The Breaking Point: How to Determine When It's Time to Quit Your Job
Feeling frustrated, unfulfilled, and constantly counting down the minutes until the end of the workday? You’re not alone. In fact, about 80% of my coaching clients tell me in their first session that they fear they might be in the wrong job.
But how do you know when what you’re feeling is due to more than just a bad day or a tough week? When is it time to throw in the towel and say goodbye to your current job?
Let’s explore the breaking point – that moment when you realize that staying in your current position is hindering your professional growth and overall happiness. Whether it's a toxic work environment, lack of career advancement, or a mismatch between your values and those of the company, recognizing the signs of when it's time to quit is essential for your well-being.
Don't let fear and uncertainty hold you back from finding a fulfilling and rewarding career. It's time to take control and make a change for the better.
Signs that it may be time to quit your job
Sometimes, it can be challenging to differentiate between a rough patch and a clear indication that it's time to move on from your current job. However, certain signs often indicate that quitting is the best decision for your professional and personal growth.
1. Consider your overall job satisfaction and fulfillment. Are you constantly dreading going to work? Do you find yourself feeling uninterested and unmotivated? These are red flags that suggest your current job may no longer be a good fit for you. Additionally, if you notice a decline in your productivity and enthusiasm for your work, it may be a sign that you have outgrown your role or that your current job is no longer aligned with your passions and goals.
2. Re-evaluate your career goals and aspirations. Are you still able to pursue your long-term goals within your current job? If you find that your current position lacks opportunities for growth and advancement or if you feel stuck in a dead-end job, it may be time to explore other options. Remember, the best careers are a journey of continuous learning and development. So, if you feel like you've hit a roadblock, it may be time to seek new opportunities elsewhere.
3. Analyze the impact of your job on your mental and physical health. This is critical. A toxic work environment can be detrimental to your overall well-being. If you constantly feel stressed, anxious, or even physically unwell due to your job, it's a clear indication that it's time for a change. Your health should always be a priority and sacrificing it for the sake of a job is never worth it.
Weigh the pros and cons of quitting your job
Once you've recognized the signs that it may be time to quit your job, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of staying or leaving. Leaving a job is a significant decision that can have long-term effects on your career and personal life, so it's crucial to make an informed choice.
Consider the advantages of staying in your current job. Are there any potential opportunities for growth or positive changes on the horizon? If you believe that your current job has the potential to improve and align more closely with your goals, it may be worth exploring if there are any steps you can take to address the issues you're currently facing.
On the other hand, evaluate the disadvantages of staying in your job. Are the negative aspects of your current position outweighing the positive ones? If the cons significantly outweigh the pros, it may be a sign that it's time to move on. Remember, staying in a job that no longer serves you can hinder your growth and prevent you from reaching your full potential.
Our free Career Assessment Toolkit is an excellent way to assess your job satisfaction and fulfillment.
Build a support network and seek advice
Building a support network of friends, family, and colleagues can help provide you with the emotional support and guidance you need during this time.
Talk to people in your network who have gone through a similar experience. They may be able to provide you with valuable advice and insights into what to expect. You can also seek out a career coach or mentor who can help you navigate the job search process and provide you with valuable feedback on your resume and interview skills.
It's also important to take care of yourself during this time. Make sure to prioritize self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones. Taking care of your physical and mental health will help you stay focused and motivated during your job search.
Explore alternative career options and opportunities
This is where it gets fun.
Choosing the right career can be a crucial decision that impacts many aspects of your life. Here are some steps you can take to help you make an informed decision:
1. Start with a self-assessment
Make a list of your skills, talents, and strengths. This could include things like communication skills, problem-solving abilities, creativity, etc.
Consider what activities or subjects you enjoy. Think about hobbies, classes you liked in school, or even volunteer work you've done.
Reflect on your core values. What matters most to you? Is it job stability, creativity, helping others, financial success, or something else?
2. Consider your ideal work environment
Do you thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic setting, or do you prefer a more structured, organized environment?
Also consider your personality type. For instance, introverts may prefer roles with more independent work, while extroverts might enjoy jobs with more social interaction.
3. Research potential career options
Now that you know what’s most important to you, make a list of potential careers that align with those things. You can use resources like career websites, books, but in my experience the best method is talk to professionals in different fields. Their real-world experience will help you clarify your options, but also potentially alert you to possibilities you hadn’t considered.
4. Research the job market and demand
Research the job market for the careers you're considering. Who’s hiring? Which companies and/or industries are growing? What salary can you expect? Will you have to move cities?
5. Be adaptable
You will be learning as you go. What seems like a great field of opportunity this week, may not look so great next week. That’s okay. The key is to keep going, keep learning, and keep your spirits up.
Remember, choosing a career is not a one-time decision. It's a journey that may involve some trial and error. It's important to be patient with yourself and remain open to new opportunities and experiences.
Consider your financial situation
Before quitting your job, it's important to consider your financial situation and plan accordingly. You should have a clear understanding of your current expenses and future financial obligations, such as rent or mortgage, bills, and debt payments. Start by creating a budget that outlines your monthly income and expenses. This will give you a better idea of how much money you need to make to maintain your current lifestyle.
If you're planning to quit your job without having another one lined up, you should also consider how you will support yourself during this time. Do you have at least 6-months’ worth of expenses in savings? Do you have a side hustle or freelance work that can bring in some extra income? Can you pick up a part-time job while you search for a new full-time position?
Do not set yourself up for financial peril. The stress of that will only make your career change more difficult.
Make the final decision. And move forward!
Once you decide to quit, you’ll feel mix of emotions – relief, excitement, fear, and maybe even a little sadness. That’s okay, one chapter of your life is ending, and another is beginning.
Honor those feelings, but don’t forget why you made the decision to leave in the first place.
When you resign, stay positive and professional. Focus on reasons for leaving such as personal growth and new opportunities rather than any negative aspects of your job.
Offer to help with the transition. This might involve training a replacement, creating documentations, or providing a list of ongoing tasks and projects.
Tie up as many loose ends as you can. Ensure that you leave behind clear instructions for anyone taking over your responsibilities.
Finally, say goodbye graciously. Reach out to colleagues and express gratitude for your time working together. Thank your boss for their guidance.
And then, turn the page. You’re in a new chapter. How exciting!