It can be hard to know when it's time to quit your job and find a new one or when you're simply going through the normal ebbs and flows of work. Luckily, there are several signs that indicate it's time to move on. If you're experiencing several of these challenges when it comes to work, it might be time to start thinking about your next career move.
Is it time to quit your job? These 5 signs really should ring a bell:
- you're bored
- you're undervalued
- you're stagnant
- you're anxious
- you only talk about work
1. you're bored
Boredom can be normal in a job — after all, every role comes with its share of tedium, no matter how high up the ladder you go. The real problem comes with long-term boredom. If you've been feeling bored for 6-12 months, try talking to your supervisor about your feelings. Ask for more responsibility or a promotion, new challenges and ongoing education opportunities. If after that conversation nothing changes, consider whether you'll be happy at your company in the long term or whether it's time to think about quitting your job and moving on.
2. you're undervalued
Nothing is as demotivating as putting in long hours and hard work only for it to go unnoticed or underappreciated. Being undervalued can make it difficult to put your best foot forward, because it feels like your work doesn't matter in the first place. That can lead to anger, frustration and resentment — none of which are healthy. If you feel undervalued, it might be time to quit your job and go somewhere you'll be respected and appreciated for your contributions.
3. you're stagnant
No matter where you are in your career, you should always be learning and growing. If you take a look at the last 12 months and can't recall any new learnings or skills you've developed, you might be growing stagnant at work. Ask for a new project or try to take on new responsibilities. If you've tried and you still aren't being challenged, it may be best to find an employer who is committed to your continual growth, so quit your job and look for a new job.
4. you're anxious
If you aren't sleeping or spend Sunday dreading your next day at work, that can be a big sign it's time to consider a new job. Take the time to listen to your body and watch for physical signs. Anxiety about work could manifest itself as lack of energy, lack of appetite, restlessness, poor sleep and general irritability. If workplace stress is impacting you after hours, on the weekends and even while you sleep (or don't sleep), consider whether it's healthy to stay where you are or look for a new challenge and quit your job.
5. you only talk about work
If all you want to do after a day at work is talk about it, it might be time to move on. Talking about a bad day here or there with your family and friends is normal — but when you come home day after day unable to focus on anything but work-related stress, that can be a sign. Listen to yourself for the next several days when you get home, and reflect on how you talk about your job. Consider asking family and loved ones what themes come up when you talk about work. If they're mostly negative, it could be time to quit your job and find a new job.
If you're unsure about whether you should stay at your job or move on, reflect on these five signs and see if any of them are present in your life. If they are, start thinking about what you want your life to look like — what kind of job you want, what kind of environment you want to work in and what company culture might be fit for you and what kind of relationship you want with your career. If there's misalignment between what you want out of work and your current situation, start looking for something more fulfilling and in line with your vision for your future and quit your job.
when should you stay?
Moving on might not be the only solution to unhappiness at work, though. It’s important to recognize whether you’re experiencing a temporary blip - when the possibility for improvement is reasonable - or you’re chronically lacking in job satisfaction.
If you conclude that it’s temporary, one of the first things you should do is to sit down with your manager and discuss your concerns. They might be surprised by your admissions and happy to make changes, particularly if you come prepared with suggestions to make yourself happier as well as provide value to the organization. This could include putting yourself forward for new projects, which could then boost your engagement and help to develop your skills in new areas.
If your biggest problem is that you’re not being recognized for your important work, why not kick off this trend yourself?
Ultimately, the decision about whether to stay at your current job or quit your job and look for a new opportunity will be based on whether you think moving on will be the only way to achieve your career goals.