8 Sure Fire Signs It Is Time to Leave Your Job

Do you remember what is like… that first day at a new job? We have all been there.  The joy.  The excitement. The optimism.  The feeling of being ready to seize the momentum and boldly charge into the future.

It’s the first day on new job.  New doors have been opened, and you couldn’t be more excited about what is to come.  You have found a company whose values align perfectly with yours, and at this moment, you see a happy future in a great job at an amazing company with a terrific boss.  You can almost see yourself retiring there.

Naturally, this first day high of excitement has a way of fading and turning into a new reality of the stresses and expectations that come with the job.  Over time, the job can be become a source of inspiration and fulfillment or a burden of expectations.

colleagues arguing

It can be difficult knowing if it is time leave a job, even when the signs are right in front of us.

If you are not engaged and inspired by your job, sadly you are not alone.  Sadly, a recent study by Gallup suggests that as many as 70% of Americans are not engaged and inspired at work (might even use the “hate”) .

These types of feelings can change overtime.  However, once that slippery slide happens and eventually it becomes a chore to even show up, it is hard to regain that sense of joy and inspiration.  Sooner or later there comes a time to decide whether or not it is time to leave.

Sometimes, when it is time to make a move, you just know.  If you are unsure, here are eight sure fire ways to know it is time to update your resume and start looking.

  1. You complain more than you used to.  Sure we all have frustrations, and having an occasional day to vent to family and friends is completely normal.  When the days you are excited (or at minimum not complaining) are outnumbered by the days that you can’t wait to get home and complain the office, you know there is a problem
  2. You aren’t sure who your allies are.  A big part of satisfaction comes down to feeling like part of a group and having people you can turn to.  You don’t have to be best friends with your co-workers, but it is never good if you feel like you can’t trust anyone or that things you share in confidence won’t be shared with everyone else (or directly with your boss) when you are not around.
  3. You are constantly overwhelmed.  It is never a good sign if you constantly feel like you are drowning in work and can’t get caught up.  If you feel like you are constantly struggling after a considerable ramp up period and a good amount of training, you need to do some serious soul searching to decide if it the job is worth salvaging.  The problem might not be you.  Some jobs just have a reputation for constantly churning people out.  If that is the case, do you want to stay just to fight an uphill battle?
  4. You no longer believe in the company and its mission or values.  Sure you might have drank the Kool- Aid and waved the company’s flag, but things do change over time.  What I often find fascinating is that in many cases, it is not clear where things went wrong.  Typically there are just little changes that happen overtime, and one day they add up in a way that the connection with the company’s purpose might not be there anymore.  If you joined a company because you felt that it’s values and missions aligned with your beliefs, and it no longer does then it is probably time.
  5. Your least favorite day is Sunday because you are reminded that your week is about to start.  Sure, we all like (and need) to enjoy some time off to let ourselves regroup and recharge.  However, it is a very bad sign if you can’t enjoy a day off because the thought of returning is stressful.
  6. You are constantly not seeing eye-to-eye with your boss.  I am not talking about an occasional difference in opinion.  That happens because you both are human.  What I mean here is that if you are being underminded by your boss or consistently not getting support when a conflict arises, this is a tell tale sign.  It is not impossible to fix a relationship with a bad boss or one with personality differences, but it can be an uphill battle.  Whether we like it or not, our boss always has the upper hand, and by that very nature, they have more control over our relationship with them than we do.
  7. You can tell that the company is sinking like the Titanic.  Typically this is not a situation when the company missed earning projections one quarter or your department had one bad month compared to the budget.  What we are talking about here is you can tell that the writing is on the wall that there is more money going out than coming in.  It took the Titanic almost three hours to sink, and it can take a company months or even years to sink if there is trouble.  If you know that the company is going down, don’t hold out in hopes for severance because it might not be there if the ship does go down.  Plus it can be a real sinking feeling to be on a sinking ship.
  8. You are constantly pushing the limits of how late you can come in and how early you can leave.  This is a symptom of either boredness or lack of respect in the job.  Either way, this can adversely influence not just your happiness but also into your performance and engagement.

Reality Check:  Chances are you made a conscious decision to click on this article.  If you are looking for advice on whether or not to quit your job, it is probably time to look for a new job (or possibly even a whole new career).

Last updated : July 18 2014