Some will tell you that you should never, under any circumstances, quit your job. Just wait until you have your next gig lined up, put in your two weeks and be on your way—even if that means sacrificing happiness, health and your career in the interim.
Life is short. Chances are you’ve already lived at least one-quarter of your life by this point (kid geniuses aside), and maybe even closer to half of it (and some way closer to all of it than anyone would wish).
Since the future is never certain, it might be time for you to consider whether now is the right time to up and quit your job—even if you’ve not yet lined anything up. Who knows? Maybe by uttering those infamous two words—I quit—you’ll feel more liberated than previously imaginable.
If you’re not sure you’re at the right place, you wouldn’t be alone. More than half of Americans say they don’t like their jobs. If you find yourself in that group, it might be time for you to reconsider your employment situation.
Of course, it’s never smart to quit your job if you don’t have any fallback plans (e.g. some part-time work lined up, some savings or the amazingly soothing comfort of your lover’s paycheck). Assuming you’ve got some sort of contingency plan in place, here are five reasons you should consider letting today be the last day your employer is graced by your presence:
1. You Are Miserable.
Maybe you have an absolutely awful boss, the kind of person who, say, micromanages to the point where you can’t even email a client without sending the message his or her way first. Or maybe you find yourself less than thrilled to be working for a company you thought was different than you ultimately found it to be: unethical, lacking culture, what have you.
If the misery of what 9 a.m. Monday means starts to set in Sunday afternoon, you at least owe it to yourself to ask what the hell you’re doing with your career. Life is too short for you to be miserable at a place that occupies 40 hours a week if you’re lucky (not including commuting, those super sweet late-night emails you have to respond to, those awesome team-building exercises you have to attend, etc.).
You might be pleasantly surprised at how happy you’ll be the moment you realize you don’t have to show up at a particular workplace anymore.
2. You Are Stifled.
Whether you want to take on more responsibility or just know deep down in your gut that you’re capable of so much more than what you’re currently doing, if you’re not being challenged or given opportunities to develop professionally, it’s probably time for you to move on.
Prior to announcing your departure, make sure you’ve asked your boss for those challenges and those development opportunities. While good bosses will proactively offer both, you can’t really get mad about the situation unless you go on the offensive yourself.
If your company isn’t proving it’s committed to you, why are you giving it any of your talents?
3. You Are Disregarded.
Let’s say you’ve got great ideas, and you routinely share them at team meetings (which are a waste of time anyway, but that’s beside the point). Your boss hears your ideas, thanks you for your contributions and tells you how great they are. But rarely, if ever, do those ideas get executed.
If your input isn’t valued or considered, your company doesn’t deserve you. Of course, some workers are perfectly content to sit back and take orders. But not everyone is. There is a whole world of people who value and respect ideas and creativity; don’t waste your time living somewhere else.
4. You Are Underpaid.
Unless you work for yourself, someone besides you gets paid more for the work that you do—it’s as simple as that. If you’re stuck in one of those jobs where you’re continually asked to do more yet your employer refuses to compensate you competitively, for the love of God, please consider moving on.
You don’t even have to rely solely on your gut on this one: Over the course of a decade, employees who stay at jobs more than two years earn at least 50 percent less than their job-jumping peers.
Your biggest raises will come when you move from one employer to the next (assuming your career is on an upward trajectory). So jump accordingly.
5. You Are Unhealthy.
Sitting at a cubicle all day can be tiresome—particularly when you’re not given the luxury to look out a window. If you’re staring at a computer screen all day and working in a highly stressful environment, it’s definitely time to ask yourself what’s more important: getting a sticker from your dreadful boss or living a comfortable, healthy life?
Remember, it’s not impossible to make a go of it on your own. All you need is the will to risk failing, some ideas and persistence. Life is too short to spend so much of your life working in a job you don’t like, working to make other people money while at the same time getting fatter and fatter and fatter.
Sometimes saying I quit is the right thing to do. And though it might be hard to have the willpower to let the words escape your lips, once you do, you’ll feel liberated. And who knows? You might even have fun doing it.