How to Know When It’s Time to Quit Your Job
It’s a tale as old as time: you work a job that you don’t really like, but it pays the bills—and you spend as much time doing actual work as you spend trying to decide whether to stay or go.
You’re not the only one.
Having a job is just a part of everyday life, unless you’re one of the lucky few with a massive inheritance or a serious attachment to your mum. The majority of us get up, get dressed and spend a fair portion of our day prioritising the needs of a company or business that often doesn’t belong to us.
If that sounds dismal, that’s because it might be
Did you know that more than half of UK workers are unhappy in their current jobs? The reasons for this are endless, but highlights include what you might expect—low pay, few opportunities for advancement or simply just finding it boring.
Spending so much time every week doing something that you’re not passionate about, or even remotely interested in, can take a significant toll on your wellbeing after a while. So much, in fact, that you may be thinking about switching careers and searching for something that brings you a little more fulfilment.
Sound like you? Next time you force your way through a pointless email, keep an eye out for any of the following feelings.
1. You’re stagnating in your role
Part of the appeal of a career for many is personal development, feelings of achievement and pride. These are the sort of things can keep you going and give you a sense of satisfaction, even if it’s work you’re not passionate about.
When you’ve reached the top floor of opportunity at your company, or if you come in on the ground floor and find there’s nowhere to go, it’s easy to lose any drive or motivation. It’s natural to need some sort of goal to work towards.
So why not look for a job that truly means something to you? It may sound like an unachievable dream, but believe us, the jobs are out there. Whether that’s working for a charity or pursuing a creative route, it’s all about finding a job that will continue to drive you.
2. You’re stagnating because you’re complacent
Apathy is a bad thing to feel about any major part of your life—especially your career. If you don’t care enough about your position to excel at it and work on your development, despite there being opportunities for it, look out. You’re probably complacent and it’s probably not doing you any favours—now or in the long run.
Think about the things that excite you. Are you passionate about animals? Technology? Arts and culture? The more you care about the core purpose of your job or company, the less complacent you’ll be in the long run.
3. You realise they don’t know your worth
Getting respect and feeling like a valuable part of your company isn’t a bonus you should beg for—it should be built into your position. To spend all your time and energy on work and not be acknowledged is draining. What’s the point of giving something your all when your value and contribution aren’t recognised?
Nobody wants to feel expendable. Your time and effort are important, and you deserve to feel that way.
4. You dread each and every workday
You brush your teeth, get into bed, turn off the lights and as you look at the ceiling, you whisper: ‘I don’t want to work tomorrow’.
These feelings aren’t normal, and not something you should be suffering through just to stay financially afloat. Instead, focus on finding a career that you’re excited to be a part of. That way, your work becomes less of a chore and more of a calling.
5. You notice that it’s taking a toll on your health
When you’re wiping away the nose gunk from your thirteenth cold this year, it may be with a white tissue, but that’s a huge red flag. You can’t physically sustain staying at a job that breaks you down physically or prevents you from taking care of yourself.
While you may think you’re killing it by working insanely long hours and throwing away your personal life, get real—you’re not.
Doing your best work requires being in your best condition. Physically and mentally. If your current employer doesn’t allow space for that or understand its value, it may be time to make a change.
6. You daydream about quitting
Not wanting to be at work is a normal feeling to have—we all think that on occasion. However, if you sit at your desk visualising the moment when you can flip it over and leave with a bang, or dreaming of starting your own bakery to the point that you’re drooling into your keyboard, watch out. You can only put off what you want for so long. Making changes might be more of a necessity than a choice.
Thinking about it is easy, doing it is hard
Okay, so you feel some—or all—of these things. You’re going to quit your job. Easy, right?
Nothing is ever that easy.
The scariest part about quitting isn’t the act of leaving that dreary office behind. For most of us, it’s the fear of what’s going to come next. Job hunting, interviews and making sure you can put food on the table in the meantime. Where are you going to find the next job, and how?
Keep your previous experience in mind when you begin your job search. Look out for characteristics in a company that will solve for the issues you had before and keep you from going down that same miserable road.
You’re not just on the hunt for a new way to pay bills—you want a position that can bring more joy to your life. Or, at the very least, bring you some fulfilment.
Get yourself battle ready
When you’ve found a job that you’re hungry for, don’t miss out on account of a weak CV. Make sure your previous experience is highlighted in way that catches the eye of any hiring manager. Remember, you’re the next essential member of their team. You want to give them something that showcases that.
If you’re stumped on how to do that, consider using a CV template that does the legwork for you. Check out the Career Improvement Club, where you can find eye-catching templates (like these professional CV examples).
Thinking of a job in the charity sector? Then these charity-specific CV and cover letter templates might be a good place to start. There’s no room for error when it comes to catching the job of your dreams.
Life is too short to spend staring at the clock waiting for the day to go by. Don’t waste another day at a job that doesn’t add anything but strife to your life.