How do you know when it’s time to quit your job? Depending on who you ask, some people will tell you that you’re lucky to even have a job, so don’t even think about quitting!
This to me is the wrong advice. You should think about quitting your job and change in employment, especially if it’s become unbearable, or if you don’t see a future in your current position. Saying that, sometimes you need to stay in an un-fulfilling job just to make ends meet, but instead of being complacent in something that doesn’t make you happy, it is actually important to question yourself periodically because complacency can be very detrimental to your career. Why? You know how recruiters don’t like to see gaps in employment? The same thing can be true if you’ve stayed in one position for too long.
Do I want to this for the rest of my career?
Ask yourself this question: “Can I see myself here in 5 years? 10 years?” Personally, I’ve gotten to the point in some jobs where I was asking myself if I could see myself coming back to my desk after lunch.
Sometimes you simply outgrow an employer and when that happens is different for everyone. You can however, leave in a sensible, calculated way. For example, before you make the move, make sure your CV is up to date or start job searching well before you decide to leave. Oh, and never, never, never quit emotionally. Never. And if you do, make sure that a) you have a serious cushion set up, and B) you have a new job lined up.
That said, emotional resignations are not recommended as you don’t want to burn any bridges (even though it might seem like a great idea when you’re super angry).
I feel that these are all valid reasons to leave a job, even one that pays well:
1. It leaves you drained and unfulfilled
2. You are spinning your wheels
3. Lack of passion
4. You don’t buy in to the philosophy.
Breaking up with your employer
A job is very similar to a relationship in the way that you can draw many of the same parallels between your employer as with personal relationships that you might have with friends and lovers. In fact, the employee/employer relationship is inherently one of great dysfunction, but that’s another post altogether. Seriously, does anyone see their boyfriend/girlfriend for 40+ hours a week? There is one major difference between a relationship and an employer:
Your employer doesn’t care if you leave because you are replaceable.
Sounds like sociopathic behavior, right? Indeed it does. Have you ever seen The Corporation? I highly recommend it.
There are moments when the disillusionment will pass and your situation will become bearable, or what you’re willing to put up with with won’t seem so bad, for awhile. It will pass and you might feel disillusioned again or worse, the feeling might get stronger. One of the worst feelings for me is that fulfilling work is passing me by because the current work is so soul crushing that it starts to replace feelings that once were desires and goals. In other words: my motivation to break out and escape. When I feel like this, I know in my heart that a change is necessary. In my current job, I know that I’m no longer the person I was when I was first hired. And I know that the job didn’t change me but forces outside of the job did. Like life, and relationships and my outlook on the world. These are things about me that I feel are no longer compatible with my job. Coupled with the fact that the passion has dissipated, it’s therefore time to move on from it.