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You had another bad day at work, and once again you find yourself asking, “Should I quit my job?”
But something holds you back from stepping into your boss’s office and giving your two week’s notice. Then a great conversation with a colleague or a pat on the back from your manager gets you back into your daily routine.
But the next day the same feeling comes over you, and you’re wondering once again whether you have good or bad reasons to quit your job.
Should I quit my job? 7 signs the time has come to move on
If you’re waffling on whether you should stick with your 9 – 5, here are seven signs it could be time to move on.
1. You’re longing to travel the world
If you truly want to travel the world but your job is getting in the way, it could be time to leave your office job to freelance or go remote. I quit my job because I was tired of feeling bad about my life a little more each time a photo of a travel blogger doing beach yoga popped up on my Instagram feed. I used to ponder, “Why can’t my life be like theirs?’ whenever another #livingmybestlife photo was posted. That wanderlust made each passing day feel like more of a grind.
For many people, leaving a job to travel the world while making money is still a fantasy. But traveling gives you a chance to explore the world as well as an opportunity to consider a career you actually love. For me, the risk to quit my job, become a freelancer, and travel paid off, so I’d encourage you not to waste any more time doing a job that doesn’t bring you any happiness. Remember you’ve got only one life to live, so use it well!!
That being said, before taking the plunge, first, it’s important to ask yourself:
- Do I simply need a new job?
- Can I take an extended vacation instead?
- Can I take a sabbatical from work for a few days or weeks?
- Do I have enough money saved up to travel long term?
- Do I have a way to earn money while traveling?
The answers to these questions will decide if you should or shouldn’t give up on your current gig.
2. Your job is taking a toll on your mental and physical health
Your job is detrimental to your physical and mental health. Maybe it’s your role that doesn’t allow flexibility or a toxic boss blaming you for things that aren’t your fault. You feel stressed at work, and you come back home angry or crying.
If your job is hampering your well-being, it’s a sure sign that it’s time to get out. It’s not worth sacrificing your life and health for an employer who doesn’t care if you’re overwhelmed.
However, if you can’t quit due to financial reasons or family responsibilities, at least explain your situation to your boss. They might provide you the resources you need to improve conditions.
Set clear work-life boundaries and keep looking for a better job. And in the meantime, strike up a meditation practice to help you find calm during this stressful time.
3. You plan to freelance
You dream of being your own boss and work from home in your pajamas. No one is breathing down your neck, and you have full control over your time. If you have the zeal to achieve and a healthy emergency fund to get you through the first three months, freelancing could be the answer to your prayers.
Under no circumstances, though, should you quit your job immediately without a clear plan in place. Asking yourself these questions can help you figure out if freelancing could be right for you.
- Do I have a robust network of clients?
- Is it better to test the waters before leaving my job?
- Do I have what it takes to become a freelancer?
- Am I ready to deal with an irregular income?
- Can I meet tight deadlines?
If any of these questions scared you away, maybe you should stick to your job until you’re ready for the common problems that freelancers face.
4. You have another job lined up
One of the most apparent signs you should quit your job immediately is if you have another, hopefully better position lined up. Before you quit your current job though, make sure you have an offer letter from your new employer.
And prepare what you’ll say to your current boss so you don’t burn any bridges. You might even help your boss find a replacement so you don’t end up with a bad reference in this world of quick communication.
5. You fear going to work every morning
Sure, attending a 9 a.m. Monday sales meeting after your birthday weekend is a major buzzkill. And dealing with post-vacation blues is definitely challenging. But let me tell you, these are bad reasons to quit your job, since it’s totally normal to feel disappointed going back to work after a holiday.
But if even thinking about your job makes you cringe, it might be time to pack up your desk. You might also have reached the point of burnout if you feel enormous freedom when the weekend rolls around but dread returning to the office at its end.
That said, it could be worth talking to your boss or HR manager before making a move. They might help resolve your issues. Maybe all you need is a promotion or better treatment at the workplace. But if even improving your office environment doesn’t help, it could be time to mix things up and seek out a work-from-home job instead.
6. Your friends are sick of hearing you moan about your job
You’re out with your school friends. The conversation ranges from high school crushes to fantasizing about an exotic beach vacation when you change the subject as usual to your dead-end job.
Now you’re well into a flow of consciousness tirade about your boss, colleagues, or toxic working conditions. Your friends exchange glances, wondering who should tell you your statute of limitations is up on complaining about this same issue day in and day out.
If you’ve tried your best to improve your present job situation, but still all you do is talk about how much you hate your job, you know what you have to do.
7. You dedicate a lot of time Googling “Should I quit my job?”
Your browsing history is filled with articles titled, “Should I quit my job if it makes me unhappy,” “what to do when you hate your job,” “how to know if you are in a wrong job.” Each article you click on shouts at you that it’s time to move on.
You relate to all of it, but close the tabs telling yourself you’re just having a bad day or week. You head to work again only to Google the same questions the next day. Looking for such posts on a regular basis is in itself a sign you’ve outgrown your job.
When is the best time to quit your job?
If you’re experiencing any of these red flags, it could be time to move on professionally. But before quitting, make sure you have another job lined up or at least an alternative career plan. Check your emergency fund and estimate the number of days you can get through without a new source of income. Consider all the downsides and risks before calling it quits.
Knowing you want to quit and actually quitting are also two very different things. It took me months to pluck up the courage to resign from my last job. I was nervous to jump into the unknown. Ultimately though, overcoming my fear of quitting turned out to be a great decision for my career, health, and personal life.
As they say, the only way out is through, so confront the issues you’re having at work and come up with a plan for dealing with them. Even though it might be hard at first, you’ll ultimately feel a giant weight has been lifted from your shoulders.