“Should I quit my job?” You’ve been mulling over the idea of leaving your job, but something is holding you back or you’re not sure if you’re doing it for the right reason. You wonder if you are being too impulsive, or if you should just suck it up and stick it out.
Before handing in your resignation letter, you need to be very clear about what you want (or don’t want) in a job. You need to be very certain that you want to quit, because there’s no changing your mind after you’ve handed in that letter.
Hating your current job might not be reason enough to quit unless you have another job waiting for you. You might want to try and change your current circumstances or wait for a better time to leave. You might even be able to turn things around and learn to love the place where you work.
But of course, there are times when things are out of your control and quitting is the only viable option left. These are the top 10 reasons to change your job.
1. You’ve found a new—and better—job
The best reason to quit a job is that you’ve found a better one. If you’ve been feeling a little stuck at your current job with few opportunities to progress and a better opening comes along, no one can blame you for accepting it to advance your career. If you don’t see that kind of opportunity at your current company, then maybe it’s time to leave.
Before you hand in your resignation letter, though, ensure that you’ve received a confirmed job offer and you’re certain that the career trajectory at the new job is what you desire. Cover all your bases at your current job and try not to burn any bridges when you leave.
2. You’re unhappy at your job
A lot of people hate their current jobs, but that may not be a good enough reason to throw in the towel. It’s better to take a moment to understand the root of your unhappiness. Is the job no longer challenging you? Are there changes to management or your job scope? Are you being relocated, or has your entire team changed? Are your co-workers nasty and uncooperative? Or is it your boss? Next, find out what you can change and what is beyond your control. If the push factor is too strong, then it’s time to hit the road. Plan your departure strategically so that you’re not left scrambling to secure another job.
3. You’re sick, or your family member is
A personal or family illness is a completely legitimate reason to quit a job. It might even be a convenient excuse to leave your current position. But quitting might not be the only option. Find out if you are eligible for caretaker leave if your family member is ill, or medical or hospitalisation leave if you are sick. You might be able to work out an arrangement with your current employer without resorting to quitting your job. If you are certain you want to leave because of the illness, make sure that you still have health insurance coverage after leaving the company.
4. You’re in a toxic work environment
Demanding and unreasonable bosses or unpleasant colleagues can make the office environment negative and your life hell. They can even be the main reason you dread going to work every day. If you’ve exhausted every option to improve the situation to no avail, it might be time to call it quits.
While no job is perfect, and not every day is smooth-sailing, that doesn’t mean you need to stick to a job that makes you miserable. Your job doesn’t have to be perfect, but it should make you feel like you’re being treated fairly and with respect. If not, it’s time for you to seek greener pastures.
5. You want to go back to school
Maybe you’ve always wanted to do that degree or pursue higher learning. Or perhaps you’ve discovered a few new interests that you want to explore. Your desire to hit the books and go back to school is starting to surpass your desire to remain at your job.
Furthering your education can be a momentous decision and a good move, but it also requires a lot of time, commitment and hard work. Your school schedule might clash with the demands of your job, making your current employment a poor fit. If you think you can’t manage the two heavy commitments—work and school—simultaneously, then something’s got to give. It might be a huge, scary leap, but think of it as investing in your future.
6. You’re looking to switch paths entirely
Many people want to quit their jobs because they feel like they’ve been doing the same thing for too long and wish to do something different, or no longer want to deal with the stress of their industry. A career change can be a drastic step, but it can also be very freeing to embark on a fresh path.
Not a lot of people have linear career paths. Very often, we end up discovering something new along the way that we’d like to try or find a completely different career path that we’re interested in exploring. A different career in a different industry may mean starting from scratch, but it can also mean that you’re acquiring new skills and experiences.
7. You’ve been asked to relocate
Relocating overseas is not easy and is undoubtedly a big decision to make. If your company offers no leeway about this decision and you’re not ready to make that move, then you have ever right to find another job or role that allows you to remain where you are. Try to work out an arrangement with your superior, but it all else fails, then your current job is no longer the best fit and you’ll be doing yourself a favour by finding another role that suits your living arrangements better.
8. Your schedule is too hectic
Of course, life always gets in the way. There are commitments you just can’t neglect, especially as you grow older and need to take care of young children and elderly parents. If you feel like there are too many things pulling you in every direction and it’s difficult to focus on your job, it might be best to take a break or find other roles that are more accommodating to your personal schedule.
9. Your company is going through massive restructuring
It’s common for companies to go through organisational restructuring once in a while. If the changes within the company are too major and difficult to navigate such that it forces you to adopt a completely new and different set of skills or take on more work from another department due to manpower cuts, it can affect the productivity and morale of employees. Downsizing and recalibration of teams and roles are often reasons for people to quit, partly because rank may change, affecting your pay grade and opportunities for promotion. Another reason to leave is if your department is eliminated or your work is outsourced. If you see few prospects in your current company, or find that you are no longer on the path you intended to pursue because of higher-up changes in the company, it’s time to explore new options.
10. You were passed up for a promotion
Don’t get us wrong. We’re not saying you should leave just because your boss picks someone else for promotion instead of you. But if you feel that you have done all you can and your results reflect your efforts, but your work is not being acknowledged (much less appreciated), then maybe you need to rethink your sacrifices, and if it’s truly worth staying on in a company that doesn’t recognise your hard work and talent.
Text: Joyce Chua