{Rivermate | When is the Right Time to Leave your Job? 15 Signs to Quit your Present Job

Career Development and Leadership

When is the Right Time to Leave your Job? 15 Signs to Quit your Present Job

Published on:

May 22, 2024

Written by:

Lucas Botzen

Feeling stuck or undervalued at your job? Discover 15 red flags indicating it might be time to move on from your current position. From dealing with self-serving managers to compromising your personal values, this article explores key signs that suggest a change is necessary for your professional growth and personal happiness. Read on to make an informed decision about whether it's time to seek new opportunities that better align with your career goals and ethical standards.

Quitting your job after multiple years of service in a company is a significant decision that will have a crucial impact on the future of your professional career. Before you decide that it is about time for you to search for greener pastures outside your company and instead make yourself available to other hiring companies, you first have to make sure that this is a decision you have already assessed and thought out.

Impulsive behaviors usually lure in financial and legal harm and rushing the decision of quitting your job could put you out of the map. Your boss could just be testing your faith and principles. If you give in to such a simple test, it could put a dent in your professional career permanently.

So, when is the right time to exclaim: "That's it! I'm quitting my job!"?

If truth be told, there is no single universal answer to this question. The future is never given with absolute certainty in the business world. However, there could be signs that you are working for the wrong manager and you can spot these in their actions and attitudes toward work.

This article will therefore enumerate 15 signs that it may be time for you to leave your job. It should also be noted that any or all of these signs may not apply to every employee. The employee herself should still make careful observation and assessment.

It could be a sign to leave your job when:

Your manager only looks after himself.

Managers who only look after their careers are most likely never concerned about driving the company mission or aligning team goals to organizational objectives. They also only care about their performances and cashing in on the annual bonus.

In sports terms, these managers only play for the name on the back of the jersey rather than for the team's success as a whole.

Your manager is always missing in action.

Your manager is never physically and/or mentally present. If, in times, they are in the office building, they are mostly behind closed doors so they can avoid personal interaction, especially when the company is faced with multiple organizational issues.

You may also notice that they are conveniently “busy” during crucial times when their input, command, and mere presence are needed by their subordinates. They usually just do this so they could mask their insecurity or fear of facing conflict. On the contrary, when it is raining good news in the company, they are interested and always present in meetings. This may be because they are only capable of handling their company when it is performing well, but when things are south, they cannot handle it.

Your manager is a bully.

Marcel Schwantes of Inc. Magazine claims that the effects of bullying in the workplace can be both huge and costly for businesses. Schwantes cites a report by Baird Brightmanm, a behavioral scientist, consultant, and writer from Haverford College. Brightman is quoted stating:

Aggressiveness (both verbal and physical) undermines safety and requires people to divert resources from productive work into defensive operations such as fight or flight.

Similarly, Babs Ryan from America’s Corporate Brain Drain agrees and claims:

Only 1 percent of bullies are fired; action is usually taken against the bully's target.

In these cases, your only choice may be to leave as quickly as possible—especially if the company supports your bully manager repeatedly and has already terminated the contracts several of their targets.

Your manager is inconsistent and confused.

Managers who are inconsistent and confused may be unfit for the roles they have for their companies. They will say one thing on Monday, then change directions by Tuesday, sometimes without even telling the team. This can make the communication among team members cryptic, and everyone may not know where to stand.

Your manager does not accept being wronged.

We have all worked with people who think so highly of themselves to the point where they cannot anymore accept being wronged. Well, it is an entirely different case when this is your manager.

These kinds of managers have a hard time taking blame or ownership when things are going wrong. They will never admit to having made a mistake, a practice completely natural and acceptable for anyone!

Schwantes supposes that managers like this are more concerned with preserving their reputation and saving face than taking responsibility for their actions.

Your manager is a narcissist.

Your manager being narcissistic is not only unfortunate for you, but this could be detrimental for himself as well. Narcissism is a mental condition formally known as narcissistic personality disorder, which requires extensive medical attention.

Joseph Burgo, in The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age, gives a comprehensive defnition to the narcissist:

The narcissist often relies on contempt to make others feel like losers, proving himself a winner in the process. He will belittle your work product or ridicule you at meetings. When he needs something from you, he may become threatening. At his most toxic, he will make you doubt yourself and your ultimate value to your employer.

You are not following your passion.

For you to perform well at work, passion is necessitated. When you are passionate at what you do, a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment is created. Often, higher rates of productivity, improved outcomes, and a feeling that you are not even working at all are associated with your passion to perform your roles and responsibilities.

