This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclosure for more.
There has come a point in everyone’s life where we think, “should I quit my job?”
We may all question quitting our jobs, but how do we know if it’s really the right thing to do? Let’s take a look at all the potential reasons to quit and figure out if saying “I quit” is the right answer for you.
21 Signs you should quit your job
1. No room for growth
It might be time to quit your job if there is figuratively no ladder for you to climb. Your current position is the best it’s going to get, and you have so much more to give. There is nothing wrong with wanting more in your job — and shows you care if you do.
You are spending more time in the car than at home. Not only is this not fun, but it’s absolutely draining. Think about the time you spend in the car over a weeks time. Say 1 hour commute each way: 2hrs/day x 5 days a week = 10 hours in the car. If you quit your job, that would be time you could spend with family, friends, doing a hobby, etc., not to mention the gas money.
3. Not following your passion
Your heart is not in the work. You are longing to follow another path that you know will bring you happiness, and this current job just isn’t cutting it. Don’t waste any more time in that cubicle — find the job that’ll make you excited.
The pay is not sufficient enough to support your needs, or the job doesn’t give reasonable pay raises. You rightfully should be compensated for your hard work, so settling for base-level pay doesn’t always settle well.
5. No longer learning
You are not being challenged or learning anymore. When you constantly feel like it’s the same redundant work, day after day, and you are eager for something bigger and more stimulating.
6. You talk about quitting
Finding yourself talking about quitting your job is very telling. If you do this quite often (weekly or daily) then you should start listening to yourself.
7. No longer care about your performance
You might want to quit your job if you have simply given up. You don’t care how good, or not so good, your work is. You aren’t being praised or compensated, the work is boring, and you’ve just lost hope.
8. Boss problems
Butting heads with your boss on a regular basis is not a good work scenario. When you’re constantly being picked apart by your boss, you’ll start doing a poor job out of carelessness and want to quit your job under bad circumstances.
9. Affecting mood outside of work
When you aren’t at work you are still unhappy. You bring your attitude home with you and it has even started to negatively affect your loved ones.
You are simply bored. Nothing excites or drives you. You’d rather play solitaire on your computer than do anything else.
11. Dread Mondays
The thought of starting a new work week makes you cringe. You wish weekends were 5 days long, and you can’t stand the thought of going back to work.
When you’ve been putting in 50+ hours a week, and your job is taking over your life — you’ll definitely want to quit your job. You have no time for your social life, and it seems like you’re totally burned out.
13. Can never win
No matter what you do it isn’t good enough, or you didn’t do it the right way. You have a boss that’s incredibly particular and picks you apart on everything you do.
14. You aren’t being heard
Your voice and opinion just doesn’t get taken seriously. Your work superiors don’t listen to what you have to say, and you’re tired of being stepped on.
15. Have to watch what you say
Speaking freely (respectively of course) is not an option in your place of work. You feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your fellow coworkers at all times.
The inevitable is coming in the form of layoffs and you want to get ahead of them. Or you know the company is in a downward spiral.
17. Can’t picture a future there
When you close your eyes and picture your life in five years, five months, whatever the distant future, and you don’t see yourself working at your current job.
18. Don’t trust them
Your company is shady/unethical. You don’t like how they do business and it goes against your beliefs, so you want to quit your job even more.
19. No longer align with team or company
Something with your job has shifted (think new manager, change in ownership) and not in a positive direction. Whether you aren’t meshing with your team or the company, it is causing enough problems for you to think, “should I quit my job?”
20. Goals don’t align
The goals you have for yourself are unattainable in your current job situation. You aspire to achieve bigger and better things, and your job doesn’t allow you to get there.
21. You just know
When you know, you know. Basically all of the above is your work life. It’s time to quit.
Should I quit my job right now?
There is one reason that you should quit your job and look for work immediately — no questions asked.
When any combination of the reasons to quit has begun to regularly affect your physical or mental health (or both).
No job is worth sacrificing your own well-being. Many can face stressful situations from time to time — when a big deadline is approaching, etc. But when those occasional stressful times turn to an everyday occurrence, it’s time to make a change.
I personally haven’t heard of anyone that is absolutely drained from their job say they love it. Truth is, we all need some balance in our life and if your work is taking over, it doesn’t bode well in the long run.
In no circumstance, though, should you quit your job on the spot without a plan. You’re only setting yourself up for more stress, should you not find another job in a reasonable amount of time.
Should I quit my job and go freelance?
This is a loaded question, and one that is situational for everyone considering going freelance.
Before you even think about going freelance, it’s imperative you have a proven idea that will work to sustain a livable income and also make you happy.
Start out with a side-gig while you keep your job, and figure out if it will work. Working for yourself is no walk in the park, and requires a lot of commitment.
To further help you decide if it’s right for you, read this article about the pros and cons of going freelance.
What to consider before you quit
Figure out what the root of the problem is
When you have come to the realization that you are no longer happy with your job, it can be quite alarming. You may feel stuck, you may be thinking should I quit my job, or that you need to jump ship and move on right now.
