If you’ve ever had a bad day at work – you know, one of those awful days where everything is getting on your nerves, the idea of just quitting might pop into your head. And if you work in an especially toxic environment, day in and day out, then this desire to quit will grow to the point of becoming the obvious thing you should do. But quitting a job is also a big decision. It shouldn’t be taken lightly. And it especially shouldn’t be based on a particularly bad day or a strong, knee-jerk reaction.
Look at the bigger picture. Has your job ultimately been serving your career development in a positive way? What is it currently offering you? Do the benefits of quitting outweigh the negatives? And what does your future in this role and in this company look like?
To help you answer these questions, here are three signs you should quit your job. Or at least consider your options.
Your boss is bringing you down
There’s nothing worse than a boss who micromanages, who constantly checks up on what you’re doing and directs everything that you do. With a boss like this, it can be hard to find breathing space and periods of uninterrupted quiet where you can really focus without distraction.
Also, the fact that you’re not trusted to work independently might affect your self-esteem in the workplace. No one wants to feel like a machine just taking orders. When you don’t have control over your work, when your autonomy, creativity, and initiative are ignored, your job can become stifling.
In addition, you may have a boss who is always unfairly criticising you, yet never giving you praise when it’s deserved. If they’re angry a lot of the time, this is especially difficult to handle.
When your boss – and management in general – is making your job a living hell, then is it worth sticking around?
You can’t stand your co-workers
We can’t like each and every one of our co-workers, just as we can’t get on with everyone we meet outside of work. In some jobs, we find ourselves surrounded by easy-going people. Yet in others, the complete opposite holds true. And if you can’t find a single co-worker who you can connect with, who helps to keep you sane, then your job becomes very tiring and frustrating.
Toxic co-workers are those who love to gossip, talking about people in a negative light, and making snide remarks about them. You may also have co-workers who are hyper-competitive, rather than co-operative, who will do anything they can to elevate themselves and put others down. Some people feel comfortable with this kind of office politics. But if you can’t stand it, then you shouldn’t have to.
You’re being asked to do too much
Whenever you apply for a job, you should read the job description in detail. Find out as much as you can about the role in the interview. Then, when you get an offer, it’s important to read your contract thoroughly. Be sure you understand exactly what your responsibilities and duties are.
If you’re happy with what’s being offered, then it will seem like the job is a great fit. But sometimes, reality turns out to be very different from our expectations. Your hours might officially be 9 to 5, yet you are consistently being forced to work well into the evening. You may also be doing all of this overtime without getting paid for it.
Even when you head home or leave the office with a spring in your step on a Friday, your boss still expects you to respond to emails. This might apply when you’re on holiday as well. So you can never really switch off and relax.
You may also have to do a whole bunch of tasks that were not advertised. Which isn’t necessarily something to complain about, since this is actually quite normal. However, if you’re being overburdened with new and unexpected responsibilities, this can be extremely stressful. Be honest with yourself about whether a job like this is sustainable for you.
The prospect of leaving a job can undoubtedly be a source of self-doubt and anxiety. This is why it helps to have a game plan – and preferably a new job lined up – before quitting. The best thing about doing a job you hate? It motivates you to find a job that you love.