Should I quit my job?
Somewhere around 40 percent of all employees are currently considering leaving their careers for something else. That means that from young professionals to high-ranking executives, nearly half the workforce is in the process of asking the question: “should I quit my job?” In fact, the concept is so common that it now has a name: The Great Resignation.
The good news? Because of these statistics, it means the employment market is now in your court — not your employer’s. The bad news, however, is that quitting your job now could lead to regret down the line if you prematurely up and leave when you haven’t soaked up everything you need to at your current organization.
So: how do you know when to quit your job? Here are a few pointers to consider if you’re in the process of “quitting deliberation.” If you’re experiencing any of these, it’s probably time to quit your current job and move on to greener pastures.
Lack of enjoyment of daily tasks
In work, as in life, it pays to feel like what you’re doing has a purpose. A record number of young professionals report that the number one reason they’ve become disillusioned with their job is because it doesn’t provide them with a strong sense of meaning.
This contradicts a very important concept: in life, our goal isn’t necessarily to find one single purpose; instead, it’s to try to get as much enjoyment out of our lives as possible. In our line of work, we call this going to the “Good Feeling Factory” — it means thinking about life in such a way that our job each day is to extract enjoyment from our experiences in any way possible.
If your job is consistently bogging you down with an inordinate amount of work that doesn’t make you feel any enjoyment (and thus preventing you from going to the Good Feeling Factory), it’s time to consider quitting and finding a new employer.
A toxic boss or work environment
A toxic work environment can show up in a number of ways. It can come in the form of a bad boss, difficult coworkers or simply an organization that engages in a kind of workplace culture that doesn’t coincide with your values and beliefs.
You might trick yourself into thinking that it’s your fault for being disagreeable, hard to work with or unqualified for the job… but if you keep experiencing a negative outcome at your place of work and still show up every day expecting things to change, then it’s time to accept that your workplace just isn’t a good fit anymore.
If that’s the case — and you’re still asking yourself, “Should I quit my job?” — the answer is emphatically yes.
Feeling motivated but uninspired
Lots of people say it’s important to feel motivated by what you do. But what most people don’t consider is that motivation is a fear-based emotion that only serves to protect us from negative outcomes. We feel motivated to do our jobs, because without them, we’d lose money, get fired and be financially unstable.
On the other hand, feeling inspired to do something means you’re excited about that experience at face value. You want to do it because you want to do it, not because some external factor is threatening you with some kind of punishment.
Think about your job for a moment. Does it motivate you? Or does it inspire you? If it’s the former and not the latter, quitting might be in your best interests.
You’re ready to trade up
One important reason for deciding to leave your job involves being offered better opportunities, mindsets and experiences elsewhere. We’ll break this down into two categories: trading up to new opportunities, and trading up to new beliefs.
- New opportunities: Trading up to new opportunities is pretty straightforward. It means you’re considering looking at another position that has better pay, better benefits, greater career opportunities and development, or more relevance to your everyday life. This is pretty normal, and it’s a valid reason to want to shift your career trajectory and work somewhere else.
- New beliefs: Another form of trading up involves adopting new beliefs that serve you better than your old ones. An example of this might involve telling yourself the following: “My job was beneficial for me at one point, but I’m excited about the prospect of learning new aspects in my field of choice. I’m going to go where I feel inspired, and that means working somewhere else.”
Knowing when to quit your job is tricky, but important
The decision to make a career change is a big one, and it pays to think on it before deciding. If you need help parsing what’s right for your specific situation, we’re ready and waiting to help. Reach out to us if you think you might be considering a major professional change in the near future.
Pro-tip: If you are an employer reading this article, you should also check out our take on recruiting and retaining young talent.