Danielle loved her job, but that didn’t mean everything was fine at work. In particular, she experienced a lack of respect from one of her company’s clients. It was a problem she had voiced concern about to her boss before, but he didn’t seem to hear her. One day, while meeting with the client during a creative pitch, she became the recipient of indifference and condescension. The client dismissed everything she suggested, while her male coworker would simply restate what she said and receive praise for it. The situation was so uncomfortable that her coworker took to her defenses. But her boss? He kept his eyes locked on his iPad to avoid standing up for his employee. The lack of concern from her boss opened her eyes to his poor leadership. Knowing things wouldn’t change anytime soon, she began wondering, “When should I quit my job?”
It’s a question millions of people are currently asking themselves right now. In 2021 alone, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported over 47.8 million workers quit their jobs. A study from the 2022 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey from Willis Towers Watson found that a shocking 44 percent of employees are looking for a new job. With all this in mind, it doesn’t look like The Great Resignation is ending anytime soon.
Top performers are in high demand, and in such a situation, they don’t have to put up with bad leaders or business practices anymore. Plenty of companies are shifting to an attitude of treating their employees well. Gone are the days of “you work for me, so do what I say” thinking. As smart businesses make this shift, talented workers will follow them.
If you’re thinking it might be time for a change, you’re not alone. But how can you know for sure that quitting your job is the right plan? In this article, you’ll find the top signs it’s time to quit your job and what to do about it if it is.
- 44 percent of employees are looking for a new job.
- Common causes for quitting a job include wanting better pay and benefits, having a lack of opportunities, being treated unkindly or unfairly at work, and looking for greater flexibility.
- It might be time to quit your job if you stress about your boss or someone you don’t like at work more than the work you’re doing.
- Prepare to find a new job if you notice yourself regularly thinking about leaving your current position. For example, update your resume, reach out to your network, and revamp your LinkedIn page.
- Don’t hold yourself back by staying at a job where you cannot perform to your highest level—know when to go, and set a date to find another job by.
What Are the Top Reasons for Quitting a Job?
Numerous surveys have identified the reasons for quitting a job or wanting career changes. That includes extensive research from the Pew Research Center. Using this information, the following points highlight some of the top reasons for leaving a job.
- Looking for higher pay
- Not seeing any opportunities for promotions
- Feeling disrespected at work
- Seeking a better work-life balance
- Wanting better benefits
- Lacking schedule flexibility
- Looking for a job that matches their interests and passions
- Wanting to relocate
- Seeking a job that provides more hours
7 Reasons to Quit Your Job
1. You’re Not Passionate About Your Work
Many millennials in the workplace feel like they’re not passionate about what they do, a common trait among younger generations. While there are times when work can feel like drudgery, feeling like this all of the time indicates a lack of passion. When this occurs, it’s common to feel stuck, off-balance, or unhappy. It’s an internal feeling that you need to recognize, understand, and change.
If your role at work doesn’t check off the vision and plan you have for your life, consider quitting your current job and going somewhere else. Ultimately, you don’t want to waste time doing something that doesn’t bring you a sense of fulfillment or joy.
Lucy Gower, the founder of Lucidity, gives this advice: “Your personal brand isn’t about pretending to be something you’re not. That can actually keep you feeling stuck in your career. It’s really about being your best ‘real you.’ It’s about owning your strengths and being purposeful about how you want to be perceived by others. What do you want to be known for? By being more deliberate about how you want to come across and what you’re looking for in your career, you’ll increase your chance of attracting the right opportunities.”
2. You Have a Toxic Boss
A toxic boss contributes to a hostile work environment, one that you dread entering every day. Maybe they yell at you, don’t acknowledge your work, or make you feel unsafe. No matter the case, being forced to work with someone like this is a justifiable reason to leave your job, as they can be detrimental to your health, well-being, and safety. It’s important to find a good leader in a company, rather than just a boss. The difference between a leader vs. boss is you feel safe at work.
Characteristics a toxic boss may display:
- Overly controlling
- Emotionally or even physically violent
When you feel like you’re being harassed, treated poorly, or discriminated against by your boss, it’s no wonder you would want to leave. As Mary Abbajay, president and co-founder of Careerstone Group, LLC, explains, “If you spend more time thinking about your boss than your work, if stress from work permeates the rest of your life, if your self-esteem has plummeted, it’s time to go.”
3. You Don’t Like the Team Culture
If the organization’s philosophies and core values don’t mesh well with your own values and beliefs, you’re likely not a good team culture fit or vice versa. That’s not to say any side is inherently wrong, but it doesn’t make for a healthy relationship. For example, suppose that everyone around you believes in self-determination and isolated work projects. You, on the other hand, love collaboration and bouncing ideas off others. In such a situation, the lack of synergy could lead to you wanting to quit your job.
Other opposites you may encounter in a team culture:
- Having work-life balance vs. being at work as much as possible
- Focusing on hours worked vs. driving results
- Looking at the bottom line vs. following your vision for the future
- Giving recognition with praise, rewards, and raises vs. believing someone should simply do their job well
- Providing opportunities to connect outside of work vs. keeping everything in the office
4. You’re Not Being Paid Fairly
Talking about money and pay raises can be a prickly subject for many people, but it should not be overlooked. Pay is a significant factor when it comes to changing jobs. If you feel you are not being paid what you deserve, you likely shouldn’t stick around for much longer.
