Often times we hold onto our jobs for too long. Sometimes it is the not-so-subtle signs you miss out on when you’re dealing with anxiety, pride or stress.
One of the most essential life skills is knowing when to leave, whether it is a job, relationship or a side hobby.
There is always a risk in making the wrong decision. If you quit too early, you’ll never know your true potential.
What would have happened if I stayed?
Every once in a while, you’ll think about what could have been if only you stuck it out a little longer. If you leave too late, you’ll live with regret and blame yourself.
How could you not see all the red flags written on the wall?
It may seem that we should rely on our intuition to guide us in these matters. But, as an anxious person, I have missed out on opportunities because I didn’t have the courage to wait for situations to unfold.
I once quit a job two months before I would have gotten promoted. I knew I was the best worker on the team and would get promoted once our department budget was approved. When it didn’t happen soon enough, my anxiety got the best of me and I quit to work for the first company that reached out to me on LinkedIn.
Often times we hold onto our jobs for too long. There are the obvious signs you should leave your job — you are switching fields, you found a a better salary elsewhere, you landed a job at the company of your dreams, etc.
But sometimes it is the not-so-subtle signs you miss out on when you’re dealing with anxiety, pride or stress.
Here are five signs that you might want to leave your job:
When You Feel Sick All the Time
Stress can have physiological effects on the body. Stress can cause constant back pain, stomach aches, sleep problems and a weaker immune system.
Are you always catching a cold or acting irritable? This may be your body telling you it is going through too much.
My first jobs out of college was toxic. I was catching a cold on and off for four months straight. I was miserable and wanted out. I wanted to quit but could not because I needed the money. It was my first job out of college and I needed the money to pay rent in Manhattan.
Quitting that job wouldn’t have been too hard if I wasn’t so prideful. I could have easily landed a lateral role at a competitor company. However, the thought of that made me feel like a failure.
I wanted a job at a prestigious company with a much better salary. I constantly imagined the conversation I’d have with my manager. I wanted to tell her that I had a much brighter future ahead of me.
Once I realized that I was sick on-and-off for all of the fourth quarter of the year — I quit without a fancy job lined up. Things turned out great in the end. In two weeks I landed an amazing role at a better company with a promotion, better company culture and salary. My only regret was not quitting sooner.
When You Can’t Use Your Vacation Days
If your job offers little flexibility to work from home or use your vacation days — you likely feel suffocated. You may feel like a slave to your job.
I used to work a full-time job where I didn’t have the flexibility to take a partial day off to go to a doctor’s appointment on a weekday. I had to find a doctor that was open on weekends.
I also couldn’t use my vacation days. My manager herself took days off around all corporate holidays. She didn’t allow anyone on our team to take those days off. After not having used many of my vacation days (and not being able to fly home to see my family all year for any holidays) I asked to take off one day off around New Year’s to attend a friends’ wedding. She denied my request. Needless to say — I quit shortly after.
Accepting a job at a company shouldn’t be an either-or situation. Either you work at this job or you see your family on holidays. Ideally there should be work-like balance.
When You Don’t Fit In the Workplace Culture
This seems like a trivial reason to quit a job.
It is a blessing to have a job, especially in this economy. However, we spend more time at work and with our coworkers than we do with our family members and pets.
It is important that we like where we work and who we work with. Workplace culture is very important, especially in small companies.
I once worked at a small company where I was too different. All my coworkers were the same gender, grew up in the same area, went to the same college, had the same major and found their spouses before they had to go online dating. I little little in common with them despite how much I tried. My life experiences just made me think and act different.
For a while I pushed the feeling of not fitting in aside, it felt like a silly reason to leave. Even though I had a nice challenging role, I wasn’t happy. I am a people-person and I felt there was a lack of bonding in this role. I missed working at other jobs I had where I had friend at the office who I would plan quick coffee breaks and after-work outings with.
Although I did not leave this role because I felt I wasn’t making enough friends, I wish I did take some time to reflect on how I felt being there everyday.
Humans are social animals. They like to connect. If they are in a situation where they aren’t connecting, they may feel isolated.
When You’re Sad on Sunday’s
If you are living each week anxiously awaiting for Friday and dreading Sunday’s, you might want to rethink your job. It is normal to have the Sunday Scaries, but if you really dread the Sunday’s before you have to go to work, there’s a problem.
I remember not being able to enjoy a Sunday on a three day weekend vacation because I was dreading going to work on Monday. I felt guilty taking a Friday off and was imagining the feeling I’d get when I open my Inbox on Monday morning.
Mondays are always going to be hard for me. I am not a morning person, so each Sunday night I get a little anxious that I have to adjust my sleep cycle again. In hindsight, I recognize that the dread I felt on Sunday’s for one particular job was more than normal.
If you feel that you dread Sunday’s too much, despite trying self-care tactics, such as yoga, meditation and eating healthy, then you should evaluate why you feel this way. Look within and figure out if there is anything you can do to salvage the situation — or if you should leave.
When the Company Isn’t Doing Well
When a company or industry, isn’t doing well and lay offs or a company shut down are quite possible, employees often have a scarcity mindset. The company culture becomes toxic.
I once worked in a dying industry (corporate retail). The company was full of constant restructures and rounds of layoffs. People were also constantly quitting because they felt anxious they’d lose their job at any time.
Not only were the companies on hiring freezes, meaning each person was doing the work of two, the office culture was unnecessarily catty. There was a dog-eat-dog atmosphere. People would constantly frame their coworkers and throw them under the bus in order to get in good graces with their manager. They falsely believed that in the event of a layoff in their team — their managers would save them. They would pick them over their counterpart.
Little did they know that layoffs don’t work that way. Or maybe they do. But, that’s just how some people react to job insecurity.
Deciding where you should leave a job before the company shuts down is a tricky dilemma — if you work at a company that shuts down, you may get a decent severance package. If you quit too soon, you leave with nothing. Of course, this doesn’t take into account your personal goals and what else might be going on in your life.
These are just some reasons why you might leave your job. Ultimately, it is up to you to evaluate the pros and cons of leaving. There is no clear cut answer as to when or why you should quit your job. This is going to be dependent on your personal and financial situation, as well as your own outlook on life.