It’s an unfortunate reality of life that when we become adults, we are expected to be independent. And by independent, that means getting a job and earning your keep. An equally unfortunate fact is that not all jobs are good. It could be the culture, the people or simply the organisation itself that somehow isn’t your cup of tea. Nonetheless, I’m sure quite a number of us fantasize of one day submitting that “love letter” to say goodbye… Or should it be called a “breakup letter”? This post, I’ll talk about some signs that I noticed over time when you are ready to quit your job.
When should you assess whether to quit your job or not?
A majority of us in the working class are trying to make a living. Therefore, usually we would have a more biding attitude towards employment. But when things unravel and work interferes with life instead of supplementing it, maybe it’s time to reassess. It’s not easy to quit your job usually; unless there’s really no “positive points” you can think of at all. Jobs with good perks are even harder to drop! But with an objective and realistic point of view, you can somewhat gauge if your future with your current workplace would be for better or for worse.
1. The pay is not worth it anymore
I have to say, pay is one of the core considerations for many people who come into the workforce. This is usually referred to as chasing the money and more often than not, it will burn you out fast. That’s because you’re only working because of earning the wage! There’s no other draw for you to actually do more or stay on.
2. You feel uninspired everyday
It’s normal to have down days where you feel like you’re not doing anything worthwhile at work. It’s not normal if you feel this way everyday! Like chasing the money, the lack of fulfillment simply leads to resentment and sooner or later, you’ll get distracted easily. A solution for this is possibly asking to be transferred to different roles and responsibilities. The new challenges could ignite some interest in you, perhaps?
3. You stopped growing
We never stop growing. We can grow smarter, older, weaker or senile, but we never stop. If you feel that you have no room to grow and no way to improve yourself, you’re stagnating. And when you stagnate, you can do 2 things: Ask for different projects and experiences or start your own. If both of these doesn’t seem enticing to you, then maybe it’s time to look to greener pastures.
4. You can’t improve your organisation
It’s rare that an organisation doesn’t evolve over time; they would simply fall to obscurity! But if there’s literally no way to improve your situation to contribute, that’s a red flag. Change is hard and we’re stubbornly happy with the way things are but if this mentality is straight from the top, it won’t be fun in the long run.
5. Taking leaves and breaks doesn’t help
Most of the time all we need is some rest and recuperation from the day to day grind. And it usually works! You’ll be strong for the fight again. But what if R&R doesn’t work? Well then there’s something else at play and not simply because you’re tired and worn out.
6. You’ve thought about it for a long time
Complaining to your friends “God, I want to quit my job” occasionally is different from thinking the same thing over a long period of time. If that’s the case, you would probably have done some job hunting and preparation in some way. This is one of the strongest signals (especially when combined with the others).
7. You just don’t care any more
This is a more negative impact on yourself than anything. When you don’t care, you won’t do your best. And when that happens, the organisation and people around you suffer. This is sometimes quite blatant in the public sector because the loophole is “I’m not going to get fired anyway” which I find disgusting.
Ok so you’re ready to quit your job when you hate it beyond reason?
Well, not exactly. On a more positive note, the following are conditions which you could create to leave on a more advantageous note. When you quit your job, it’s highly not recommended to simply cut and run because poor planning could wreck you in the medium to long term.
1. Your spending is controlled
If you’ve been budgeting and keeping track of your expenses, you should have a good idea what’s fixed (loan repayment) and what’s variable (food, petrol, leisure). You would be more equipped to cut unnecessary spending if the time calls for it.
2. Saved up emergency fund
I’ve advocated time and again the importance to have an emergency fund. This safety net is even more important if you’re going to quit your job; especially if you don’t have another job lined up. I would say having at least 6 months’ worth of expenses would be the bare minimum; 1 year’s worth would be a pretty good cushion for any situation.
3. Have an offer for another job
This is probably the holy grail of career change. More often than not, people would job hunt and have something lined up before they decide to cut loose. Not only would your emergency funds be untouched, you’ll have cashflow for other projects with little to no disruption!
When you think you want to quit your job, you should think long and hard why you feel that way. It could be something as simple as a lack of challenge or simply burning out. These can be rectified internally by changing roles or taking a break and would likely save you from a costly mistake! However, if none of these strategies work, then don’t be afraid to start looking for alternative employment. Because once the signs of contempt start to show, it’s only a matter of time before someone (usually you) has to pay the price.
Do you have any other tell-tale signs that you need to get out? Do let me know in the comments below!
You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading the last one.