It is in our human nature to resist the change and fear the unknown. That’s why we often stay with the same job, even after we know it is not in our best interest to continue working there. Any job is better than no job, we keep telling ourselves. Besides, if you quit now, what’s next?
How do we know when it’s time to leave our job? And most importantly, is it better to quit now or wait until you find something else? Of course, the wise choice would be to find another job first. But it’s not always that simple. If the job really makes you that miserable, sometimes it’s better to leave now, to preserve your health and sanity. In this case, a layoff can be a real blessing.
Let’s explore some of the warning signs so that we know what to watch out for.
It’s been years since you’ve asked for a raise.
And when you finally worked up the courage to talk to your boss about it, your request was outright dismissed. This is not really about money, it’s about feeling valued. You are being underpaid, which could lead to resentment and really affect your performance. You don’t want that. I’d say it’s time to start looking for a new job.
Seeing your direct supervisor makes your stomach twist in a knot.
I know, this may sound extreme, but it actually happens more often than we realize. Your relationships at work can make all the difference in the world for you. A healthy and supportive work environment is crucial to your well-being. If things are really that bad, and you can survive without working for a few months, perhaps leaving your job now is the best thing to do.
You spend yet another day browsing the internet, looking for… nothing in particular.
Nothing can feel worse than boredom. But, being bored at work is not the worst thing that can happen, trust me. At least, you have plenty of down time to look for another job, right? Seriously, can you be more proactive and ask your manager to be a part of a more exciting project?
If your company doesn’t have anything inspiring to offer you, you know there are many other companies out there that will. Do yourself a favor, find something else you can be grateful for and let another person be grateful for your job.
Your friends and family members are sick of you complaining about your work.
Seriously, why would you do this to them? Do you enjoy complaining or are you interested in things being different? I understand, change is not always easy and can sometimes be very scary. But I promise you, if you don’t like your job and don’t do anything about, it will not get better. It may feel not so bad at times, but overall, things will progressively get worse until you get to a point where you will no longer have a choice.
You start getting some unusual yet alarming health issues.
Sometimes when you are not kind to yourself or respectful to your own boundaries, your body will find a way to let you know enough is enough. This doesn’t always mean it’s time to leave your job, though. Sometimes it is a matter of letting your boss or co-workers know where your limitations are.
Understandably so, it can feel foolish and reckless to leave a job without a plan. After all, we all need to pay our bills. Sometimes, even if your bills are paid without your salary, leaving a job is scary. Psychologically and morally, we are programmed to believe that we must work and have a job, no matter what. But think about how much better your life could be if you actually loved your job.
Katherine Bouglai is a career transition coach and the founder of Blossom Career. She works with professionals in technology who have recently lost their jobs and are looking for successful career transition. Her specialties include career change, resume development, job search strategies, job interview preparations, offer negotiations and other related skills.