10 Signs It's time to leave your job and find a new one

No matter how long you work for a company, leaving is never easy. Just the thought of saying goodbye to a familiar team and work environment is scary. Not to mention the pressure associated with applying and interviewing for a new job somewhere else. 

But ending your time at an unfulfilling job can be freeing. And that freedom outweighs the stress of remaining in a place where you can’t grow. 

If you’re on the fence about whether to go or stay, read on. The signs in this post will help you come to a conclusion. 

1. You’re not working to your fullest potential

Not working to your fullest potential is a common refrain among those debating whether or not to quit their current jobs. Coasting through work everyday may sound great, but it’s really a recipe for dissatisfaction. And it’s understandable, especially if you spent a good amount of time and money building your skills. 

Take time to consider why you're not being challenged in the workplace. Some contributing causes could include:

  • A supervisor who’s ignorant about the skills, knowledge, or experience you have. If this is the case, have a meeting with your boss. Express how you feel regarding your workload. You may need to remind them of your qualifications and ask for more responsibility.

  • Your team enables workload imbalance. Schedule a meeting with your superior and describe the imbalances you observe. Let them know you are eager to even the load and assume more responsibility. 

  • You’re stuck in your comfort zone. Sometimes it’s easier to recognize the shortcomings of others before recognizing our own shortcomings. In this case, it’s time for you to find creative ways to exercise your talents in the workplace.  

For each issue, there is action you can take to try and improve your situation. If you’ve gone through the above list, tried the remedies, and still don’t feel challenged at work, this may be your sign to leave. 

2. You feel like you can’t catch a break

It’s difficult to find satisfaction in your job if it follows you everywhere like a dark cloud. You may find yourself in this situation if you:

  • Don’t take breaks. If you can’t find time to take a break at all, you’ve got a problem on your hands. You have to take at least three-five to 10-minute breaks throughout your day. 

  • Stay past the end of your shift. You will exhaust yourself if you regularly leave your job late. You still need energy to keep up with your self-care, support groups, hobbies, and personal goals. 

  • Stress about work at home. Thinking about work when you’re not at work invites anxiety, stress, and resentment into your personal life. Work should stay at work. A job that consumes your thoughts and energy 24/7 is not worth it in the long term. 

3. There are difficult individuals or relationships in your workplace

It’s possible for your dream job to turn into a nightmare if you work with especially difficult people. Unfortunately, you’re likely to encounter unhelpful or unpleasant people everywhere, and you’re unlikely to be able to change them–but you might be able to reduce their effect on you. If a co-worker’s attitude in the workplace is making it hard for you to even come to work, much less get any work done, talk to your supervisor about what you can do to avoid these interactions. You may be able to cut down the amount of time you spend around these people by switching teams, shifts, or departments. 

4. You’re not appreciated

Being overlooked in the workplace is disheartening. Everyone deserves a fair share of credit for the hard work they do. You may feel undervalued if your efforts are taken for granted or if you’re underpaid based on your responsibility or skill level.  

Deep down, you know your true worth. You know all about the effort you put into your job. If you’re under-appreciated at your job, speak up for yourself. Be confident; speaking up about feeling unappreciated is a valid workplace issue. You’re not selfish or vain for wanting to be recognized. 

If nothing changes after speaking up for yourself, make peace with your situation and seek a new opportunity. It’s time you work within a culture that will appreciate, celebrate, and compensate for your efforts and successes. 

5. You clash with the company culture

Nothing stays the same forever. Just as you change and grow into a different person each day, so will your co-workers and the company itself. There may come a time where you and your company will change in ways that are incompatible with each other. 

There are countless ways this happens. Maybe company leadership changed at corporate and bad vibes or unreasonable expectations are rolling downhill, or maybe there’s just a new supervisor at your location. Maybe there’s a new competitor that’s creating pressure at your company. It’s also possible that your own values have evolved and the company’s mission no longer coincides with your own. 

Some of these changes happen a little at a time, and others all at once. However it happens, you’ll know right away when there’s a clash. At that point, there’s no reason to stay. 

6. Your values are compromised

This could stem from a change in company policies or your own changing values. However, change is not always the reason for this issue. 

A situation may arise at work that makes you feel uncomfortable or unethical. It’s not fair for your colleagues or workplace to force you to participate in something that asks you to ignore your conscience. 

Try to find common ground in this scenario to find a compromise that respects your values and satisfies the company’s financial and community obligations. If you can’t come to an agreement, it’s best to look elsewhere.

Signs you’re burned out 

The last four signs don’t usually happen on their own. They tend to show up and grow when other issues go on too long without getting better. If you regularly experience these last four work-related symptoms, you desperately need to make a change soon. 

7. You feel irritable

It wouldn't be surprising if you turned into an irritable person dealing with the issues we’ve already described. Especially if you’ve already tried to fix the problem by talking to management at your job. 

Unfortunately, giving into irritability won’t help you. It won’t motivate your co-workers to do their fair share, it won’t persuade your manager to promote you, and it won’t remove toxic people from your work. 

Just accepting the stress of your situation at work impacts your personal life negatively, too. You may lash out at your loved ones over something trivial, or snap at people you don’t even know.

Constant irritability can be a strong indicator that your chapter at your company is ready to end. 

8. You feel sick all the time

Your body does not lie about how you feel, no matter how hard your brain tries to convince you otherwise. If your peers, responsibilities, or workplace cause enough frustration to make you feel physically or mentally ill, you need to take that as seriously as any other health issue. 

You perform poorly when you are unhealthy. Find a new work atmosphere that does not have an adverse effect on your well-being. 

9. You’re unmotivated

You deserve a job that interests and challenges you. Granted, not every task is going to inspire you or help you grow. But in general, successfully doing your job day-in and day-out should at least give you a sense of satisfaction. If you reach a point where you don’t care about: 

  • The quality of your work, 

  • Your relationship with your peers, 

  • Your future with the company, or 

  • How you advance throughout your career, 

There’s no point in staying. Even if your compensation is phenomenal—if the money doesn’t motivate you to challenge or improve yourself, find a new career or company that does.  

10. You dread going to work

Realistically, not every day is going to be amazing. It’s normal for some days at any job to leave you feeling bored or frustrated. A job that’s fulfilling will invigorate you; even if some days are stressful or uneventful, the idea of returning to work each day shouldn’t feel overwhelming. 

Dread, however, is a sure sign you’ve reached the breaking point with your job. You’ll know this feeling if you have anxious, fearful or racing thoughts when you think about another day at work. You may also experience depression and physical tension. This kind of dread is typically worst right before you go to bed and as soon as you wake up. 

If this is you, trust your gut and seek a new job that excites you to come back.

How to leave on good terms

If after reading these signs you are convinced you’re ready to move on, it’s important that you leave in the best way possible. Even if your work treated you poorly, you owe it to yourself to be cordial and professional. 

Before you put in your notice of resignation, be honest about how you feel. Let your manager know that you have been feeling dissatisfied. This way they won’t be blindsided when you give in your notice to leave. Once you’re ready, give a written and verbal notice. You should give at least two weeks of notice before your intended last day. During this time, you will transition your resources and responsibilities to your successor or supervisor. 

Every ending has a new beginning

Leaving is never easy, even if the signs are loud and clear. But if leaving is the right thing to do, we can help you search for new, exciting opportunities

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