I quit my job
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I quit! 8 signs you need to leave your job

28 Nov 2016

Has your work unhappiness hit its peak? If you hand in your notice now, you can start fresh in January with a brand new job.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had that horrific week in work where everything seems to go wrong and your boss has been getting on your nerves.

But what happens when that week turns into two? And those two weeks turn into a month, and then three? Suddenly, you’re trying to think of the last time you were happy in your job and it’s been over a year.

Is it time to throw in the towel? How are you supposed to know the difference between needing a new attitude, a new lease on life or a new job? With over half of the workforce willing to leave their current jobs, here are eight signs it might be time for you to join them.

You don’t have the passion

Think about why you first took the job. Were you passionate about the work? Were you brimming with new ideas and passionate about working towards improving the company? No one expects you to be skipping joyfully into work every day of your life the way you were on your first week, but then again, if you’ve lost all your passion and drive for the job, you need to look at why that is.

Is it the company you’ve fallen out of love with, the people or the work itself? When you have that itchy feeling that it might be time to leave, you need to make sure you know what makes you unhappy so that you don’t make the same mistake again.

You want different things

This could be any number of things. Your life goals might have changed, or your career motivations can no longer be fulfilled at your current place or work, and these might be signs that you need to hand in your notice.

Maybe irregular hours suited you just fine in your 20s, but now your goal is to settle down with a family and your current employment just doesn’t offer that. Or perhaps your organisation is all about having you do what you’re good at, day in and day out, while you’re looking for career development.

Whatever it is, your goals should in some way line up with the goals of your company, and if they’re completely mismatched, it might be time to quit and look elsewhere.

You watch the clock

Sometimes time can go so fast because you’re stressed and overworked, but this will mostly come in waves. If you’re truly unhappy in your work, time can feel like it’s standing still, no matter how busy you are.

Feeling bored all the time in your job is a bad sign. Similar to a lack of passion or motivation, if what you’re doing no longer interests you to the point where even on your busiest day, you feel the minutes ticking by far too slowly and you’re begging for 5pm, something is wrong.

It’s a toxic environment

You might feel unsure about whether or not you should quit when all you feel is boredom, but when it comes to your colleagues, a toxic work environment is a clear sign that it’s time to quit.

If you find yourself working in a bitchy atmosphere, if you’re constantly being put down by your boss, or even if staff morale en masse is generally low, this can have a very negative impact on your life outside of work.

Assess the toxic situation before you quit your job. Is it fixable? Can you talk to your colleagues or your boss about it? If the situation can’t be fixed, you might need to walk away.

You have Sunday night dread

We all know the feeling. It’s Sunday night and something clicks in your brain that takes you away from relaxation mode and into work mode. You’re suddenly mourning the weekend before Monday has even started.

But when casual Sunday night fear turns into crippling dread every single week, red flags should be going up. Are you sure it’s just the thoughts of getting up early on Monday giving you a bad feeling?

If the thoughts of going into work every day are making you nauseous, it’s time to start looking for another job.

You see no future there

You might have loved your job starting off, but two years down the line, you’re looking for career progression. It’s a common problem in smaller companies; they have everyone they need in the roles they have and unless someone leaves, you’re not moving.

It can be hard for your job not to get stagnant if it’s not changing or developing in any way, so talk to your boss about this. Find out if there are any ways to enhance your role or give you a promotion in title if a new role isn’t available.

If there’s no room for career progression, and no possibility of a salary increase for any extra responsibilities, it’s time to quit and find somewhere you can grow.

You burn out frequently

A bad work environment can have a negative impact on your physical health. Stress and toxicity in work can leave you feeling run down and lead to a burnout.

Again, we all feel like this from time to time when there’s a particularly busy work period. But if there’s no end in sight, or you find yourself suffering from anxiety more frequently due to a bad work situation, you need to look elsewhere.

You’re not appreciated

Whether it’s a lack of praise, skills that are being wasted or a salary that is way too low for what you’re worth, it may be time to walk away.

You shouldn’t expect a gold star at the end of every day, but employees are proven to be more productive if they’re praised or rewarded from time to time.

If you’re never appreciated, or your skills and talent are going to waste, your job can feel pointless very fast. If you can’t rectify this with your employer, it might be time to throw in the towel and go where your skills will be appreciated.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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