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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Changing Jobs

If You See Even One of These Signs, It's Time to Leave Your Job

Deciding whether or not to quit a job can take its toll on you. You might have a longstanding loyalty to the business, a decent salary, or some other level of comfort that compels you to stay despite everything telling you it’s time to leave. On the other hand, you might be convinced that all the hardships and struggles that are pushing you out the door are just temporary inconveniences, which you would find at any job.

Fortunately, there are some clear indicators that your current job just isn’t working out for you. If you see more than one or two of these seven signs, it could mean that it’s time to start looking for other opportunities:

1. You Aren’t Improving

Your career should be moving forward in at least one direction. For some, that means climbing up the corporate ladder. For others, that means learning new skills or progressing skills they already have. No matter what your preference or vision is, you should be experiencing some kind of forward momentum. If you aren’t, it’s a sign that your career has become stagnant. Ask yourself this critical question: If you stay with this job another year, how will you progress? If you don’t have an answer or don’t like the one you came up with, it’s time to quit your job and move on.

2. Your Company Is Moving Toward a Bad Future

All companies experience ups and downs, so if your company is in an unpleasant position, try not to worry. However, if it looks like the unpleasant situation is bound to grow worse in the coming years, getting out early is advisable. Is your company’s revenue decreasing, year after year? Are there more layoffs each year than the year before it? Is your company in a dying industry and doing nothing to differentiate itself? If any of these is the case, your company won’t be around for much longer. Start looking for a new opportunity now, while you have some control.

3. You Don’t Respect Your Boss

Otherwise solid jobs can be ruined by bad leaders. If you don’t have a person at the top who you respect, there’s little value in coming to work every day. Your boss should be someone who inspires you, motivates you, and helps you learn new things throughout your career. If your boss is unsupportive, or incompetent, or some terrible mix of the two, don’t let yourself suffer any longer. Good bosses are hard to find, but it’s worth your effort to try and find them—or start your own business and become your own boss.

4. You’re Severely Undervalued

The term “undervalued” doesn’t only refer to money, although if you’re severely underpaid, that can be a problem, too. Instead, being undervalued is more of a problem if your accomplishments aren’t recognized or if your ongoing work isn’t appreciated. Your boss and co-workers should see you as an integral part of the team and recognize you when you’ve done exceptional work. If you are chronically unappreciated, you deserve the chance to look for a position where you are appreciated.

5. You Aren’t Passionate About the Work

You’ll never have a job where you’re excited to go to work every day. You’ll always have days where you’re stressed or where you don’t feel like going to work. Passion isn’t always about excitement or happiness; it’s about thriving in your environment and being motivated to continue. For example, even if you’re stressed and angry about a complex problem, if you’re invested in solving that problem, you can still consider yourself passionate. If you have no real interest in your work and you’re just going through the motions, it’s time to find a different calling.

6. You Don’t Fit the Culture

Company culture can make or break your work experience. When you fit in with the tone, the dress, the attitudes, and the behaviors of your workplace, everything seems easier and you’ll be able to work better. If your own work preferences are at odds with the culture, you’re never going to be successful as an employee there. Unless you have the influence to actively change the culture of your workplace, the best path forward is to quit and look for a job closer to your ideal environment.

7. You Want Something Else

It’s the most obvious sign you need to quit your job, but it’s also the most often ignored. Think about what you really want to be doing right now. Is it sitting at your desk executing your current responsibilities? Is it running your own business? Is it going back to grad school? Is it working across the street? If there’s something you want in life, and that desire keeps coming back to you, you’re never going to be satisfied with where you are. Stability is important, but not at the sacrifice of happiness. Take a risk and pursue what’s really important to you.

Obviously, one factor should never be enough to make you quit your job. No matter how much you like a job, there will always be factors that make it difficult or unpleasant, and even bad jobs have their good sides. Use this list to better understand where you fit at your current position, but remember that the decision is ultimately yours. Think critically, try to separate your logical self from your emotional self, and go with the decision that makes the most sense for you.

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