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Is It Time to Quit Your Job?

How to Know When To Say Goodbye


Young man staring at open laptop, side view
DTP / Stone / Getty Images

You hate going to work most days ... No! Make that every day. Are you wondering whether it's time to quit your job? There are few people out there who, at one time or another, haven't had the same thought. Sometimes that need to escape is the result of a sudden problem and other times it's a feeling a long time coming. Quitting your job isn't a decision you should make haphazardly though. It generally has a big impact on your life and, therefore, you should give it careful consideration. Here are some situations when you may have to simply say, "I quit!"

Your Job is Making You Sick: Your job is very stressful and it's giving you headaches, backaches and insomnia. Job stress can cause all these symptoms which can lead to even more serious health issues. If you can't work out the problems, you have to put your well-being first. There isn't any job worth getting sick over.

Your Boss is Marginalizing You: Your boss, for a reason unbeknownst to you, has taken away many of your responsibilities. You are treated like the invisible man/woman and are not included in important meetings. Don't do anything until you talk to your boss to find out what's going on, but be aware that your boss may be silently urging you to leave and doesn't have the guts to come out and fire you. If the situation seems like it won't improve, think about taking the hint.

You've Outgrown Your Job: When you started your job you may have been a novice. Now you have a lot of experience—much more than your job requires. If you find that you are overqualified for your current position and there's no room to move up, it's probably time to start looking for a job where you can put your skills to use.

You Receive an Offer for a Better Job: You've been stuck at the same salary level for a while and tried to negotiate a raise to no avail. If you get a job offer you find appealing—better pay and a good fit—you should give it serious consideration. It is hard to leave a job you like but if you need to or want to earn more money this may be the best thing you can do for yourself.

Work is Interfering With Family Responsibilities: Like many people you may be struggling, with limited success, to balance your job and your family. If you can afford to, take a hiatus from work while you try to figure out what to do next. This may mean taking a leave of absence, possibly covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act or, if you can afford it and you want to, quitting your job entirely. Many parents take time off from work in order to devote all their attention to raising their families but this isn't a choice everyone can or will want to make. You can also consider an alternative option like working from home. If you can't imagine not working, then try to find a job that allows you to find a better work-live balance, for example one with flexible hours, an easier commute or less travel.

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