Before you do anything, take the necessary time to figure out exactly what it is that is causing your unhappiness.
Know what will make you happy
It is very important that you not only know what causes you to be unhappy, so you can avoid it, but also what makes you happy.
It could be anything from the type of work environment, hours, pay, to the values of the company. What makes you happy is unique to each of us, so it’s up to you to figure it out.
To make sure you don’t get stuck in another job that makes your life miserable, look for a job that will get you excited to go to work.
Make a list of pros and cons
Before you actually do it, make a list of pros and cons. One side is should I quit my job, the other is why I should not quit my job.
If your pros and cons end up being fairly even, then maybe there’s something you can do to help your current situation that doesn’t mean you have to quit your job.
However, if your cons heavily outweigh your pros, then it’s definitely time to consider quitting.
This list can be an eye opener in either direction. You may realize you actually don’t have it as bad as you initially thought, so be sure to take in consideration what the pros and cons are versus just how many of each there are.
For example, if you have 3 pros (good pay/room to grow/no commute) and 5 cons (you hate your boss/long hours/aren’t being heard/talk about quitting/dread mondays) you might instantly think you should quit.
Take a deeper look at those 3 pros, and you’ll realize that those are three really good qualities to have in a job. So maybe you’ll look at the cons and see how you can help change those for the better. Sometimes it’s as simple as an attitude change.
Either way, a pros and cons list is a great starting point in all tough decision making.
Talk about it with friends/family
It is very important to talk this out with at least a few people you trust. It’s always smart to get an outside perspective. They can help you see things you haven’t thought of or give you new insight.
On the contrary, what other people think shouldn’t decide your future. Ultimately, you are the best judge of what makes you happy — so take the advice, but make the decision for yourself, not them.
Figure out what you will and won’t put up with in future job
Similar to figuring out what will make you happy, you must make a list of boundaries.
You are clearly at the point of considering, “should I quit my job?” With that, there are certain things that have gotten you to this point. Those things/reasons you are wanting to quit should be on your list of boundaries at your future jobs.
Determine what it is that got you here, such as:
- Treated poorly
- You aren’t growing/learning
- Bad office environment
And know that, moving forward, you won’t allow these things to creep back into your work life.
Clear path or next step
For many of us, quitting our job doesn’t just affect us, it can affect our family and those we help take care of financially. With that added pressure of others relying on us, we must have a clear path if we decide that quitting is the best choice.
Unless you just won the lottery, or are a pro-money-saver, you should never quit your job without having another one lined up and ready for you.
If you quit your current job without a new one, the chances of you finding yourself in the same situation you are in now is huge.
You will end up scrambling to find whatever is available so you can pay your bills.
Take the time to find the job that will meet all of your happiness requirements as well as the boundaries you have. If not, there is with certainty you will be in a vicious cycle of bad jobs.
Know with certainty the grass is greener
It’s easy to imagine any job has to be better than the terrible one you’re stuck in, right? Well that may not always be true.
Although this guide should help you make that determination, it is super important that you look at your current situation without a jaded bias and look at your prospective future without rose colored glasses on.
At the end of the day, just be realistic. Sometimes we may think the grass is greener on the other side and soon find out we were totally wrong.
When things are really going south, take at least a few weeks to think about the long-term effects of quitting. Don’t make the decision on a whim — take it serious and be sure it’s the best decision for you.
When all else fails…
The time has come and you are no longer thinking, “should I quit my job?” You have made up your mind, and decide to actually quit.
During this time of realization and searching for a new job, don’t lower your job performance by showing up late and slacking off. Finish strong and respectable.
No matter the negativity you may feel, keep your head up and leave on a positive note.
Burning bridges is a waste of energy, and who has time for that? You are on to bigger and better things! Not only that, your future employer more than likely will want a job reference — so leave peacefully and with professionalism.
For help with writing a proper two week notice, you can check out some samples here or find out how to write a resignation letter.
3 Reasons why quitting your job isn’t a bad thing
1. You never know unless you try
I don’t know about you, but I’ve heard that saying more than once. Quitting your job could get you to your dream career, but you must start somewhere. So don’t be afraid of making that leap — it could be the best decision you’ve ever made.
2. Everyone quits at one point
Very rarely do you ever hear of somebody who has only had one job in their life (does that even exist?).
I was once told by my college professor that you shouldn’t stay at your first job out of college for more than 2 years. Every job is a stepping stone in your career, where you’re learning and growing from each. By sticking to one job for too long, you’re more than likely stinting your growth.
3. Wanting more is a good thing
There is never a time when overachieving is looked down upon. Wanting more out of your career and maximizing your potential is something you (and your employer) should be proud of. Know that being content is not the solution, and moving on to better things for your personal growth is priority.
Whatever direction this guide has helped you point to, good luck! Let us know in the comments your tips for quitting your job.
Keep the conversation going...
Over 10,000 of us are having daily conversations over in our free Facebook group and we'd love to see you there. Join us!