Should I quit my job? – 8 signs to watch out for

By Robert Half July 9, 2018 at 11:35pm

Everyone can have a bad day at work from time to time.

Do you regularly feel bored in your role? Or, has something changed, and your job no longer fits with your lifestyle?

If this sounds like you, then you may already have asked yourself, “Should I quit my job?”.

The problem is, how do you know when it’s best to stay in your current role and seek solutions, OR when is it the right time to move on towards a new opportunity?

This blog takes a look at some of the key signs to look out for, to help you decide when might be the right time for you to consider handing in your resignation letter.

Should I quit my job?

There is no right or wrong answer to the question, “Should I quit my job?”. Whilst you can ask your friends and family for their advice, only you will know what’s best for your career.

Sometimes it’s clear when you need to quit. But other times, it’s more uncertain. Either way, it’s important that you’re not too hasty with your decision. Handing in your resignation is a big step and one that you may regret if you don’t think it through thoroughly enough. If you’re unhappy at work, firstly look to see if there are any ways you can improve the situation. Speak to your manager as well, to help them understand your goals and see whether they can help you achieve those within the business.

Sometimes, if you want to progress your career, you need to work through any challenges you face, rather than simply quit and move on. Of course, if you can’t work through those challenges, it’s time to carefully consider your options.

What to look out for

There are many signals that may display themselves to you, telling you that it’s time to quit. Here are eight key signs to watch out for:

1. You’re bored in your role – If you feel bored, complacent towards your work or that your skills are wasted in your current role, it might be time to look for new opportunities. But that doesn’t always mean quitting. Delve deeper within yourself, to work out exactly what you want to do in your career. Then investigate any opportunities in your current company. There may be new responsibilities for instance, which can fit your career plan, whilst reigniting your drive and motivation. If these steps don’t help though and you’re still feeling like you’re stuck in a rut, it’s time to move on.

2. Your work is making you unhappy in your personal time – Is your job making you stressed and anxious? Do you count down the days until the weekend and dread returning each Monday? If work is making you unhappy and it’s starting to affect your personal life too, it’s time to have a serious think about what you should do next. There are various steps you can try, to help get rid of those pesky Sunday Blues, but if you’re still feeling unsatisfied, it may be time to consider finding a job that you really love.

3. Your job no longer fits with your lifestyle – If your needs have changed and they no longer fit with your work, it’s important to review your priorities. If you need to take your children to school for instance, but your work hours don’t allow, speak to your manager and explain the situation. If you can’t come to a suitable agreement, it may be time to start updating your CV. After all, there are lots of companies that now recognise the need for more flexible working arrangements and support working from home.

4. There is little room to grow – If you have big aspirations for your career, but you struggle to grow within your existing role, take the time to work out what you want to achieve and what steps you need to take to get there. If your manager doesn’t recognise your growth potential and won’t support your development, such as by offering training, it may be time to look for a job that will provide you with the opportunities you’re looking for.

5. You missed out on a promotion – Missing out on a promotion can feel like a huge letdown, but don’t let it stop you from driving forward with your career. Speak to your manager to find out exactly why you didn’t get accepted for the role and make it clear that you would like to be put forward next time. See if there are any other opportunities available, either in your existing role, or a different department. You could even find out about mentoring opportunities. If there is still nothing positive on the horizon, it may be time to find another job.

6. You don’t feel appreciated – Feeling appreciated at work is important. It can help you to stay happy, motivated and productive. It doesn’t take much for a manager to say a simple “thank you”. Obviously, everyone can have their off days though, even managers, so don’t base your decision to leave on a single instance. However, in the long-term, if you don’t get the appreciation you feel you deserve, you need to consider whether you want to stay working there.

7. You don’t get on with your boss – If you don’t see eye-to-eye with your boss, it may just take time for you to build a positive working relationship with them. However, if they’re a bad boss and micromanage you, pass the buck and make unreasonable demands, perhaps you could ask if you can report into someone else, or see if there are opportunities in other departments? If you’ve tried every tactic, but the situation hasn’t improved, it may be time to quit.

8. You’re approached by a recruiter – Quitting a current job when a more exciting career prospect presents itself is not uncommon. If a recruiter contacts you about a job opportunity that differs positively from your current role, take the time to have a conversation about the offer so that you have a clear understanding of what new responsibilities and benefits you could have. If the new offers sounds like it’s right for you and the direction you want to take your career, then it may be time to take the leap.

Hopefully these above pointers help you to answer your question, “Should I quit my job?”. Sometimes, leaving isn’t the best approach. In fact, you might be surprised with what can be achieved by having an honest conversation with your manager.

If you’re a well-respected and hardworking member of the team, it’s likely that they won’t want to see you leave and will put steps in place to ensure you’re satisfied in your role.

However, sometimes leaving is the best way to explore new and exciting opportunities that let you go on to achieve your hopes and goals. If you do decide it's time to quit, visit Robert Half’s “How to resign”, to ensure you leave on professional terms.

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