There are many reasons a person may desire to abandon their current career path and explore new opportunities. Nonetheless, deciding to quit a job and pursue a new career path is a significant moment in your career life.
It is normal to encounter challenges at work, but a feeling of deep dissatisfaction could signify it is time to explore a new opportunity. Workers should learn to distinguish between when to face a work-related challenge head-on and when to quit. Here are a few valid personal and professional signs it is time to quit a job and pursue a new career path.
Lack of Growth Opportunities
There is no point in sticking to a position that no longer offers growth opportunities. And growth opportunities aren't limited to vertical advances and promotions. They can include being mentored by an industry leader, learning new things, working on a new challenging project, and taking on a higher-level leadership position. Consider engaging your manager and request such opportunities before deciding to quit your current position. But if your employer isn't open to growth, just quit and explore a new career path.
Unhealthy Work Environment
The nature of your work environment may have an impact on your happiness. You can never be productive in an unhealthy environment, so you better find work elsewhere. An unhealthy workplace is often characterized by ineffective communication, harassment, public shaming, dishonesty, distrust, and punitive management practices. Symptoms of an unhealthy workplace include employee dishonest for fear of retaliation and high employee turnover. Employees who find themselves in such environments should look for ways to cope while looking for new career opportunities.
Lack of Passion
A job you're passionate about makes you feel fulfilled and happy, and it can also result in improved outcomes and higher productivity. Without passion, a job can feel dull and more like an obligation than a career. You may also feel like you're limiting your potential by pursuing something you aren't passionate about. If the organization you work for or the position you hold doesn't excite you, you better look for another position.
Some positions put you in a situation where you have to compromise your decision-making and ethics. Ethical compromise can have a long-term impact on your career success. While you can compromise some things for survival at your current job, others can hurt your career. Ethical compromise can also have implications for your sense of pride and morale in your current position. For example, implementing a misleading or harmful policy just to generate more revenue may end up ruining your career.
One sign it is time to quit and look for a new career opportunity is when your career goals don't align with your employer. Misaligned values may push you to a point where you have to compromise your ethics. And having values that don't align with your organization may have implications beyond ethics. It can result in differences in key strategies, policies, and management methodologies. You and your employer's approaches to work and assignments prioritization may vary. Instead of letting this misalignment cause significant conflicts, just consider working elsewhere.
Inability to Fulfill Your Job Responsibilities
Recent structural changes at the workplace or personal life can make you unable to fulfill your responsibilities as a worker. If so, just quit and look for a new job. Staying in a position where you can't perform your duties will leave you vulnerable to termination. Losing your job will have an immediate financial impact and may reduce your chances of securing employment elsewhere. If attempts to adapt to new changes fail, consider it as an indicator to quit your current job.
Working can be stressful. But, if everything feels overwhelming, this could be a sign it is time to quit. Furthermore, if tasks or projects that brought you joy now feel burdensome or stressful, it could be an indication you're headed towards burnout. Don't overwork yourself; instead, move on to a new career path.
More Work-Life Balance
A strong work ethic positions you for success. While few overtime hours are inevitable, working extra hours for a long time could mean it is time to quit your job. Working for long hours without adequate rest time can impact your well-being, health, work quality, and productivity. If your attempts to set realistic expectations or establish boundaries with your employer have failed, look for job opportunities offering a better work-life balance.
You Can't See Your Future at the Company
Similar to lack of growth opportunities, if you can't see your future at the organization you work for, it may be time to explore other employment opportunities. However, note that it can take months or even years to find a new, matching job, so don't make hasty decisions.
Availability of Better Opportunities Out There
Your current job could be comfortable and with supportive colleagues and a healthy work environment. However, that doesn't mean there are no better opportunities out there. If you feel that there are better opportunities than where you work, consider quitting to pursue them. Opportunities can include a broader professional network, higher salaries, career fulfillment, and career advancement. Nothing should stop you from exploring new opportunities if other companies are offering better opportunities than your Company. However, be careful with your job search to ensure you choose an organization offering the opportunities you're looking for.
A worker can accept a lower wage in exchange for lucrative non-monetary benefits. However, if you're significantly under-compensated, you should consider other unique opportunities outside your organization. Lower wages can reflect a mismatch between what the employer and the employee perceive as career growth. The mismatch can impact your longevity within your organization and the responsibilities you're assigned. So, sticking to a position where you're under-compensated can result in resentment and frustration.
If you have brainstormed and concluded that the best decision is to quit your job, give yourself a timeline. Wait until you have another open opportunity to turn in your resignation. Though each reason to quit a job is unique, it would be better to find a new offer before quitting your current job. That way, your resume won't have an employment gap, and the risk of losing benefits and income won't be a concern. Deciding to quit a job may be one of the challenging situations you will ever face in life. But reflecting on other people's experiences may help find the best approach to this.
When you begin searching for a new job, take time to determine what you want in your career path. You don't have to quit your job just because you feel dissatisfied with some policies. You can talk to your manager or employer and see if some of your concerns can be addressed. Use polite words to present career development opportunities, responsibilities, and projects that you feel will align your career goals with your organization. Your employer could be willing to work with you to improve your working condition and retain you.