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Andrew Arkley

Should I quit my job? 5 signs it’s time to leave

starting a new job

“Should I quit my job?”. It’s a question we’ve all had to ask ourselves at multiple points in our career.

Whether it’s a casual thought about the potential of moving on, or a nagging question that occupies a large proportion of your working headspace, you’re not alone.

The decision to begin seeking a new job is a big step, and many people fear the change and uncertainty of making the leap and diving headfirst into the job application process.

Yet if you find yourself constantly worrying and asking yourself whether you should quit, this could signify something’s not right at work. 

Here’s five signs it’s time to leave your job.

1. Your bosses don’t appreciate you

Employees often need to be appreciated at work in order to thrive. A 2019 study found that 79% of employees who quit their jobs claimed that a lack of appreciation was a major reason for leaving.

It’s simple psychology that if you do something good and someone praises you, you’re more likely to repeat that behaviour.

So it’s natural that if you routinely stay late, work through your lunch break or go above and beyond for your company and don’t even get a simple ‘thanks’ in return, you’ll be less likely to bother putting the effort in.

Not only that, if your bosses tend to tell you off when you make a mistake or pick you up on the negative constantly without acknowledging the positive, this could become damaging.

Not recognising employee achievements is listed by inc.com as one of the biggest communication issues that impair effective leadership, with 63% of respondents citing this as an example of bad management.

It could lead to a vicious cycle in which you become less and less productive, and are consequently valued less and less.

Try gently broaching the subject with your boss if possible at an appraisal and tell them honestly how you feel. If they continue to ignore your positive work, it might be time to leave your job and find someone who will be grateful for you.

2. You’re bored, unstretched or not developing

A good sign it’s time to leave your job is boredom. 

Unless you’re possibly in the wrong industry or role, hopefully when you started your current job you were engaged with the work and the clients.

But perhaps now all you feel is apathy towards your daily tasks. Worst case scenario, maybe you’re dreading work.

Ask yourself what kind of tasks you do on a daily basis. Are these exactly the same as you were doing a year ago? 

What kind of tasks do you want to do? Do you get a chance to do these?

Make a list of things you bring to the company, and make a list of what you’re getting out of it. If the former list is stacked full of valuable skills and the latter is miles shorter, this suggests you’re not getting enough out of your workplace or job.

Speak to a boss about development and the possibility of doing more of what you enjoy or are good at. 

If there’s no opportunities, and you’ll still be stuck doing the same tasks you’re not happy with in 6 months, this is a sign it might be time to change jobs.

3. You hate your boss

Your negative feelings to your manager might range from mild annoyance to a whole-hearted hatred that poisons your attitude to your workplace.

Unfortunately it’s not uncommon to dislike your boss. Research from Totaljobs found that 50% of people surveyed had quit a job due to a poor relationship with their boss.

Whether it’s an opposition to their management style, or you simply dislike their personality, it’s important to diagnose why you feel this way.

Also consider whether you alone feel this way; if your whole office gripes non-stop about your boss, there’s likely something wrong with their management style.

If it’s just you complaining, maybe your attitude towards them or individual relationship with them is the problem.

Either way, a bad relationship with your boss can lead to a toxic work environment, undue stress, and could lead to you possibly losing out on pay rises or promotions you deserve.

If your relationship with them can’t be modified by an attitude check on your part, or discussing with HR and/or (gulp) the boss themselves, it might be time to leave.

4. You’ve been passed over for a promotion or pay rise

So you prepared how to ask for a pay rise for weeks, planning your arguments and points carefully – only to be rebuffed.

If your request for a raise was justified, the feeling that your employers are not paying you what you’re owed may lead to bitterness that could become all-encompassing.

Money can be a powerful demotivator, especially when you compare yourself to people doing the same role yet earning more at other companies.

If you were promised a pay rise or the opportunity to progress at a certain milestone with the company, and find yourself reaching these with no progression, this signals a problem.

First off, try talking to your boss again. See if there are valid reasons behind being denied. Also see if there are certain goals you could achieve to justify the pay rise, or if this will come at a reasonable later date.

If this doesn’t make things any better, it may be worth exploring opportunities elsewhere.

5. You’re underperforming

Many people don’t realise they’re underperforming in their role, while many try hard but fall short. 

However, if you realise you’re underperforming but lack motivation or the due care to change this, that’s a sign you should quit your job.

Signs you’re underperforming are:

  • You let mistakes and errors in your work slide
  • You feel no personal stake in the success of the business
  • You try to get away with doing the bare minimum of work
  • You feel apathetic towards your work or your colleagues

Not only is this damaging to your employer, but can be detrimental to your wellbeing as you’ll likely lack job satisfaction.

If a lack of motivation or job satisfaction is affecting you, it might be time to change jobs.

Other considerations: Should i quit my job without another job lined up?

It’s often advised against by recruiters and HR staff to quit your job without another job lined up afterwards, unless you’re in a comfortable enough financial position or career point to do so.

Or, if there are more serious issues at work that might be affecting your mental health.

Research shows that hiring managers look more favourably on someone currently in employment than out of employment. 

Also bear in mind that sometimes application processes can take months, so you’ll be in a better position if you’re earning money and racking up experience throughout this time.

Should I quit my job?: A summary

There are plenty of red flags which are great indicators for whether you should pack it in at your current job and seek greener pastures.

Staying on when you know things aren’t right could become damaging for your career progression, motivation, and could be harming the business.

So if you’ve decided to quit your job, what’s next? Well, you’ll need to get your CV sorted and dive head-first into the world of job hunting. 

Purple CV professional CV writers can create a unique CV to give you the best shot at getting lots of interviews, so you can finally play out that fantasy of handing in your resignation letter.

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