We all want to pursue a new career path at some point. Whether you’ve been stuck in the same job for years, or just don’t think it’s the right fit, you might find yourself thinking about leaving for a better-paid position.
But, how do you know when it’s time to leave? When a job starts to affect your health and well-being, it’s definitely time to part company with your employer. You may not necessarily like your job or the work you do, but should you walk away from your job? It’s always a good idea to have something else lined up before making the decision to leave. It will help to prepare you financially, mentally, and emotionally for the transition.
If you’re stuck at your desk all day thinking about leaving because you hate what you do so much, it’s definitely worth looking into. While not everyone is happy with every aspect of their job all the time, it also shouldn’t be a constant source of turmoil in your life. Much depends on whether you always feel that way at work. It may be that you’re doing the wrong type of work for your skillset or personality.
Being able to recognize the signs that should change your job is important. You don’t have to feel stuck doing what you’re doing forever. But, you do have to know when it’s the right time to leave, instead of just leaving because you don’t like it.
How Will I Know When to Leave My Current Job?
We aim to provide you with a clear picture of when it’s time to leave your job for something different. Whatever the case, these signs will help to reassure you that walking away from your current employer is the right decision.
Stress and Health
Some people can’t bear the thought of going to work in the morning at a particular job. It stresses them out so much that it starts to affect their health. If the stress from your job has started to take a toll on your health, it may be time to look elsewhere. Stress can do a lot of damage to your body. This includes both emotional and physical damage.
Some signs to look out for include:
- Weight loss
- Weight gain
- Trouble sleeping
Pay attention to the warning signs of stress from your job before it’s too late. A little stress is normal in everyone’s life. But, when it starts to damage your health, it’s not worth it to stay at the same place. Here are some ways to handle a job that makes you unhappy.
No Room for Growth
You may have started in your career in an entry-level position. Perhaps you’ve moved up a little over the years. But, if you’re stuck in one position and one place, you can start to feel stagnant after awhile. It can become overwhelming to think that you’ll never have another opportunity for growth in your career. No promotions or different positions can drag out the things you don’t like even more.
If you’re ready for a challenge and your job doesn’t offer any further growth opportunities, it’s okay to leave and better yourself somewhere else.
You Don’t Want Your Boss’s Job
If your job does offer growth opportunities, that’s great! But, do you want them? Think about eventually ending up in your boss’s position if you stay with your company long enough. Is it something you would enjoy? Do you value the business itself, and what it stands for? What about the work?
If you can’t confidently say that you would be happy doing what your boss does for that same company, it may not be the right fit for you. You might want to think about what you want out of your career, and the kind of company you want to work for.
You Found Something New
Obviously, if you find a new job, it’s a clear-cut sign that you should leave your old one. Whether you’ve been actively looking or something fell into your lap, if the idea of this new job brings you happiness, you can leave your old one with confidence.
If you’ve been looking for a new job anyway, and one has finally come up, you were probably pretty set on leaving your job in the first place. But, you can officially know ‘it’s time’ when a new job comes into your life. This peace of mind can give you confidence in leaving a job that doesn’t make you happy.
As a society, we’re busier than ever before. Most places of employment are willing to accommodate their employee’s schedules to an extent. For example, if you have childcare, it’s important to have a job that can work with that schedule. You may want a more family-friendly job.
Unfortunately, some jobs don’t allow for such flexibility. If you’ve made every effort, but your job’s schedule and the schedule of your day to day life isn’t adding up, it’s okay to leave. Your personal schedule needs to be adjustable, too. But, if your career schedule can’t budge, it will never work and will cause unnecessary stress.
Your Boss’s Behavior
There are a lot of old stereotypes about ‘mean bosses.’ Most of them end up being untrue. But, in some cases, you may find yourself working for a bully. No one deserves to be pushed around or treated poorly. At the end of the day, you’re still a person who deserves respect. A stern and firm boss is different from a boss who is a bully.
If your employer belittles you or makes you feel uncomfortable again and again, there is no reason to stay in your current position. You will only continue to feel worse because it’s unlikely that they will change who they are and the attitude they carry.
You Have a Plan in Motion
One way to know that it’s time to leave your job if you have a game plan all set up. By creating this kind of plan, you’ll know exactly when to quit your current career. You can feel confident about doing it, too. You should have another job in the works or enough savings to last a while. If you’ve been trying to leave for some time, getting a plan in place can help you do so.
It’s important that you make sure you’ve thought out every possible situation of this plan. It can’t just include all positive outcomes, or you could be setting yourself up for failure.
Your Company is Failing
Sometimes, a clear sign that you should leave a job has nothing to do with you. But, you should always pay attention to your company itself. Unless you’re the owner, there is no reason to go down with the ship.
If you’re aware that your company is sinking and won’t be around for a long time anyway, you should get out while you still can. If you wait too long, you could be trapped underneath it. A company that is losing money could cut your pay or lay you off anyway. It’s better to get out on your own terms.
You Don’t Believe in the Company
Corporate culture and company morals can change over the years. Maybe you believed in what your business did once upon a time. But, companies adapt and grow and change. If those standards and the total belief systems don’t line up with yours anymore, it’s okay to leave.
