Every day, you tell yourself “this is going to be the day I quit!” and then every day you talk yourself out of walking into the boss’s office and giving your two weeks notice.
You change your mind for many different reasons.
“I don’t have enough money in the bank.”
“What happens if I can’t find another job.”
“How can I quit today? I didn’t bring a bottle of champagne to work!”
One of the more common excuses people make for not quitting jobs they hate is that it doesn’t “feel” like the right time.
But when would be the best time to quit your job?
“A job should be a two-way street,” explains Piyush Patel, author of "Lead Your Tribe, Love Your Work." “The team should need you as much as you need them. There’s no reason to keep going to work every day to a group of people who don’t appreciate or respect you.”
A former college professor, Patel grew frustrated with outdated training material at his job, and launched a company from his living room with only $54, building it without any debt or investors. He eventually created a multi-million-dollar business.
Whether it’s a career, investing, or life decision, there’s never a perfect time to make any move. There are, however, specific obvious and apparent clues it’s the end of the road a current company or position.
Here are the signs it’s time to quit your job immediately.
1. Work Is Making You Physically Ill
Going to work can make you sick in several different ways. Hating a job can cause tremendous stress and that stress is linked to at least six common causes of death.
Some physical locations are also to blame. Dubbed “Sick-Building Syndrome,” offices with poor ventilation, mold issues, and even overcrowding can cause short and long-term health problems.
Before putting in your two-week notice, Patel suggests requesting a change of scenario to possibly salvage the relationship or at least feel better about going to work.
“If your company culture is a good fit but your immediate environment is not, you might be able to seek a transfer to another department. If that’s not an option, or if that holds no appeal, your best path to success may be with another employer.”
2. The Next Promotion Isn’t All That Attractive
The average lifespan of a job is 4 years, depending on your field, so if you don’t see yourself advancing in the next four years, it’s time to pull the ripcord and jump.
If the chance for a promotion at your current job does exist, but the position doesn’t look like all that much fun, the pay isn’t going to change your life in any significant way or the workload and responsibilities seem unbearable, those are more reasons to start updating the LinkedIn profile and sending out resumes.
3. Your Life Is Much Different Now
People go through changes, especially in personality. The shift in mindset is a slow process, but there’s a strong possibility you’re not the same person who accepted this job five or ten years ago.
If you’ve worked at the same job for more than a decade, you’re definitely not in the same place in life.
“Maybe that six-figure salary sounded great at the time,” offers Patel, “but after several long years, you may come to realize that it’s just not worth the stress and misery. The long, rigid work hours may have been okay when you were single, but maybe now you need the freedom to have more family time.”
4. Your Side Job Is Taking Off
Everyone needs a side hustle. It’s one of the quickest ways to becoming a millionaire or at least being financially stable.
If your side job is pulling in decent money, or more importantly, the time spent working on that job is far more enjoyable than the hours spent working a full-time gig for someone else, it’s time to quit your job.
5. You Hate Explaining What You Do For Work
Employment comes up in every conversation. Especially with strangers. Inevitably, a person at a party will ask “so what do you do?”
If you hate explaining your work because you think people either don’t care or will find it incredibly dull, maybe the real issue is that those are actually your true feelings. You might just be projecting those feelings onto strangers.
“If you don’t like discussing your job with other people, take a step back and ask yourself why. Is it because you don’t like your job, or are you afraid they won’t like your job? You may not have the most glamorous, high-paying, sought-after job on the planet, but if it makes you happy, that’s what really matters. Focus on the meaning it gives you and not what others will think.”
The Best Time To Quit
Even though there's no perfect time to quit a job, ultimately, your gut will tell you what's best for your life.
Whatever you decide, Patel implores people to keep everything in perspective before doing something you might ultimately regret.
"No job is 100% awesome, 100% of the time. Even when negativity makes up a small percentage of our day, it can feel like so much more. If you still get a sense of satisfaction and meaning from your work, let that be your North Star that guides your focus away from any minor negativity."