Is It Time to Quit Your Job?

By Amanda Cohen on February 2, 2018

As a senior in college, all I can think about is finding a full-time job after graduation. However, outside of my senior year bubble, people are struggling with a completely opposite dilemma: whether or not they should quit their jobs. This is such a tough question to tackle because so many factors go into it. The reason this is such a hard issue to figure out is because deciding whether or not to quit your job is not necessarily a matter of whether or not you enjoy working at your current workplace.

In addition, because the decision of whether or not to quit your job is affected by so many factors and that it’s not cut and dry, it can cause tons of trepidation, anxiety, sadness, and overall uncertainty. No one wants to ever feel this way and I especially don’t want any of my readers to feel this way, so I am here to help! Even though I don’t have all of the answers, I do have some ideas of when it’s a good time to quit your job. If you are struggling at all with this question, read on!

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One major indicator of when it may time to move on is if you are stuck in a rut at your current job. If you’ve been working somewhere for an extended period of time and haven’t had a conversation with your boss about factors like increased benefits, increased pay, a promotion, more lenient hours (this is career-dependent), and so on, then it might be time to think about where your future at that company stands.

If this is relevant to you, don’t make any rash decisions. Sit down with your boss and see if you can negotiate any terms of your employment; if your boss is receptive, maybe try and stick it out for a few more months, if not then definitely seek opportunities elsewhere. Know your worth and know that you are a valuable person, both in your work life and personal life. Don’t settle for a job that doesn’t recognize that you deserve to have certain benefits and perks after being such a hard worker.

Another indicator that it may be time to look elsewhere for work is if you no longer are enjoying what you are doing at your current workplace. This may be the hardest thing to think about because, at one point in time, you probably thought that this job was your dream job and that you would be there for a while and work your way up higher and higher in the company. However, you have to think about a job similarly to how you think about a relationship. In a relationship, sometimes two people are no longer compatible with one another and they move on.

It doesn’t mean that they didn’t treasure their time together, but people change and grow up. This happens in careers also. Sometimes you just outgrow your current work situation and that is okay! Your job experience will always be a part of you, but sometimes you just have to make a change. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a huge career change, but sometimes you just need to have new job experiences.

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A major sign that it’s time to find a new job is if you are generally unhappy with your current situation. If you are feeling at all sad, anxious, concerned, or just have a general lack of energy in the workplace for a significant period of time, then it’s time to make a change. Work is work, but you should do what you love. If you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning to go to work for a few weeks then something is definitely wrong.

If this is the case you need to ask for help and ensure that you don’t do anything that you will regret. Talk to your boss and colleagues about what’s going on—honesty is the best policy. Your co-workers and superiors are there to help you at work and outside of work. This would also be a great time to consult a career counselor and/or a therapist just to ensure that you get to the bottom of what is really going on. Sometimes this can be fixed by just taking some time off, but you need to discuss all of your options before quitting your job, if this ends up being the case.

Change is good… it’s scary, but it’s good. It’s okay to contemplate quitting your job and it’s okay to explore your options. If you are thinking about quitting your job, just ensure that you have some sort of financial stability and that you are proactively looking for new opportunities. It might even be helpful to have some job applications sent out before you officially cut ties with your current company. Good luck to all of my readers in their career endeavors!

I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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