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  • Kimiko Ebata

How to Know When It's Time to Go

Updated: Dec 31, 2021



We all have bad days, don’t like our jobs at times and have frustrations with our managers and co-workers, but asking yourself whether you should quit your job is a different kind of question. Before making a move, it is important to assess how long these issues have persisted at work and to identify where your dissatisfaction lies, to determine if you’re stuck in a rut or if it’s time to look for green pastures.


“We change our behavior when the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the pain of changing,” according to author Dr. Henry Cloud. The consequences of a negative situation causes the pain that motivates us to make a positive change.


If you think you have reached that tipping point, here are other signs that could signal it’s time to move on:


1. Your motivation and productivity levels have plateaued.


This can look different to each individual. This could be the result of a lack of promotions and pay raises, discontent or boredom with assignments or lack of growth.


Research on human motivation, called “self-determination theory,” says that we are all intrinsically motivated. In addition to responding to external motivations, our understanding of human motivation requires an equal understanding of our psychological needs for autonomy, relatedness, and competence. If you feel that you are lacking in any of these areas with your job, this could be a potential red flag to look out for in the long run.


2. Your family and friends are tired of hearing you complain about work.


No one wants to be that kind of grinch, especially during the holidays.


3. There are major issues with your boss.


There are going to be days when you and your boss don’t see eye-to-eye, but when disagreements break a level of trust and support, this can stunt productivity and growth. Signs of bullying or toxic behavior are indications to look out for. Before making any drastic moves, it would be wise to look at other leaders at your workplace to see if they are acting according to organizational protocol.


4. There’s no amount of money that could make up for the discontent that you feel with your job.


Money simply can’t buy happiness in this situation, you just need out. Your health and wellbeing mean more to you.


5. There’s a cultural disconnect between you and your company, and a contrast in values.


The mission and policies of your organization don’t feel aligned with who you are, making it difficult to feel engaged, productive, and happy. For many, the way that organizations responded to the needs of their employees throughout the pandemic has played a role in people deciding to leave their jobs. At the very least, every professional should feel safe and supported in their workplace, and if you feel this isn’t the case, it might be time to look elsewhere.


The truth is, if you are fundamentally unhappy with your job, you are fundamentally unhappy with your life. Life is too short to be disengaged at work and far too precious to be disengaged at life.