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10 signs to know it's time to quit your job

Last updated on: February 25, 2011 17:05 IST

10 signs to know it's time to quit your job

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Parul Banka

If you feel underpaid, lack learning and growth responsibilities, or feel your personal life is being affected, it's time to quit your job

Employment gives us a career, position, boosts our self-confidence and helps us pay our bills. Indeed, employment is very precious.

We spend a large proportion of our lives at work and therefore, it is important to be happy with our work.

Here is a rough estimation of the time that a full time working professional spends at work.

Regular work hours: 8
Travel to and fro from work: 1
Sleep: 7
Time towards work as a percentage of time we are awake: 9/17 = 53 percent at least

There could be times when it is best to move away from the existing job to another one. In this article, we explore the major signs that indicate the probability that you should change your job:

Click NEXT to read on...

About the writer: Parul Banka is a Human Resources and Training professional.

Illustrations: Uttam Ghosh/ Dominic Xavier


Image: Know when your time in a company is up

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1. When you stop learning in the current role

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More of the same thing is not growth necessarily.

I remember what a senior person I know used to say... ten years of experience of the same work, without improving skills is not necessarily 10 years of experience; it could be 1x10 or 2x5 years of experience.


Image: When you have little or nothing else to do or learn, you know it's time to call it quits

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2. When the role is not of your choice

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You work as a programmer but your passion is training. Whether you perform well or not in the former, I suggest that you get out of it and make a transition to the latter.

It is important that we do work that we are passionate about so that we enjoy it.


Image: If your passion lies somewhere else, get out of your cubicle and don't ever return to it

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3. When you feel that you are not the right fit for the profile

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This is a situation when you feel that you are not able to produce results as good as you could. It means that you are not at your best in this role.

After joining work, if you feel that it is not the right fit for you, you should change. I remember what a supervisor had said to his team member, "I would be very sorry to lose you but I believe that it is important to be happy in your job. So, if you are not happy, then you must move on."


Image: Sometimes one gets too smart for a job. At such times, it's best to leave

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4. You feel underpaid

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We should charge what we deserve. If you feel that you are grossly underpaid, move to a different profile.

Of course, the condition here is that you should have the correct information about compensation as rarely anyone feels that s/he is paid enough; we could always do with more money.

At the same time, look at the entire gamut of opportunities that the organisation offers you -- learning and training, promotion and growth, onsite, role enhancement, business performance of the organisation and a realistic evaluation of the value that you add and can add to the organisation.

I remember a colleague who was given an onsite opportunity for over two years, which was not only highly lucrative but also wonderful from a learning perspective. Yet, he was disgruntled that he did not get promoted in less than one and a half year's time.

Since, the expectation was unrealistic; it only caused him stress, without any significant gains. My suggestion is to avoid such traps.


Image: Stop pulling a long face because you're not getting paid enough. Do something about it

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5. The company offers no extra training or learning opportunities

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I recall the story of the woodcutter, who was very sincere and hardworking. He cut lot of wood every day. His employer was very happy with him.

With time, he gained practice and he started cutting even more wood. But later, gradually, his output started falling.

When the output became unbelievably low, his employer asked him what the reason could be.

The woodcutter had no idea! Then the employer asked, "Are you sharpening your saw regularly?" The woodcutter responded, "Where do I have the time to sharpen my saw. I remain so busy cutting woods that there is no time left for sharpening the saw"!

Don't let this happen to you. If the organisation does not facilitate learning new skills, you may want to evaluate whether you want to continue working there.


Image: If you find yourself ill-equipped and the company is doing nothing about it, it is time to say bye

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6. No clear career path

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If the role or organisation has no clear plans for you, please switch jobs. It is YOUR career and you should know the next possible options for you.


Image: Hit a dead end in your current company...

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7. Always doing the mundane job

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Are you in the team, who always gets the mundane work while you have the capability to do better work?

Remember, that everyone needs to do regular transactional work but if it is only mundane work, then you should look at alternatives.


Image: Being stuck in the same cubicle isn't the best thing for your career... or life

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8. It is impacting your personal life

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The boundary between professional and personal life has dimmed significantly. In all fairness, everyone gets 24 hours a day. We need to decide what our priorities are and spend this time accordingly.

If you happen to be in a job that is sabotaging your personal life (after you have tried all other options), it is probably time to move on. Of course, the assumption here is that you want a life outside work as well. It is another matter when all that you want to do is work.

I have a friend, who by choice likes to work 14 hours a day and has therefore chosen a profile, where he can do this. If this is the category you fall in, then it is fine. As long as you are happy about the work-life balance or the lack of it, it is fine.


Image: When your job begins to affect your health and personal life it's time to take matters in your hands

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9. When you feel the lack of respect

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Without being excessively sensitive, if you feel that you are not being respected as an individual, please take the exit.

No matter what work we do and at what level in the hierarchy, we all deserve to be treated with respect.


Image: People at work making you feel miserable. Get out... now

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10. Are you excited to go to work?

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The final question that you should ask yourself is: do you look forward to go to work every day or is it just a drudgery that you go through? If it is just a routine, then there is definitely something amiss.

It might not be the right job for you or probably you are not approaching your job with the right attitude, or some other factors. You are the best person to adjudge what the relevant reason is but whatever it is, it needs attention and action.

Having said this, there are some caveats:


Image: If you feel this way only on Friday evenings, perhaps you should consider moving out after all

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Don't burn bridges

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It is important to evaluate other options in the same organisation before putting in your resignation. Do not write-off the entire organisation and quit without exploring the opportunities it has to offer.

Don't burn bridges: Remember to leave amicably. Many times people in their hurry or excitement to join a new job burn bridges and leave on a bad note. Don't do this; the world is really small. Don't just disappear; handover your responsibilities properly and leave with dignity. Else, before you join the new workplace, your reputation might precede you.

The final point to consider: It is not just the organisation's responsibility to keep us actively engaged in the job; a lot depends on us as well. Therefore, before setting out to look for opportunities outside the organisation, do an honest self-evaluation.

I had a colleague who was very unhappy at work and felt that both her colleagues as well as customers were very difficult people to work with. Unfortunately, what she did not realise was that she was the one who was being difficult as all the people cannot be difficult at the same time. In such situations, I find an honest self-evaluation really helpful to gauge the locus of problem.

I hope that these tips help you make the right decision in your careers.


Image: Don't burn your bridges... ever

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