We all have bad day’s, and let’s face it, we’ve all had a bad work week, or two! Things can get stressful, projects can go wrong and sometimes things going on outside of work can affect how you feel overall. Or perhaps you’re just plain bored at work no matter what you do. But how do you know if it’s really time to quit? How do you know you won’t have any regrets?

Life’s too short to stick around in a job that makes you unhappy, but leaving any job is a big move and the last thing you want is to regret jumping ship too soon or to become someone who bails the minute things get rocky.

After all, being able to get through tough times and deal with challenges and setbacks builds resilience, which sets you up to be more likely to succeed in the long run.

So what can you do to get through the bad times, and how do you make sure it’s the right time to part ways?

Here are 7 tips that will help when it comes to figuring out how to quit your job at the right time so you leave with no regrets.

1.Reflect and journal

Firstly, it’s important to properly identify the source of your unhappiness. Take the time to sit down and write down anything at all that’s concerning or bothering you across all aspects of your life. However big or small. The true culprit will be somewhere in there, but get it all down first and analyse later.

The act of writing these things down may in itself relieve some of the stress or tensions. Sometimes we just need to acknowledge the issue and not hide from it.

2. Take time out

If a change is as good as a rest, then rest is even better. Taking time out is critical. It will give you brain space which will make it easier to get perspective and gain clarity. Book a longer vacation if you can and if not even a couple of days here and there will still be beneficial.

Try not to spend the whole time thinking about work and instead, try to enjoy it and pamper yourself. A little TLC can go a long way.

3.   Change routine

A change is as good as a rest. Changing things up and adding variety into your normal daily or weekly routine can make a real difference to how you feel. Try going for a mid-week evening meal at a favourite restaurant, going to see a movie or visiting a friend. Sometimes, it’s the simple things that can make all the difference.

Doing this will make you happier generally and will give you things to look forward to during the work week.

4. Take on New Projects

Like changing routine, taking on new projects is a great way to challenge yourself and turn things around. Doing something new will give you the chance to learn new skills and taking on projects that utilize your strengths where you can really add value will keep your confidence up, as this can take a battering when you’re not feeling your best.

Throw yourself in and be happy for the distraction. You may find that it’s just what was missing.

5. Help others

When we are in a bad place at work, we can become self-absorbed and insular. It’s important to maintain good relationships with colleagues and not to pull away, which can be hard when you feel rubbish.

One way of doing this is to reach out and offer to help colleagues who need support. A lot of fulfillment can come from helping others, even if your own issues don’t resolve, you’re likely to feel better for doing this.

You’ll also be seen in a positive light and not as someone who is bringing down the mood in the office. No one likes a sad sack!

6. Get Active


The benefits of exercise should never be underestimated and doing more exercise, and taking on fitness challenges has got me through some very tough times.

Increasing your activity levels will increase the level endorphins in your body – the hormone that activates the body’s opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect. In other words, endorphins activate the opiate receptors and you get a rush of pleasure because they block the transmission of pain signals to your brain, which in effect gives you a high.

So, when you’re feeling down because you’re having a bad time at work or in any other aspect of your life, chances are, if you start to do more exercise, you’ll feel better. And you’ll look great which will make you feel even better.

7. Talk to someone

If things aren’t improving, speak to someone. Try speaking to a colleague you can trust or someone outside of work that can be impartial and help you to organise your thoughts and put together a plan of action.

Get clear on exactly how you feel, what the specific issues are and what the outcome is that you would like before broaching a conversation with your boss. This will lead to a much more constructive discussion and you’re more likely to have a positive outcome.

Remember, your boss would rather keep you in the business if this can be made to work.

Consider every possible option that would make things more enjoyable again. That might mean taking on different work, being considered for new opportunities to learn and develop, or having changes made to your current role if this is possible.

Be honest with yourself, if you know that none of these things will make a difference then the likelihood is that you’re ready to look outside of your current organisation, and this is what you need to do.

Taking these steps will make things easier if you eventually do decide it’s time to part ways. You’ll know it’s the right decision and won’t look back wondering what if.

Still unsure whether or not you’re in the right job?  Here are 5 signs to look out for that mean it might be time to explore your options.