Signs It's Time to Quit Your Job

Confident woman taking her things in box
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Everyone has a bad day at work now and then. You may furiously leave your office swearing you’ll put your two weeks notice in soon. But how do you know when you should give your job a second chance, or when it’s really time to quit

For one, you should always follow your gut. If you deeply hate your job, then you should absolutely start looking for other opportunities. If you’re on the fence, then you should open your eyes to feelings, thoughts, and happenings in your life that might point to the exit sign.

13 Warning Signals You Should Leave Your Job

© The Balance, 2018
  1. You Dread Going to Work: Do you go to sleep every night dreading the next day of work? While it’s normal to have qualms about the work day, if you truly, deeply dread those eight hours at the office, it is time to put in your two weeks notice.
  2. You’re Procrastinating More Than You’re Actually Working: Everyone procrastinates on occasion, but if there’s nothing you find engaging about your day-to-day work, you should consider if your current position is really a good fit for you. There should be at least some part of your job that is more interesting than scrolling Facebook or browsing BuzzFeed.
  3. It’s Taking a Toll on Your Health: Are your sick days adding up, out of the blue? Are you taking as much time off as you can possibly get? Are you resorting to a few (or many) glasses of wine each night to get over a bad day at work? Are you working so many hours you have no time to exercise, eat healthily or get enough sleep? No job is worth sacrificing your wellness. 
  4. You Vent About Your Job Too Much: Think about your most common conversations. Are you constantly complaining about coworkers, about your workplace, about your job itself? A job should bring more positive than negative into your life.
  5. You’re Overqualified: There are times when we have to take subpar jobs just to get by, but if you’re in a job that you are overqualified for, don’t feel stuck. Stay on alert for positions that fit your skills, which will likely feel more fulfilling than a job that doesn’t measure up to your level of expertise. 
  6. There’s No Room for Advancement: Don’t waste time in a position that doesn’t offer opportunities for growth. Committing your time and energy to a company that won’t support the progress of your career, or grow with you, will end up hindering the development of your career in the long run. If you're wondering whether you have stayed too long at your job, it might be time to take a look at moving on.
  7. The Work Environment Is Negative: A negative environment is toxic; if your co-workers are constantly complaining, and your boss is persistently unhappy, the probability of your own contentment is extremely low. Moreover, a pessimistic atmosphere can even kill the passion you have for your career choice. If you find yourself in one, it’s time to get out. 
  8. You’re Being Recruited by Other Companies: Are headhunters reaching out to you? If so, that’s your green flag to move on, if you’re unhappy with your current work environment. 
  9. The Company Culture Isn’t a Good Fit for You: If you crave a flexible, work-from-home environment, but you’re stuck at a traditional nine-to-five job, you will probably never be satisfied no matter how much you like other aspects of your position. If you’ve tried - and failed - to negotiate a schedule that works for you, consider jobs at other companies that will accommodate your preferred lifestyle. 
  10. You Can’t Speak up at Your Job: You should feel confident and comfortable enough at work to voice your opinion, share your thoughts and speak up for yourself. An oppressive environment just isn’t worth putting up with. 
  11. Your Job Doesn’t Speak to You: Career-changers are becoming more and more common in this day and age, and you shouldn’t feel stuck on a career path that you don’t connect with. If you’ve lost your passion for your job, open your mind to other opportunities that do speak to you, and start moving in a direction that you genuinely feel passionate about. These warning signs will help you determine if your career needs a makeover.
  12. You Find Yourself Justifying Your Job: "Well, the pay sucks and my boss is a jerk, but my benefits are okay." "My co-workers are nasty and condescending, but at least my salary is decent." "I don't make any money but at least there's free coffee and snacks in the office." Do you find yourself justifying your job to yourself or others, while deep down you know the cons outweigh the pros? If there's more to complain about than to praise, know that you can find a job that offers more positive than negative, and you should get ready to start looking for it.
  13. You’re Reading This Article: Why did you click on, or search for, this article? Something must have resonated with you. If you’re already contemplating quitting your job, that alone is a sign that it is indeed time to move on.

Before You Quit

Do keep in mind that some times are better than others for turning in your notice. If you plan carefully, you can avoid the worst times for quitting a job.