When Is It Time To Break Up With A Job?
I find it hilarious that I wrote this post weeks before I ultimately decided to quit my job to pursue my own business full-time. "Eve's Diary to Eve", much? 😅
It's been a scary road leading up to this moment, but I wanted to share my wisdom across the past few years in corporate which might help you decide if it's finally time for the next opportunity. Cheers!
There seems to be a huge taboo surrounding leaving a job. Let's chip away & break that down today.
Why is it perpetually awkward to talk about leaving a role, company, or dare I say it, a manager? I mean, it's perfectly natural to grow out of a job where you've stopped learning, growing, or being challenged by the work. It's just as natural to leave a culture that doesn't serve you or a manager that you simply don't vibe with... But why does leaving sometimes feel like a walk to the guillotine? Spoiler alert: Companies don't want to make leaving seem easy! (Shocker!)
We're still breaking out of the workplace culture where coworkers feel like they can't openly discuss salary or openly ask for advice without the ears in the walls hearing all about it. So, let's further the cause together, shall we? Here are some telltale signs to know it's probably time to break up with your job & please note that these tips should not be taken as singular points, but part of a more robust analyzation of your job:
1. You stop learning.
Have you squeezed every educational opportunity from this role as possible? Have you been stuck in the same mundane routine for over 6 months with seemingly no new projects or experiences in the pipeline?
You shouldn't go to work just to grab a paycheck; each role should be a deliberate choice for which the new skills you acquire make yourself more marketable for your next opportunity!
2. There is no growth.
(This one goes without saying.) Have you spent 2, 3, 5, 10 years at a company and seen zero promotions or raises come your way? Or maybe you were hired for one job and gradually accrued 2-3 full-time positions on top of it! You should be acknowledged for your work & seeing no tangible growth can sometimes translate into poor management.
3. You drastically dread waking up in the morning.
Now, there is certainly a difference between being tired and literally dreading waking up to the point of depression. Work should NEVER induce behaviors that are often paired with mental health disorders! You should enjoy waking up, you should enjoy your job... & if you can't do that, at the very least you should be able to find one motivating factor that gets you up. If you are finding it nearly impossible every single day, perhaps you should take the cues your body is trying to convey.
4. You have bouts of becoming physically ill as a direct result of your job.
I've known plenty of chronically ill people who, as soon as they leave a job they hate, suddenly become their healthy selves again. I've had stressed-out managers who have held on to "colds" for 4-6 months! For me, if I'm extremely stressed on a day-to-day I develop lower back pain that remains for weeks on end. Listen to your body- it's trying to protect you!
5. You have crippling anxiety surrounding your manager.
Does your heart drop every morning that you have a 1:1 scheduled with your manager? Do you have incredible and crippling anxiety when they call you out of the blue? Do you find it hard to stay calm when you're interacting with them, maybe sometimes shake or get tongue-tied super easily? It's important to recognize the difference between caring & trying to do a great job vs being literally terrified of your manager!
6. Where's the challenge?
Can you perform your job with your eyes blindfolded, both hands tied behind your back, while heavy metal is being played directly in one ear? This leans into lack of growth and learning, but even if you aren't growing and learning, a challenge can sometimes offer some form of satisfaction. No challenge, learning, or growth makes for a veeery boring day-to-day... Is it worth it?
7. The office culture sucks.
Maybe your role not the most satisfying, but at least the office culture is warm and inviting..... right? RIGHT?!?! I mean, if a company realizes they cannot foster growth, they should at least budget time, energy, and $$ into making the culture A+. This could be seen in team-building moments, perhaps perks like free lunch or free fitness classes, and maybe even top-notch benefits. Receiving a total package of ..... zero? Something to consider.
8. You've spent nearly a lifetime at the company and have received no return on your time investment.
"A lifetime" these days means 5+ years. If you've been there for 5+ years and have received nominal promotions/raises/acknowledgements during your tenure, perhaps it's time to evaluate why you have remained allegiant to a company that has provided no return. Gone are the days of blind allegiance to corporations and accepting sub-par acknowledgements. You are worth more than this!
9. It's become impossible to separate work from your personal life.
Do you come home EVERY day with baggage from work? Do you spend 2-3 hours trying to decompress every night? How about your spouse/partner/roommates? Do you chew their ears off every single day with a new work-related issue? You should be able to separate work from your personal life. It's not always easy, but you are ENTITLED to a life outside of work. If it's become impossible, you need to evaluate if this sacrifice is worth it.
10. You're just not happy anymore.
You know when it's time. You just know. Listen to your gut & allow yourself to make the best decision for you.
I hope these tips could offer at least some guidance or clarity. As always, If you can use targeted help in your professional journey, visit me on adminandeve.com! If not, no biggie, I post blogs weekly about being an admin & navigating the corporate world. Hope you stick around!