How to Know When to Quit Your Job

Hate your job? Then it might be time to quit. In this video, I’m going to share with you seven signs that I used for myself personally in deciding that it was time for me to quit my job. I had been with my company for more than half a decade so this wasn’t an easy decision. However, these seven signs were things that I looked out for when it came time to make that final call.

Sign #1: You’ve plateaued.

The first sign that it’s time for you to quit your job is if you feel like you have plateaued. This is where you’re no longer learning new things at your job at the same rate that you were when you first started that job.

The easiest way to figure this out is to ask yourself what skills have I learned in my current position. And when did I acquire those skills? If you find it hard for yourself to list out specific, hard or soft skills that you’ve learned at your job in the last six to 12 months, then it might be time for you to consider other opportunities.

There are also other ways to recognize this. For example, if you feel like you’re solving the same problem every single day, and then it’s starting to get boring. And that the things that you’re solving on a daily basis are more or less just variations of the same problem, then you’ve probably plateaued in terms of the role that you’re currently in.

Personally, I found that identifying whether or not you’ve plateaued can be one of the harder things to recognize for yourself because as we get more and more confident and competent in specific roles that we take on, we get increasingly comfortable with being okay with just being good at our jobs. So as a result, it becomes much more difficult for us to recognize that we’ve plateaued in our respective role.

Sign #2: Your company’s infrastructure cannot support your needs.

The second sign to look out for is if you feel like your company’s infrastructure can no longer support your individual needs. This is something that happened to me in my most recent experience in which I knew that for the foreseeable future for the next two to three year horizon that my company could not support the things that I would want to achieve with the team that I was part of. In order to achieve that next phase of professional growth for myself, I knew that my team needed more bandwidth and investment than what the company could provide.

However, I also respected and understood that the company couldn’t necessarily invest in my team because it had to invest the limited budget in other areas of the business. When it comes to the sign, I think there’s nothing wrong with taking a step back and recognizing that the organization your with might just not support your needs on the time horizon that you’re on.

So it’s really important for you to consider what do you want out of your professional experiences and can the organization support that on the timeline that you and they are on? Sometimes it’s just a timing thing and it’s nothing against you or the organization for having this situation arise.

Sign #3: You no longer are as motivated or inspired by your boss.

The third sign that it might be time for you to quit your job is if you are no longer motivated or particularly inspired by your boss. Feeling inspired at work is a big motivating factor for somebody that’s intrinsically motivated like myself. So if you ever feel like you’re no longer as excited to go up to bat for whatever it is that your direct manager or boss is asking you to do, then it might be time for you to evaluate your situation.

Because of this, you all is going to want to make sure that you’re feeling motivated by your boss and that they’re driving you to be the best that you can be in a professional setting. Without that motivation or inspiration, it can be really easy to feel like you’re just a cog in a machine and another number in an organization.

Other triggers for the sign might be, if you start checking out on certain things they say, or you start taking more time than usual to accomplish something that you previously would have done immediately that same day. Oftentimes, this sign is not really reflective of the personal relationship between you and your boss, but actually more a by-product of the other signs that we previously went over.

Sign #4: Your intrinsic motivation has faded.

The way I caught this for myself was I started noticing that I was setting my alarms to be as late as possible in order to start my day. And knowing that I’m the type of person that’s incredibly intrinsically motivated, this had never been an issue in the past five plus years that I’ve been with the organization.

Other triggers for this lack of intrinsic motivation might be, if you start to dread particular weekly meetings that you’ve always had, or just weekly tasks that you’ve always had to take care of.

Sign #5: You no longer feel needed.

The fifth sign that it might be time for you to quit your jobis if you no longer feel as needed. Feeling needed is one of our core basic human needs. So when we start to feel less needed, we start to get less engaged with the other person or the other people that we are interacting with. This can especially be the case if you are a manager or a leader in an organization.

In these situations, it’s your responsibility to make sure that your team is being performant and that everybody is aligned in terms of what you guys are working on.

