Leaving a job can be a hard decision to make, but sometimes it is necessary step for your well-being and your career growth. Over the last two years, record numbers of people have voluntarily resigned from their positions. Some left to seek more flexibility, others to pursue other goals or changes in lifestyle. People had a chance to do introspection and ask what gives them purpose.
With experience, we have come to recognize some signs that it might be time to start looking to your next move. You may be thinking: "I'm not sure if I am ready to quit." This is normal. The truth is, you don't always know when you are ready to leave until you actually do. But, if you are noticing any of these signs, then you are probably close. Take action!
1. You have achieved what you set out achieve.
Whether this is to gain a year of experience in a specific or see a project through to the end, you have done what you set out to do. Sometimes it can be as simple as that, and you are ready to move on to new challenges. Other times, it takes longer than expected, and you need to take stock of where you are at. If you feel like you have accomplished everything you wanted to accomplish with this position, then it is time to look elsewhere.
2. You constantly feel burnt out, dread, and/or exhausted.
Do you feel drained of motivation? Does the thought of Monday mornings (or every workday morning) fill you with dread? Do you feel yourself dragging your feet everyday getting out of the door? I know I have been there. Whatever the reason behind this feeling of burnt out, dead, or exhaustion, you know already whether it is addressable or it is just not right for you anymore. A complete lack of job satisfaction in your current role is not productive for your long term professional life, or your mental health.
3. Your job is no longer encouraging your growth.
It might be a cliché, but for many, variety is the spice of life. Whether it is your workout routines, scenery, or work, we all crave some change once in a while. When something become too repetitive, it seizes to be a path to growth. Do you feel like you have nothing more to aspire to in your current position? Do you feel like you have exhausted your ability to grow within a role or company? Or, you might not like where the ladder is leading you? If you do not feel that there are opportunities for growth or career advancement in your professional life, it might be time to start looking for your next challenge. Life is short, your work should enrich it.
4. Your workplace has become unhealthy.
Recently, there has been trend dubbed "Quiet Quitting" floating around the Internet. Quiet Quitting is defined as working strictly within your job description, i.e. hours, tasks, projects. While the trend has gotten both positive and negative press, it is fundamentally about setting boundaries and work/life balance. These boundaries can include things like working hours, response time, extra-curricular activities, and professional relations. No one needs to put up with a toxic work environment.
If you're feeling that your workplace doesn't respect you, your work, and/or your boundaries, then it needs to be addressed immediately. Recognizing the warning signs of when you're working in an environment that makes you feel physically and emotionally unhealthy is a critical skill. It is key to prioritize your well-being.
5. It is causing you to develop bad professional habits.
Does your constantly make snide or inappropriate comments towards each other? Does that make uncomfortable, or that you need to participate in this tit for that? Do you find yourself imitating the your peers' behavior that you know is wrong? Does your current company have some unsavory practices that goes against your personal values and morals? We have all been there. Ultimately, it is question of whether your workplace leads you astray from your values and compromise your ethics. If it does, it is a sign to go on the job hunt.
6. It is hurting your quality of life and personal relationships.
Does your work affect your ability to rest? Does the stress from your workplace (especially your workplace environment), lead you to be constantly on edge in your off-time? We have all had stressful jobs, but it is those jobs where we felt constant hostility that bled into our personal life the most and were the most toxic. Or, is it simply that life events have change what you valued in company culture and your career journey. Weight the cost of staying, and make a plan.
7. You actively look for ways to avoid your job.
Did you use to love what you do and now would do almost anything to avoid the task at hand? Did you used to feel a sense of pride and personal satisfaction in your job, and now it is just dread? Maybe you used to be always present and engaged at work, and now you look for any chance to avoid it. Sometimes our subconscious has a way of telling us that it is time to move on. Whatever the case may be, if you are actively looking for ways to get out of your job, then it is probably time to leave.
This list is in no way comprehensive. There are other warning signs that it might be time to leave a job. We hope this article helps you recognize the signs early in order to have a smoother transition to your next opportunity that is professionally and personally fulfilling.
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