You’re tired of your job and constantly say ‘I want to quit my job,’ but you don’t do it. This happens to many people. They know they want something new, but then they’re scared about what will happen.
Before you quit your job, make sure the signs are there that it’s time to quit your job. Once you give your notice, that’s usually it, there’s no turning back, so know the signs to look for that it’s time to quit.
10 Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job
1. You Stopped Wanting to Be Promoted
If you started your job with aspirations to be CEO or any other executive only to find in recent months that you no longer want those positions, it could be time to quit.
If you’ve watched your superiors over the months or years you’ve worked at your job and suddenly decide you don’t want their stress, or you don’t want to work the hours they work, you’re in a job that won’t go anywhere.
If you’re the type that’s always looking forward, wondering ‘what’s next,’ it’s time to find a job where you want to have your boss’s job someday.
2. You Feel Like a Slave to Your Job
When someone asks you to make plans, is your answer always ‘I’ll have to check my deadlines or I’ll have to see what’s going on at work’? If you answered ‘yes,’ you are a slave to your job.
While you need your job to earn a living, you shouldn’t be a slave to it. There has to be a good work-life balance and if you can’t find that at the job you’re at, it’s time to look elsewhere.
3. Your Job Makes You Ill
It sounds funny that your job can make you sick, but it’s true. Stress can do a number on anyone including causing headaches, digestive upset, body aches, and cardiovascular issues.
If you notice you’re sleeping less, eating more, not eating at all, or constantly feel ‘under the gun’ quitting your job may help you feel better. Most jobs are stressful, but it shouldn’t be to the point that it interrupts your sleeping or eating patterns and it shouldn’t make you feel like you can’t do your normal routines.
4. The Environment Feels Toxic
Think about how you feel every day when you’re traveling to the office or are in it. Do you dread going in knowing that you’ll deal with rumors and finger-pointing? Does the office feel like a high school clique and when you walk in the room everyone stops talking? Are you constantly thinking ‘I want to quit my job’?
Does everyone at the office keep to themselves because the energy in the room is so thick you can cut it with a knife?
If you feel sick every time you go to the office or you clench your teeth and shoulders so much because you can’t stand the tension, it’s a sign that a career change is a good idea.
5. You Sigh When an Extra Project Comes Along
If you hear your boss ask you to take on an extra project and it makes your head spin, it may be time to look for another job.
Chances are when you started the job, you would have jumped through hoops and done flip flops to impress your boss. If you’ve lost that feeling and only feel dread, remorse, or anger when you get new assignments, it’s likely taking its toll on your body and mind.
6. You Don’t Like Your Job Responsibilities
Not everyone loves their job, but most at least like the tasks they do. If you find yourself dreading even waking up to go into the office or your day feels like it lasts forever, it could be a sign that you’re ready to move on.
Whether your boss tacked on many more responsibilities than you started the job with or the job doesn’t light you up anymore, it’s important to honor those feelings. Going to a job that you hate every day can wreak havoc on your body and mind.
7. You Want Something More Stimulating
Even if you’re really good at your job, it can get boring. If you haven’t been given new tasks or you are bored with the tasks you’ve had, it may be time to look for something new. If you’ve hit your limit at your company, you may consider going back to school or attending training so you can level up and find a job with more responsibilities that will help you feel more stimulated.
8. The Job Doesn’t Fit Your Lifestyle Any Longer
If you’ve gotten married, had kids, or even gotten divorced since you started your job, you may find that your job doesn’t fit your lifestyle any longer. It happens and it’s completely acceptable.
If you started a highly demanding job that required you to work your personal life around the job including nights and weekends, you may have been okay with it in your younger single years. If you’re now married and/or have kids, your priorities may have changed. You may not want to be a slave to your job and want more work/life balance.
9. You Lost Influence Over Your Job
When you have influence over your job, you have a say in how your day goes or what you do. When you lose influence, suddenly everyone is telling you what to do and you feel more like a slave than an employee. If you feel like your day isn’t yours and you can’t accomplish what you need to accomplish, it may be time to look for a friendlier environment.
10. You Can’t Stop Dreaming Of Another Job
When you’re at work, if you can’t stop picturing yourself somewhere else or you even go as far as constantly looking for a new job, just knowing something better is out there, it’s time.
