absence

If your employer is unwilling to compromise, you may need to move on.

That voice inside your head

Often times it comes down to gut instinct. Many people stay too long in a bad job because of uncertainty about what will happen once they quit. The longer you stay in a bad job, however, the harder it is to leave. It is also possible that leaving the old job behind will lead to something better in the future.

You have exhausted all efforts

Remember that quitting your job isn’t a decision you should make on the fly. It will have a big impact on your life and, therefore, should be given careful consideration. Always be sure to exhaust all efforts to improve your current situation before you move on.

Time to look for a new job?

Before leaving a job it’s good to have a new job in place. Use Salary.com’s Job Search Wizard to kick-start your search.

Also, check out some of Salary.com’s other Job Resources to help you find the job that’s right for you.

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