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Time to Quit Your Job

This article was written by in Career and Work. 4 comments.

How do you know when it’s time to quit your job? I’ve left jobs before, whether it was because it was time for me to do something else or because it was due to a “mutual agreement to move in separate directions.” But how do you know if you’ve stayed too long in a less-than-ideal situation?

Here are the tell-tale signs, according to Jeanne Sahadi.

* You have a lot on your mind, not just work. Other possible things on your mind: any one of the various websites you maintain, or, blogging on any one (or more) of the websites.

* Things change, not to your advantage. For example, your department personnel shifts majorly but you’re not immediately promoted and given more responsibility.

* Your boss takes you for granted. Perhaps “Good job!” and occasional high-fives are not enough to make you feel appreciated.

* You pigeonhole yourself. It can be disconcerting to think you’d have to start at the bottom somewhere else when you’ve already put in a number of years into a job that’s not getting you anywhere.

* Your mood ranges from angry to angrier. I personally have never experienced in the workplace, other than frustration at management. I can’t say I get angry — what’s the point? It doesn’t solve anything.

* You feel like hell. Life should make you happy for the most part. If the job situation is so bad it causes you emotional harm, it may be time to change the situation.

Because the trouble with waiting – to vest, to retire, to get promoted – is that it doesn’t always pay off. There’s nothing stopping employers from letting you go five minutes before you reach your goal. And the terms of your exit will be theirs, not yours.

The Career Planning Guide on offers similar signs: Your job is making you sick; you find yourself being marginalized; you’ve outgrown your job; you receive a better offer elsewhere; and, work is interfering with family responsibilities. The same website offers resources for when you do decide to move on.

Question for those who have made the decision to move on from a decent job that was causing unhappiness: What made you decide to Just Do It™?

Updated February 6, 2012 and originally published July 27, 2005.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

avatar 1 Anonymous

Any time I left a job, it was basically because I just couldn’t stand being there anymore. As you’ve said, life should make you happy, and since you spend the majority of your waking hours at work, being in a place that makes you miserable isn’t worth it. Especially if it’s just a “job” and not something that is advancing your career. So, if you’re miserable, move on. That’s what’s great about life. If you don’t like something, you always have the option to do something else.

avatar 2 Anonymous

I just recently left a job after nearly 10 years in the computer software industry. (Which equals about 70 years in normal working life?) It was for a number of reasons, including several listed in the above post: Lack of interesting challenge, no career momentum, ocassional anger (I had a lot of direct client contact in my position – not good). I held on in my job until I was about to enter graduate school full time. I start classes next week. I was able to arrange my departure on my own terms, choosing the exact date I would quit. One of the executives even provided one of my three letters of reference for grad school. I am generally positive on my work experience, but I simply stayed too long. My career mo really started to lag about 3-4 years ago. On the other hand, I earned a decent salary for a few more years which allowed me to save more money to finance my full time student status.