I recently shared the experiences of my first year after I quit my job in 10 Things I Learned When I Quit My Job With No Solid Backup Plan. The response has been phenomenal and I’ve been so happy to read all the comments and messages from people who have been inspired and reassured by my story.
But how do you know if this is the right move for you? And when is the “right time” to quit your job? Here are some of the most common signs that it’s time to time to quit your job and move on. How many boxes do you tick?
- You’ve stopped learning and growing
If every aspect of your role starts to feel routine, if you’re constantly bored and you feel you no longer have any opportunities to grow either in this role or in another role at your current company, then you’d do better to seek a new challenge. Sometimes you just need a change to shake up your existence and get you onto that steeper learning curve again.
Discover some of the common signs it's time to re-think your career
Do you fantasise about a world in which you love your job to the point that you jump out of bed in the morning with excitement at the thought of what you’re going to do today? Do you long for more freedom and flexibility in your daily schedule? Do you wish that you were creating something really meaningful, that could make a difference to something that matters?
- The positives no longer outweigh the negatives
If your salary no longer makes up for the stress and overtime, if the fun times become less and less frequent, if the interesting projects no longer compensate for the dull tasks, then you may want to look for a job where the balance is more in your favour. No job is going to be fun all of the time, but it’s up to you to decide what you’re willing to put up with.
- Everything is “fine”
Maybe things are not terrible, they’re just okay; fine. Is that how you want to live your life? Sort of average, things plodding along but with no passion, no excitement, no real feeling of fulfilment? Sometimes it’s not a question of a major crisis but you simply feel: there must be something more to life than *this*. Something more than fine.
- You live for the weekends
If you’re counting the days to the weekend already on Monday morning, and counting the hours until you get home as soon as you arrive in the office, then something is wrong. Yes work can be tough sometimes but it’s also supposed to be rewarding, and fun! If you hate those hours that you’re spending working – whether it’s four hours or forty or more – then no amount of ‘life’ after work is going to make up for that.
- You’re getting dangerously close to burnout
We all work hard, staying late for a tight deadline, checking emails while we’re on holiday, going the extra mile to deliver a perfect presentation; but if you’re staying late every day, if you’re constantly feeling anxious and stressed, if you’re not looking after your health… that’s when it might be time to take a break, or find a more balanced lifestyle.
- Your values are misaligned with the company’s
If you find yourself disagreeing with the overall company direction, or your boss’s decisions are counter to what you believe, and fundamentally you realise that your values are not aligned with those of the company, the right thing for both you and the company will be to find a role that’s a better match for what you believe in. It can be soul destroying to work for something that you don’t care about or, worse, you think is wrong.
- You have a burning desire to do something else
If your gut tells you it’s time to move on, if you have a passion that you’ve been dreaming of following for years, then now may be the time to make it a reality. Maybe you have a business idea that’s clearly formed in your head, or you want to do something more creative, or you simply want to go and travel the world. This is maybe the best reason to quit, as you’re not just escaping from something bad, you’re escaping to something great!
Now even if you tick all seven boxes, that’s not to say that you have to march into your boss’s office and hand in your resignation first thing tomorrow morning. There’s no rush, you don’t want to burn any bridges at this stage, and there are plenty of important things to take into consideration. Take the time to let the decision mature in your mind, think about what it is you really want to do, and start pulling together a plan to make it happen.