Have you ever asked yourself, “Should I quit my job?” If so, chances are you’ve been thinking about it for a while. So how exactly do you know when it’s time to move on or if you should stick with your current role?
As you might imagine, the answer can be complicated. Finding a new job just because you’re tired of your current job doesn’t guarantee you’ll be happier in the long run, so you need to consider multiple factors before moving on. In this article, we’ll highlight eight reasons you may want to leave your job and discuss some solutions to help you decide what to do next.
8 reasons it’s OK to quit your job (or not)
We all have bad days at work and can probably agree that the occasional off day isn’t a good reason to leave your employer. But how do you know when quitting is the right move? Here are eight reasons that do warrant quitting your job and moving on to a new position.
1. You found a new job that looks like a better fit
Finding a new job is always exciting, especially if it looks more like your dream job than your current position. If this is the case, it’s probably a good career move as well. Ideally, you want to find a position that’s an upgrade from your current one, be it a title bump, a better paycheck, or a total career transition into a new field you’ve been considering. If you’re excited about your next opportunity, then you shouldn’t think twice about quitting your job.
2. Your work environment negatively impacts your mental health
Toxic work environments are detrimental to your mental health, which can bleed into your personal life and affect your relationships with friends and family, your physical health, your work performance and productivity, and even the quality of your work and engagement in the workplace.
A recent study found that 26% of Americans dread coming into work, and nearly one in four doesn’t feel respected or valued in the workplace. If you identify with these statistics or you’ve noticed a steady decline in your ability or motivation to do a good job, it may be time to quit and move on.
3. The pay is not enough
Money is a prime motivator to work hard. If you’re not being fairly compensated for your time and effort, you should look elsewhere. In a recent study, 35% of Americans said they would consider returning to a previous job if they were just paid more. If salary is the main reason you want to quit, though, you should definitely consider asking for a raise before jumping ship.
4. Job stress is too much
Job stress drives many people to leave their jobs. A recent Gallup survey found that 23% of Americans claimed they feel burned out from work very often while 44% claimed they feel burned out sometimes. So what’s causing the burnout? Unreasonable deadlines, an unmanageable workload, a lack of support from management, and added stress from responding to work-related emails and texts outside of business hours are the main culprits.
A little stress throughout your career is expected, but if you feel depleted day after day and notice a pattern over time, it’s not a situation you should live with long-term.
5. You crave a better work-life balance
Work-life balance is becoming increasingly important. According to a LinkedIn survey, employers that offer flexible working arrangements experience a 135% higher headcount growth. Another survey found that 25% of workers would take a 10% pay cut in exchange for a more flexible work arrangement.
Flexibility is in demand, so there’s a high likelihood that you can find a job that respects work-life balance. If you’re unhappy at your current company due to a lack of flexibility in your schedule, look for employers known for those benefits in your next job search.
6. No career development opportunities.
How can you tap into your true potential as a professional if you aren’t given the opportunities and chances to grow? If this is you, it may be time for a career change.
7. The work culture is a bad fit
A bad work culture can quickly make your life miserable. Your workload and job performance expectations are part of what makes up your work culture, but the values embodied by management and executives are really what drives it.
Here are some examples of bad work culture to give you some perspective:
- Lack of core values: Core values guide the decision-making process and how day-to-day operations are executed. Without core values, there’s no overarching purpose to guide the work you do.
- Excessive office gossip: Gossip can destroy an organization from the inside out. When management does nothing to address it — or participates in it themselves — employees and teams can turn against each other. This creates an environment of distrust and negativity.
- Unfriendly competition: Competition drives a workplace and can certainly be positive, but when employees are focused too much on performance, you can lose a sense of teamwork. This has the potential to create a hostile environment.
If you find you can’t enjoy the work culture, you’ll have a hard time aligning yourself with their long-term goals and vision. If that’s the case, it’s time to leave.
8. The commute is terrible
If you live in a thriving city, you’ve probably experienced rush hour traffic. Some workers drive up to two hours or more a day commuting to and from work.
The costs of commuting go beyond dollars and cents. Arduous commutes also affect your mental and physical well-being. Commuting just 20 minutes a day can increase cholesterol and blood sugar levels, which can lead to heart disease, strokes, and diabetes. If your commute gets you down, find work that’s closer to home.
You decided to quit your job, but what’s next?
If you can identify with one or more of the reasons above, it’s time to quit your job. So what next? Generally, you have three options:
- Go back to school: Getting a degree or certification is ideal if you’re eyeing a new career path that requires a specific skill set that you can’t necessarily learn on your own. If you go this route, you’ll probably have to keep at least a part-time job, but some students study while maintaining a full-time job as well. One big downside to this option is that it can cost a lot in terms of time and money.
- Search for a better job: An easy solution might be to secure another job. If this is what you intend to do, then start your job search before you put in your two weeks’ notice. You should also consider what factors caused you to leave your job in the first place. For instance, if you quit because you lacked flexibility or autonomy with your schedule, maybe working for someone else isn’t the best fit for you.
- Start your own business: Starting your own business allows you to do what you love — and you get to be your own boss. There are also challenges, though. You don’t know going in whether or not your venture will be successful, but following a proven path to success can help.
Quit your job and start a business with Main Street
What’s better than working in a field you like? Working for yourself. At Main Street, we believe that independent and industrious workers have what it takes to lead their own business. Here’s how we support business owners:
- Training: When you sign up, we get you ready with our five-week training program designed to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to run your own business.
- Coaching: Our in-house team of business development professionals offers hands-on coaching and periodic check-ins to make sure your business is thriving.
- Technology: We set you up with a customized website so you don’t have to deal with purchasing and developing one on your own.
It’s hard to know if it’s time to quit your job, but don’t let fear hold you back. If you’re not in a good situation, be it from job stress, a bad work environment, insufficient pay, or you’re just ready for a change, it might be easier to jump ship. To do so gracefully, check out our step-by-step guide on how to quit your job so you don’t burn any bridges.
If you’re considering working for yourself, we understand it’s a big step. Quitting a job takes a lot of confidence and courage, but starting a business takes even more. However, the benefits of running your own business make it a much better option than sticking with a job that drains you. Read about our process to see how Main Street helps business owners get started.