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5 Ways to Know If It's Time to Quit Your Job

Although you don't want to quit your job at the first sign of trouble, there comes a time when enough is enough. How do you know the answer to the age old question, "Should I stay or should I go?"

quit your job 

(Photo Credit: José Martín Ramírez Carrasco via Unsplash)

First things first: Do not quit your job without having another job lined up. We'll repeat that, because it's important. As hilarious and cathartic as it is to watch funny videos of people doing interpretive dances as a means of quitting their jobs, you do not want to join them. You can't pay the electric bill with 15 minutes of YouTube fame.

That said, there are a couple of indicators that you want to start lining up your next gig. Among them:

1. You're depressed.

If you now find it hard to get excited about the parts of your job you used to enjoy -- or worse yet, feel the same sense of meh about your hobbies outside of work -- it's time to make an alternate plan. The sooner, the better. The longer you're blue, the harder it is to motivate yourself to do something about it. (Need help? WebMD has a roundup of resources here.)

2. Your physical health is suffering.

Constant stress isn't good for the body. If you notice your health taking a turn for the worse, especially if you're under intense pressure on a daily basis, start looking for your next job.

3. You feel like the odd person out.

You don't need to be best friends with your co-workers, but if you have nothing in common, you're not going to enjoy your time at the office. And since most of us spend the bulk of our waking hours working, that's pretty important.

4. You hate the boss.

Do you feel like the boss has your back? If not, it's hard to trust him or her with your questions and concerns. That's bad for both your long-term career path and your short-term happiness.

5. You don't have much respect for the company or its products.

Your company doesn't have to be working on a cure for cancer, but if you don't believe in what you're doing, you're not going to be good at it for very long. The product or service is less important than how you feel about it. You deserve to feel passionate about what you do. If your current job doesn't fit the bill, start thinking about ones that will.

Tell Us What You Think

How do you know when it's time to quit? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


  1. 12 marjorie 11 Sep
    I kinda like the prayer Rivera presented. Because in the interim of searching for the next job, getting caught up with the retirement situation being near, starting ones own business, etc.... It's gonna take the strength graced by a higher power to reduce the stress and depression associated with negative bosses and/or coworkers...So many people risk their sanity and lives on dealing with crazies!!!!
  2. 11 A .Martinez 04 Sep
    @mRivera that's exactly right you stick it out because you know that you're retirement will be a future.. And let me just give you a tip on how you handle those girls you put your mind and soul towards the Lord Jesus Christ and you say a prayer .... And it is a Daily one say it every morning..... and this is how it goes...Dear God as I begin this day let me turn my thoughts to you and ask your help and all I say and do. Give me the patients that I need to keep my peace of mind and life cares I hope dear god some happiness find. Let me live but for today not worry what's head for i have trust that you will see I get my daily bread and if some wishes I do not get Though ipray to thee help me to believe understand you know what's best for me... I failed you many times I know but when tonight rest I hope that I can kneel and say thank you God for taking me through this another day in Jesus name we pray....
  3. 10 John 04 Sep
    Wish we could always control how others acted in terms of ethics when we try to strive for best ourselves?
  4. 9 John 04 Sep
    Regarding what truth says above, I wonder how people can ensure their next place doesn't become toxic while looking for greener pastures? Also, 3 & 4 are the most common reason people leave! Wonder how in the future we can easily choose who makes us comfortable and who respects us back with sincerity?
  5. 8 mRivera 27 Jun

    I like my company. The pay and benefits are well above industry standard, and I like my bosses. The problem? My 3 co-workers are the most unpleasant, insufferable people I ever worked with. They are workplace bullies who are hypercritical of everything I do. I have been here 5 years and I have a strong hunch they wanted to hire another applicant in my place and have been trying to get me fired or quit ever since I started. In spite of their efforts, I always got excellent performance evals from my boss. The only reason I stay is that I'm just 2-3 years from retirement so I'm determined to stick it out until then.

  6. 7 truth 27 Jun
    I think three, four and five are factors that lead to 1 and 2.  I am in a job with a toxic culture so I am looking for greener pastures.
  7. 6 Riley 27 Jun
    For me I experienced all 5 though I am leaving the company it was not my decision (I was part of a RIF last week).  The reason that I stayed was that at my age to leave without getting a severance package was not an option and where RIF's are always and continual it was just a matter of time.  When I was told it was actually a relief like getting paroled from prison. Even though I don't know what I'll do in the future it has to be better than the situation that I was in.
  8. 5 Ajay 26 Jun
    In my case 1 and 4 are prominent.  I am still in the same job but soon will be quitting.  I am looking for a job but am going to start my own thing. 

    The pointers in this article are very good and provide with a direction to thoughts. I think I still will quit. I am sure I will do better running my own business. 

  9. 4 Vinnie 26 Jun
    I also quit without having another job lined up. It wasn't the optimal choice but one that was made in the best interests of my family and my health. I also realigned our finances several years prior in order to best weather the storm. I had been planning to start my own business and will now spend all of my energies in making that vision into a reality.
  10. 3 Ruffus 26 Jun
    Good article for starting a conversation.  I resigned from my prior employer due to 1 & 2{under Dr. care for stress related health issues}, (3 was there too but not the main reason).  Ironically I resigned without another job lined up.  It was a decision that was made with long thought and family involvement.  It was not an easy decision but it was the right one.  After 6 months of looking I will be starting my next success in 2 weeks time.
  11. 2 code 26 Jun

    Numbers 2 and 5 seem like valid reasons to leave a job. Being depressed might be a reason to leave, but you'd better be sure it's the job that's causing the illness. I'm not so sure about 3 and 4, though.

    One thing you left out is relationships with clients/customers. I have very little respect for my boss and hardly anything in common with either my boss or the other person in our office; but I feel like I'm making a difference in the lives of my clients. That means a lot to me and makes up for what's lacking in other aspects of my job.


  12. 1 Vish 24 Jun

    Very timely article, for me personally. Have been mulling a change for a while, but hadn't known how to be really sure. Your questions made me introspect and realise its time for a change for me. Thankyou for the excellent pointers.


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