Good days at work come and go. They are a bit like gravity: when you jump up into the air and you feel great for a split second, like you’re free and flying, you know that you’ll always be coming down to earth at some point. We all have bad days at work. It may be that extra long meeting or that snide comment from a peer, or a boss, or the team member that was whining about you being too directive yesterday and who is now whining that you are too hands off today. Whatever it is, it usually passes. But what if it doesn’t pass? What if you find yourself having a hard time jumping into the air? What if you find yourself asking whether you should quit your job?
How do you tell the difference between a simple bad day and a string of constant bad days that are shouting at you, trying to make you understand? Is it time to leave !?
Maybe you’re like so many people who turn a blind eye to the difficulties at work, because of the security it affords you?
Maybe you are afraid of change? Maybe you need help dealing with it?
Maybe you’re worried you don’t have enough saved to walk away from a great paying job? Maybe you need to save more and prepare for a future decision?
Whatever your situation, how can you tell it is time to start looking elsewhere? What are the signs you should be attentive to, as you ponder the question of quitting your job?
Here is a simple checklist of 10 signs that mean you should (in all likelihood) quit your job.
1. You tell yourself should quit all the time
Working life is not meant to be fun all the time. Actually, life doesn’t tend to be fun overall. However, we can’t control all the variables of the Universe around us and often life throws something unexpected at us that leaves us wondering why we are where we are, and why we are doing what we are doing?
But for the most part, life is usually made up of overwhelming good days. And so too is work!
However, if every morning and every night you find yourself telling yourself that you should quit your job and find something better, then chances are you should listen to yourself and make a change.
The choice is not an easy one, but the most difficult part of any journey is realizing that the journey needs to happen.
2. You don’t feel right at work
Maybe you’re good at your job, maybe you’re only mediocre. Whatever your skill level, do you feel part of the community that is your company?
Do they dress like you?
Do they talk like you?
Do you share the same interests?
Is it easy to speak about your weekend at the office?
When you eat with your co-workers is the conversation fluid and easy?
Or do you just keep telling yourself that your commute is only 15 minutes so you should just grit your teeth and smile at everyone all the time?
If you have that feeling that you don’t belong in your company and you don’t feel totally at ease and comfortable, then you should be asking yourself the question as to what you are doing there. Maybe it is time to start updating that CV.
3. You’re bored
Work is not always meant to be, or billed as, the most exciting part of your day. Sometimes it is and when it is, then stick with it!
But what if your work is like stepping onto a platform that slowly sucks your life-force out of your body for 8 hours a day?
Are you energized after work?
Do you get home and start spurting out all the wonderful things you did and the great people you talked with?
Or do you get home, sit on the couch, turn on the TV and start sucking on a beer, or another glass of wine, trying to force the remaining memories of a stagnant and lifeless day into the dark recesses of your mind?
If work is boring you and continually so, then maybe it is time to consider a change.
4. You’re not motivated
While boredom often comes with the territory when you master your role completely, you can still be motivated to complete your tasks every day. But what if you’re not?
Do you often sit at your desk, or behind your counter and stare out into the distance?
Do you find it hard to concentrate on your tasks and find more pleasure in surfing the internet?
Do you find that your weekends are harder than they used to be because you have such low energy?
Motivation is an extremely important part of working and living. It is essential to keep its flame alive.
If you feel your motivation fire died long ago and you see no way in which your current job will relight that flame, then maybe you should think about doing something else?
5. You wake up thinking “Oh boy, another day at work” and groan
Chances are that if you are bored at work and don’t find motivation in what you do or the people with whom you do it, then when you wake up in the morning – that time when you roll onto your back – you probably find yourself staring blankly at the ceiling and groaning softly to yourself as you think about the day ahead. That feel like you?
If the start to your days feels like you’re wearing lead-filled boots, then maybe you need to be looking for another job.
6. You think your boss is an idiot
Someone once said that Intelligence is not a requisite for Leadership roles and they were probably too right.
Your Chief Money Man has worked for some exceptionally bright people and I can tell you they motivated me to go beyond my what I thought I was capable of! And then I have worked for some really stupid people too. It is the latter crowd that always got me wondering whether a job change was in the making.
We are never too old to learn and be pushed higher than we think we can go.
If you find yourself silently wondering how your boss got their job with their limited mental capacity, then it is probably time to be moving on.
7. Your boss is actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing
Toxic boss? Check out my article on handling that.
If that’s your case, don’t just sit and take it. Don’t grit your teeth and be a soldier. Soldiers either end up dying or with post traumatic stress syndrome. They could end up being heroes, but they definitely pay a hard price.
If you’re not a soldier, don’t become one at work.
Toxic bosses can mean only one thing – time to quit and find another job.
8. Your industry is on the decline
Maybe you have a nice job, work with nice people and only see yourself in some of the 10 signs? If so good for you. You still might need to consider a job change, depending on the severity of some of the signs you see yourself in.
But what’s the health of your company like?
Maybe you work in a cigarette company and, since you started, cigarette consumption is down 30% worldwide?
Maybe you worked for Kodak when the first digital camera came out?
Don’t be the person who worked for Kodak right up until the end. If your industry is in decline, make sure you take a good, hard look at what the future might hold.
It is much easy walking away from a company that is doing well to another one than trying to fight your way out of a sinking ship with everyone else.
9. Your company is completely silo-ed, and nothing ever gets done – it is like things are on autopilot and you’re heading for a wall
Companies are made up of groups of people, working for a common cause.
Just like great football teams who are made up of players who each know exactly what their role is and what they have to do to win the game, companies need the same thing.
If your company operates like lots of independent parts in which somehow, sometimes things gets things done, then you should start wondering if it is the right place to be?
If you start seeing all the things that need improving and nobody is doing anything about it, then maybe it is time to move on.
If you find yourself frustrated everyday because others aren’t pulling their weight or if you are having to fend off nasty emails, where everyone is looking to blame everyone else, then maybe it is time to consider a change in jobs.
10. You find yourself eating outside more than you do in the cafeteria as you can’t stand the look of your co-workers
Communities are created by like minded people who come together to share or build things.
When we like our community we want to spend time with them. We like being with and around them.
When we don’t like our community, we start by avoiding them as much as we can.
Not liking one’s community and wanting to avoid it it a sure sign that maybe you should be avoiding it altogether.
So if you find your always making excuses when you get invited to the canteen, or better yet – if you’re not getting invited to the canteen, then its probably time to start thinking about that next career move.
Moving companies is never easy and sometimes it can be hard to decide when the time has come to make a move.
However, if you see yourself in a lot of the signs above, then I urge you to start taking a long hard look at your current role and company. It is possibly time to starting making plans to move on.