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When to Quit Your Job: 10 Signs It’s Time to Go

The job just isn’t the same anymore, and you’re trying to figure out why. Here’s our list of top 10 signs it may be time to quit your job:

  1. You Dread Going to Work in the Morning
  2. You Have a Difference of Opinion
  3. There’s No Room for Growth
  4. You’re Not Learning Anything
  5. The Work Environment Is Toxic
  6. You Don’t Get Paid Enough
  7. There’s Signs You’re Going to Be Let Go Anyway
  8. You Can’t Get Work Done
  9. It’s Not Your Cup of Tea
  10. You Want to Start Your Own Small Business

1. You Dread Going to Work in the Morning

Every morning you find you have butterflies in your stomach. Maybe getting out of bed takes a supreme effort, or you procrastinate beyond the time you normally leave for the office. You live for Fridays, because you know each day you’re going to get to work and something’s going to happen to make those butterflies worse.

Whatever the reason – your boss, a staff member, a project you can’t control, you no longer remember feeling any other way in the morning.

This stress may eventually affect your health. So, think about exactly what the problem is, and if you can do anything about it. If you can’t, is there something you can look forward to? Is there an assignment you know you’d enjoy, that you can ask to take on? In the meantime, on your evenings and weekends, starting looking for a new job.

2. You Have a Difference of Opinion

You have a difference of opinion with someone you work with, someone who has influence within your department or company. This does not have to be your manager, it could be your VP or another member of the senior staff. Maybe it’s the company president. The difference is not about small things either, perhaps it’s about the direction the company is taking and how its long-term strategy is dictating what you spend the bulk of your time on. Maybe you disagree with this strategy, but your suggestions are falling on deaf ears.

This does not mean your ideas are not good ones, there could be valid reasons why they can’t be approved, including financial ones. But that doesn’t mean you have to stew in frustration. Perhaps you can help dictate strategy or be the creative problem solver at another company.

3. There’s No Room for Growth

Maybe you don’t have those butterflies, and maybe some of your suggestions are embraced. Maybe your company has an open-door policy, and because of that you love bouncing out of bed every morning and can’t wait until the day gets rolling. You take on every project with enthusiasm, and you get glowing reviews annually.

But perhaps there’s just no where for you to go at the company. The senior positions you’re hoping for are filled by people who show no signs of ever intending to leave. Ask yourself if you don’t move up, what that will mean to you. Not just financially, but for your long-term growth. Then decide whether it’s time to go or not.

4. You’re Not Learning Anything

You’ve been doing the job a while now, and although it’s fun, it’s starting to feel very routine. It’s the same thing, or slight variations of the same thing, over and over again. Maybe you’re so good at it that you have the job down to a science, but it’s not what you would call “fulfilling”.

If that’s the case, and there’s no other positions at your company that you’re interested in, consider taking some courses so you can learn some new skills. Your company may have an education reimbursement program you can take advantage of, as long as the course you take is relevant to your position. Maybe a course or certificate program will be just the right thing to take your job in a new direction, giving you ideas you never would have thought of before.

5. The Work Environment Is Toxic

Perhaps you don’t want to admit it, but maybe your work culture is just plain toxic. Maybe the people in your department spend a great deal of the day, every day, just complaining about the same things. Ask yourself though – are you part of the problem? Are the complaints valid? And if so, has management even been made aware of these issues?

Perhaps you can be the hero of your department by attempting to address these problems in a constructive way. Arrange a meeting with your boss, and bring an agenda. Don’t just list out what’s bothering you all, come with solutions too.

Maybe management can do something, maybe not. Maybe addressing these issues head on won’t change a thing. But at the very least, if you still want to leave, you’ll know you tried.

6. You Don’t Get Paid Enough

According to PayScale, a website that provides salary and compensation information, salary is not the most important job satisfaction factor for most people. PayScale notes that “appreciation” is what workers value most.

However, salary can be a big issue for someone, especially if the discrepancy is not small. It can be very frustrating to do a job and know that the person next to you is doing the same job, for 15% more. Or maybe you and your co-workers are all at the same pay, but similar jobs at other companies are paying significantly more (meaning, your company is not meeting the industry average).

Don’t just quit though, be diplomatic and ask for a raise. List out the value you bring to the company and examples of the initiative you’ve previously demonstrated in the role. Maybe there’s reasons why your coworkers are paid more (budget cutbacks before you were hired, seniority, etc.). Whatever the reason, perhaps it’s a problem that can be solved without having to leave the company.

7. There’s Signs You’re Going to Be Let Go Anyway

Has the company been going through some changes? A merger perhaps, or a take-over? Now there’s new management and a lot of unfamiliar faces in the hallways? Lots of talk about redundancy? These are definite signs that layoffs are coming.

Start thinking about the future. Ask yourself: If cutbacks do happen, what do you think the odds are you’ll make it through? If you’re thinking “not good”, then start looking. Worse case scenario is you don’t get let go, but you have a nice job offer lined up anyway.

Remember: You’re always more attractive to a potential employer when you already have a job.

8. You Can’t Get Work Done

Perhaps it’s through no fault of your own, but your job has been set up to fail. No matter what you do, you just can’t get people or departments on board with your projects, or get them to commit to deadlines. You’re told there’s backlogs or other issues, resulting in delay after delay…after delay. People will tell you time and time again that they wish there was something they can do to help you, but their hands are tied. Meanwhile, your projects aren’t getting done, and your boss wants to know why.

Before you throw up your hands in frustration and draft your resignation, see if there’s another way. Ask if you can take some projects out of house, and see if the critical ones that must absolutely be done in house can get fast tracked with the help of senior management. These options may provide better solutions than just leaving, but if the problems persist, then perhaps it really is time to move on.

9. It’s Not Your Cup of Tea

Maybe you have a great salary, and it’s only a five-minute commute. Maybe you’re learning a lot on the job and you get along with everybody. The thing is, the job’s just not for you. Maybe you’re overqualified, or it just doesn’t interest you. You hate the thought of leaving, but the position is just not what you imagined it would be. In that case, you should leave before your feelings about the position start to reflect in your work.

10. You Want to Start Your Own Small Business

Maybe quitting your job has nothing to do with the job, but your own ambition. Maybe you’ve been toying with this idea of starting your own business for a long time now.

Consider first what you’re giving up and what starting your own small business really means. Ask yourself, do you have the funds in place to survive without regular income for a while? What exactly are the resources you need to start this particular business, and can you get them? Do you have a business plan and a budget in place? Do you even know how to run a business?

If not, consider taking some continuing education courses on how to start your own small business. Do it the evenings or weekends, while you continue your regular job. Best to save some extra money too, specifically for your new venture. With that extra education and savings, you’ll be more confident when it comes time to take the plunge.

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