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Three signs it’s time to say ‘I quit’

There comes a time in every job when it's time to move on, whether it’s of your own will or you don't have an alternative. You may be asking yourself, "Do I really need to work this hard? Am I reaching my full potential? Do I have a healthy work-life balance?" For many people, the answer is no. With The Great Resignation in full swing, you might be tempted to join other workers leaving their jobs in droves.

The UK Labour Force Survey (LFS), released in November 2021 by the Office for National Statistics, showed resignations and job-to-job moves were at the highest level in 20 years. This trend looks set to continue. According to a recent CV Library survey, 76.4% of the UK workforce intends to look for a new job this year.

Despite the ‘job quitting’ trend, it is important to recognise the difference between when you should work through a challenge and when it's time to leave a role. If you're struggling at work, one of these three signs may indicate it's time to resign.

Unhealthy, burnout or toxic culture 

When you’re expected to be available 24/7 and there is little opportunity to take annual leave, you’re at a company that enables employees to work until they burn out. Symptoms of an unhealthy environment often include high employee turnover and absenteeism.

An unhealthy work environment not only impacts your professional life but also your personal happiness. Examples of an unhealthy work environment include:

  • controlling management practices
  • distrust or dishonesty among the senior leadership team
  • bullying or harassment of employees
  • ineffective communication and lack of transparency
  • unfair policies and rules with unequal enforcement of them

In some environments, you might even feel that your ethics are being compromised. If  you are in a situation that requires you to compromise your ethics, it is time to quit. This is especially true in professional settings such as finance or law, because of the potential long-term implications for your career. Even if the compromise feels needed for your current role, compromising your values can negatively impact your future role and in the meantime, affect your morale.

If you wouldn’t want your friends or family to work at your company, then you need to ask yourself why it is acceptable for you to be working there.  You want the best for the people you care about, so if you don’t think your organisation is good enough for them, consider that a sign that you may deserve a better working environment.

If you find yourself in a workplace like this, research coping strategies and implement them while you look for a new job.

The job is impacting your mental health and wellbeing 

If everything feels overwhelming, it is time to review your current role. All jobs can be stressful, and workplace stress is inevitable at times. However, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious about every issue or problem that arises, you could be headed towards burnout. Moreover, if projects or tasks that used to bring you joy are now overwhelming or stressful, it may be that you’re overworked. It might be worth considering a similar role at another organisation.

If the thought of your job is playing on your mind with restless nights, stomach or headaches and other physical symptoms of stress, these can be signs that your job or working environment is toxic. Long hours, lack of autonomy, bad management and financial insecurity can all contribute to a harmful workplace environment that you need to resign from, rather than try to cope with.

Boredom as you’re underusing your skills and knowledge or not following your passion

Although comfortable, a job that does not challenge you is one you should consider leaving. Staying in a role that isn’t challenging (for the right reasons) can limit your career development. It can lead to feelings of complacency or frustration. This can be evident if you requested the chance to use different skill sets and that opportunity was denied by your line manager.

Underusing skills can be even more challenging when you are not following your passion. When people are passionate about their job, it creates a greater sense of purpose and fulfilment. It also results in higher rates of productivity and sometimes that feeling that you are not even working at all! We’ve all heard the phrase "Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life."

You may feel like you are wasting your potential by not using your skills for something you are passionate about. You don’t need to be Confucius to realise without this, work can feel monotonous and more like a job than a career. If you don't feel excited about your work or the work your company is doing, consider looking for another position.

Next steps  

It can be difficult to know when it is the right time to resign from your job. Sometimes it's a sign that it's not a healthy working environment, while other times it might be an indication of your happiness with your job. Either way, it's important that you take note of the warning signs.

If you’ve decided that resigning from your job is the best decision for you, consider your timeline. Most people prefer to have another role lined up when they resign. Finding a new job before quitting helps to mitigate the risk of lost income and benefits and having gaps on your CV. However, each reason for quitting is personal and complicated. In the cases of burnout and toxic work environments, if you have enough financial security and industry experience, it might be worthwhile to take a break to consider your next move.

If you are considering changing roles, feel free to speak to the Meraki Talent team today.






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