Is It Time to Leave Your Job?

Don't ignore the warning signs -- but don't jump to conclusions, either.

By Tracy Leigh Ritts


Choosing to leave your current employment in search of new opportunities is rarely an easy decision. In these days of economic uncertainty, it can be downright terrifying. Yet, if you sense it’s time to move on, you may be right.

The question is, though, how do you know for sure when it’s time to leave your job? The following tips might clarify the situation for you:

Are you sick all the time? Many illnesses are stress-related, and if you’re sick more than usual, you need to take this very seriously. Migraines, depression, insomnia, and ulcers are all stress-related disorders. If you come home every day with a headache or feeling sick to your stomach or if you can only really relax on the weekend, try to figure out what is causing the stress. Is it a function of your job or is it your entire workload — at work and at home?

No room for advancement? If you’re in a job that isn’t going anywhere — and you feel you are ready to move up — it may be time to move on. Take a look at your skills, your experience, and consider where they would be of value. There’s no reason to stay in a dead-end job without at least considering the alternatives.

Are you bored? When you go to work, are you bored all day? Do you practically count the minutes until lunch and then until it’s time to leave? If you’re not being challenged, you’ll begin to feel frustration at the endless tasks you face.

Before throwing in the towel, talk to your supervisor. Maybe he or she can pass some of your duties off to someone else and give you more challenging ones. If not, it might be a sign you’ve outgrown your current employment.

Do you dread going into work? Regardless of everything else, if you wake up in the morning dreading going into work, you need to ask yourself why. If it’s something that can be fixed, by all means, fix it. If you can’t, why would you want to feel that miserable every day?

The bottom line is if you’re unhappy, try to do something about it. It might not mean leaving your job for a new one, especially if your supervisor is willing to discuss different options. If you do decide to move on, choose your new job carefully.

Don't up and quit to make a grand gesture. Give yourself adequate time to find new employment and also give your current employer the courtesy of appropriate notice. 

Tracy Leigh Ritts is a freelance writer based in Ohio. She’s the author of the book, How to Plan Your Own Wedding and Save Thousands…Without Going Crazy.