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3 Signs It's Time to Quit

Mar 7, 2008
Have you felt trapped at work? Unappreciated? Underused? Can you not stand the smell of your boss' cheap Old Spice another day? Then join the thousands of U.S. workers that will tell their bosses adios this holiday season and move on to greener pastures.

It turns out that December and January are the ideal time to quit because of two words: holiday bonus. Employees have been holding their tongues all summer long, holding out for that precious extra cash. And managers have been dangling it in front of their faces like the carrot before the horse. Once December rolls around and you get that check in your hand, it is the perfect time to hand in your two weeks notice.

In all fairness, of course, every job has its rough times. Every employee has something about their job that they dislike. Unfortunately, many hasty individuals have made the mistake of overreacting to the unpleasantries of their job and jumping ship early, only to find themselves drowning in a sea of unemployment and no-money-ness and wishing they had never left. Also, hasty ship-jumping can leave a nasty black mark on your resume. The lesson: quit strategically and only after careful analysis of the consequences.

To assist the dissatisfied in this analyses, I present the following three sure-fire signs it is time to move on:

You dread going to work every morning. Normal employees have the odd morning where they do not want to go into work. It's natural. That's why we have paid leave. But, if the thought of going to the workplace makes you sick to your stomach every morning, your job may not be the best fit for you.

Generally, you should find some satisfaction in your chosen profession. It's good for you, for your mental, emotional, and physical health. It's good for your family and friends who have to be around you after work. Conversely, dissatisfying jobs rob you of peace of mind. They make you irritable, withdrawn, and just plain unhappy. And there is no shame in admitting that you hate your job and need to find one you like. Ultimately, it's best for you, your loved ones, and your employer.

You haven't been promoted or had a raise in a long time. Promotions and raises are signs of progress, a sign that you are a contributing member of the company. The lack thereof indicates, at least from the boss' perspective, that an employee has stalled in their progress or outlived their usefulness.

The wise employee will discuss this concern with their manager. It may simply be a matter of raising one's voice to get their attention. Often, managers innocently fail to track their employees' progress. By bringing the issue to their attention, you may get back on their radar. Simply put, communication is key.

If you find out that they haven't promoted you because they think you are incapable of anything more advanced than placing files in alphabetical order, consider this a good sign that it's time to move on.

Your workstation doubles as a storage area. Managers have ways of delivering hints to unwanted employees. Often they want to toss someone but are silently awaiting a legal opportunity to do so. Other more cowardly managers take a more indirect route. They make things difficult for the problem employee, trading out their computer for an inferior model, moving their workstation to that narrow space between filing cabinets, and stacking piles of boxes in their cubicle. This means the boss doesn't like you. Most likely, you don't like them either.

If you experience this kind of behavior from your superior, you have a few options: 1) wait for them to lay you off, which will at least probably come with some kind of severance but will mean explaining at future interviews why you got canned; 2) wait for them to fire you, which would mean they found a legitimate reason to send you away with no severance pay; or 3) quit, which would give you no black marks to discuss in future job interviews but also no severance package. Quitting is the best option if you have another job to jump right into.

Everybody deserves to have a job that they like, at least some of the time. Don't stay in a job you hate. Take note of these signs and know when to quit.
About the Author
CareerGuy enjoys helping others learn more about distance learning, adult education & more. Learn more about quitting your job, and knowing when it's time to move on.
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