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Five Questions to Ask Yourself to Decide if You Should Quit Your Job

Carson is a corporate professional and manager in the Communications field.

Work-related stress and burnout are both real. But is quitting worth it?

Work-related stress and burnout are both real. But is quitting worth it?

When Is It Time to Quit?

Remaining interested in your job (much less enjoying it) can be difficult. But when is it worth it to quit your job altogether?

Quitting can help you get away from a position that no longer is a good fit. But if you don't have clarity about why you want to leave and, more importantly, what you want to get out of a new position, you risk repeating the same situation. In fact, you may end up in a similar situation in the new position you find.

Below are a few questions to ask yourself so you can understand your choice fully before you take action.

1. Have You Reached Your Maximum Potential in Your Role?

Eventually, you may realize that you no longer have much to learn at your job. And that may be by design. Jobs often have different levels (usually identified by a number, a prefix, or by title), which means their function has limits.

If you feel you've learned all you can learn in your current role, it may be time to look for another position. But if you like the company, it may help to ask your manager for more responsibility first or find out if there's a role within your company that may offer you room to learn. Transitioning to that role may be more rewarding than simply quitting, and it will also help you protect your resume and any tenured perks you may have earned from your job.

2. Has the Landscape of Your Job Changed?

Sometimes when a boss leaves, a company restructures, or a department is downsized, the workplace can become uncomfortable and even stressful. If this sounds like something you've been dealing with, it may have changed your job or your daily professional life enough to make you feel like your job is completely different.

The landscape of your position may have changed enough to make you feel like you don't want to be there anymore, or like the job is no longer what you signed up for. If that is what you're experiencing, it may be beneficial to try to get clarity on what your job is supposed to be so you can identify what it is you don't like.

3. Does the Idea of Finding a New Job Overwhelm You?

It's often said that finding a new job is like a job itself. It's time-consuming and can be draining to create a resume, search for appropriate and interesting positions, and fill out throes of online applications, only to get a rejection or worse, never hear back. It's a lot of work and frustration, but great rewards await those who wait.

When you think about beginning the job search, it should be exciting. You have determined that you are ready to embark on a new adventure, and you're ready to start... right? While that viewpoint might be a little unrealistic, deciding to turn over a new leaf or look for professional improvement opportunities is a truly life-changing experience, regardless of what you're leaving behind.

Ask yourself if the idea of perusing LinkedIn and writing a resume causes you heart palpitations, or whether it gives you a little thrill. If it gives you a thrill, it might mean you're ready to move on.

4. Are You Ready to Expand Your Knowledge?

Jobs can become frustrating simply because they're boring. It's a sad, but undeniable truth. You know the cloudy and dark feeling you get when you're tasked with creating yet another report or assigned another repetitive task? That's boredom, and boredom is—literally—painful.

You may be confusing your frustration or feelings of being upset with the fact that your brain simply isn't getting enough stimulation. Studies have shown that when people are tasked with something they find uninteresting by nature or with something that is too simple, pain receptors in their brains are actually activated.

5. Are You Overworked?

Images of people with untucked business slacks, ruffled blouses, and tousled hair are a common trope representing the overworked professional. Stress-related health conditions are common in the United States, where the 40-hour work week was invented and then quickly violated overreaching corporate goals and mismanaged time.

Many working professionals express feelings of having too much to do at work and never having enough time. It's not uncommon for people to work sixty hour weeks while getting paid for what is supposed to be forty. In fact, being overworked is part of the American identity.

If you're overworked and are considering leaving your job because of it, ask yourself if you can work with what's required of you. Some have made the argument that having "too much to do" at work should be viewed as a positive thing. It means your role is important and and/or team has a vision for your product. If you're able to set boundaries within your agreed upon work hours and still meet deadlines or prove that your deadlines are unreasonable, you may be able to adjust to the job you already have.

To Quit or Not to Quit...

Changing jobs is common, and you spend too much time at work to waste it on something that doesn't fulfill you. But leaving a job before you're ready can prove to be a mistake, even if it feels right at the time. It can be very beneficial to assess your current situation objectively so you can move forward in your career with confidence.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.