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One of the big questions professionals face today is whether or not to leave their job. The job market is tough, but finding happiness is often top priority. It’s always easier to find a job while you have a job, but sometimes you may wonder – is it really worth it?

There’s never been a more acceptable time to walk away without another offer in hand. Almost weekly, I hear about someone who has decided to quit, mid-career, and who plans to take time off to travel, go back to school, or just relax.

Have you hit the point of leaving? Different people have different tolerance levels. But, there are a few sure fire signs that it may be time to walk.

  1. You are miserable every single day. In the morning, in the evening, and even on the weekend, you dread going in. In fact, Sunday is the worst. Your entire Sunday feels like torture as you wait for Monday morning to roll around.
  2. Your self-esteem is suffering. You’ve forgotten who you are, and what makes you great. You’re starting to buy into the message that you’re not good enough or that something is wrong with you. You beat yourself up over small things.
  3. Your boss crosses the line. Your boss is doing something that is, or should be, considered illegal. Whether that means physical advances, yelling, or throwing things, you no longer feel comfortable at work. In fact, sometimes you even feel unsafe.
  4. The pressure makes you cry. Especially if you’re not normally an emotional person, if work is bringing you to tears, it may be time to consider hitting the road. This also goes for when your physical health is being impacted negatively in other ways.
  5. Your boss is actively taking steps to show you they don’t value your work. For example, they may have cut your salary. They could have doubled your work load when a co-worker left with no end in sight. Maybe they insult you in front of your colleagues or belittle you in staff meetings. Whatever they’re doing – if they’re making a special effort to let you know you’re not valued, it may be time to move on. Just remember, someone else will value you and won’t treat you this way.

If you’re considering leaving your job before you have a new one, be sure you’ve thought through everything completely. Talk to a trusted source to get an unbiased opinion. The last thing you want is to react too quickly.

Take the time to review your personal finances. If you were out of work for six months to a year, would you survive? What if you had a major health or family complication? Is it more stressful to be financially uncertain or to continue to go to work at a job you loath?

If you decide to leave, keep your plans secret until you provide your notice to your boss. This will allow you to keep control over your personal situation for as long as you can.

When you give your notice, be sure you document everything in writing. This will ensure that you and your company are on the same page, and there are no misunderstandings.

Decide ahead of time how much notice you are willing to give. Standard notice before leaving a job is two weeks. In today’s work environment, many executives don’t even provide much more than this. Three or four weeks may be nice if your company begs you to stay longer. But, I caution against more than four weeks. Typically, employees who stay longer find that their last weeks were not properly used as a transition time. Eventually, they felt that they were becoming more of a team punching bag than anything else. Beware of this trap.

Whatever you decide to do, take care of yourself. Realize that nobody else can take care of your needs the way you can, and only you will know when you’ve hit your limit. Remember that you’re not alone – lots of people are going through what you are. And, by taking control over your situation, you will ensure it’s temporary.

I hope these tips have helped you. Visit CopelandCoaching.com to find more tips to improve your job search.

Also, be sure to  subscribe to my Copeland Coaching Podcast on iTunes where I discuss career advice every Tuesday! If you’ve already heard the podcast and enjoy it, please consider leaving a review in iTunes. Thanks.

Happy hunting!

Angela Copeland

@CopelandCoach

Author: Angela Copeland

Angela Copeland is Founder and Coach for Copeland Coaching, a great way to jump start your job search. Follow her on Twitter @CopelandCoach for tips on finding the perfect job for you.

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