Six Signs That It’s Time to Quit Your Job

While in most cases, the reasons for one individual to leave their current place of employment are generally subjective, there are a few circumstances that generally speak volumes when it comes to moving on from a particular job.

When asked “Should I quit my job?” career expert, author and former recruiter, Vicki Salemi agrees that there is often “no right or wrong answer to this question”. She continues, “Some job seekers have told me they want to quit because they’re just sick of their company, their commute, or their job. Simply stated, they needed a change of scenery”. Salemi confirms that, of course, some choose to quit for other reasons, such as being underpaid, or an overall unhappiness within a toxic work culture.

Stack of documents at workplace and male employee on background

Nevertheless, there are certain instances where employees may not choose to pay heed. In other words, they assume these situations will “work themselves out” or that perhaps the issue is their own fault. Here, we will discuss the importance of trusting your instincts, while we list some of the most common and valid reasons which often result in the inevitable “two week notice”.

  1. You are unhappy with your day-to-day work. This may seem quite obvious, but it’s amazing how many employees may try to “fool themselves” into being happy, or at least content, with the nature of their work.  Kathy Caprino, leadership developer, writer and founder of the career consulting firm, Ellia Communications, states that if you are feeling “unhappy, depressed, thwarted, bored, misunderstood, or mistreated”, or if it seems that your work style or accomplishments are not respected or honored, it is likely time to consider a change. Caprino reiterates, “You don’t have to be miserable or lose your sense of self in order to be gainfully employed”.
  2. You are working in a negative or “toxic” environment. As most are aware, a job is so much more than the tasks you complete each day. It’s a conglomeration of various factors, such as the dynamics among colleagues and leaders, human resources’ presence and policies, the growth potential within your role, the spirit and effort expended toward positive collaboration, and of course, what exactly is expected of you as an employee.  While no work environment is completely perfect, if more than a few of these aspects are out of line with what is suitable for you as an individual, it may be time to look elsewhere. Caprino recaps, “Looking holistically at your job – and understanding all of the dimensions of it – will help you see more clearly if you are right for this role, or if you’re more suited to thrive in another job or type of work experience altogether”.
  3. Your skills or interests don’t match what you were hired to do. Many of us forget that what we are good at doesn’t always coincide with what we enjoy doing. Caprino provides the example, “…you may be ‘great’ at updating spreadsheets [or other similar tasks], but in reality, you may actually hate doing it”. She continues, “If your job forces you to use skills that aren’t enjoyable or easy for you, “you’ll be miserable and drained every day in your job [, and] you’ll feel like an impostor much of the time”. It’s vital that we find some type of professional satisfaction when we go to work each day, or we are likely to burn out or consider changing employers at a much faster rate.
  4. You sense you have a strong potential for something more. If you are convinced that you are destined for something bigger, better, or even more exciting, there is no reason why you shouldn’t trust your instincts; as this is often a side effect of being ultimately bored with your current line of work. Caprino maintains, “Many people… feel ashamed and embarrassed to admit that, deep down they feel they are made for better things than their current role”. This often occurs through the risk of seeming “boastful or arrogant”. Yet these particular thoughts — especially if recurring — are not to be ignored, as they’re frequently a clear signal that there is, in fact, another more successful and rewarding path waiting for you.
  5. You are not excited about your goals or those of the company for which you work. Are you in agreement with, or enthusiastic about, the aims and objectives of your job or that of the organization for which you are working?  If the answer is a definite “no”, then this may be quite indicative that it is time to update your resume and move toward a new employment opportunity. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a situation where we are at moral odds with our company’s mission and we cannot bring ourselves to eagerly contribute to their cause or ultimate goal. There is basically no chance for personal success if you are not on board with what your organization stands for or the method in which they are doing it. Caprino restates, “If any of these signs strike a chord for you, it’s time to make a change. The key question isn’t ‘Will you?’ but ‘When will you finally honor what you know to be true about yourself?’”.
  6. You notice consistent company cutbacks and a slide in the marketplace. Of course, all companies experience their “ups and downs” however, if you are witnessing a constant or lasting downward shift in business, this may be an obvious signal to reevaluate your options in the job market. Another apparent marker is if your colleagues and fellow employees begin to suddenly “jump ship”. An indefinite freeze on wages and constant budget cuts in the form of “nickel and diming” are often a sign of impending lay-offs. In this case, you are better off moving on to something else before you end up unemployed.

Silhouettes of two businessmen standing by the window

To Conclude

It’s important for employees to remember not to ignore the signs of a “dead end” role, or a position within a company that is incapable of meeting your needs. Yet, once you have made the decision to leave, be sure to follow the proper steps to successfully move onward in your career.


Fred Coon, CEO


Stewart, Cooper & Coon, has helped thousands of decision makers and senior executives move up in their careers and achieve significantly improved financial packages within short time frames. Contact Fred Coon – 866-883-4200, Ext. 200