A focus group from Bustle Trends Group demonstrated numerous examples of unfair payment practices. One participant related how she felt unappreciated at work due to how much she was being paid. She explained that she took on many extra duties but didn’t receive a pay raise. “I worked extremely hard for a year and received praise from my supervisor and co-workers regularly, and received a glowing annual review. To my surprise, there was no mention of a promotion or a raise, despite the fact that I was doing the jobs of two people for a lower salary.” Despite directly asking for a raise, her boss ignored her. That’s when she decided to resign and look elsewhere.
5. Your Work-Life Balance Is Off
Do you feel like your job has you trapped? Do you constantly worry about it, even when you’re out of the office? This constant feeling of stress and work anxiety can quickly lead to work burnout and exhaustion. Your job shouldn’t dominate your life if you don’t want it to. You should have enough free time to pursue hobbies, support friends, and spend time with your family. If this quality time is compromised by your work duties, you may need to consider a change.
Here are some common signs of burnout:
- Strained relationships
- Health problems like stomach pains and frequent headaches
- Low energy
- Increased isolation and loneliness
- Feeling like nothing is going right
- A constantly changing cycle of emotions
- Increased irritability
6. You Disagree With Changes in Leadership
In some situations, you may have loved your job at one point, but the company has changed. Businesses change from time to time, but the changes introduced aren’t always for the best. For example, you may be experiencing a merger or some similar scenario. In that case, you might get a new CEO or executive leader who starts transforming much of what you like about the company.
When leadership changes happen, you have to deal with new philosophies and strategies. Perhaps the new CEO is not as purpose-driven, or maybe they focus much more on profits than other things. That doesn’t mean they’re a bad person, but it could mean you don’t resonate with them very much. When you are no longer in sync with leadership, finding a new job might be the smartest move.
7. You’ve Been Offered a Better Job
The ideal scenario for quitting your job is when you get a better offer from somewhere else. You might love your current job and see nothing wrong with it. Getting a new role, however, could be a chance to move up in your career. Perhaps the job you have now doesn’t offer that opportunity at the moment. If a new job comes along that checks all the boxes, there’s nothing wrong with taking it.
People can struggle with a better job offer because they feel guilty leaving their current job. They view loyalty as an important part of who they are, and to leave a job when there’s nothing wrong with it would be disloyal. However, work should be done to meet your purpose in life and create as much impact as possible.
How to Prepare for Finding a New Job
Once you’ve made the decision to quit your job, the challenge then turns into finding a new one. This is the part that pretty much nobody likes. But if you prepare and plan well beforehand, you’ll put yourself in a good position to find a new job quickly. The following are a few tips that will help you in this effort.
- Explore career options: Look at what’s out there for you. Note the average salary of the jobs where your interests lie. Take the time to educate yourself on the job market before leaving something stable.
- Revise your resume: Update your resume to include your current job experience and skills. Tailor it to the job you want to get to increase your chances.
- Write a cover letter: The cover letter is often the first interaction you have with a future employer. Make it a good introduction to who you are, why you’re leaving your current job, and why you want the one they’re offering.
- Prepare a resignation letter: As you get ready to leave your job, you’ll want to write up a resignation letter. Keep it respectful, thanking your employer for the opportunity and reflecting on the skills you gained. Even if the job turned out to be a bad fit, you don’t want to burn bridges.
- Get ready for interviews: Start practicing for future interviews. Learn how to answer common interview questions confidently. You can get started by reading about tips for job interview questions.
- Start networking: Reach out to people you know: former bosses, colleagues, your mentor, friends, etc. See if any of them can connect you to someone who has the job you want so you can ask them questions about it.
- Revamp your LinkedIn profile: Many recruiters will look at LinkedIn profiles and reach out to people who meet their qualifications. Make sure your profile is updated and emphasizes the skills and experience you have for the job you want.
- Save money: Oftentimes, there will be a gap between when you leave your job and the first paycheck from your new job. You’ll want to be financially stable so the wait doesn’t hurt you financially.
Trust Your Gut and Take Action When It’s Time to Go
Take action if you are constantly thinking to yourself, “I want to quit my job.” Now is the time to start developing a plan to leave your workplace. In a commencement speech to Maharishi University in 2014, actor Jim Carrey told a story about his late father. In that story, he related that instead of becoming a comedian, his father took the safe route and instead became an accountant. “When I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job,” he added. “Our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which is that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
Life is simply too short to stay at a job you hate or don’t feel passionate about. Deep down in your gut, you know if it isn’t right for you. Don’t be afraid to explore your passions and see where it takes you. Maybe you do that within the comfort of your current job, but when opportunities arise, don’t be afraid to take them.
So, are you asking, “Should I quit my job?” If you are, it’s time to see what’s out there. You may want to move on because you’ve embraced an entrepreneurship mindset and want to start your own company. Or maybe an opportunity to follow your passion has presented itself. Seize that chance with confidence.
The following articles can also help you come to a decision on this important subject.
How to Negotiate Salary with Confidence
Why Psychological Safety at Work Matters