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Career Advice

Fight or Flight? 7 Signs You Should Quit Your Job

By Krisha Maclang on June 6, 2015

We’ve all been there one, two, or maybe even more than a few times: you find yourself wondering, "Should I quit my job?"

No doubt there will be times in your life when you will consider leaving your work. Maybe you're just having a hard day at work or maybe worse - work becomes too toxic to handle. If it's the former, you mostly just have to put on your big kid pants and hustle hard to gain valuable work experiences. In most cases, it’s advisable for you to try and make it work at your job. You need to pay the bills after all. But for the latter, it might be better for you to simply throw the towel in and file for resignation.

Leaving your job doesn’t make you a quitter, just like it doesn’t make you a passive pushover for toughing it out for a while. Nor does quitting make you a bad employee. Good employees quit all the time for various reasons. It’s all about deciding to do what’s best for you.

So how can you tell if it’s just “one of those days” or if it's time for you to check out? Watch out for these seven signs you should quit your job. If you find yourself relating to a few of these, then maybe it’s time to consider jumping ship.

1. You feel used and abused

First and foremost, if your employer is abusing you in any way, walk out the door immediately. Whether your employer is abusing his authority over you, harassing you, or employing you under illegal conditions, your job isn't worth it. This seems like an obvious sign to watch out for, but sometimes we tend to put up with maltreatment because we think bad behavior will go away. Your first course of action should be to report incidents to Human Resources, but also keep yourself open to other options. Remember to consult the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for your concerns. No job, no salary is worth it if you are not being treated well.

2. Your boss isn’t on your team

Think of your boss as a lighthouse. Part of his or her purpose is to make sure you stay the course as you work your way toward your career goals. If your boss doesn’t support your projects, isn’t concerned about your growth as an employee, or even adversely affects your own productivity, then it’s time to consider leaving. If your boss mistreats or bullies you constantly, it's definitely time to pack up your things. If you feel like you’re not being backed by your boss, then finding your way up the career ladder could be an exercise in futility.

3. There’s no way up the ladder

Working your way up the corporate ladder will naturally be challenging - that's why it's called a ladder. No job worth doing will be easy, after all. But if you’re putting in all that work without any foreseeable growth, then that’s sort of like wasting your gas driving around towards a place that doesn't exist. It’s also possible that there is a way up the ladder but the positions above you (like your boss’s position) just isn’t appealing to you. Either way, your job could be sucking up the time you could have used on a job you believed in.

4. Your duties have increased but your pay raise is nowhere in sight

An increase in work duties is usually a good thing. It means that upper management trusts you with more responsibilities and it could be a precedent for bigger roles in the company. But if your duties are increasing and your salary isn’t budging, then you may be moving more towards Errand Boy than Big Boss. It’s probably a good idea to look for other opportunities.

5. Your salary is the only thing keeping you there

Yes, a big fat check every 15th and 30th of the month is an incredibly important factor in your adult life.  Whether you’re making a lot of money or not, every little bit of cash goes a long way. However, your happiness cannot be guaranteed if your salary and benefits are the only things that keep you going. All jobs can offer you a salary but not all jobs can make you happy.

6. The work culture is toxic

Being able to mesh well with people at work is one of the critical components of job success. If you have healthy work relationships with your co-workers and you can safely say that you can turn to them for help, then you’ve got a good thing going. But if you find yourself being consumed by office playing the blame game when projects fail or fighting with overly competitive colleagues, then it might not be a productive use of your time at work. Office culture can be hard to fix or change so if you find yourself getting anxious over work relationships, you should look into other prospects.

7. You already know you need to quit

If you spend every spare moment thinking about quitting your job, then you should seriously consider pushing through. Threatening to quit your job every chance you get is a big red flag. You’ve pretty much already checked out mentally, and your heart isn’t in your work anymore. Feeling defeated and hopeless at works happens to everyone, but not everyone feels that way every day. Think very well about why you’re still holding on to this job.

These are just a few factors to gauge whether the path you're on has become a dead end or not.

If you find yourself dreaming of better days ahead elsewhere and agreeing with more than a few of these signs, then maybe it’s time to make your dream a reality. Whatever may be holding you back - fear, financial security, confusion - there's always a way to prepare for it.