Knowing When It’s Time to Quit Your Job


I’m not a quitter.

Not even in the slightest. As I steadily grew into my perfectionism, I realized that quitting was never an option. You stick with the people you care about because you can’t let them down. You stay in school even when you don’t see the point sometimes. You strive to be better and better. You want what’s best for yourself and the people you love.

So, that means you absolutely never quit your job.

I’ve been extremely lucky when it comes to jobs. I’ve taken care of the same three kids for almost a decade while having a string of other jobs along the way. I worked at Target and Hot Topic seasonally, so I knew my time there was finite. I worked in an office first as a temporary employee, but extended my time there through my last year of college as a means of paying for my graduation trip. However, they knew that upon graduating, I would be leaving. So, I’ve never actually had to quit a job.

Until now.

I started working at a doctor’s office as a receptionist thanks to the suggestion of a close friend. I was excited to have a new job now that the youngest child I care for was in kindergarten and figured I would stay about a year before hopefully finding one of those mythical writing jobs that want five years experience for entry level positions. But I quickly realized that that was just simply not the place for me. It was a mix of many things and it ultimately started to make me feel miserable. Friends, my mom, my sister and my boyfriend all asked me why I was even bothering staying.

It was the first time that I had even considered quitting something. I thought maybe if I stuck it out, things would get better. They didn’t. Of course they didn’t. So, I had to stop and ask myself if that job was benefiting me. If it was, in what ways? If it wasn’t, what was keeping me tethered to that place? Ultimately, I realized that it was in no way benefiting me and that I needed to take myself into consideration, not everyone else like I was always prone to do. It just couldn’t be what I did day in and day out anymore.

Which made me realize that there are tell-tale warning signs when a job isn’t the right fit for you and when it’s time to quit. It may have taken me a little too long to realize that quitting is okay, but it doesn’t have to be that way for you!

You Dread Waking Up in the Morning

Seriously. If you hear your alarm and find yourself staring at the ceiling or scrolling through social media or pulling out any sort of stall tactic, you should probably reconsider your job. I know that having a job is important and necessary to move through life, but there shouldn’t be a struggle to get out of bed and get to work in the morning. Bad days happen, sure, but finding it difficult to want to even go in means you’re not in the right place.

Showing Up Late

Showing a blatant disregard for whether or not you’re on time or come back from lunch when you’re supposed to can indicate that you don’t want to do the work that you originally signed up for. Others can tell you that it’s getting to be a problem and when you stop caring if it is or isn’t, then you really do have a problem.

Daydreaming About Getting Fired

Or losing your job or quitting. If you spend any portion of most of your work week daydreaming about what you can be doing instead of being at that job, including looking for a different job, you’re not in a good place, my friend. I’ve spent time wondering how much I’m not getting done at home because I was stuck at work for hours on end for little to no satisfaction other than a paycheck. That’s not good! You have to be present and have a desire to be there, not everywhere else.

It Leaks Into Your Relationships

For most people, job stress is totally normal. It happens with every job. But if you’re so stressed that you’re taking it home with you and you’re letting it interfere in your relationships, it’s not where you should be. If it’s hindering you from spending time with the important people in your life, if you snap on them because you’re unhappy or stressed or if you’re becoming more withdrawn, check out Indeed or Glassdoor and start sending out that resume. It’s a job, not your entire life.

If You’re Not Happy

Plain and simple: if you’re not happy with your job, assess if that’s where you belong. If the sound of your coworkers voice is grating, if the environment is toxic, if the work isn’t fulfilling, if you find your quality of life is going down and you’re down in the dumps more than anything else, you are more than capable of, and absolutely should, walk away.

For me, it’s out of fear of upsetting others because of my actions that I don’t like quitting. I worry that I’m going to create a problem and always want to avoid that at all costs. But that’s not how I should be thinking. We’re afraid to leave jobs because we don’t like the unknown. We don’t want to find ourselves in another terrible job or even worse, out of one altogether. As a generation, we have no choice but to work and are willing to lack job satisfaction in favor of job security. It allows us to forget about our well-being as we’ve done in other areas of our lives.

However, staying in a job we hate creates more problems. We need to stand up for ourselves and remember that it’s okay to quit. There’s another job somewhere and sure, it may suck, but you’ll have already moved on from a bad situation before and can do it again. And it may turn out to be great and you would have missed out had you stayed behind before.

Until you find the job you’re comfortable and happy with, there are going to be a few bad seeds. You just don’t need to plant them and grow roots.

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