In the absence of these, you may see work as a monotonous job rather than a career you want to pursue in the long term. You may also realize that your potential is wasted because your skills are not utilized for something you are passionate about.

If excitement is not there when you work, then this may be a sign for you to look for another position, or even another job outside of your company.

Your ethics are often being compromised.

Your dignity, ethics, morals, and principles are virtues that will never be bought out by money. If you ever find yourself in a situation that requires you to compromise any of these, then that should be a green flag for you to leave your company.

This can have potential long term implications for your career because even if the compromise is necessary to survive at your current job, if you do leave your job, the immoral actions you have taken from the past will, without a doubt, negatively affect your chances of getting a future job.

You dread going to work.

The thought of going to work should never make you feel anxious and depressed. It is reasonable to look forward to days off and vacation time, but to wish that the weekend comes to you fast because you dread going to work could be a sign that it is time you leave your company.

Work does not always have to feel fulfilling and fun, but that does not mean you should not feel comfortable performing your tasks for work.

You cannot balance work and life.

Wanting to get multiple things done in an efficient time is a manifestation of a strong work ethic which is a positive trait. However, if you find yourself working overtime constantly, that is a solid sign to reaffirm your job description and see to it that you are not working on tasks beyond what are stated in your contract.

If you work for an excessive number of hours per week, and this compromises your work-life balance, there may be negative consequences for your health and well-being, as well as your productivity and the quality of your work.

When you have exhausted all possible ways to establish boundaries between work and life, and you still do not feel like you can balance these priorities, then it may be time for you to research other job opportunities that provide you with a better work-life balance than your current job.

Your company’s future is in question.

It is inevitable for a company to experience cycles of highs and lows. Your company may be performing well relative to the market on one day, but during the next few days, it is down significantly. That is a perfectly normal situation in the field of business. However, if your company is significantly underperforming or in legitimate risk of being bankrupt, you should consider leaving.

For-profit organizations determine a company’s danger for closing by means of its sales and revenue. You can review your company’s annual financial reports and learn about its financial health and potential longevity. If you are uncertain of its success in the future, then consider applying for a company with better chances of profitability.

Your values are not aligned with those of your company.

If your personal values are awry with your organization, this could cause a misalignment that could result in pressure to compromise your ethics in the future. Misaligned values make way for varying approaches to certain tasks, differing prioritization of assignments, contrasting methods for managing employees, and perhaps a dissimilarity in opinions about key policies and strategies.

Misalignment in goals and values can have implications beyond just work approach and ethics, and sometimes, the only way to avoid this is to consider looking for a company that shares the same values as you.

You are grossly under-compensated.

Under-compensation can be a reflection of how little your company values you or your growth potential. Although some employees accept lower compensation in exchange for unique opportunities or non-financial fringe benefits, under- compensation could be a solid enough reason to leave your job.

Mismatch between your skill set and your compensation can have different implications for the responsibilities you are assigned and your future with the organization. Staying in this situation can also lead to frustration or resentment because of the logistical lifestyle implications of a low salary, subpar healthcare, or related benefits.

You are underusing your skills.

Your job should challenge you to become better at what you do each day. You may feel comfortable performing a responsibility that is too easy for you, but this will harm your professional career in the long run, especially if your growth is compromised because of your bounded job responsibilities. Your potential for growth may be hampered in this kind of situation, and this will eventually lead to feelings of complacency and frustration.

If you have politely asked your superiors for opportunities to utilize your broad skill set but they declined you anyway, you may have to consider leaving for another job that actually uses your skill set at an optimum level.

You have no opportunities for growth.

When you are no longer offered opportunities for advancement and growth in your organization, it is usually time to move on. These opportunities are not necessarily limited to promotions or vertical advances in an organization, rather, it can come in the forms of working on a new project, learning a new branch of the business, being mentored by a senior leader, or taking a mid- level leadership position.

If your company does not help you engage in these types of opportunities, then that might be a sign that you should quit.

Final Thoughts

Leaving your job is indeed a huge decision. Even after you have made the call to stay or leave your company, your mind may still go back and forth on whether or not you made the correct choice. It is important that you take responsibility for whatever decision you make. Make sure that you have exhausted all factors relevant such as the following:

  1. Your work environment.
  2. Your seniors.
  3. Your opportunity for growth.
  4. Your compensation.
  5. Your future in the company.

This article only gave you a glimpse of what it is like to decide rationally. Any or all of the signs enumerated previously may or may not be applicable to your situation. It is your personal responsibility to comprehensively assess your situation and make the call afterward.

Contact us atRivermate and let us talk about how we can help you grow your business!

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