Last week, I wrote about the dangers of quitting your job too early. So, how can you tell when it really is time to go? There are some signs to watch for.
I recently ran into a friend who, after a few friendly exchanges exploded into a tirade about her employment. She had been sticking it out at a job that was providing her with some valuable experience, but her boss was the biggest bully on the planet. The last straw came when, during a review, he told her she needed to update her wardrobe. It wasn’t that the suits she was wearing were inappropriate, but that he’d prefer she keep abreast of trends.
Wardrobe advice is warranted when an employee dresses inappropriately. But in this case the employer decided he wanted everyone to be high fashion in a non-high fashion environment.
My friend left the review knowing it was time to quit.
Bad boss scenarios are a dime a dozen. I hear more people complain about a bad boss than rave about an amazing boss. A bullying boss can make your life miserable – at work, and outside of work.
The ‘bully’ boss isn’t the only situation that can signal it’s time to quit. I spoke with one recent ‘quitter’ who said he needed to change careers. He was no longer fulfilled by his career path and needed to switch directions entirely. A career change is a big decision, but the thought of continuing along his current path made him depressed, and he was overcome with the feeling of being ‘stuck’. He realized that his role was having a huge negative impact on him not only at work, but it was also affecting him outside of work. It was time to move on, reassess, and finally quit.
Other stories I encountered varied from bad bosses, to lack of interest, and feeling stagnant. One element they all had in common was the sense that whatever the root of the problem, the situation had become toxic and was affecting people’s health and wellbeing outside the workplace.
Career counselor Amy Lindgren wrote an article for The Denver Post, in which she calls quitting a toxic environment ’self-preservation’. Lindgren writes “whatever the reason for a worker’s untenable situation, the fact seems almost indisputable: When a job is done, it’s time to move on. And when a job turns toxic, it’s time to flee.”
Her advice may seem extreme, especially if there isn’t another offer on the table, but she provides some good reasons for getting out, rather than sticking it out.
1. “Every year you stay at a job that’s over is a year stolen from the better job you could be doing instead.”
2. “The longer you stay, the longer you’re likely to stay.”
3. “People rarely say they left a job too early; they frequently say they stayed too long.”
When a situation becomes toxic it may be too late turn it around. If it is financially feasible to leave before having another offer in hand you may save yourself a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety.