Lately, the thought of one, two, or several more years at the your current job fills you with dread. At one point in your career, when you had just gotten the position, you were excited at the chance of leading the team in company projects, dealing with clients, and managing your business duties.
Now, you are more or less struggling to get by in the 9-to-5 grind…because you are bored or stressed or perhaps even both. When you think about it, you can vaguely remember the better times before “lately,”—and, now that you mention it, how long has “lately” been?
The truth is, if you are finding yourself less engaged with your work and are weighing your options, know that you are not alone. According to a Gallup study, more than half of the American workforce (51%) are not engaged in their jobs. In other words, a lot of employees feel indifferent, neither loving nor hating their full-time jobs. That, in turn, leaves quitting up in the air. Should you stay? Should you go?
If you are one of these 51%, read on for signs that can help you determine if quitting your current job is the right move for you.
1. Your Work Environment Is Toxic
Perhaps your work environment wasn’t always so cut throat and competitive. But after management turnover and your employer's rebranding phase, you have noticed a toxic culture shift. Coworkers undermine one another’s success in an attempt to outperform and “earn” that promotion. With people forming cliques and engaging in excessive company gossip, work seems more like high school than the corporate world.
2. Every Day is Groundhog Day
You have your routine pegged down to the very minute. While routines are important and add stability, having the same one day in and day out, where there is very little change or challenge, can lead to boredom with your current position.
When you are bored with your job, you are not in a state of flow —“a state of complete immersion in an activity,” as Very Well Mind states. Flow occurs when you are using a high level of skill to overcome a high degree of challenge. This is the opposite of boredom, which Mihály Csíkszentmihály, a positive psychologist who coined the term "flow," attributes to medium skill and low challenge.
In order to make your job more “flow-able,” you may have to spend more time working on more demanding tasks that require you to use all of your skill sets. Another option is telling your boss that you want that promotion so you can develop new skills and be challenged.
3. Your Job Is Too Challenging
While being challenged at work can allow you to hone your skill sets and grow, facing constant, overly challenging work can wear you down, not to mention cause stress.
You may not have received the training necessary to complete these challenging job duties, or perhaps you didn’t realize how rigorous they were. If that's the case, it may be time to have a discussion with HR and/or management to figure out how you can accomplish these tasks without constantly being overwhelmed.
4. You Don’t Enjoy Your Job
When you say you “live for your weekends,” you mean it. On Sunday, you dread the upcoming work week. This could be because of the office culture and colleagues, or—let’s face it— you just don’t like your job.
If you are unsure of what the problem is, track your mood on the calendar. For every day you feel happy, scribble a smiley face. Bad day? Put down a frown face. Is there a pattern? Are you not happy during most of the week? Or month? Do these days coincide with when you work? You may be surprised to realize how unhappy you are during the work week, and it could be time to quit.
5. You Aren’t Getting What You Want
According to Forbes, most employees want a fair salary, health insurance and work-life balance from their employer. (Of course, your wants could be different.) If the company you work for is only providing you with a good benefits package, but your salary is low, or you routinely work late evenings and weekends, you are only getting part of what you want.
Why settle for partially getting what you want when you could work for a company that meets all of your wants? Needless to say, if you are on track to getting all of your wants in the near future (i.e. job promotion, more money, etc.), you may decide to stick it out—or negotiate for higher compensation with your employer to get these benefits sooner. Still, it does not hurt to look around to see what other companies are offering.
6. Your Job Is Too Stressful
Fifty-three% of the global workforce admits they are closer to burnout compared to the situation five years ago. In other words, for more than half of the working population, office life could not be more stressful, and you are part of that population.
Physical and emotional stress symptoms—such as headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, anxiety, agitation, and depression—are common for you.
To save your health, you need to talk to your boss about your stress levels. If that doesn't work, consider quitting your job and looking for another; it is not worth risking your health for your current employer.
7. You Are Repeatedly Passed for a Promotion
You have worked for your company for years. You’ve put your time in, turned in consistent and top-notch work, and are well-liked among coworkers and management. Yet, it seems like no matter what you do, you are passed for a promotion time and time again. If this is the case for you, you might want to think about looking for a new job.
Before you submit your resignation letter...
If you are considering turning in your resignation letter, you may want to hold off if you haven’t spoken to your manager about your career goals—feedback and promotion included. While it may seem like this is an overly aggressive move, according to Harvard Business Review, it is anything but. You may be surprised to find that speaking up about wanting a promotion is one step toward getting it.
8. The Company Doesn’t Align with Your Values
Your values don’t line up with your company’s.This makes it hard (if not almost impossible) to have a purposeful, meaningful job.
It may be best then to look elsewhere to find a new job where the company shares your values, whether those values are status-oriented, affiliation, or learning values.
9. You Complain About Your Job
This is not an out-of-the-blue rant about a bad day at work. When people ask you about how your job is going, your first instinct is to list the reasons why you don’t like it. This does not happen once but multiple times. By now, the only person who seems to not know how much you don’t like your current employer is you.
If you find yourself biting your lip when you say “work is good”—because it isn’t—it may be time to leave your current position and move on to greener pastures: a job you love and cannot wait to talk about.
Quitting Your Job: Should You Do It?
At the end of the day, it is up to you whether leaving your current employment is a good career move. If one or more of these signs sounds familiar to you, it may be time to evaluate your job and start a new job search.