Changing jobs – and even careers – has become part of life, with many people staying in a role for a year or less. In fact, research says that millennials will change jobs on average 11.7 times in their life. That being said, people do stay in roles for longer, whether that be because the job is convenient and well-suited to them, or because they don’t know what else they would do.
If you are the latter – staying in a job just because of the sense of familiarity you get there – there is a chance that it could be time to quit. Have a look at the five signs below and see if you match any of them. They are fantastic indicators that it may be time to move on to other things.
Should I quit my job? 5 signs it’s time to leave
Feeling negative towards work
If you are constantly feeling negative about your job, and especially if you are bringing these negative emotions home, it could be time to quit. Your job is something that you do for the best part of a day, five days a week. It’s natural that jobs can make us feel stressed out and sometimes negative, but if this is a common occurrence, it’s definitely possible that it is time to go.
Ask yourself; ‘do I enjoy my job at all?’, and try to make a list of positives about the job. These should be about the working day itself – ‘short commute’ and ‘friendly people’ don’t cut it here, I’m afraid! If you can’t find anything positive about the actual tasks you do every day and the goals you are working to achieve, it may indeed be time to go.
If you live with people, it’s a good idea to ask them what they think about your attitude to your job as well. You might already know how they feel about your job – you might even have arguments about it or have been told that you are bringing your work home too much. Discuss how you’re feeling with them, and try to reach a decision about if you should quit your job together.
Not feeling challenged by the work
People grow and develop in roles – but they normally need to climb further up the career ladder to keep on expanding. It’s usual for an entry-level candidate to either get a promotion or leave after a while, as nobody stays entry-level forever! If you aren’t feeling challenged by your current position, have a word with your boss about a potential promotion. They may be willing to give you one there and then.
If you are not able to get a promotion but do enjoy the field of work, consider looking for higher-ranking jobs in the same field. If you already have experience, it shouldn’t be too hard to get these – and you will still be climbing up the career ladder, of course!
You might also be feeling unstimulated by the field itself. It could get to the point where you are not challenged by this line of work any more, and are seeking out a different career entirely. If your desired career path is similar to what you work as currently, you might be able to go straight into this field – if not, you may have to pursue further education to be qualified in a new field.
Not having a say in the company
Most people typically want to have a say in how their company works, and find it difficult to constantly follow instructions all the time. Not being able to have a say in their business hinders creativity and makes employees feel like they are not important in their job.
If you feel like this, it might not necessarily be a reason to quit – you could speak to your manager first, tell them how you are feeling, and see if anything changes. However, if you are craving some creativity and having your say in different workplace matters, and you can tell that this will never happen in your job, it could be a very clear indication that it is time to leave.
Feeling jealous towards friend’s jobs
Do you find yourself constantly feeling envious towards your friends, who seemingly have better jobs than you? Do you think to yourself, ‘I wish I could be in XYZ career instead of my own’?
People move careers all the time, for many different reasons, and you can do the same. If you find yourself feeling envious about the jobs that your friends do, ask yourself why. Is it the flexibility that they get during the working day? The rapport they have with their colleagues? The challenging nature of their work?
Once you’ve honed down why, you can try to look for a job that has the qualities you desire in your field – or one that you could start working in with no extra training. If you can’t find one, do consider taking some extra courses to start a career that you do want to be on – a job that will ensure that jealous feelings regarding careers are a thing of the past!
You are spending much more time in the office than at home
If your job is taking over your life for a long period of time, and you are sacrificing watching your kids grow up or spending time with your spouse, then it might be time to look for something else. It’s great to have a useful and purposeful career – as we’ve discussed in this article – but it’s also important to have a work/ life balance, and if your job is going to mean working evenings and weekends until retirement, ask yourself ‘is it worth it?’.
First, you could try to speak to someone about all the overtime you are doing, and ask if it is possible to go down to working traditional 9-5. You could offer to do overtime when it is really needed – but make sure you don’t fall back into the trap of doing it all the time. If this is not possible with your company, then it may well be time to quit and find another job that will allow a better work life balance.
As well as the obvious negatives of not spending time with family, spending too much time in the workplace can lead to an untold amount of stress, which can cause health problems further down the line. Many people have attributed heart issues in later life to too much stress while they were working. If you feel like your job is affecting your health, then it’s definitely time to make a change.
There are many reasons to quit a job, from wanting a change, to not feeling creatively stimulated, to experiencing too much stress and negativity. If you are thinking of quitting your job, address why first, and weigh up the pros and cons of leaving versus speaking to your manager and trying to get changes in your existing job. But if you do decide to leave, know that it is completely normal – it’s a human need to be searching for new challenges, and you’ll be on to your next pursuit very soon!