6 Signs it’s Time to Leave Your Job

November 13th, 2014 | Job Search | No Comments »

Leave Your Job 2

Sometimes the cue to leave your job is subtle. Other times, it’s as obvious as a group of alley cats yowling outside of your window. Whether that alarm is soft or strident, it’s crucial to pay attention to the signs. Because when it’s time to leave your job, those extra days, hours, and minutes can do serious damage.

The right time to leave your job isn’t always so cut and dry. On those exponentially bad days (we’ve all had them), quitting often seems the only sane thing to do. Yet you should never quit your job on impulse.

Before you ever turn in your two week notice, make sure you’ve seriously considered the answers to these 6 questions.

1.) Are there clear impediments to your growth?

Growth can be stifled in more ways than one. It could be a flat hierarchy that keeps you in the lowlands of your career. It could be all roads to continued learning have been blocked and bricked over. Really, it’s could be anything that keeps you in career stasis. And that’s toxic.

In the words of Bill Clinton, “The price of doing the same old thing is far higher than the price of change.” That price is taken right out of your drive, your thirst for knowledge, and your self-worth.

2.) Are your best skills developing rust? 

Jobs evolve, sometimes in directions we never expect. Often, it’s a refreshing change. As job duties change, we can transition into engaging roles that might have never crossed our minds. That change is only negative when it debilitates your career aspirations.

Did you sign up for web development and get imprudently thrown into cloud administration? Did you want to build sleek networks and somehow get roped into UI development? If who you are and your best skills are being sacrificed for the sake of a role, it might be time to leave your job.

3.) Do you regularly clash with your coworkers or boss? 

Every office has its conflict. People at times just butt heads. Your first instinct should always be to mediate office conflicts.  However, if a layer of hostility lingers like permafrost in the Arctic Circle, then definitely think about quitting.

Remember: your office life doesn’t need to feel like a burgeoning street fight for the atmosphere to be hostile. Passive embargos, slander, or any other indirectly aggressive tactic should be taken just as seriously. A hostile work environment can have a physical effect on your health (it adds new meaning to being “worked to death.”).

4.) Do you feel bored & uninspired every day?

The human brain is at its best when stimulated. Creative solutions arise when people are excited by their task or feel inspired by the implications of what they can do.

Boredom is a killer of creativity. It’s the puncture in the nylon membrane of a hot air balloon. It’s the broken axle on a Ford F150. It slows or stalls the progress of your career in ways that are hard to spot in the malaise of the moment. And the longer you’re exposed to it, the harder it is to get your atrophied creative muscle moving.

Always try to seek out new challenges before you quit your job. Ask your boss for new projects. Try to pursue new challenges of your own invention. But, if like above, you are blocked from challenging yourself, it’s probably best that you leave the job.

5.) Do you leave the office feeling, stressed, anxious, & unhappy?

Being happy at work leads to a whole slew of other benefits. Happy employees have more energy, are more creative, worry less about making mistakes, and generally make better decisions. Those who don’t, at best keep up status quo. At worst, they’re bringing productivity down along with their mood.

You shouldn’t regularly walk out of your office with a dark cloud over your head. If that’s the case, leave your job. The sooner the better.

6.) Are you constantly thinking about leaving?

We all have bad days. Sometimes, they’re cataclysmically bad, and in that moment, you may be tempted to leave your job. However, there’s a difference between a bad moment and having bad moments rerunning on syndication.

If you have to talk yourself down from the ledge every day, you have two choices: make a conscious change in your work habits or leave your job.

If you choose the former, you need to find out what is eating at you. Often, it has a lot to do with our language or attitude. People who constantly feel they are “busy” or have a negative internal message on loop are more likely to slam up against their bad days. Changing that script can help them to weather their obstacles.

If none of that works, it may finally be time to leave your job. Your career, your skills, your creativity, and your wellbeing may very well depend on it.

by James Walsh

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