You know your job backwards and forwards and you’ve achieved some major accomplishments. You’ve worked on some great projects and perhaps you’ve even been promoted along the way. But for a while now you haven’t been happy and you’re not sure if you’re just in a funk or if the time has come to quit your job.
How do you know when it’s time to quit your job and can you ever stay in a job too long? What are the signs that it’s time to quit your job and move on?
Staying in a job for too long can have a negative impact on you and a detrimental effect on your career. At the very least you can lose motivation and enthusiasm if you’re staying for the wrong reasons. Not only this, staying in a job for the sake of it when deep down you’re no longer committed can also have a negative impact on your confidence.
So, how can you tell that it might be time for a change and what are the signs that it’s time to quit your job beyond the normal general feelings of unhappiness?
Here are 5 common tell- tell signs that it might be time to quit your job.
1. You don’t see any room for development and you feel like you’ve stopped learning
One of the top reasons people leave their jobs is lack of career development opportunity. It can be difficult to stay motivated at work when there are no opportunities to continue learning and developing.
You might have already asked to be involved in new projects or to expand your remit and take on more responsibility. But if these options just aren’t viable, or you’ve been moved from pillar to post into projects that offer little or no opportunity for any real growth, this might be a sign that it’s time to consider your options. You might want to think about expanding your horizons beyond what your current company can offer you.
2. You no longer see a career trajectory or a way forward that inspires you
Your career doesn’t have to be a straightforward path, it can be full of twists, bends and turns and some of the most successful people definitely didn’t follow conventional “career paths”.
But however much of a rollercoaster your career ends up being, you’re more likely to feel engaged in your work and satisfied in your job when you look around and see people and jobs that inspire you. If you’re looking around in your organisation and there’s nothing that makes you think “ that looks interesting” or “ I’d like to do that at some point” or “ I’d love to learn more about that,” chances are, you’re in the wrong place.
3. You just don’t feel like part of the team anymore, no matter how hard you try
We spend a lot of time at the office, so it makes sense to want to get on with your colleagues. But what if this isn’t the case with your team and no matter what you try, nothing seems to resolve the issue.
Perhaps when you joined the company you had a great boss, you got on well with your colleagues and you felt like part of a team. But since then, you’ve got a new boss, most of your previous team have left and the culture has changed drastically. Either way, you’ve started to feel increasingly isolated.
Things change and the ability to adapt to change is a critical skill that you need to develop if you’re going to have a successful career. But given that on average we spend a third of our week at work ( for some this figure’s even higher), it makes sense to want to spend this valuable time with people who you get on with, at least on a professional level.
If things have changed to the point where you no longer feel comfortable and worse still you feel isolated and lonely more often than not, it might be time to start thinking about finding another job.
While workplace loneliness is something that most of us will encounter at some point in our careers, the truth is, if you’ve done everything you can to address or improve the situation, but the problem is persisting long term, finding a new job might do you more good than you think since studies have shown that feelings of loneliness and isolation can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke.
And let’s face it, great work involves a great team and collaboration, if this is never going to happen where you are, then you might want to move on.
4. You spend more time moaning about your job than actually doing it
There are those people in every company that constantly moan. No matter what the situation is, whatever the circumstance, they will find something to moan about.
When you hate your job, you might be tempted to join the club. It might start as a small flirtation, a comment here and there, but before you know it, you find yourself letting rip at just how terrible this place is at every opportunity you get.
And why not, after all, it makes you feel better, you knew this place was no good and finally, you’ve found other people who agree, they get you.
The problem is negativity, moaning and complaining rarely resolve the issues. And as for those nice feelings of release, because you’re no longer bottling everything in, it’s a temporary high.
Being seriously negative at work is more than just bad for your career. After all, when was the last time you heard your boss resound “ they’re always so amazingly negative, they should get a promotion!”, not likely.
While engaging in negative conversations and complaining about your job might seem like a minor misdemeanour, there are some serious reasons to stop.
Words have an impact, on you and on anyone else involved in the exchange.
MRI scans have shown that even just looking at negative words can lead someone to feel more depressed. Not only this, negative words spoken in anger can interfere with the decision-making centres of the frontal lobe and cause you to act irrationally! (It’s no wonder people talk about going into a blind rage! )
If that isn’t bad enough, negative thinking can be self-perpetuating. Being negative, and surrounding yourself with negativity is also bad for your health. It can increase your stress levels, lead to poor sleep and cause anxiety.
So, if you’re spending more time complaining about your job than actually doing it, and if you can’t seem to find anything positive to say, yet there’s always something to moan about, then it might be time to rethink your options and consider finding a new job or at least doing something more productive than having a moan.
5. You’re In A Toxic Work Environment
There are some things which can make a work environment extremely difficult to handle and sometimes, it’s definitely not you, but it’s your job.
Workplace incivility has been described by McKinsey as “ The accumulation of thoughtless actions that leave employees feeling disrespected—intentionally ignored, undermined by colleagues, or publicly belittled by an insensitive manager ”
While research shows that such environments are damaging to individuals, leading to poor performance and high turnover and is therefore not good for business, unfortunately, there are some places where you’ll find this toxic culture.
But how do you know you’re in a toxic workplace?
From, tyrannical bosses to bullies at the top, there are lots of things to look out for which might signal a toxic work environment. Some of these include
- Bullies are everywhere and they run the show
- You can’t get recognised or promoted no matter what you do
- Your boss is a tyrant
Any of this sound familiar,? then it might be time to start weighing your options because a toxic work environment can affect your health and can lead to stress, overwhelm, lack of sleep and much more.
If you’ve been unhappy in your job for a long time and some of these signs ring a bell then it’s time to get serious about your next career move and start thinking about what you want long term. If you can relate to most of them, then taking the time to find a job you actually enjoy and quitting your job might not be such a bad idea after all.