Where our day jobs are concerned, we’ve all struggled with motivation at some point. We dread the sound of the alarm clock going off, pulling us from the warmth of our beds and dragging us off to something we don’t really care about. It takes until at least 11am – including two train rides, two coffees and a ‘catch up’ meeting – before we have resigned ourselves to our fate for another day.
So many of us feel like this on a daily basis but we do nothing about it. The problem with a steady job and pay-check is that it makes us mentally lazy and lures us into being complacent. The idea of quitting and actually doing something we are passionate about seems impossible. We worry that if we take the plunge and quit we will never find our feet again. We think that if we quit we will be homeless and on benefits within a month. Whilst present finances are certainly worth considering when quitting your job on a whim, sometimes you just know it is time. Maybe you just can’t take the drudgery anymore, or you have entrepreneurial ambitions that you can no longer ignore.
Sound like you? Here are 20 definitive signs you should quit your job:
1) You dread the alarm clock
Unless you are driven to do something you are passionate about, answering to the alarm clock in the pillow is a painful experience. If you find it difficult to get up and get motivated in the morning, then it might be time to rethink how you spend the time during your day. What is it about your job that your dislike so much? The work? The people? Uncover your real issues with the work and you will be in a much better position to make a logical decision on whether you should quit your job.
2) You’re not interested in the work
Answering all of those customer service emails and attending a product data meeting not setting your heart on fire? Sometimes, when our job doesn’t line up with our goals or aims for the future, we simply find ourselves disinterested in it. This is a big problem, for us and our employers, and is a huge sign it might be time to quit your job. The power of interest in what we do should not be underestimate as it is a huge factor in our eventual success. Leave now and both you and the company will be better for it in time.
3) You find yourself bored all the time
Day jobs generally revolve around a fixed routine, which can get boring after a while, especially if nothing seems to be happening. Even if your job is more dynamic than that, leading experts agree that prolonged boredom is a tell-tale sign that you are not doing something that you want to do. Instead of shopping, playing games or feeling resentful to your boss, get the hell out of there and start afresh. In a few months’ time, once the dust has settled, you will be glad you did.
4) Your skills are not being used
All of us have useful skills we were either born with or have acquired through years of hard work. You might have a degree you killed yourself over and are not using. Feeling that we are not being use to the best of our ability may be a sign that our boss doesn’t understand who we are. It may also be a sign that we are not in the right industry, or position, in order to showcase our talents. Plucking up the courage to quit your job and seek more satisfying work may be what is needed to propel you to the success you crave.
5) You feel trapped
Being stuck in a cubicle 9-5 is enough to make anybody feel trapped but if you are feeling this intimately, and it is driving you crazy, it might be time to quit your job. If you feel as though you are a prison, or are being held there against your will, it means you have no emotional investment in the work you are doing. You are essentially going through the motions, which is no way to live. Get out of there and do something that gets you buzzed up.
6) The goals of the business and your personal goals are not the same, or even similar
In this day and age, we feel we have more control over the trajectory of our careers. As a result, we no longer stay at companies for years, or even months, if we feel that our values and goals do not align. Realising we have this power to choose helps us to put our work into perspective – do we enjoy it? Does it help us achieve everything else we want out of life? If it doesn’t, and you and the bosses have differing views on this, it might be a good opportunity to quit your job and find something that closely matches your own desires.
7) You don’t like the culture
Not everybody will vibe with the culture in a certain business. In some instances, people like to come in, do their work and slip out quietly. In others – such as in some sales houses and recruitment agencies – the atmosphere is louder and you need to enjoy this to fit in. If you are working in a culture that doesn’t match your personality or values, it may seriously be time to rethink your occupation. Think carefully about how best you work and find a company (or create one) that will provide you with the environment to work like this.
8) You’ve lost your spark and feel repressed
Do you not feel like ‘you’ anymore? Are people commenting that you have lost your spark, or lost ‘something’, and seem to be struggling? When this happens, it is a huge sign that there is something wrong in our life situation. Something – or someone – is repressing our true personalities, which is causing us to withdraw into our shell. Work should never contribute to this – it should be a place where we let our personalities out and benefit from our personal strengths. If it is the job that is causing this repression, leave now.
9) You are starting to get stressed and fall ill
When we repress our true selves anything and everything has the power to stress us out. Prolonged bouts of stress cause us all sorts of physical issues, including hair loss, problems sleeping, relationship issues and actual illness due to the repression of the immune system. We will start to look and feel ill, which takes us further and further away from our true mission and, in some cases, be the catalyst for some serious issues. If this sounds like you it is time to quit your job and get your life back on track.
10) You can’t feel anything
Emotional numbness and withdrawal means you are no longer feeling stimulated in your current position. Unfortunately, this apathetic state lacks power and your bosses will just see it as quiet contentment, making it less likely they see you as an ‘up and comer’. We have to feel things vividly in order to throw some colour on our life experience. Without emotions it can be a cold and grey place and, if your job is a major contributor to this, there is good chance you have veered off-course from what you really want to do.
