Before I resigned from my last job, I spent months looking at articles online with titles like “15 Signs You Should Quit Your Job.” I’d see myself in half, if not all of the reasons in several of the articles I read. It was my way of justifying to myself what I already knew I needed to do, which was escape a position that no longer suited me. In the end, I had to find my own reasons to leave, regardless of whether they matched what I found online. Maybe that’s true for you, too, but I know the feeling of wanting confirmation, validation, proof. These are a few of the warning bells that spoke to me.
1. The company doesn’t feel right.
I worked for a company where, from the very beginning, something just felt “off” to me. I stayed in the job for a few years, but the weird feeling never completely subsided, and I never put my finger on exactly what it was that didn’t feel “right” to me. Of course, there are companies where that bad feeling might stem from something obvious, like unethical practices, but sometimes it’s just a subtle voice whispering to you, “This is weird. Something isn’t right.” That subtle voice often knows what it’s talking about. If it keeps whispering to you, tap into it.
2. You dread going to work.
The kind of dread where your weekend high ends on Saturday night, because Sunday means you’re that much closer to Monday. The kind of dread where your alarm goes off, and you lie in bed debating whether you can call in sick. Maybe you do call in sick when you’re not, simply because you can’t stand the idea of going in. Maybe it’s a knot in your stomach, a pounding heart, trembling hands, the urge to cry. None of those are signs of a healthy situation.
3. You’re angry.
Not a one-off incident where your boss does something to irritate you. Chronic anger, where every day is a battle to bite your tongue and resist telling someone what you really think about the company’s processes. If you find yourself starting to lose your filter, saying things maybe you shouldn’t say, or lashing out at colleagues, maybe it’s time to take a breath and move on.
4. You’re indifferent or apathetic.
If you find yourself thinking (or saying) “I don’t care” when presented with an idea in meetings, it could mean you’ve grown indifferent. Everyone feels this way now and then, but if you find yourself disinterested or unconcerned with results in every aspect of your job, it could be time to move on. Apathy can stem from not being challenged or interested in your work, and can also be a form of numbness that sets in as you work day in and day out at a job that simply isn’t right for you.
5. You feel trapped.
Maybe work isn’t meant to be the most exciting place in the world, but it shouldn’t feel like a cage, either. Maybe you find yourself staring at the clock from the moment you arrive to the moment you go home. Maybe you don’t smile as much, or connect with your coworkers, or feel like your work is valued. Maybe you find yourself staring into space, wondering if this is as good as it gets. If you feel stuck, with no room to grow, or be yourself, it could be a sign that you belong somewhere else.
Amanda Baczek is an aspiring graphic designer and current arranger of words (sometimes good ones.) She finds fiction writing to be the greatest antidote to reality, but has a passion for connecting with the outside world through all forms of the written word. A recovering worst-case scenario expert, she's learning to be okay with change and uncertainty, and hopes to help others discover the joy and freedom in listening to their creative heartbeat and following their craziest dreams.