No one will know you better than you. And for the same reason, no one will know when it is time to quit your job better than you.
However, knowing when to quit a job is not as easy as it seems.
One bad meeting, a couple of bad co-workers, and a highly irritating boss and you are ready to throw in the towel.
Sometimes, before you quit, it makes sense to take a closer look. Define what you want, remove the emotions from your point of view (if only for a moment), and see what you have.
You could be amazed that everything you are looking for can be found right in front of you.
Or, you could confirm confidently that you have no choice but to leave your job.
Regardless of the outcome, take a clear look before you make a move.
Look at these 5 Ways You Quit Your Job When Maybe You Shouldn’t (and the 16 Solutions – S1-S16 – to keeping the job you have on purpose):
1. You Keep Thinking About Quitting
It is uncommon that a person who loves their job, sees their future with a job, or feels they are working their dream job, is also constantly thinking of quitting.
However, not every thought that you think repeatedly is one you want to listen to.
You should at least notice when a repeat thought is happening and why.
We tend to be hardwired to repeatedly think thoughts that we are emotionally tied to. These emotions can be good or bad, but they intensify the impact of any thought in our minds.
When thinking of quitting a job, on one hand, you can be hopeful about the prospect of a new experience. On the other hand, you can be miserable with the experience you are living and want it to end.
In either case, you are not settled or satisfied with where you are and are more focused on something different.
Don’t ignore what you are already telling yourself.
Something about you and your job is not aligned.
But you do have choices. Don’t allow your current unsettled feeling to lead you to believe that your only option is to leave.
There can be times when we become our own worst enemy and harbor on the negative.
This negativity compulsion can be bigger than your job. It can be your total disposition about the world in general.
When we do this for too long, we can create a negative lens for all the things around us.
Make a conscious effort to recognize if you have a pattern of negativity within yourself and choose to see things differently(S1).
You can create new enjoyable experiences with others at work (S2) or make a conscious effort to improve your work environment (S3).
But if this is truly not possible, you can also release yourself from your discomfort and simply look for a new job.
It is possible to find a job that you really want and one that you would not dream of wanting to leave.
2. You Feel STUCK, TRAPPED, or UNMOTIVATED at Work
Like a broken elevator, some jobs leave you right where you are standing.
While sometimes we want to run before we walk, other times a job can make you feel as if you are at a perpetual crawl.
You can’t expand to learn new things, so you are stuck doing the same old thing.
There is no way to move up or you repeatedly get passed over for promotion, so you feel trapped in a dead-end position.
You are bursting with ideas and suggestions, but they are not listened to or supported.
The summary of it all is that you feel unmotivated to attempt to do anything more.
Before you give up on your job, explore ways to make what you want happen.
Look for inspiration and ideas from others around you who have been successful in what you want to do (S4). Take advantage of your insider access to talented co-workers who may love to show you what they do or share how they gained their skills.
Professional growth is not limited to changing your position. You can grow by learning people and processes and practicing different forms of communication(S5).
Try talking and connecting with your boss in review of your professional needs and interests.
Every company and every manager has their own way of building their staff to become more. You may need to learn how to connect with their vision before forcing yours onto them.
Create a win-win by drawing clear lines between meeting your needs and the needs of your department. You may find that you and your manager have a common interest and as a result a shared enthusiasm in your career development.
There is always a way to approach your goals from a different angle and to achieve success.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you are truly being passed by.
It is important to acknowledge that there are times when you actually get what you want. And even more when your voice is truly heard.
Sometimes we get so addicted to winning that we fall apart whenever we lose or get told no.
No job will take your every suggestion or implement your every idea.
Celebrate your wins and learn from your losses (S6). And remember you can experience both at any job.
Identify your role in your success
When it comes to promotion, note that this type of change can require time, experience, and a particular level of talent. Not every single person is capable to attain what’s required.
Take an honest evaluation of whether you truly meet the requirements for the work that you seek to do. If not, see what opportunities you have to grow both inside and outside of your business (S7).
You may be putting full responsibility on your job to give to you when you have not yet invested in yourself.
Now, if you feel that you have turned every stone, tried every angle, explored every avenue, and are still standing still, it may be time to move on.
Your company is not the only answer to your growth, but it should meet you on your professional journey. If it is unable to do this, then it may be time to find a company that will.
3. You Struggle to Come Up with Good Reasons to Stay
Looking for the positive in a situation is an excellent starting point in taking responsibility for your life experience.
