Should You Stay Or Should You Go? 5 Signs You Should Quit Your Job
Marisa K., a 27 year-old in Washington, D.C., took her job at a major conservative organization in the District the moment it was offered to her a year ago. The pay was decent, she needed a job out of graduate school, and she was tired of the job search. The position was in event planning and marketing; her field was political science, but she thought she could learn to love it. She grew to enjoy event planning and promotion, traveling the country (and sometimes the world) for corporate events. Then she began to be bullied by her boss, facing false allegations of disrespecting representatives from other organizations, and accusations that she seemed unhappy at work. She had never brought her personal life into work, and was baffled by the scrutiny coming her way.
Marisa faced a major turning point. “I didn’t know whether I should stay in the job, and continue to work with a boss who seemed like she didn’t want me there, or if it was time to get out before things got worse,” she told Wall Street Insanity. “I thought there was a chance we could work through it. But she didn’t want to hear my side of the story. So I took some time off to collect my thoughts, and realized I needed to move on.” Marisa ultimately left the job, took on a government job in her field, and is much happier today. “I’m so glad I left. I’m doing something I love, and I’m not afraid to come in to work every morning,” she says.
Marisa’s situation was one that many Millennials today face. A sizable portion of this generation graduated at a time when the job market was paltry, and young people like Marisa took what they could get, when they could get it.
Student loans and the need to pay them off only put on the pressure. That’s why some, like Kelly M., 26, of New York City, found themselves in jobs they weren’t sure they actually wanted.
“I studied communications, which gave me a lot of options,” Kelly told Wall Street Insanity. “But when I graduated, I kept my job as a store manager because I couldn’t find anything else. I was lucky that they ended up promoting me to the job I wanted, because they knew I wanted to get into the HR side of things at the larger company.”
Kelly now works in the fashion industry, in recruitment, at a different company. “The path wasn’t what I’d expected, since I had to be a store manager for a long time” she adds. “But I’m glad I finally got where I wanted to be.” Kelly didn’t quit, Marisa did, yet both young women found their way to jobs they loved.
So how do you know when it’s actually right to throw in the towel? It can be tough to decide, but the experiences of Millennials like Kelly and Marisa make it clear that there are some telltale signs that you just can’t (and shouldn’t) stay any longer:
You wake up in the morning filled with dread.
If you wake up and have an awful feeling in your stomach, you’re probably not in the right job. You can’t spend your life dreading every following day, and feeling utmost relief when you get home from work. Your job takes up a sizable portion of your life, which means it can make or break your days. If it’s ruining every day, it’s not for you.
You’re being bullied, and no one is helping.
If you’re facing any kind of intense negativity at work, be it passive-aggressive behavior from a coworker, cruel words from a boss, or physical harm (which is a whole other, major issue that you would probably want legal help for), then you’re probably being treated in a way you don’t deserve. If you’ve gone to Human Resources, a supervisor, or another trusted person, and they cannot or do not offer the assistance you need, then you may need to take the next step and get out. Depending on the extent of the bullying, there may also be legal action you can take.
You’re unmotivated and sluggish.
Stress and discomfort felt from simply being at work keep you from focusing while you’re there. When you get home, you’re exhausted from the stress you felt while at work, and don’t want to do anything else that you typically enjoy doing, be it cooking, cleaning, or working out. “Every day, on the Metro ride home from work, I just sat there in a daze trying to cheer up and get some energy. But I was so emotionally drained, and I didn’t feel better. All I wanted to do was go home, drink wine, maybe watch a tv show and go to sleep. But I didn’t want to talk to my husband, catch up with friends, anything like that,” Marisa explains.
You don’t have good work friends.
If you aren’t forging solid friendships while at work, you may not have found the support you need there. It could point to a larger issue, like the overall environment in your workplace, or the general sense of unhappiness you feel at this job. Lynne Taylor, author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant; How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” explains that in a bad job, you may find yourself encountering “ethical or moral differences in how the company and you believe the firm should operate; cultural differences; work ethic clashes, and so on.”
You’re not being promoted.
“I had to be a manager at a single store, even though I wanted to be at headquarters, for the longest time. I should have been promoted more quickly than I was, and a lot of people told me it was time to leave. I ultimately left the company later, due to a better job opportunity, partly because I was frustrated with how long it took to go up the ladder in the first place. I think I was stagnating,” Kelly explains. Kelly believes she also might have been promoted more quickly had she been doing something she actually loved. “I wasn’t happy, so I didn’t give it my all,” she admits. If you’re not promoted, it may be because you’re unhappy, but it could also simply mean that the job doesn’t align well with your skill set, or your qualifications simply aren’t being recognized. Either way, it might be time to reevaluate.
There’s a fine line between being bored easily, and actually being in a job you should leave. Be sure to carefully evaluate why you’re deciding to leave your job. Taylor recommends making a list of pros and cons as to why you should stay, and ensuring “you’ve confronted problems directly and uncovered every possible communications avenue, with everyone involved.” In other words, have you communicated your concerns to everyone possible, and done your best to remedy them? If so, then you can say with certainty that you’ve done everything you possibly could.
There’s a lot of job turnover with young employees today. According to the Future Workplace “Multiple Generations @ Work” survey. While there’s nothing wrong with this, per se, it’s always a great idea to stay in your job if it’s something you enjoy — and you see room for growth. Job hopping has its advantages, but when you can put in your time at a single company, you may find yourself reaping the rewards.
Still, when it’s time to leave, sometimes you just know. Marisa describes it as “this feeling I had that I just couldn’t imagine myself there anymore.” Whatever you decide, as long as you come up with a game plan for when you do leave, you’ll most likely find a way to make it work. There’s a good chance there’s something better just around the corner.