Have you ever wondered if it’s time to quit your job? I’m sure you have, we all have.
Yes life isn’t that simple where you just pick up and leave your job, but at least you can plan for it to happen. In the next month, 6 or even 12.
I know a lot of people would rather be elsewhere than at their jobs but stay because of various factors that require them to be there like the lights bill. But sometimes staying at a dead end job causes more damage to your life than you would imagine.
Think about it. We spend at least 8 hours of a 24hr day at work. That’s more than we get to spend with our families or doing the things that we truly love doing. Those 8 hours can shape your life and way of thinking so its really important that you take the time out to look for these 7 signs.
1. No Challenge
This is my number one sign that you should quit your job. If your work is not challenging you or no longer challenging you it might be time to move on. It means you are living in a comfort zone; you are not maximizing or improving your potential. It doesn’t mean that your job needs to be hard it just means that it should be challenging enough to constantly be developing your skills.
Think of your workplace as a training ground for the next stage of your life. This is where you get to train your intellectual muscles, your leadership skills etc. Just like in training and exercise you need to keep changing, alternating and challenging yourself to improve your performance for the big game. If you do the same workouts all the time you cease to grow and you might fall short or give up when a real challenge shows up.
If your job is not challenging you it also means that you are not growing and you might be a big fish in a small pond.
2. Big Fish – Small Pond
Your work might still be challenging and giving you some of the necessary excitement to keep life interesting and spicy but are you a big fish in a small pond?
The problem with being at the top of your game is that it’s more likely to get pulled down than pulled up. This is not to be mistaken with point number one. Your job might still be challenging you and growing you a little but a rocket scientist in a toy store is a big fish in a small pond. The daily trials of dealing with his toddler customers have improved his patience threshold dramatically but his skills will be put to better use at NASA. Let’s not get confused by hubris or big egos, sometimes you have just outgrown a place and it’s time to move on.
3. You hate your boss
Most of you will think that this should have been number one. It’s natural to dislike your boss because no one likes taking orders and most bosses are bad at giving them.
The work place is like the playground, some kids are fun to play with and some not so much. Because you want to play on the jungle gym you have to get along with everyone, even the big mean kid. You have to smile at Billy the bully, greet him every time and every once in a while give him half of your sandwich to appease him and keep trouble at bay. That’s life. Same thing with your boss, you laugh at all of his jokes and do a monkey shuffle dance every time he is in the room. Again that’s life and we all do it. But what if Billy the Bully starts demanding the full sandwich and still won’t let you play on the jungle gym? Now you are hungry and not having fun. One of two things must happen – change your playground or take Billy to town the old fashioned way. Punching your boss isnt ideal so the next best thing is to find a new job. If you genuinely hate your boss (which you shouldn’t since he pays your bills) then its time to go.
Abusive relationships happen even at work.
4. The ship is sinking
You have been working at this company for 10 years now. You have seen the boom years come and go and the past 5 years have just been no bonus after no bonus. You have seen big clients leaving without a replacement and ever since the boss got divorced the company hasn’t seen any profits. There could be many other signs that your company is going under or even worse, it’s just not growing. Unless you are the captain of the ship you have no obligation to stay, you must leave with the rats. It doesn’t sound great to leave with the rats and it doesn’t say much about your loyalty but you know what they say. It’s better and easier to look for a new job with a job than without. It will get harder to get hired coming from a sinking company because the industry is worried about hiring a rotten tomato, what if YOU are the reason the company is sinking?
Unless you have a vested interest, preferably in share options don’t wait for the captains whistle to abandon ship because by then it’s too late.
5. Work stress becomes physical
I once had a job at a local digital agency. Besides not fitting in with the culture i was constantly stressed about my work the quality and quantity of which never seemed to satisfy my boss. I came in early, stayed late and took work home. I lost a lot of weight and started having constant migraine headaches. One morning i was driving to work, tired, stressed and sleepy. The car in front of me applied brakes, i saw the brake lights come on but somehow my brain just did not register “brake Light”. That was the last week i worked at that place because no salary or career is worth my health and physical wellbeing especially with the whole mortality thing.
Is your job causing you mental and physical stress? The after effects of which will be there long after the pay check is gone?
6. Your ideas are not being heard
The best solution is to speak louder, improve your communication and leadership skills and make sure that you are being heard. This is some solid good advice but sometimes no one just cares about your ideas. They are either ignored or taken without due credit being given. You have tried everything including talking to your managers and attending various courses about taking charge. It’s probably time for a change. Sometimes if you have stayed somewhere for too long you would have been placed in a box with extremely high walls. Perhaps in the beginning you weren’t strong enough but now you have grown but it’s too late because you are in a box.
Go somewhere else and make sure you don’t end up in a box.
7. Illegal/Unethical activity
If you have been asked to remove some zeros from some cheques then it’s time to go. If your company is asking you to do something illegal it’s totally not worth the risk. It might be hard to report suspicious activities especially if you have no proof or don’t want to end up in the morning news. We are not all heroes and that’s perfectly okay, even though doing nothing is as good as doing something. If you are uncomfortable with any activities in your environment, best to just walk away and claim ignorance if ever things go pear shaped. Well actually its best to report to some authorities but next best to walk away and not get involved.