How To Know When Its Time To Quit Your Job

According to a recent survey, 33% of us in the UK are looking for new jobs this year. The tight reins that many businesses have kept on salary increases in recent years, together with work pressure in tough trading times, seem to be taking their toll.

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But how do you know for sure that it’s time to go? Here are some tell tale signs that the end is in sight for you:

  • You dislike what you’re doing. You’ve got to the point where you’re more than just bored, or not enjoying what you do. It’s becoming an active hatred. You can feel it sitting like a lead weight on your heart. It’s affecting your whole outlook on life.
  • You feel no connection with your boss or colleagues. If you ever trusted your boss, that’s gone never to return. And, there’s no-one at work you can really call a friend.
  • You’d really rather stay in bed. You’re struggling to get up in the morning, and it’s an effort to get yourself together for your day.
  • You can never get on top of your workload. No matter how hard you try, you never feel that you’re getting on top of things. You might just about get there when the goalposts change again and you’re back to square one.
  • You’re constantly ill. Despite whatever you do to de-stress, you’ve always got some kind of minor health problem going on. Whether it’s a cold, flu, whatever, you also notice these things becoming more difficult to shrug off and recover from.
  • You’re living for weekends and holidays. The idea of work life balance is great, but it’s been a long time since you had any.
  • You’ve tried your hardest to make things better. You’re a pro. You’ve read all the advice on how to hack your career and you’ve applied it all religiously. Without success. You’re done with trying.

Sometimes the best thing to do is walk away. Some companies and some situations are just not for you. Don’t waste your energy and talents trying to force fit yourself into a scenario that was never for you.

There’s no formula

But here’s something else you should know. It may take you time to get to the point of resigning. And that’s normal.

One of my friends tells the story of how he’d been unhappy for some time in his job, without any clarity around what to do about it. Then one day, he was sitting in a session with his coach, and for the third month running found himself making up stories about why he hadn’t written his five-year plan, an exercise his boss had asked him to do.

“There I was waffling away,” he says, “and from nowhere it struck me that the reason I wasn’t writing the plan was that I didn’t want to be there in five years. Suddenly I just knew. I resigned 20 minutes later.”

And that's the key to the whole thing: that knowing. It’s really your own deeper wisdom speaking, if you’ll let it. The logical reasons might abound, but knowing has its own process and its own time. The thing is to trust it and follow it when it speaks to you.

Sure, there are pragmatic considerations around what you subsequently do and how you finance yourself. But when the decision presents itself, make it. That’s step one. The rest will follow. And you’ll wonder why you slogged it out for so long.

So, over to you. If you've quit a job, or indeed corporate life altogether, what were the prompts? And what was your final tipping point?

Christine Livingston

Coach, Catalyst, Change Artist

Writer, coach, inspiration junkie, partner, friend, coffee-drinker, paleo eater, world traveler and more.