To quit your job, or to not quit your job—that really is the question.
Yes, deciding whether or not to pack up your desk and hit the road is a tough choice to make.
On the one hand, you love the idea of a thrilling new career adventure. But, on the other? Starting a new gig can be challenging—and there’s a lot to be said for the comfort and security of something you already know so well.
So far, your seemingly endless internal debates haven’t led you to a conclusive answer, and you’re eager for any sort of clear signs that will tell you whether you should stay or go. Well, you’re in luck. If you’re experiencing even just one of the following symptoms, that could be a solid indicator that it’s time to start your search for something new.
1. You’ve outgrown your role.
You haven’t felt challenged in ages, you have a ton of beneficial skills that remain totally untapped by your employer, and you can’t remember the last time you were on the receiving end of constructive criticism.
Sure, it can be nice to feel like you’ve totally mastered your career. But, at the same time, it also means you aren’t actively growing and improving.
If you’re beginning to feel like your current role is something that’s way far beneath you, it’s probably in your best interest to begin looking for a new challenge. Perhaps that involves pursuing a promotion or a transfer within your existing company, or maybe it requires you to move on to something bigger and better altogether.
Either way, if you’re feeling stuck and stagnant, you deserve to find something that pushes you to be your best.
If you’re feeling stuck and stagnant, you deserve to find something that pushes you to be your best.
2. You can’t imagine your future.
Close your eyes for a moment and picture what your career at your current company will look like five years from now.
What do you see? If you’re having a hard time envisioning anything, that can serve as an indicator that you don’t see much potential for growth or advancement with your existing employer.
If you can picture your future, but the very thought of it makes you groan? Well, that’s another telltale sign that it’s time for you to get out. There may be paths to career advancement—but, if they don’t excite you, they ultimately don’t do you any favors.
3. You’re always on edge.
Perhaps you feel like everybody stops talking as soon as you step into the break room. Or, maybe you overthink absolutely everything you say in the office—because you’re concerned about how people will react.
Listen, a few nerves or the occasional awkward situation are pretty commonplace at work. But, if you feel like you can never actually be your authentic self? That’s a sign of a toxic company culture.
If your work environment has your stomach in knots and your nails chewed down to nothing, remind yourself of the fact that you’re entitled to a career where you feel supported and encouraged.
4. Your company feels shaky.
There are whispers of restructuring around the office coffee pot. You’ve witnessed far more closed-door meetings than normal. People are beginning to jump ship.
Of course, those could all be rumors—and, I definitely don’t recommend that you leap to conclusions the second somebody says something in passing. But, more often than not, your intuition can be frighteningly accurate.
If you’re getting the impression that things are way more than shaky at your company? If you value security, it could be smart to get out before you’re blindsided.
5. Your work seems meaningless.
Making it through eight hours of work each day resembles trudging through concrete. Your work feels completely insignificant, and you’ve lost any passion you previously had for what you do.
It happens. And, there are some ways to get out of a career rut that don’t involve up and quitting your job.
But, if you’ve tried almost everything and still can’t manage to reignite your interest in your work? A new challenge could be just what you need to get excited about your career again.
A new challenge could be just what you need to get excited about your career again.
6. You’re being presented with new opportunities.
You’ve been on the receiving end of several emails and LinkedIn messages from recruiters. Your networking acquaintances and mentors make seemingly light hearted comments about the fact that they’d love to sway you from your current job.
People are planting the seeds that you’re the perfect fit for certain new opportunities, yet you’ve remained steadfast and loyal to your current role.
Make no mistake: This is a huge compliment to you. You’re killing it in your career, and people are noticing. And, if you’re only staying with your existing employer out of a sense of loyalty, all of these seemingly nonchalant offers might be worth your consideration.
If there’s ever a point when somebody puts a bug in your ear about an opportunity that actually piques your interest? Well, there’s no harm in finding out more about it.
7. You’re filled with dread every Sunday night.
Every Sunday evening, you feel nauseous. The thought of heading into the office the following morning quite literally sucks the life out of you.
Very few people cartwheel out of bed at the thought of Monday morning arriving (that’s normal). But, if you hate your job so much that it’s impacting other areas of your life—including your ability to enjoy your weekend?
Well, you probably need to hit the road in search of greener pastures.
Figuring out whether to stay or leave your current job can inspire plenty of heated internal debates. But, unfortunately, it’s not a decision that anybody can make for you—you’re going to have to handle that yourself.
If you’re feeling stuck? Keep an eye out for one (or even several) of these common symptoms that it’s time to move on. They should help make your decision at least a little bit easier.