I quit my corporate job a year ago and I’ve never looked back. While I currently freelance write most of the time and I work as an instructional assistant in special education, as well, these are both types of work that I absolutely love. I am almost never stressed, even in ostensibly stressful situations, and I look forward to my work. But once upon a time in corporate America I was absolutely miserable. I should have left a long time before I did, but I ignored the signs that were telling me it was time to go – mainly because I didn’t know what the signs were. Whether you’ve been thinking about starting your own business or just moving to another job or company, here are six surefire signs that it’s time to quit your job.
You’re Frequently Sick
I had a cold or a respiratory infection almost all the time when I was in corporate America, at least towards the end. I was always sick, but I always blamed it on my already compromised immune and respiratory system, the air conditioning, and so many sick people exchanging germs in one building. But looking back on it the frequency of my illness was probably due in large part to stress. If you find yourself constantly battling the sniffles – or more serious health problems – and calling out of work frequently because of illness, it might be time to make the move.
You Experience Dread Before Work
Nobody loves to get up in the morning to go to work. Correction – almost nobody loves it. As much as I adore my job, I still have a healthy disdain for the alarm clock. But there’s a big difference between “Ah, shucks, the weekend is over,” and literally not being able to sleep for the stress. If thinking about going to work the next day is causing you major stress and sleepless nights, it might be time to go.
You Aren’t Appreciated
I don’t care who you are or where you work, if the people around you don’t appreciate you it will be a rough ride. Sometimes it’s okay to put up with not being appreciated if you’re new, working your way up the ladder, “paying your dues”, etc. But if you’ve been there for some time and you haven’t started to see the appreciation you deserve, think about packing up.
You’re Being Kept from Promotions
Look around you at your job. Are people who have been there as long as you (or not as long as you) being promoted left and right, yet you’re still stuck where you are? Have you asked your boss about a promotion or higher pay only to receive ambiguous answers and see no results? If you’ve been working hard and putting your time in you should not be kept at a certain level. Any promising corporate job will eventually allow you to rise the ranks. If that’s not happening (and you want it to) start looking elsewhere. I have many times been stuck in dead-end jobs where there is either no opportunity for promotion or managers were unwilling to hand them out. Either way, being stuck in one position for a long time is not acceptable if you want to grow.
You’re Being Underpaid
Always do your research and make sure you’re being paid what you deserve for your position, experience, and tenure. Even if you enjoy your job if you’re not getting paid what you deserve and you haven’t been successful in negotiating a pay raise, it’s time to go. I was underpaid at several of my past jobs and I should have left way before I did. But until I did the research for myself, I had no way of knowing that.
Your Pay is Different Than Others in Your Pay Grade
Even if you do your research and you realize that your personal paycheck is on target for your position, tenure, and experience you should still pack up if you find out you’re being paid differently from those doing the same job as you. I had that experience at one company I worked for. I found out that I was being paid below others doing the same job I was doing, and that was one of the biggest indicators that I needed to move on.
There are many other factors I could have added here, but these are the top six signs I ignored that were screaming at me to quit my job. Looking back it might have been crazy to quit my job when I did because I had almost no other source of income. I had to write almost every hour of the day, and I struggled for a long time. But I was less stressed and had a better quality of life even under those circumstances than I’d had at many of my past jobs. Today I’m still writing and, as I mentioned, working in special education, which is an area I’d always wanted to get into but never thought I’d have the opportunity to. Had I not quit my job a year ago I might have been at another dead end job and never even looked for a job at the time I stumbled across an opening for an instructional assistant. Take care of yourself and seek out the type of job and environment you love and the appreciation you deserve; everything else will take care of itself.