You don’t have to love your job or love going to it every day, but if when you picture yourself there, you don’t feel happy and think the grass is greener on the other side, it may be time to find out, even if you haven’t admitted to anyone that you want to quit your job yet.
Considerations Before Quitting
Before you quit your job, ask yourself the following questions to make sure you’re quitting for the right reasons and that you’re prepared for what comes next.
Are You Unhappy With the Job or Yourself?
Sometimes it’s ourselves that we are unhappy with and the job has nothing to do with it. Maybe you want more control or you don’t feel organized so you always feel behind. These are personal issues that will travel with you to each job. If you’re unhappy with yourself, figure out what you can change and see if you’re happier at your job. But, if it’s completely tied to your job, then it’s time to move on.
Do You Know What Other Opportunities Are Out There?
Before you quit your job know what else is out there. What would happen if you quit and didn’t have a job to replace it? Do your research even before you’re completely unhappy and ready to leave. What if there aren’t jobs out there that you’re qualified for right now? The last thing you want is to be left without any job.
Can You Afford a Pay Cut?
Depending on your position and what you’ve worked yourself up to at your current company, you may experience a slight setback when you take a new job. Can you afford it or did you live beyond your means, which would make it hard to take anything less than what you make now?
Do You Have Benefits to Exhaust Before You Leave?
It’s a good idea to use up all your benefits before you decide ‘I want to quit my job’. For example, if you haven’t gotten your dental cleaning for the previous six months, get it before you leave. If you have other benefits, such as vision or a physical that your insurance will cover, consider taking advantage of them.
Ask your employer about any fine print on your HSA or 401K plans that you have there. The money is yours (if you’re fully vested in your 401K), but what happens when you leave? Does your employer charge any fees if you leave your accounts there?
Are You Giving Up Any ‘Freedoms’?
When you’re the ‘new kid on the block’ you usually have to work the hours they require with little leeway. If you had other arrangements worked out with your current employer, you may find the new hours put a crimp in your lifestyle.
If you have young children or need special accommodations because you care for a sick relative or have other personal needs, make sure this is known when you interview and before you leave your job.
Do You Have Money Set Aside for Emergencies?
If there will be a few weeks between when you leave your job and start another, you could go as long as a month or so without a paycheck. Are you prepared to handle that or will it put you into financial crisis?
Look at your budget and your savings. Can you cut back on your expenses for the time being? Do you have enough money saved to get you through a few months of expenses without an issue?
How Will You Save For Retirement?
If you won’t be eligible for a 401K at your new employer for a few months or even a year, you don’t want to lose out on the time value of money. Contributing to your old 401K may be an option (not always), but it may not be the best use of your money.
Talk with your financial advisor about the options you have and the best use of your money. Even if you open an IRA for the time you don’t have a 401K, you’ll give your money time to grow and won’t lose the 3 – 12 months you may have to wait for a 401K.
Are You Acting On a Whim?
It’s easy to get frustrated after having a bad day or even 10 bad days in a row, but stop and think about it. Are you thinking ‘I want to quit my job’ because of an isolated incident or have you been feeling this way for a while?
If you had one or two bad days and think you’re ready to throw in the towel, give yourself time. Don’t act on a whim and then regret your decision later. Talk with family or friends and let them help you decipher if you’re truly done with your current job or if it’s just a bad day or two that you may be able to get over?
I Want to Quit My Job, but Is It Right?
We all have those feelings when we scream ‘I want to quit my job’ but then a few days later we feel better. Think about how you’re feeling to decide if that’s what’s going on or if you’re really ready to quit your job.
Before you do make sure you’re prepared financially and mentally. It’s a big change when you leave one job to go to another. Do you have loose ends to tie up at your current job? Do you feel comfortable starting over in another environment and being labeled ‘the new guy’?
Give yourself time to make the decision to change jobs, but no matter which way you slice it, a new job can be exciting, open up new opportunities, or just let you go back to being your ‘old self.’
Samantha uses her BS in Finance and MBA to help others control their finances through budgeting, saving, investing, side hustles, and travel hacking. Due to following the FIRE Movement’s principles, she was able to quit her high-stress job in the financial services industry in July 2019 to pursue her side hustles. She is now a full-time entrepreneur, freelancing coach, and blogger.