If you start to feel like you’re in a place in which the value you’re adding to the team is marginal, then it might be time for you to move on. In my personal experience, I went from building my team from just being me to being over 20 people and then having two direct managers that manage the team. So over time, as I transitioned away from just being the main leader of the team, I started to feel like I wasn’t as needed by the team.

After a half year had passed since I transitioned from directly leading my team, I felt like my work was done because my team was still functional without me and everything else was still going along business as usual.

If you’re wondering how to figure this out for yourself, one way to test this would be to maybe take a longer weekend or a holiday and see how things run without you. In taking a step back and reflecting on my personal experience, as well as those of my friends and my mentors, I realized that humans typically have this tendency to stay longer than they actually should have. In other words, when you actually decide it’s time for you to leave, you probably could have done so three to six months before.

Sign #6: Stressful events trigger you more than before.

The sixth sign that it might be time for you to quit your job is if stressful events are starting to trigger you more than in the past. The easiest way I can explain this is work always has stress involved. However, it’s how that stress manifests itself that impacts your work satisfaction. In other words, if these stressful events are regularly occurring, but they don’t really impact the way that you perceive your work and what you’re working on, then it’s not a huge deal.

However, if they start to impact the way that you approach your day or the way that you feel about the organization and the other work that you’re working on, then it’s a potential issue. Towards the end of my tenure with my role, I started to notice that the events that were causing stress for others and subsequently causing stress for myself, honestly, weren’t that big of a deal.

However, it was significantly impacting everybody. And as a result, it was impacting me in how satisfied I was with my work. As a result, even though I was overall less stress than I’ve been in the past, it felt like it was a greater weight in terms of the impact of the stress that it had on me.

The easiest way I can explain this is in local maximums. If you have these local maximums that are pretty manageable over time, then things are fine and you’ll continue to do your work as usual. However, if you start to have some local maximums in which the peaks are so high, that they impact you for a longer period of time, then you have a potential issue. So even though you might not have as many stressful events over the course of a year, these stress events that do occur are so high in their local maximums that they significantly impact the way that you perceive your work or your workplace and what you’re working on.

After experiencing this for a while, you might start to deprioritize things like job security, because it’s simply not worth the stress of those local maximum events.

Sign #7: Your favorite coworkers also start leaving.

The final sign that it might be time for you to quit your job is if your favorite co-workers are starting to leave. This is a big one for me, because I’m a big proponent of ‘A’ players wanting to play with other ‘A’ players. So when you start to see that your favorite coworkers or the top performing co-workers are starting to leave an organization, it might be time for you to do the same.

The reason I say this is because it relates back to sign number two in that your organization might just be entering a phase in which its infrastructure can’t support top performers. The reason why I mentioned this here is because sometimes we might not be as good at recognizing our organization’s inability to support our needs. But our peers are actually pretty good at recognizing this.

So if you start to notice over some period of time that the top performers are starting to leave the organization, then it might also be your time to go to. Personally, I found this to be the overwhelming story when I’ve reconnected with past coworkers on why they decided to move on. It often comes down to growth opportunities not aligning to what they wanted in their professional interests and wanting to find a better situation that met their direct needs.

Big takeaways

There are two things I want you to remember from this article:

  1. The first one is that if you’re early in your career, I want you to optimize for learning. When you’re just starting out your career, it’s really important that you maximize for learning because this is the skill acquisition phase that will then allow you to specialize when you enter the middle or later stages of your career. It’s also the period of time when you will have the most amount of energy and you’ll be able to be on the grind longer and really be absorbing everything that you are experiencing.
  2. The second big takeaway is to pay attention to your own personal triggers. For me, it was starting to dread weekly meetings or setting my alarm clock as late as possible and overall feeling disengaged with the work that I was doing because I largely felt like I was solving the same problem over and over again.

If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week. I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you think might also benefit from learning these signs it might be time to quit their job.