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Top 5 Signs It's Time To Quit Your Job ASAP

Updated on December 29, 2010

Pack your bags and move on?

We've all been there - well, most of us at least. You can't stop fantasizing about quitting your job but aren't quite sure if you should really bite the bullet and go for it. Whether it's out of fear or for some other reason, logic often tells you to just suck it up and stay where you are even if that means you're constantly miserable. Damn that logic!

There are many reasons why you might find yourself trying to decide whether or not to quit your job. While the decision is ultimately up to you, obviously the more reasons you have working for you, the more it makes sense to yes, go ahead and quit. And while you should certainly try to be logical about it if you can be, sometimes the best decisions are simply made from the heart.

Below are 5 signs that it's time to quit your job. Remember that life is short and if it seems like many of these were written for you, it might be well time for you to pack your bags and move on.

1. You Dread Going to Work

Unfortunately, this is a pretty common occurrence and one of the top reasons why people quit their jobs. Sure, perhaps it's unreasonable to expect to wake up clapping your hands and with a skip in your step on the way out the door every morning. Let's face it, it's normal to want to stay in bed or spend the day watching TV in your PJs sometimes - the keyword here being sometimes. If you're constantly as in almost everyday lacking motivation to get to your workplace, is this really how you want to live? My guess is no. Everyone dreams of well.. their dream job.

However, before you blame not wanting to go to work on your actual job, consider other explanations first. Are you getting enough sleep? No one wants to go to work on only a few hours of sleep and if that's all you get on a regular basis, see if adding some more zzzzz's can improve your motivation. It's also possible that you're depressed; I have been there before. Depression makes it hard to want to do anything, much less go to work. In this case, quitting your job may not be the answer although it could be just what you need to get out of your rut.

2. You Can't Stand Your Co-workers

Depending on how many people you work with, chances are you're just not going to like all of them and not all of them will like you either. This is normal.

Sometimes though, you are faced with so many difficult coworkers, that it becomes overwhelming to the point where you want to quit your job. In a different article, I have identified 4 Types of Difficult Coworkers and How to Deal with Them. If you find though, that you are indeed overwhelmed with too many bad coworkers and you can't find a way to improve your situation, quitting your job may be your only option for relief.

Keep in mind though that in your next job, you will most likely again be up against at least one coworker you can't stand. However, while this may be the case, it could still be a happier work environment than the one you're in now. It might be a risk you'll just have to take if you want to find out for yourself.

3. You are Underpaid

They say that money isn't everything but it's hard to really embrace that when you know you could be making more money elsewhere doing the same job you're doing now (or perhaps a different one).

The first thing you could do is try asking your boss for a raise because sometimes if you don't ask for it, you just don't get it. If you're a valuable employee as I'm sure you are, your boss may side with you and bump your salary in order not to lose you. Then again, he or she may flat out reject you but it's worth a try.

If you can't get a raise, you'll have to decide just how important money is to you. If you're more or less happy with everything about your job except for the money part, then you might decide that your happiness at work is more important than the money and that it's worth your sticking around. If you're just a little bit underpaid, you can probably easily justify this to yourself for the sake of your happiness. However, if you're grossly underpaid, this in itself may make you unhappy, lead to frustration, and it's a perfectly valid reason to want to quit your job.

Hey, if you're worth it, you're worth it!

4. You are Experiencing Way Too Much Stress

Most jobs come with a certain amount of stress and that's just the way it is. Infact, a certain amount of stress in the workplace is actually a good thing because it can often be used as the pressure many of us need to get things done. Also, a reasonable amount of stress may indicate that your job provides you with challenges (and a lack of challenge on the job can itself lead to stress - see below).

However, sometimes stress at the workplace can get out of control for what seems like neverending periods of time. If you've tried to manage your stress but can't, perhaps you have come to the conclusion that your job is just too stressful for whatever reason and it may well be in your best interests to quit your job. Too much stress wrecks havoc on your health both physically and mentally and no job is worth your health (some people would disagree!).