Don’t feel as though you have to stick around if you’re not in alignment with the business. If you do, it can make for an uncomfortable work environment. You may even grow to resent the company and your employers.
Different belief systems don’t need to cause confrontation. But, they also don’t need to be a source of turmoil in your life. Leaving a job that doesn’t line up with your core values is an easy way to avoid that kind of turmoil.
You’re Badly Underpaid
Just about anyone with a job would probably tell you they would like more money. A raise is always at the forefront of every employee’s mind, even if you already make plenty of money. Not getting the raise you want isn’t necessarily a reason to leave a job. You can talk with your employer and discuss your options. But, if you’re being paid fairly you shouldn’t quit your job right away.
Still, there is such a thing as being badly underpaid. If you’ve talked with your boss about a pay increase and nothing changes, consider looking elsewhere. It’s easy to check online to see what others in your position are making throughout the country. Small variations are normal. But, if you see that you’re making thousands of dollars less than the average person, you don’t need to stay at that place of employment.
If you’ve lost the passion for your job, your performance can suffer. This might end up getting you in trouble at work. So, read the signs and watch your productivity. Before you have a chance to become too unproductive, make the decision to leave.
Becoming unproductive and putting out a poor performance won’t just put your job in jeopardy. It can actually lower your self-esteem and make you feel bad about yourself. Whether you’re stuck in a rut or not, putting your best foot forward is important. If you truly feel you can’t do that at your current job anymore, you’re not helping anyone by sticking around.
Your Skills Aren’t Being Used
If your boss hasn’t acknowledged your skills or considered what you have to offer your company, you’ll start to feel stagnant. When your skills aren’t being tapped into, it’s easy to question the purpose of your employment.
If you have more to offer your job than the tasks you’ve been given for quite some time, talk to management about it. If your efforts still go on ignored, it’s time to look elsewhere. Finding a job that will use your skills will benefit that place of employment and make you feel happier.
More Work for the Same Pay
If your duties have changed or increased over the years, but you haven’t seen a pay increase, that’s a problem. Promotions and changes in a position should come with some type of raise.
If you’re taking on more than ever before but don’t have the compensation for it, you can walk away. If you still like the job, talk to your boss ahead of time. Ask for a pay increase based on your work. If it’s not available you shouldn’t stay in that job too long.
Your Ideas Aren’t Valued
Everyone wants to be heard, no matter what type of company they work for. Do you regularly contribute ideas? If they go unnoticed, it can be frustrating. If they continue to go unnoticed, you could start to feel devalued and unappreciated.
Ideas from employees should always be considered and valued. You should also be acknowledged for your work. Even occasional acknowledgment of a job well done can make a huge difference. If you’re simply not being heard at work, no matter what you say or do, it’s time to look elsewhere.
You Experience Any Kind of Abuse
Harassment of any kind should not be acceptable in the workplace. A CNBC All-America Survey found that one in every five American’s had been sexually harassed at work. If you’ve experienced it, you’re not obligated to stay. A good place to start is to talk to someone in human resources. You can also take the issue directly to your employer.
But, if nothing is done about the abuse or it continues, leaving might be the best option. Don’t feel as though you have to put up with any type of harassment for any length of time. No job or career is worth feeling that way or having others treat you with that type of disrespect.
Should I Choose a New Career?
It can be scary to leave a career you’re familiar with. But, maybe you wanted to leave it in the first place because you were unhappy with the work you were doing. Boredom and a lack of passion at work are common reasons people want to quit.
If you do choose a new career, there are important things to keep in mind. One of the biggest things is job security. What does that career look like over the next 10-20 years? Choosing an industry that is seeing a lot of growth can make a big difference. You also may not want to have to go to school for a long time to get into something new if you’re re-starting your career path.
A great option is the healthcare industry. It’s booming right now, due to an aging population and technology. People will always need quality healthcare. Plus, there are many entry-level positions in the medical field.
You don’t need to go to school for 10 years to help people in healthcare. Phlebotomists, for example, are one of the most important positions in the medical industry. They draw blood that can be used for a variety of tests. You can take a 3-year degree in phlebotomy or find a local course that lasts less than a year.
Whatever new career path you consider, take the time to make sure you’ll be able to stay in it for many years to come.
Quitting Your Job for the Right Reasons
As you can see, it takes more than boredom or simply ‘not liking’ your job to have a good reason to quit. It can be difficult to stay in a career where you’ve lost your passion. But, until that lack of passion starts to affect other areas of your life, it could be worth it to stay.
It’s also worth mentioning that it’s not always a bad idea to try switching things up at your current job. Talk to your boss about what can be done differently. Maybe a new project or position would suit you better than what you’re doing now within the same company.
You also should talk to your employers if anything or anyone in your job is the cause for you wanting to leave. Many times, relational situations can get worked out. Someone can be moved to a different area. If the problem is serious, they may even need to look at the behaviors of others to determine if they should work there anymore.
We hope this guide has given you some peace of mind. The thought of leaving your job can cause you anxiety. It’s even scarier when you aren’t sure if your reasons for wanting to leave your job are valid. Now that you have some of those ideas in mind, it should be easier to make that final decision.
Here’s some advice on preparing for your first day in a new job.
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