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9 Signs You Need to Leave Your Job

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There are many signs you need to leave your job, but it can be hard to know when to quit. Here are 9 tell-tale signs you need to quit your job.

How many jobs have you had during your lifetime? I’m on my 15th. Some were great; others sucked, and most of them were somewhere in the middle. The question of whether or not you need to leave your job isn’t always a fun one. It may be due to a possible bump in salary that a new job can provide, which is great, or it could be because you feel your current job is soul sucking.

Regardless of the reason, it’s important to be aware of the signs that it’s time to leave your job. The last thing you want is to stay in a job that will take you nowhere. However, you also don’t want to quit your job for the sake of quitting. With that in mind, if you think it’s time to make a change, here are nine signs you need to leave your job – in no particular order.

1. You Don’t Believe in the Purpose of the Company

 

What’s the first thing you think of when it comes to your employer? Are you proud to work for them? Or, do they make you feel like you work for the mafia? You owe it to yourself to ask, and answer, the question honestly.

I’m not talking about whether or not your job is fulfilling (though that may also be a reason to quit your job). I’m asking whether you really, truly stand behind the purpose, drive and vision of your employer.

Personally speaking, when I saw an employer did not want to truly help clients with their finances, that was a tell tale sign that I needed to make a move. Ask yourself what that thing is for you and answer it.

2. You’re A Number…at Best

 

Let’s face it, most if not all of us are simply numbers when it comes to the ‘the man.’ It’s largely our responsibility to break through the noise to make ourselves known, so we’re not simply a number that few know.

However, what should you do when there is little opportunity to do even that? Ask yourself some of the following questions:

  • Does your boss spend more time trying to impress his/her boss than giving you opportunity?
  • When was the last time you received a simple “Thank you” for going above and beyond?
  • How often are you criticized in public for the sake of pure negativity?
  • How much time are you given to grow yourself through either education, training or job shadowing?

There may be other questions to ask, but you get the point. If just being a number sounds appealing, then it may be time to leave your job.

3. You Get Physically Ill Walking into the Building

 

It should go without saying that if you get physically ill when you walk into your job, then it might be time to get a new one. Unfortunately, this is more common that you might think; a recent study shows that almost 80 percent of people feel physical symptoms of stress tied to their employers.

In all fairness, I’m not talking about a once in a while type of thing, but rather, that you regularly get ill when you walk into your job. No job is worth that kind of stress as your health is far more important.

4. You Don’t See A Future for Yourself

 

In most cases, a job should lead to something. Whether you create that yourself or the opportunity is provided for you, you need to be able to see a future for yourself with your employer. If not, you have to ask yourself why you’re with the employer.

The lack of a future can play itself out in many ways – from a boss who won’t give you room to grow, to job freezes and more. Ultimately, it’s your superiors’ job to help grow the company. One key way to do that is by growing employees who can then give birth to new opportunities for the company. If that’s not happening, it’s possible that you’re stuck in a job that won’t go far, and you may want to start looking outside the company.

5. You’ve Lost Your Drive

 

Closely connected to not seeing a future for yourself is the possibility of losing your drive. It’s easy to give into the thought you don’t have the skills or drive needed to succeed or that you can’t do anything else; don’t give into that belief as it can mentally wear on you.

You do have what’s needed, you just need to change your scenery and change the story. No one else will do it for you, so it’s time to take action for yourself. When you don’t, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that you can’t find success. Life is far too short to feel stuck in a job.

6. Your Company Won’t Budge on Benefits

 

Pay is and should be the ultimate reason for staying in a job. Pay is a reflection of how much an employer values you and it should be close to where you see yourself.

That being said, benefits rank as an incredibly close second to salary. I think it could be argued there are certain instances where benefits are more important than salary – especially if it helps foster a better work-life balance or mental well-being, not to mention helping you earn even more at your job.

If there’s a benefit you want, go to your Human Resources area and ask for it. It’s their job to serve you. In some cases, they may not be able to help you, but the last thing you want to see is them just flat out tell you “No” without an explanation.

7. You’re Bored at Your Job

 

Noticing a trend here? If you’re bored at your job on a regular basis, that may be a sign to punch out for good. The days are far too long, but when you add regular and consistent boredom into the equation, those make the days longer.

Boredom has an array of causes; from your boss not challenging you with new tasks to you not taking the initiative to learn something new in your downtime. If your boss balks at giving you new and challenging tasks it’s time to look elsewhere for a job – assuming you’ve done all you can to grow yourself in that role of course.

8. Your Boss Lords Their Role Over You

 

I covered this somewhat in #2, but does your boss like to lord the ‘power’ or authority of his or her position over you? Push you around? Withhold opportunities for growth? Publicly criticize you? Or, are they a part of the team encouraging and challenging everyone to grow?

I’ve had both types of bosses, and you likely have as well. The former is not someone enjoyable to work for, and often makes life more difficult than it needs to be. Again, life is too short to be in a situation like that and I would wish the situation of a small-minded, power-hungry boss on no one.

Before you start looking elsewhere, give your boss the benefit of the doubt. Go to him or her and express your concerns. Maybe you’re misreading them, or they’re going through a rough patch personally. However, if they tell you to suck it up and get over your feelings…well at least you have your answer.

9. It’s A One-Way Street Out

 

This is a no-brainer. Does there seem to be a constant stream of individuals leaving your employer? Turnover is inevitable in most any company, but does it seem to be a constant exodus out the front door? Do new employees come in saying they’ve heard stories about how turnover is high?

Those are clear signs you may need to leave your job, especially if you’re experiencing some of the other factors already mentioned.

There are many signs you need to leave your job, but it can be hard to know when to quit. Here are 9 tell-tale signs you need to quit your job.

One Word of Caution

 

Leaving your job is not something to be taken lightly. However, it’s much needed in certain circumstances. One thing I’d caution you against is simply quitting your job because you think it’d be fun to work for yourself. We see people who run their own business and think anyone can do it. As an entrepreneur, I can tell you that anyone can work for themselves, but that doesn’t mean that everyone should work for themselves.

I love working for myself but it’s not for everyone. It takes a lot of hard work. If you’ve started your own business on the side and it’s growing, great! You very well may have something to launch. However, don’t view starting your own business as a solution to not being happy in your job as the problems may only follow you and the last thing you want to do is leave your job without the proper preparations and end up in worse trouble.

 

What are some other signs you need to leave your job? What is the top thing you look for in an employer and is a deal breaker if they don’t offer it? How many jobs have you had in your lifetime?

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more.

4 Comments

  • “One thing I’d caution you against is simply quitting your job because you think it’d be fun to work for yourself.” Thank you for adding this, John! It’s so important to have a plan before you actually take the steps of leaving an employer. Nowadays it seems like employers have a very difficult time getting people in and keeping them on board, so there’s no reason to rush out the door.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Of course, and completely agreed. A good job isn’t something to sneeze at, especially if they treat you well. Working for yourself should (generally speaking) should be something that you grow into/discover, not a parachute in case you don’t like your job.

  • Jason Butler says:

    I gave myself 3 years to be at my current job before I would make a huge decision about my future. I’m 2 years and 4 months in and I’m not sure if I can make it til 3. While the job is still decent, we merged with another university and things are messed up. I’m definitely a number at this job and the chance to move up is basically non-existent. I’m not too worried though. Things will work themselves out.

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