6 Signs You Need to Quit a Job to Protect Your Mental Health

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 19, 2024 at 9:23PM UTC

Some of us have jobs we vaguely dislike, but at the end of the day, they’re not adversely impacting our lives in any meaningful way. But for others, it’s worse — these jobs are taking an enormous toll on our mental health.

How do you know if you fall into the latter category? Here are six signs you need to quit to protect your mental health — even if you don’t have a backup.

1. Your manager and/or coworkers aren’t respecting your personal time.

You’re getting a constant barrage of requests during work, at night, on weekends and when you’re supposed to be enjoying your PTO. If and when you say you’ll take care of the issue when you return to work, they tell you it’s an emergency. But these “emergencies” are becoming all too frequent — and they don’t actually seem all that urgent. When it comes down to it, your colleagues and manager just aren’t respecting your boundaries. 

2. You dread going to work.

You can’t wait to leave or sign off every day, and every day, as soon as you wake up, your first thought is “Do I really have to go into the office today?” Even Sundays are difficult because you know you’ll have to work the next day. 

This is a serious problem. Sure, everyone has days when they’d rather play hooky than go into work, but if this is every day for you, it’s a bad sign.

3. Your manager ignores the concerns you raise.

You’ve expressed concerns to your boss, perhaps about the workload or issues that have arisen in the office, and they haven’t done a thing about them. Perhaps they say they will, and then there’s radio silence. Or, maybe they dismiss them altogether, telling you it’s not a big deal and you’re blowing the problem out of proportion. Either way, they’re not respecting you and your concerns.

4. You feel invisible or dispensable.

Nobody wants to feel invisible at work or in any arena of their lives. But sometimes, you may have trouble seeing where you fit into the larger business. If you wonder whether anybody would notice if you didn’t show up to work, then that’s a clear sign that it’s time to move onto a role where your colleagues and manager value and respect you. 

5. Your self-esteem has gone downhill since you started working there.

Many of us struggle with our self-esteem. But work should be a place where you feel confident and comfortable — at least, it should if you’re in the right job. If your self-esteem is suffering at work, it may not be because your skills aren’t up to par; instead, it could very well be because it’s the wrong job for you, and in order to preserve your mental health, you should move onto one where you’ll feel more confident and be able to flex your talents.

6. You’re exhausted all the time.

You’re tired at work. You’re tired at home. You’re not sleeping well, and you’re just plain drained.

Exhaustion is both a mental and physical quality, and it is detrimental to both facets of your health. It will not only impact your well-being, but it will affect your performance at work as well — and not in a good way.

Of course, we all have times when our jobs don’t feel quite right, and we all have moments when we feel unhappy in our jobs. But if your job is taking a very serious toll on your mental health, it could be time to leave to protect yourself.

About the Career Expert:

 Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket and The Haven.

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