Again, remember that your new job will come with a certain amount of stress as well because it's unavoidable but hopefully it's a much more manageable kind that you can live with.

Examples of stressors: shift work, long commute times, long work hours, difficult boss, etc.

5. You are Bored

As I said, lack of challenge on the job can lead to boredom and stress. While there are some people who are happy to have no room for advancement at work and to do the same thing everyday, day in and day out for the rest of their lives, most people are not like this.

It could be that you have come to the end of your line at work and there is no more room for you to grow. If this is not okay with you, your only option may be to seek out new challenges in a new job which of course means quitting the one you're in now.

Even if your job is reasonably challenging, it could be that you're bored with your job anyway. Perhaps you do something you've never been interested in but were doing it because of the money or because it's what was expected of you. Move on to something you enjoy!


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    • kikibruce profile image


      6 years ago from New York

      Mine was stress and being overworked. I said "Take this job and shove it!"

    • Ben Jacklin profile image

      Ben Jacklin 

      6 years ago from Diss, Norfolk

      Oh man, the amount of jobs I have had where all five of these points are true...

      Great hub!

    • nicomp profile image

      nicomp really 

      7 years ago from Ohio, USA

      All good reasons, BUT the idea of quitting a job without having a new job lined up is a very bad strategy. We all hate out jobs now and then.

    • eddiecarrara profile image

      Eddie Carrara 

      7 years ago from New Hampshire

      I left my job because of an injury, I didn't think a career change would be so challenging, good hub, voted useful.

    • JLBender profile image


      7 years ago from Greensburg, PA

      I couldn't have said it better myself. I was once in a position where all of these items were true. I only wish I left earlier and saved myself countless sleepless nights.

    • Mary Cloutier profile image

      Mary Cloutier 

      7 years ago

      Really great article - I think many people have experienced that general feeling of 'I don't want to work here anymore' - you summarized the aspects of that feeling well. Good comment by sarah - once the work environment becomes destructive to your sense of self worth it's time for a change.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Thanks a lot for the article. I am definitely submitting my resignation letter tomorrow. I feel much better with my decision. But I wish to add one more sign sign no 6 - if the work culture, your bosses and co workers make you loose your confidence in your own capabilities and beginning to question your own strength, better leave or you ended up being depressed like me.

    • profile image


      7 years ago this economy people stay just to pay bills...stress on the job has affected my health...ended up in the hospital, ended up taking meds so I can function daily at work..just to get out of the bed need meds..anxiety attacks on the job. I feel all I know how to do is get up and go to work and lost interest in a lot of other family and personal life is affected. I come home I just want to go to sleep but ofcourse with kids that isn't going to happen...I didn't realize that having a job could make you sick...that was a surprise for me...put up a drinking habit to cope with anxiety and can't stop drinking well guess that is now another problem i had prior to starting my job which i've been in for 7 years now...but I'm a good person cause i hung in there and stuck it out right? I didn't quit after i ended up in the hospital just got back up with it...i feel like a soul less zombie..corporate slave...

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 

      7 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      To PurpleOne: Excellent hub. You have made some good points here. However, most people are risk aversive and are afraid to quit their boring, less than perfect jobs and in effect, lead miserable, hellish lives. It takes a very rare and intelligent person to quit a boring job and to have a job which completely fulfills them. Good piece.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      7 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Caveat: If you quit for any of the reasons cited you won't be eligible for unemployment compensation to tide you over until you find another job. Court decisions and UC regulations say that "a reasonable person will find another job before quitting the one they have without good cause attributable to their employer." The reasons cited above may well be very good reasons for quitting but not for purposes of qualifying for unemployment compensation. Nice hub, however. And I sure agree that it doesn't make sense to get stuck in a job you don't enjoy and when you aren't learning new things that will advance your career. In my opinion you can learn from any job, however, menial, but the learning curve flattens out soon in most jobs. When that happens it's time to move on. Nice hub!

