9 Signs You Should Quit Your Job + How to Leave It Effectively
Dec 17, 2017
It's not uncommon for employees to have a bad day or two -- or week. And it's pretty common for the average person to gripe about a boss or co-worker from time to time. But how can you tell if it's just "one of those days" or something more serious?
I've quit several jobs in my life. I left my last job when I recognized my desires of becoming an entrepreneur overpowered my wishes for a stable paycheck. Indeed many entrepreneurs realize over and over they should leave heir job but the financial security it provides often keeps them firmly entrenched. I understand this totally as I've been there. Save your money wisely so you can become the entrepreneur you want to be if that's your dream.
Pay attention to the following nine signals. They can help guide you in gaining clarity about whether it's time for you to quit your job and start your next adventure.
1. You're bored and uninspired
2. You keep promising yourself that you'll quit
3. You don't fit in
4. You don't want the job your hoss has
5. You don't care for the products or services
6. You have a horrible boss
7. You're always underperforming
8. You're stressed, anxious and unhappy
9. Your skills aren't being tapped
Quitting a job can negatively impact your career and disrupt your personal life. But staying in an undesirable situation can be worse. "I find a lot of people paralyzed by their unhappiness with their current reality," says Leonard Schlesinger, coauthor of Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the future. It's often easier to stay put. "Most people stay too long in bad jobs because the corporate world is geared towards keeping us in roles, not matching individuals up with their ideal roles. Don't let yourself get stuck. Watch for the signals and decided whether it's really time to quit, and if so, how to leave it effectively.
Test the Waters
To further explore if you're ready to leave, run a few experiments to assess whether our perception is reality. "It's better to rely on information gathered from live interaction with people rather than spinning around in your own chair," says Schlesinger. He suggests having an honest conversation with your boss about how you're perceived and what you're capable of achieving in your role. If you think your manager wouldn't be open to that kind of discussions, look at your last two performance reviews and asking yourself; "Do the comments make you feel empowered or disheartened? If your performance is stagnating despite your best efforts, you might want to quit before further reputational damage is done," You can also test whether there's a mismatch by putting your hat in the ring the next time your boss has a high profile piece of work to be done. If you're overlooked, it may be that he doesn't appreciate your skills and it's time to move on.
Know the Risks
Before making a final decision, make sure you've assessed the downsides. Even if you're certain you're in the wrong job, there are risks to leaving -- you may damage existing relationships, lose needed income, or blemish your resume. People usually get 10 chances to quit a job in their lifetime, which works out to an average of every four years.
Always Leave Toward Something
You can mitigate some of the risks by deciding what's next before you leave. It's better to have at least an inkling of what you want to do, if not a ful fledged plan. People should quit securing a positive role, not on an emotional whim to avoid a negative situation. If you truly hate what you're doing, you should absolutely leave but not before you identify something that you have a good chance of loving in the future.
Don't Run Out the Door
You may fantasize about telling your boss to take this job and shove it, but that will only give you short-term relief and could possibly ruin your professional life. There is nothing worse than taking a bad situation and leaving it badly. How you leave is as important as how you arrive. Discuss the decisions with people who matter in your life: spouse, children, friends. Ask mentors or former bosses for advice. Most importantly, look at it from your boss's point of view an think about how you can communicate a process for disengagement that is respectful of the situation. Once you've decided to quit and have the last day in mind, you should let your immediate supervisor know and follow due process.
Principles to Remember
- Ask yourself whether the job can be done, whether you can do it, and if the costs of doing it are too high
- Run short experiments to test where your current situation is unfixable
- Have some sense of what you want to do next before you quit
- Stay if you don't want the job your boss or another superior doing -- you need to have a vision of what will come next
- Burn bridge no matter how dissatisfied you are -- it could ruin your professional reputation
- Make quitting a habit -- find what you really want to do and pursue that