written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 5/18/2011
When is the best time to quit your job? Most people think it's when things become so unbearable that taking extreme measures is the way to go, but there are actual signs you can look for if you think it's time to go.
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Times are Tough
In our current economy, the very notion that someone would want to walk away from a job that is paying for bills and other expenses must seem crazy. Recent studies have shown that nearly a third of American employees hate their job, and that about 90% of the population do not enjoy either their work, their position, or their company.
Still, if someone is in a paying job, why would they want to quit? There are many reasons for an employee to want to quit their job and as a whole on the company itself, it is actually better all around if employees and businesses work well together. Think about it — would you rather have someone handle your questions or concerns as a client or customer with the attitude that you're disrupting their Facebook announcement or someone who genuinely wants to help you and make sure that your needs are met?
If someone is happy in their work and in their position, it shows. Those are the people who enjoy what they do, the people they work with, and the people they help. They put in 110%. Do you want someone who gives 110% or who gives only 10%?
What if this situation is something you find yourself in? Are you questioning the insanity of quitting? Are you only giving 10% in your current job? If so, you may need to start looking elsewhere. But when is the best time to quit your job?
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Is Your Job Challenging and Satisfying?
So when is the best time to quit your job?
There are several signs that you should look at to determine whether you need to leave or just change some things a little. The first sign is that your mind is not on work. This means that before or even during work, you are doing other things, whether it be chatting online, updating your Facebook or Twitter pages, or generally surfing the net, you are doing things that have nothing to do with work. It's one thing if you're doing so while on a break or if your employer allows some side activity during down times, but when the thought of going back to work makes you mentally — or even verbally — groan, there is a problem.
Perhaps your mind isn't on your work because work is boring. Employees need jobs that they find challenging and when work is no longer challenging, work is no longer exciting or important. Employees then start to 'goof off' — check email repeatedly (usually personal email), surf the internet, or even play video games online. This makes them less productive and in turn, makes the company less productive in their business.
A definite sign is your own feelings on your job. Everyone has those days when they wake up and don't feel like going to work, but when those days become every day, that's a sign. If you've suddenly developed an unpronounceable disease that will keep you out of work for several weeks, when in reality, you just want to stay home, that's another sign. If you don't feel like going to work on a daily basis for whatever reasons — the boss, the coworkers, stress, etc — you need to start looking at other options.
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Are You Underpaid or Underinsured by Your Employer?
Another big decider is the provision of pay and insurance options. Certianly, if you're doing more work than you are being paid for, another position would be better for you. The same is true if your company doesn't ofter or has very limited health insurance options. This of course is dependent on individual thoughts and feelings: perhaps the job is a side or part time job or the person doesn't feel the need for health insurance, or they have the insurance through parents or a spouse.
If you're facing any of these signs, you should probably consider looking for other employment options. While your current environment may not be ideal, don't go quitting unless you are prepared financially. Obviously, the ideal situation would be to find a position or job before leaving the current one. This allows for your finances to continue or at least be set before your first payday from a new job. If able, save up enough for 2 to 6 months in the case you don't find anything immediately. Do not quit a current employment situation unless you have a financial safety net.
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Doing a Job Search
The most important thing in searching for a job while still working is to not let it affect your current work or working relations. Many times, employees will be brutally honest in their quest to leave their current position; this could backfire if you plan on using your job as a reference. If possible, try to see if a position you would enjoy is available at your current job. Try not to do job searches while you should be working; in fact, it is best that you not job search while at work, period.
Searching for another job, should be done on your time, not the office's. Take a day off in order to search, whether online or by going in to places. Do not leave your office number for prospective employers to contact you; leave either your home number or a cell number instead. Technology is quite ahead of its time, allowing for people to be reached anywhere, at any time, and in most cases, anything. If you have a smartphone, have emails go to your phone or by text; this way you can check any messages that may come in. If possible, forward your home number to your cell phone and have people leave a message.
You should always let prospective employers know that you are currently working and give them time frames in which they can reach you. Try to have them contact you on your day off or call at times when you will not be heading to or from work. Make sure you're in a quiet place and that you don't have anything going on that may distract you from the interview.
If the issues you are having are just rampant in your department or office location, this may not a sign to quit; it maybe a sign to change things in your current work place. If the thought of quitting at the moment isn't feasible, try to find options in which you can stay within the company. Perhaps you can be moved to another location or office if your company has one or look for a position that takes you out of a negative environment.