It’s not uncommon for employees to have a bad day or two -- or week. And it’s pretty common for the average person to gripe about a boss or co-worker from time to time. But how can you tell if it’s just “one of those days” or something more serious?
I’ve quit several jobs in my life. I left my first job in an epic way, tearing off my uniform and walking out of a bagel shop after a stupid dispute with a boss. I don't really recommend walking out on a job, but everyone should know when to quit. While leaving a position can present an inconvenience to your personal life, it may be the best option for your long-term satisfaction.
At my very last job I recognized that I needed to quit when my desires to become an entrepreneur overpowered my wishes for a stable paycheck. Indeed many entrepreneurs realize over and over they should leave their job but the financial security it provides often keeps them firmly entrenched. I understand this totally as I’ve been there. Save your money wisely so you can become the entrepreneur you want to be if that's your dream.
Pay attention to the following nine signals. They can help guide you in gaining clarity about whether it’s time for you to quit your job and start your next adventure.
1. You’re bored and uninspired.
Remember when you first started working at your current job? Were you full of passion and excitement each morning? Even if that wasn’t so, taking this particular job may have seemed like a good decision once because of the pay, location or opportunity for advancement.
Now you're showing up every morning feeling bored, uninspired, defeated and hopeless. I know the feeling well and have watched several people go through this. Consider if you really want to continue putting up with this job eight hours (or more) every Monday through Friday.
2. You keep promising yourself that you’ll quit.
Many people experience a day or two of feeling fed up and ready to quit that crummy old job once and for all. But take another look after a good night's sleep and keep in mind that you may have just had an extremely stressful day.
I remember the three-month period when I promised myself day after day at my web-hosting company job that I was going to quit. That position became my very last job. While working there I had become increasingly interested in starting my own business. I was making more money outside work than I was on the job. So I took the leap.
Instead of promising to quit your job every day, start being proactive outside work in making yourself presentable to the next company you'd like to work for or start transforming yourself into who you want to become.
While it’s not always easy to leave a job, putting off a promise isn’t going to help your situation either.
"I was making more money outside work than I was on the job. So I took the leap."
3. You don’t fit in.
Hopefully you have an awesome job with a great paycheck. You probably tolerate fairly well most of your co-workers. But you just don’t belong at the company. Maybe you require more structure and your current employer is a bit too easygoing -- or the opposite is true. Sometimes there might not really be anything wrong with the job itself but the company or the boss just doesn’t jibe with your morals, ethics or personality.
This is a tough situation because another job might not be any different. Think about what might happen if you reached out to your superior and tried to find a way to better fit into the current operation. If that's not an option or you can’t find a different department or team that works better for you, it could be time to go.
4. You don’t want the job your boss has.
One reason you’ve been staying put is that your current company promotes advancement. But what happens once you figure out you that don't want a managerial job like the one your boss has? If you can’t stand the idea of being in your boss's shoes, then probably you should think about getting out before your go-getter peers pass you by.
5. You don’t care for the products or services.
Forget the pay, position and all your great co-workers. If you can’t become invested in the products or services sold by your company, then how can you succeed by promoting them or working for the firm?
Remember, companies thrive on having employees who are brand advocates or ambassadors. It’s not fair to the company (or you) if you can’t get behind the products or services.
6. You have a horrible boss.
Sometimes all it takes is terrible manager to push you to the door. Why deal with someone who's demanding, incompetent, miserable, selfish, immature or controlling every single day? Unless you’re certain that this boss is going to be leaving soon, perhaps you should begin searching for a new gig.
That being said, I’ve been that boss before and all it took was one employee to tell me some of the things I was doing wrong. I was able to change -- and I still work with that same employee years later. This won't always work out this way, though. Only you can be the judge of that.
7. You’re always underperforming.
Despite your capabilities, you find yourself consistently delivering less than the job demands because you lack passion for it. Then again, you might be underperforming because the job is too big or you can’t navigate the office politics. Regardless of the situation, it’s probably a good idea to think about looking for a different job if your performance isn’t up to par.
8. You’re stressed, anxious and unhappy.
Of course you'll have those days when you wish you could just stay home and sleep in. But if that becomes a common occurrence, perhaps there's an underlying problem. Work might not always be much fun, but if you’re becoming anxious, unhappy or stressed out just from thinking about work,, then do yourself a favor and get out while you can.
9. Your skills aren’t being tapped.
If you keep being passed over for high-profile projects or promotions, then clearly someone up top hasn't realized how talented you are. Instead of wasting your potential at a place where your work isn't acknowledged or respected, find somewhere else where you might thrive.
Whatever your reason for wanting to quit, only you can determine if you really should leave. James Altucher's book Choose Yourself! Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream taught me to trust myself and take the necessary steps to live the life I truly want. Since leaving my last job, I’ve become my own boss. I'm happier than ever before. I want that sense of fulfillment for everyone.