10 signs it might be time to quit your job

If you’re not thrilled with your present job, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re in the majority. A survey of 5,000 U.S. households found that fewer than half of all Americans are satisfied with their jobs. Quitting is a major decision but sometimes you’ve done everything you can and staying is not an option. The decision is not one anyone else can take for you but here are 10 signs it might be time to move on.

1) Your work is affecting your health
If work is affecting your sleep or appetite, if you start using drugs or alcohol to get through the day (including legal ones like nicotine, caffeine, ibuprofen, cough syrup and antacids) or if your mood is unpredictable, then you have to consider your options. You know it is time to move on when you can’t get out of bed in the mornings or have trouble falling asleep at night because you are dreading work. No job is worth making yourself sick over.

2) You are miserable
What is the best part of your day? If it is lunchtime, quitting time, or fantasizing about co-worker misfortune and disfigurement, it might be time to start researching the next move. While our job will almost always be “work,” it should also be something we enjoy doing. If you dread work, then it’s time for a new job — a minimum of a third of every day is a long time to be unhappy.

3) You are marginalised
Your boss has stopped including you in meetings, doesn’t ask your opinion, and your responsibilities have been taken away. You should, of course, discuss this with your boss but be aware it might be a hint and you might want to take it.

4) You have a better offer
Congratulations! Now ask yourself what you went through to get that offer. The organization of interviews, the references, and then consider what you mean by “better”? Candidly assess what motivates you and what you really want and need, whether it is money, power, independence, a shorter commute or more time at home. If the new job gives you that, don’t be afraid to go for it.

5) You can’t move up
You’ve outgrown your current job and there is no room for you to be promoted or take on more responsibility. This is not a good place to be in for long. A job that is not challenging you and allowing you to use the skills you’ve developed may be a hindrance in the long-term.

6) You’re not learning any more
In the 21st century you are unlikely to stay with any employer for years so you must constantly be learning new skills and developing yourself. If you don’t have the opportunity to do that it may be time to seek out a new job.

7) You’re been promoted away from what you love
Perhaps you were a great sales guy and so were promoted into management. You do not really hate your job or employer, but you get very little satisfaction from it compared to when you started your career. If this is the case for you, it might be time to refocus your career path and find a job that goes back to your passion.

8) You see the writing on the wall
The company you work for is in trouble and you are worried about being downsized. Now is a good time to start looking (not on your company’s time of course) whilst you still have some leverage.

9) You don’t fit in
Maybe your company provides products or services you don’t believe in or exaggerates their value or quality to customers. Perhaps the company is very hierarchical and you want to be somewhere more egalitarian. If your values are at odds with the culture of the organization then you are unlikely to be happy or successful.

10) You’ve burned your bridges
Many disagreements can be resolved, but if your relationship with your boss and/or coworkers has been irreparably damaged and your reputation shattered, it may be time to leave. Just be sure that whatever caused the difficulty isn’t repeated in your new environment.

What do you think? Are there other signs? Or, in this economy, should you keep your job no matter what? I’d love to hear your views and if you like this article please do share it with others.

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Dawn Metcalfe is an executive coach, trainer and leadership advisor. She is also the author of Managing the Matrix and Hard Talk™. Dawn is the founder of Dubai based PDSi, which helps individuals and teams get even better at what they do, and has worked with business leaders around the world to change the way they see the world, their behaviour and their impact on others.