Quit that Job! 10 Signs that You Need a Change in Career

Written by
Rebecca Smith

Published
Mar 15, 2019

Mar 15, 2019 • by Rebecca Smith

Gone are the days when people would choose a career at 16 and stick with it for life. 

US workers tend to move on after just over four years with the same company. And 30 percent of workers change jobs every 12 months. 

Despite these statistics, quitting your job is never easy. Change can be terrifying, while the fear of rejection can often hold us back from quitting a less-than-satisfying job. 

But if you often find yourself questioning your career or daydreaming about how to quit a job, it could be time to leave. Here are 10 signs that you need a career change. 

1. You Dread Going to Work

Some people are lucky enough to love their job. Many others might gripe about their work but are happy enough most days. However, if the thought of walking into your workplace fills you with dread, this is not something you should ignore. 

You might have dismissed these feelings as a normal part of everyday life. Trust us, they're not.

Sure, many of us get the 'Sunday scaries' at the end of the weekend when we think of the mountains of work we've got coming up. But a sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach whenever you think of your job is a sure sign that you need to change careers.  

2. Your Work-Life Balance is Non-Existent 

Many professional roles require you to work late, answer job-related emails after hours, or come in at the weekend to complete a project. But this shouldn't be a weekly occurrence. 

If you're logged on more than you're off, with a seriously skewed work-life balance, it could be time to find a new role. Being so busy that you have no personal life isn't a badge of honor. And seeking a less demanding position is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Working hard is one thing, but your personal life should always come first. If it feels like you're constantly putting your friends, family and own happiness in second place, it's time to quit. 

3. You're Bored

No job is stimulating all the time. We've all had to sit through our fair share of dull meetings and most roles involve tedious paperwork. 

But once you start feeling bored and restless for most of your working day, this is a sure sign you've outgrown your position and should leave. 

Staying in an uninspiring role has a detrimental effect on your job performance, your self-worth and your overall outlook. Leave it too long before you look for something else, and your negative attitude and lack of motivation will be hard to hide from prospective employers. 

4. You Don't Get On With Your Colleagues

A job isn't just the tasks you perform each day. The people you work with, including your immediate team, supervisors and other departments, also shape how you feel at work. 

Not getting on with your colleagues or disliking your team leader might not feel like valid reasons to quit a job. But relationships at work can often make or break your workplace experience. 

In fact, 62.4 percent of workers rate their colleagues as the most important factor to their job satisfaction. As such, not getting on with your co-workers can cause your job satisfaction to suffer, while also harming your performance and lowering your morale. 

We might not all be best friends with our co-workers, but you should at least feel like they have your back. If not, it could be time to find colleagues who want to work with you rather than against you. 

5. You're Not Learning or Progressing

We can't all expect a promotion every year. But it's not unreasonable to expect some kind of regular professional advancement. This could come in the form of extra training, new responsibilities, or opportunities to enhance your existing skills. 

Without this potential for growth within your role, your company is showing you that they have little interest in your future. It also shows that they don't feel the need to invest their time and energy in nurturing their workers. 

All this points to a dead-end job in a company that's going nowhere. Which means it's best to jump ship before they take you down with them.  

6. You're Underpaid  

Most of us would like to make more money at work. But there's a difference between wanting to earn more and knowing that you're being underpaid.

If your salary is less than the average for your role and there's no possibility of a raise, it could be time to find a more generous employer. 

Although it's true that more money won't necessarily make you happier, it can help to improve your quality of life. Your pay has a direct effect on things like where you live, your commuting distance, your credit rating and your diet. 

Plus, feeling undervalued and like you're not earning what you deserve can start to bring you down. Low wages can force you to work excess overtime, and can lead to low job-satisfaction and chronic stress. Studies also show that earning a low salary can be bad for your heart.   

7. You Feel Underappreciated 

A fair salary isn't the only way that your employers can show that they value you and your skills. And in fact, the employee benefits that workers want most is recognition for their efforts and respect from their managers. 

If you can't remember the last time your boss praised your work or your company rewarded you for going above and beyond, it's natural that you will start to feel underappreciated. And the longer you stay in this kind of situation, the more frustrated and bitter you'll become. 

Once you start looking for career change ideas, you'll see how other companies are more willing to show their appreciation through small rewards like wellness ideas. It's these kinds of employee-focused positive changes that can make all the difference when it comes to feeling like a valued and respected team member.   

So, if your current company is coming up short in this department, it could be time to make the switch to an employer who shows their appreciation. 

8. Your Health is Suffering

Daily exposure to things like a toxic work atmosphere, long hours and low pay can also take a toll on your mental and physical health. 

If you're struggling with work-related stress, or are experiencing warning signs like chest pains, this is your body's way of telling you, 'I need a career change'.

If you don't have your health, you have nothing. And once your well-being starts to suffer as a result of your job, it's time to move on.  

9. You Don't Care About Your Performance

We all have days when we feel frustrated or less motivated at work. As a result, it's not uncommon to let your responsibilities slide or drop your standards on the odd occasion. 

But if you have zero interest in performing your best, and often do the bare minimum to get your work done, this is a sure sign that a career change is in order. 

Usually, this kind of work apathy comes as a result of other problems, such as boredom or feeling underappreciated. As such, it's likely that you identify with more than one of the signs on this list of reasons to quit a job. 

If that's the case, it's best to escape a toxic situation like this as soon as possible. Once you reach the point of burnout, it's not long before this negativity also starts to affect your physical and mental health, if it hasn't already. 

10. All Your Colleagues Are Leaving

Are you always signing 'Sorry you're leaving' cards? Do your colleagues spend their lunch breaks updating their resumes or prepping for interviews? 

If your co-workers are all looking for career change ideas, this suggests there are better options out there, and that these options could apply to you too.  

While we're not suggesting that you should follow the herd for the sake of it, a mass exodus of workers is a warning sign you shouldn't ignore. A high staff turnover is often a sign of poor leadership, low morale and employee dissatisfaction.

Make a point of asking your colleagues where they're headed and why. They may know something you don't, or their reasons to quit a job could give you pause for thought. 

How to Quit a Job for a Happier Future

Whatever has prompted you to consider how to quit a job, whether it's unsupportive colleagues, low pay or general boredom, know that your feelings are valid and justified. 

We spend too much of our lives at work to be in jobs that aren't right for us. 

And why would you want to stay stuck in a job you don't like when you could land your dream job today!?