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How to Know It’s Time to Leave Your Job: 9 Signs That You’re Ready to Move On

Leaving a job is rarely an easy choice. Changing jobs can open the doors to opportunity, allowing you to advance your career and find fulfillment in your everyday life. However, it’s not without risk. Quitting without careful consideration can pose a threat to your financial situation, especially if you haven’t saved enough and don’t have a plan in place.

Although deciding to leave your job can be challenging, recognizing that you’re ready for a change is a key stepping stone in your professional growth and development. Here are a few signs that may suggest you’re ready to move on:

Lack of growth opportunities

If your company doesn’t have a clear path for growth – or worse, they’re not receptive to your professional goals – it’s a strong indicator that you might have hit your ceiling in your current position. Whether you’re seeking a promotion, learning new skills, or gaining exposure to different projects, growth is an important factor in progressing your career.

However, it’s important to explicitly ask your manager about growth opportunities before making a decision. You might be surprised what simply asking about these opportunities might lead to.

Burnout and exhaustion are impacting your mental and physical health

Your health and well-being should always be a priority. Work-related stress is normal, but if you’re facing consistently high stress without any relief, it’s a sign that your current job may not be a good fit.

Chronic stress and burnout can manifest differently from person to person. You might feel constantly drained, nauseous, or have trouble sleeping. Your mental health can deteriorate, leaving you feeling anxious, defeated, and full of self-doubt. If the long-term effects of work-related stress are permeating all aspects of your life, your body might be pleading for change.

When your job is causing significant stress to the point of damaging your physical or mental health, it’s time to have an honest conversation with yourself about whether your situation is sustainable.

You’re working in an unhealthy environment

Toxic work environments can take many forms:

• Frequent conflicts with your colleagues or leadership
• Poor work-life balance
• Lack of boundaries
• Excessive criticism
• Unethical behavior

An unhealthy workplace is plagued by persistent negativity, poor communication, and lack of support from your coworkers and management. Office politics are an unavoidable aspect of the corporate world, but they shouldn’t interfere with your ability to do your job or your personal life. If you find that your company is emotionally draining or affecting your mental or physical health, it’s usually time to transition to a job with a more positive environment.

You have little to no work-life balance

Your job is only one portion of your life – it shouldn’t be everything. While some periods of imbalance are normal, long-term strain on your personal life is unsustainable.

For example, if your work demands overtime without compensation or leaves little time for your personal life, you might be due to reassess your priorities. A healthy work-life balance can benefit your productivity, overall job satisfaction, and is key for maintaining your overall well-being.

You’re being undercompensated

It’s not uncommon for people to accept a lower salary in exchange for a new opportunity, especially if the role has ample access to growth opportunities.

Unfortunately, it’s also not uncommon for employers to take advantage of this. You could be going above and beyond, taking on new responsibilities that eclipse your role’s original scope. You could do everything ‘right’ – and your effort may never be reflected in your pay.

Consistently being underpaid can take a significant toll on your self-esteem and set a dicey precedent for perceived value at the company. If you haven’t received a raise or promotion in an substantial period of time despite performing well, it’s usually a sign that it’s time to move forward.

You lack passion

Passion is the driving force behind any successful career. It promotes productivity, creativity, and consistent improvement. Being passionate about your work invigorates your mind, giving you a sense of accomplishment or purpose. Without passion to combat the monotony of your day-to-day, many struggle to stay motivated and engaged in their work.

If you no longer feel excited about your job or have lost the motivation to give your best, you may have exhausted your hunger to excel in your role. If you’re unable to reclaim your passion for your work, it’s often a signal that it’s time to pursue new opportunities that better align with your interests and passions.

Your company has frequent layoffs or a high turnover rate

Companies that are frequently cycling through employees or going through restructures or layoffs are major red flags. These patterns are typically a reliable indicator of instability, ineffective management, or a lack of job security. In such cases, it’s wise to explore more stable opportunities to protect your career and financial well-being on your own terms – before you’re in the same position involuntarily.

Your gut is telling you it’s time for a change

There’s a reason why “trust your gut” is a popular adage. Sometimes, your instincts tell you it’s time to move on before any tangible signs appear.

Maybe you just can’t shake the feeling that your work isn’t right for you. Or you’re constantly fantasizing about what your life would be like after quitting your job. Perhaps you’re starting off your day with a pit in your stomach at the mere thought of going to work.

Whatever the case, these are typically indicators that you could benefit from pursuing new opportunities. It’s not uncommon for chronic dissatisfaction to spread to other parts of your life, leaving you feeling unfulfilled as a whole. Trusting your intuition can be the first step in finding a more fulfilling and suitable career path.

You’re scouring lists looking for reasons to leave your job

If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you’re sincerely weighing the pros and cons (if not already made up your mind) about leaving your job. It may be that emotion and logic are at odds, each urging you in different directions. In these instances, seeking out resources that validate your desire to leave a job is usually a clue that your role isn’t a good fit.

Once you’ve made up your mind, be sure to map out your next steps before you quit. From updating your resume to submitting your resignation, to making a graceful exit to interviewing for new positions – leaving a job is an inevitable phase in your career journey. Best of luck pursuing greener pastures!


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