    • Guyana Masala profile image

      Guyana Masala 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      ...couldn't have put this better. You really are on point with this. LOL

    • Bianca Rose profile image

      Bianca Rose 

      8 years ago from Australia

      Great hub. Some people spend their lives looking for their dream job but never actually do any work towards getting it. But if you tick all of the boxes above you really should move on.

    • Jed Fisher profile image

      Jed Fisher 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma

      Awesome. I was 5 for 5. Your hub makes me feel a lot better about my decision. Thank you.

    • crystolite profile image


      8 years ago from Houston TX

      Wonderful hub,thanks.

    • BlissfulWriter profile image


      8 years ago

      Of the five mentioned, I think number 4 is the best reason one should leave. Afterall, your health is more important than your job.

    • KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

      Susan Hazelton 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      You are so right about the signs that it's time to quit your job. Unfortunately many of us are grossly underpaid . Very good points but it is so hard to leave a job these days, it's not as easy to get another one. Voted up and awesome. Great job.

    • Sunnyglitter profile image


      8 years ago from Cyberspace

      I have quit jobs because of terrible coworkers. They can really make your workday hell.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      This really sums up the reasons, and they're valid ones, too; they're exactly why I had to quit my most recent job.

    • Karen Wodke profile image

      Karen Wodke 

      8 years ago from Midwest

      I knew it was time to go when they asked me not to return and made me give them back the front door key. They stopped just short of issuing a restraining order.

      Great article, by the way!

    • onceuponatime66 profile image

      Jackie Paulson 

      8 years ago from USA IL

      Well, in today's downturn of bad economy, I put up with my job, and the stress, and the workers etc...because I want to pay my bills. I am perusing my dreams in the meantime to get through it.

    • wannabwestern profile image

      Carolyn Augustine 

      8 years ago from Iowa

      I once was considering quitting a well-paid job and a wise older co-worker suggested keeping a calendar. On the days I hated my job and really wanted to quit, mark with an x and on the days I wanted to stay mark an o. The o's won, but barely!

    • prairieprincess profile image

      Sharilee Swaity 

      8 years ago from Canada

      Purple One, I agree. I had three of these at my last job, and that's what helped my decision to get out. I think we have all learned to just expect stress, but too much is very bad for our health.

    • PurpleOne profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      @Toronto Realtor - Wow, I'd say you should consider yourself lucky then as I'm sure you do! :)

      @Lady_E - I agree. Sometimes without quitting our jobs, we will never know what else life might have in store for us. Thanks for commenting!

      @Mamelody - I hope you are lucky enough to like what you're doing now, whatever that is! Thanks for reading. :)

    • Mamelody profile image


      8 years ago

      Excellent points you got there. Those were the reasons I quit my previous job so thanks for letting others know. Nice hub

    • Lady_E profile image


      8 years ago from London, UK

      Excellent points raised, only so many are afraid to take the plunge. If only they will take that step and see how interesting life unfolds for them...

    • PurpleOne profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Thanks Ms Dee - yes, the tipping scale! :)

      Kristine B - well, that's understandable then! A person can only take so much.

    • Kristine B profile image

      Kristine B 

      8 years ago

      So true! I've left a job just for these reasons.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Good point...when things more or less reach the "tipping scale". Like less satisfying than satisfying is a good indicator, so it is with stress, more than likely.

    • PurpleOne profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Canada

      Ms Dee, thanks for the comment! As for how to measure what equals "too much stress", no idea! :) I think it is one of those gray areas like knowing when you've put up with "too much" in a relationship and it's time to leave.

      When there are consistently more bad days than good ones in either your job or your relationship, I think that you've reached the "too much" point. And it may just come down to a feeling rather than hard core facts!

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 

      8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Bingo! The 5 nails on the head ... just lingering on #4 right now as to how to measure what equals "too much stress". Excellent hub! Appreciate this list to consider :)


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