When To Quit Your Job: 20 Warning Signs (And When It's OK)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 3 November 2022

Published 16 August 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Making the decision to leave your job is a big step in your career journey. While it's natural to face difficulties at work, having an enduring discontent with your employment is worth investigating. It's critical to understand the distinction between when you may work through a problem and when to quit. In this article, we discuss whether it's ok to quit a job and the 20 warning signs indicating when to quit your job.

Related: How to Explain Your Reasons for Leaving a Job

Is it ok to quit a job?

It's acceptable for you to quit your job, preferably at the end of the day. But be mindful if and when you decide to quit to do so as graciously as possible. Maintain a good relationship with your employer and don't quit in a disrespectful manner. Remember that if you left work without giving notice or in other ways that might hurt your professional image, that impaired reputation can follow you to your new employment.

Related: 18 Reasons Why Quitting without Another Job May Be Beneficial

Signs indicating when to quit your job

Discussed below are several signs showcasing when to quit your job:

1. You're underutilising your abilities

A role that doesn't professionally challenge you is one you may consider quitting. Continuing in this position may limit your room for growth and lead to emotions of discontent and complacency. This particularly holds true if you've unsuccessfully sought opportunities to employ other abilities.

2. You're not pursuing your passion

When you're enthusiastic about your career, you often feel a bigger sense of meaning and fulfilment. It also leads to enhanced productivity, better performance outcomes and the impression that you're not working at all. Quitting your job may allow you to use your talent and potential for something that you're genuinely excited about.

3. The work environment is toxic

A toxic work environment has consequences for your professional and personal satisfaction. Punitive and controlling management tactics and skills, distrust and dishonesty among top executives, public humiliation of staff and inadequate communication are signs of an unhealthy work environment. You can look for warning signs like high staff turnover and a lack of honest communication. If you find yourself in this situation, explore various coping methods and enforce them while seeking new employment.

4. There's no room for advancement

When there's no possibility for advancement in your present firm, it's typically time to move along. Opportunities for advancement aren't strictly restricted to promotions or vertical growth, but also entail embarking on a new project, getting mentored by a senior executive or training in a new area of expertise. Approach your management and formally request this growth opportunity before deciding to leave and assess whether there's a favourable response. If not, it's an indication that you can quit.

5. The organisation's future is in jeopardy

You may consider quitting if your firm is severely underperforming or at genuine risk of collapsing. This is frequently determined by income in for-profit businesses. Examining your company's yearly financial reports might give information about its financial health and sustainability. Monetary difficulties can also endanger the viability of non-profit organisations that heavily depend on grants and charity to function. Job cuts, significantly lower customer base, wage freezes and the closure of factories and offices are extra indicators that your firm's future is in jeopardy.

6. Your morals are being questioned

It's a sign to quit if you're put in a situation that compels you to compromise your morals and ethics. This is particularly pertinent in professional situations due to the possible long-term consequences for your personal career. Even if the sacrifice is essential in order to keep your present work, compromising your principles might have a detrimental influence on your capacity to find other employment in the long run.

7. You're significantly underpaid

While some people may take a lesser pay in return for a unique opportunity or non-monetary perks, you may consider quitting if you're severely underpaid. Being under-compensated indicates a misalignment between what you and the organisation believe to be your worth and potential. This mismatch might have consequences for your allocated tasks and your employment tenure in the organisation. Remaining in this arrangement can create irritation and resentment due to the practical consequences of inadequate benefits.

8. Your values do not match the organisation's

In relation to pursuing your passion and compromised ethics, if your personal beliefs don't coincide with those of your firm, you can consider quitting. If this mismatch hasn't already led to pressure to violate your ethics, it's very probable that it may in the long run. It can lead to distinct attitudes to work, different ways of managing team members and differences in opinions concerning critical policies and initiatives. Consider seeking other employment before this mismatch causes a major dispute.

9. You can no longer carry out your duties

If you're unable to perform your work obligations due to physical sickness, changes in your personal life or structural developments within the company, you can think about resigning. Staying at a job when your ability to execute your work obligations is jeopardised puts you at risk of being fired. That said, if you can't adapt your work obligations to the conditions that are causing the problem, consider quitting.

10. There are far superior opportunities at other organisations

Although you may have a comfortable position with a great work environment and helpful coworkers, you can consider resigning to explore much better possibilities at other firms. Opportunities for greater pay, job development, a wider professional network or professional fulfilment are all part of this. Be mindful when carrying out your job hunt to ensure that you end up in an organisation that provides precisely what you're seeking.

Related: How to Deliver a Farewell Message to a Coworker (With Examples)

11. You require more work-life balance

Even though a strong work ethic is desirable and some extra labour may be unavoidable, if you find yourself working continuously without time for your personal life, it's time to consider quitting. Working too many hours without a proper work-life balance can leave a negative impact on your health and well-being. It can also impair your productivity and job quality.

12. You dislike coming to work

It's natural to be unhappy when the weekend is over and anticipate days off. However, it's probably a warning sign if you constantly feel anxious or worried about your work. While the employment may not always be rewarding and enjoyable, you may be at ease while working to retain your mental and physical health.

13. You can't see yourself there in the long run

Similar to having no possibilities for advancement, if you cannot foresee yourself staying at the firm in the long run, it might be time to examine your situation and seek alternatives. It might take quite some time to find better-fitting work. That said, if you can't see yourself at your present organisation in one year, consider beginning your job hunt right away.

14. You wouldn't want any of your family and friends working there

Another sign that it may be time to quit your job is if you wouldn't recommend your company or role to your family or friends. If you don't believe your firm is a good place to work, consider quitting. Viewing the situation from this perspective might help you see that you're entitled to a better situation.

15. Everything feels out of control

It's inevitable to encounter stressful moments at work. However, if you're feeling overwhelmed at every small setback that arises, it might be an indication that you're on the verge of burnout. Furthermore, if duties that used to generate enjoyment and excitement are now unpleasant, it might be an indicator that you're overworked.

16. You're constantly bored

Boredom is inevitably a common human emotion. However, persistent sensations of boredom at work are an indication that you're not doing what you're passionate about and seek a greater purpose. If you spend the majority of your workday playing games, updating your personal social media or checking the clock, you may consider moving on to a more fulfilling role.

17. Your firm isn't fully invested in you

Staff engagement is crucial. It helps you feel motivated, engaged, fulfilled and satisfied. If your present firm doesn't appreciate you or care about your engagement, you may consider other opportunities.

18. You have a challenging boss

The negative attitude of your boss often affects your time at work as well as other essential parts of your life. When your direct supervisor is quick to judge but slow to appreciate, favours certain individuals and micromanages, you can suffer from negative consequences in your professional and personal lives. It can also have a toll on your mental health. For these reasons, leaving your job may be the best course of action if you have a challenging relationship with your boss.

19. Nothing you do ever feels adequate

Regardless of whether you're the first in the office and the last one out and your workload far exceed that of your coworkers combined, you may have a supervisor who constantly demands more from you. If your supervisor is always pushing for more work, there's likely no end to it. You may consider other opportunities that can better value your contribution.

20. You've got another job

It's always ideal to have your next step set up before resigning. Whether you're building a company for yourself or transferring from one position to another, if you've got another job at hand, you can consider quitting. Alternatively, you can quit if you already have another freelance job while working and feel that it's sufficient.

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