10 Signs It’s Time to Leave Your Job

Has your cubicle got you comatose? Here are some warning signs that it’s time to launch your conscious career.

Most of us spend more time with our colleagues and bosses than our partners, kids and friends. If that’s not motivation to make sure your job is a good fit, what is? The job you choose can determine how physically and mentally healthy you are, your standard of living, your future prospects and whether you look back at your life at the brink of death and feel like you did your best. Consider these 10 signs that it’s time to quit, and you might just set yourself onto a much more fulfilling path.

Just about any task is better than doing your job.

When you’re at work, you’ll do just about anything to avoid performing the tasks that are assigned to you. You play around on Facebook, browse the internet and organize your vacation photos. In fact, you’re happy to perform menial tasks like taking out the trash and running errands for the boss – anything that will keep you away from your job for another five minutes. In other words, your work is utterly joyless for you.

You’ve got unsolvable issues with management.

There’s almost always going to be a certain amount of friction between workers and management; that’s just the way of the world. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try to diffuse it, conflicts with your higher-ups can jeopardize your career well into the future. First, make sure that it isn’t all your Facebooking, those lunchtime cocktails or any other performance or behavior issues that are causing the problem. Then, talk to your boss’ boss. If that doesn’t work, think about moving on. Sometimes, it’s just not a good fit.

Your company is on a downward spiral.

There have been layoffs left and right, and the company has been reorganized and consolidated so many times it’s hardly recognizable. Things are so tight, they’ve asked white-collar workers to start delivering packages and vacuuming their own cubicles. This ship is probably going down, and even if the company manages to hang on, your position could be eliminated at any time. Don’t be caught by surprise. Start researching new jobs right now.

Your skills aren’t valued.

You feel like you’ve got a lot to offer, and your company just isn’t using you to your full potential. Not only are you rarely challenged, but you’re marginalized. Maybe you’re not being included in important meetings, or you’ve been passed over for a promotion. If your job doesn’t let you flex, you won’t be able to build more skills and grow professionally.

You’re stuck in a dead end.

You haven’t gotten very far in your company, but the growth has stopped, and it doesn’t look like things will be getting better any time soon. There are no opportunities to move up, and no opportunities for higher pay. Unless you can come to grips with the fact that you might remain stagnant for the rest of your career, you should explore options that can take you higher.

You dread going to work.

It’s Sunday night and your stomach is a ball of lead. The absolute last thing you want to do tomorrow morning is get up and go to work. Maybe your anxiety is so bad, you have a hard time enjoying your weekends because you just can’t stop thinking about Monday morning. When you hate your job this much, you’re not doing yourself or your employers any favors by staying on.

You’re simply bored.

Maybe work is not so bad, but you can’t muster much enthusiasm about it. You definitely don’t feel passionate about what you do – it’s just work. This is reality for a lot of people, and in a poor economy, it’s probably not enough reason on its own to quit your job. But take this opportunity to imagine what kind of job would make you truly happy. What would you rather be doing right at this moment? Running a food truck, starting a dog grooming business or growing exotic orchids could certainly be a viable business. Your dream might be more achievable than you think.

You can’t pay your bills.

On the other hand, some people quit well-paying jobs with the hopes of following their dreams only to find that surviving on their new pay is practically impossible. If you truly love what you’re doing, make it work. That might mean downsizing your lifestyle so that you don’t require as much money to pay the bills. But if you’re working to exhaustion every day and still stressing about your paltry paychecks, it’s probably not worth it.

It’s affecting your health.

Speaking of stress, it can really do some cruel and horrifying things to your body and your mind, putting you at increased risk for heart attacks, respiratory disorders and hormonal imbalances. It can cause tension headaches, nerve pain, irritability, joint pain, ulcers and depression. You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your well-being for your job. If you lie in bed every morning wishing you could call in sick yet again, perhaps this gig is not for you.

It’s affecting your personal life.

You’d love to go out for drinks with friends, catch up with that cute guy that always flirts with you at the gym or attend your daughter’s dance recital, but you can’t. You’ve got to go to work. Some people aren’t bothered by 80-hour work weeks, and everybody has to decide for themselves what level of personal sacrifice they find acceptable. But being miserable because your job is keeping you from enjoying your life? Not okay.


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Photo: Rachael Voorhees, Ana Patricia Alameida, EpSos.de, whatmegsaid

Stephanie Rogers

Stephanie Rogers currently resides in North Carolina where she covers a variety of green topics, from sustainability to food.