11) Your purpose has evaporated
We all need a purpose in life. In fact, having a mission is one of the key components to our wellbeing. Though we all start out with the best intentions and dreams, holding on to a job that no longer serves the ‘bigger picture’ can make them evaporate. If this is the case, quit your job and rediscover what it is that makes you feel alive. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you are passionate about it and can help other people with it, you can make a great living.
12) You are not growing as a person
For the person with a growth mindset, personal development and self-growth is as important as any pay-check in the world. Bluntly put, if you want to be successful but your current job is not allowing you to grow in the way you would like, you are in the wrong position. Remember who you wanted to be when you started out and start feeling your way back. Whether you quit your job instantly or not, start setting goals that challenge you again and help you to grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
13) The company has no investment in you or your development
Not every company out there will invest time and money into your self-development. Sometimes, the people who hired you see no future for you other than the one you have. If you are working for such a business, there is going to come a time when the money will not be enough. Consider your future self and where you want to be. Is working for a company that doesn’t value you me going to get me there? All things considered, it is unlikely. You should quit your job and start thinking of your next move as an investment, in yourself and your future success.
14) You worry about money, even though you have a steady pay packet
At some point in our lives, if we are working unsatisfying careers, we realise that the money we are earning is not contributing to our happiness. Instead, it is just allowing us to carry on the same old life, luring us into a false sense of security and numbing us to our emotional distress. Do you worry about money even though you have enough? It is a sign that the ends (stuff you buy) is not justifying the means (the work you don’t enjoy). Figure out what you really want to do, plan how to do it, then quit your job and live your dream.
15) You daydream sometimes about being fired
This is the classic sign that you should quit your job. You are sitting at your desk, pretending to be doing something even though you are done for the day, and you start daydreaming about being frogmarched out. Better yet, it is for something funny or clever that gets a cheer from your colleagues and leaves your boss red-faced. Don’t underestimate the power of daydreams – they are a form of creative visualisation and often show us what we really want, which is bubbling up from the depths of our subconscious. Instead of discarding it as ‘just a dream’ like most people, listen to it and decide what action you should take.
16) Your boss doesn’t recognise your worth and just sees you as a cog
We touched on this previously when talking about companies not valuing your development, but this one is more personal. When, on a person-to-person basis, your boss does not see any extra value in you, then you have a problem. This is especially true if you are harbouring aspirations to move up in the company. Either you have been trying hard enough to impress, or your boss just isn’t interested – either way you have a decision to make. Either quit your job and find somewhere where you are valued, or make a point to be more assertive and showcase your talents to your current employer.
17) Your ideas are ignored
Everyone has ideas, whether big or small, and when there are ignored by the ‘decision makers’ in the business, it can really hurt. It can make it feel as if you don’t matter. That you should just shut up, do your job, and let your superiors do the thinking. If this sounds like the position you are in, you need to seriously consider whether your ideas are worth having a shot at yourself. Nine times out of ten, they are. Test out your ideas on the weekend, away from work. Ask for opinions from friends. If you get positive feedback and your own feeling is good, it might be time to quit your job and show your ex-bosses what your ideas were really worth.
18) You feel ‘small’
Nobody wants to feel ‘small’ or unimportant. To feel like this for a long period of time will certainly erode your self-esteem and convince you that you are not as ‘good’ as the people who run your business. Over time, this will breed resentment and it will start to show in your work. If you are made to feel small, best to quit your job now and find a place that values you and your talents. Better yet, become a boss yourself, make money while you sleep, and show them how big you really are.
19) You are overly negative all of the time
Human beings are naturally positive but, once we set a cap on our abilities and feel trapped, it is easy to fall into a spiral of negativity. This can have devastating effects on our life experience – we can lose all confidence, fall prey to anxiety disorders and make ourselves a burden to be around. The first thing you need to do is get control of your thoughts and emotions and start consciously practicing positivity on a daily basis. Once you are sufficiently out of your funk, if your job is still a main source of negativity, you need to get out and do something else that keeps you in a positive mental state.
20) Everything feels forced
There is a difference between honest effort and everything feeling forced. Effort, when directed constructively, is a positive force and we will feel good when applying it, especially if it brings us closer to our inner goals. Feeling forced, on the other hand, is extremely negative. We finish our days feeling mentally and emotionally drained, as if there is no way out and this is it until we die. If this sounds like you at work, you are either not in the right position or not in the right business. Remove yourself from the situation, either by taking a vacation or when you quit your job, and gain perspective on why it feels so hard. If you decide that it is the job itself, get out and find something you can work hard at and enjoy at the same time.
21) You’re tired of seeing only a limited future
Working for an agreed salary is a double-edged sword. Even though it offers you a certain security, it also ensures you can only earn that amount of money – no matter how many hours or how much effort you put in.
When you decide to work for someone else you essentially have no say in what you are worth to the company. This can be quite a depressing place to be when you think about it, especially when you have dreams of future financial abundance and prosperity.
When you quit your job and decide to work for yourself, however, you are limited only by your drive and the number of hours in the day. This realisation can be extremely empowering if you have an entrepreneurial spirit within you. Instead of building someone else’s dream, why not build your own and decide what you are worth?