Should I Quit My Job? 9 Signs That I Ignored For Too Long
Should I quit my job? I kept asking that question for years (literally!) until some missing pieces finally came together a few months ago and I found the courage to do what I should have done a long time ago. I quit my job.
I was more conflicted about this decision than I have ever been about any other decision in my entire life. To be perfectly honest, it was mostly an issue of money. I had a very comfortable salary that I was giving up for lots of uncertainty in exchange. I had climbed fairly high on that particular career ladder and now I wanted to jump on a completely different ladder and start the climb all over again – from the bottom. In my forties. With three kids and a sizeable mortgage. It seemed irresponsible to give up the steady paycheck.
On the other hand, my husband had started a new job with higher pay and we had savings to fall back on. So it’s not like I was sentencing my family to immediate financial ruin. Which is why quitting my job was even a consideration.
I was agonizing about this decision so much that when I picked up the phone to call my boss to give my notice, I wasn’t sure I was actually going to be able to get the words to come out of my mouth. I had them written down on a piece of paper, so I would remember what I wanted to say!
But here’s the thing.
After all that inner conflict and turmoil. After all the agonizing.
When that final phone call was done with, I felt a calm come over me.
And over the next couple of days, the feeling intensified.
I finally know what people mean when they say “a weight was lifted off my shoulders”.
Because I literally felt it.
And that feeling stuck.
It’s been several months now and I just feel lighter.
There have been no doubts. No moments of regret.
I’m certain that I made the right decision.
So certain that I now ask why I didn’t just make this happen sooner?
So if you are asking the dreaded question – should I leave my job – I want to share with you the signs that were glaring at me for ages. The signs that I probably ignored for way too long.
Should I Quit My Job? 9 Signs Not To Ignore
1. You Are Living For The Weekends
When you wake up in the morning, do you typically look forward to the day ahead? Are you excited to tackle the challenges awaiting you?
Or are weekends the only thing you ever look forward to?
2. And You Dread Mondays
Is Monday just one day out of seven?
Or does late Sunday afternoon signal a transition? Anxiety and dread washing over you and intensifying as the clock ticks closer to Monday morning?
3. To The Point That Your Job Is Affecting Your Health
I was most definitely a member of the Living For The Weekends And Dreading Mondays camp. And that camp wasn’t free of charge. It came with a cost.
I didn’t even realize the extent to which my job was affecting my health until after I quit. Within a few weeks, I started feeling SO. MUCH. BETTER.
Not only was I keeping work hours that, combined with family responsibilities, didn’t allow me to get enough sleep, but the stress of forcing myself to do things that I really didn’t like doing all day every day left me exhausted.
4. There Is No More Room To Grow
Some people really like routine. Some people don’t mind doing the same thing year after year after year.
But other people, yours truly included, yearn to be learning and growing. My job offered no more opportunities for that. I’d been doing the same thing for so long that I could do it in my sleep.
5. You Are Bored All The Time
Which is exactly what started happening. I got so bored I started having a hard time staying awake at my desk. For a while, I worried that maybe I’d acquired some horrible illness, but then I realized I only suffered these symptoms during the week. Never on the weekend. Hmmm…
6. You Don’t Want Your Boss’s Job
If I’m being completely honest, maybe there was more learning and growing to do. But it just wasn’t the kind of learning and growing I was interested in. I didn’t want my boss’s job. Not at all.
7. You’ve Been Fantasizing About Quitting Your Job For A Long Time
So there I was, not enjoying what I was doing. No prospect for change.
And I’d been feeling that way for a long time.
Years, I’m a little embarrassed now to admit.
We all know that every job has bad days. There is no perfect career.
But if you’ve been at your job for more than a year and you are past the new job jitters…
And if your job has just become a long string of bad days…
And if you can’t even remember the last time you actually liked your job…
Then the only way out is… out.
8. Your Job Is Holding You Back From The Life You Know You Want
Over the last couple of years of feverishly fantasizing about quitting my job, I had started an extensive process of investigating what I would actually love to do instead. I didn’t want to just hastily switch jobs and end up dreaming about quitting all over again a few months down the road. I didn’t want to end up hating whatever I was spending most of my time on for the rest of my life, so what alternatives did I have?
To this end, I did a lot of reading and self reflection.
I discovered things like:
- I’m not a team player.
- I like lots of quiet alone time.
- I like research.
- I like reading and writing.
- I like helping people.
The longer my list of bullet points grew, the more I realized how incompatible my personality and preferences were with the career path I was on. It also became clear that staying at that particular job was not getting me any closer to my dream life. It was not a stepping stone. The time and energy I was putting into the wrong career path were holding me back from the path I actually wanted to be on.
9. You Are Reading This Article
Wanna know what else I was doing during that time? I was scouring the internet for evidence that I was justified in quitting my job. I was looking for articles like this one right here.
And that is the biggest sign of all that it’s time to move on.
Do you think you would be scouring the internet for evidence that it’s ok to quit your job if you weren’t ready? I don’t think so. And I don’t think you would have gotten all the way to #9 in this article either.
So let me tell you this from someone who has made it to the other side:
It’s ok to quit.
It’s ok to not want to be stressed or bored or unhappy.
It’s ok to ask life for more.
It’s ok to want something better.
It’s ok to do what’s best for you.
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