You cannot control the world, but you can control your opinion of it.
However, when a job is just a bad fit, it can feel impossible to come up with the positive end of the stick.
- You are working.
- And you are able to earn an income.
- Plus you know how to do your job well.
Then suddenly your list of affirmative statements ends, and you are left wondering why you are still here.
It is important before you make a big decision like quitting a job that you evaluate if things are really as bad as they seem.
Particularly when you build a negative expectation or negative emotional pattern related to your job, it is extremely difficult to see things differently.
Take time to write a pro and cons list about your work (S8).
Have discussions with others at work with tenure and casually ask what made them stay all their years (S9).
Seek out the positive instead of expecting it to just show up.
Look at what you have learned, what relationships you have built, and the comforts you have gained from being in a familiar environment (S10).
But if with all of your searching, you still struggle with finding positive to be found, you may simply be in the wrong place.
A good place to work, like any good relationship, is not a struggle. You should know easily why you would want to be there even if occasionally you are not happy with the day-to-day.
If all that comes to mind is the hardship of staying, then make your life easier and start your plan to go.
4. You Are Emotionally Disconnected from Anything “Important”
The pace and energy of a job are as important of a factor as the actual work that you do.
Every business, and even the departments within them, have a different culture and manner that each part interacts with the other.
At one time you may have been a part of that natural rhythm. But now you are no longer part of that flow.
Deadlines come and go with an urgency in the air. Must-do projects sail through with pressure and intensity.
You may even sit in the middle of all the calamity, but you just don’t care.
When you lose your passion for your position, it shows.
The days become longer. The work becomes meaningless. And your internal fire is impossible to light.
This type of dwindled energy can occur for many different reasons and not all lead to leaving your job.
You may have had a recent negative experience at work that is too fresh for you to ignore. Or a blow to your ego too big for you to be enthusiastic about work at the moment.
When problems like this arise, remember to consider that it may be a long-term disruption or simply a temporary discomfort.
When experiencing pain from your job, let time heal before you decide you need to leave (S11).
Another reason you can lose interest in the usual work frenzy is that you are burned out.
You want to have more enthusiasm, but your cup is empty and has been for so long there is nothing to pull from.
Still another reason for the disconnect is when things other than work have your attention.
You may have a sick parent, experienced a recent death, or even a break-up. Your emotional ties to other parts of your life may leave you empty at work.
The reality is that while it is not necessary to pour your emotions into your work when you do you feel more connected.
Allow yourself to be different when life requires you to be.
Permit yourself to attend to other parts of your life and to limit your emotional attachment to work priorities(S13).
You can still be productive and yet emotionally disconnected. And if you are comfortable, let your boss or co-workers know when you have distractions that may make the way you do your work seem different.
You may find in being transparent that others become more helpful and supportive until you are able to bring yourself back to center (S14).
No matter the obstacle, when all the dust settles and you can see and feel clearly, take another look at your job.
If even with a clear mind and filled emotional tank you still lack passion for where you are, then it may be time to look for a new work love in your life.
5. You Just Do Not Like What You Do
A job is more than a paycheck. And it can be disturbing when this realization shows itself each and every day at work.
You may have started your job because you had to pay the bills. But after time you are looking for more.
Loving what you do may seem like a privilege. But you would appreciate it if you at least liked what you do.
If you struggle with having an interest in your job, it can make getting through your day feel like crossing a desert. The dry reality of completing meaningless tasks can be torturous.
This realization does not always mean that quitting your job is the answer.
Many companies have a number of positions and would love to hire someone who has tenure with the business that they know and trust.
Look for other internal job opportunities (S15). Or, if you feel you can support the company in a unique way, consider proposing a new position (S16).
There is no harm in being creative or expressing your interests openly.
The worse that can happen is that you are told no.
And then you can decide if quitting is the only option that you have left.
See yourself as a valuable asset capable of learning and taking on new challenges. You may be just what your company needs.
And if not, another company will be happy to bring you onboard.
No job will last forever. But before you leave the one that you have, make sure that it is really a new job that you need.
If you quit your job, you don’t want to look back and feel that maybe you really shouldn’t have.
Remember to look for solutions to your discomfort before you decide that quitting is your only resolution.
Need a Quick Bad Job Solutions List? Take a Look at Our Favorites:
The best thing that you can do for yourself is to take personal responsibility for the happiness you desire in your job.
And, if even in your diligence you cannot find a resolution to the problems you face, then choose to prioritize your happiness and find a job that you love.
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