Have you ever fantasized about recreating a dramatic exit scene, where you slam an office door and matter-of-factly say you quit?
You’re not alone. In January of this year, 2.8 million people quit their jobs. That’s roughly equal to the entire population of Chicago hanging up their hats.
Obviously, it’s common to leave a position in some situations. But sometimes it’s hard to decipher which of those are actually good reasons for quitting a job.
If you feel you may by among next month’s millions of quitters, take a careful look at why you’re thinking of leaving. To be objective, write a list of all the potential reasons you may go. Once you’ve got a decent spread, underline the ones that have been consistent for at least six months. You’ll likely see that these end up being the valid reasons to leave your job.
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And all the others? Those are your temporary setbacks, challenges to overcome, or talking points for your next performance review.
Here’s how this exercise works, with some of the most common reasons to go.
“Your boss regularly assigns you elaborate projects without adequate resources, then doesn’t appreciate when you get the job done.”
“Your boss is under pressure to meet quarterly goals and passes on the projects that aren’t exclusive to upper management, giving you a larger workload for a few weeks.”
According to Accenture, 43% of employees say they leave from a lack of recognition. So it makes sense that tackling a substantial workload for someone who doesn’t appreciate your effort or contribute to your success would lead to frustration.
The difference is that the second scenario can be attributed to a limited time frame. It’s natural for teams to buckle down toward the end of reporting periods. However, it isn’t natural for the leader of an efficient workplace to regularly dish out unrealistic expectations—with a bad attitude to boot.
Also read: What to Do Before You Quit Your Job
“You no longer feel passionate about advancing in the field.”
“Some of your daily job duties are boring and need little expertise.”
It’s a common misconception that you should always love what you do. You should, however, love the industry you’re doing things for.
This means you may feel bored and overqualified when it comes to running routine tests. But it also means you know and appreciate how those mundane tasks will enable you to build upon what you’ve started. If the end goal still excites you, don’t go jumping ship just yet. If you’re out to find a position where every little report brings you joy, you’re going to become a serial job-hopper.
“You’re stressed about an annual project or conference in a few weeks”
“You feel an ongoing sense of anxiety from work and it’s affecting your health and personal life.”
Tired, burnt out employees are 31% more likely to consider leaving. These same employees likely bring their work worries home. Before long, stress impedes your ability to sleep and can cause more health issues.
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When it comes to physical and mental health, it’s important to check your stress carefully. In this scenario, the distinguishing factor is that the former situation relates to a specific event. It likely involves a heavier workload with tighter deadlines, and not delivering would be obvious when the date rolls around. However, if your job constantly feels like a race to the end—but there’s no end in sight—your body may thank you for walking away.
“You daydream about a future with more control and better pay, and compare that vision to your current situation.”
“You’ve plotted a course and have considered all the factors of leaving the old job and taking on the new.”
It’s just as easy to envision yourself calling the shots as it is to imagine your dramatic quitting scene. Making a shotgun decision will have a long-term impact on your career—not just on your job.
The first scenario isn’t a good reason to quit because everyone wants these qualities from their career. Instead of trading in your job security for a get-rich-quick gig, take on different responsibilities to help achieve that sense of ownership. If your current role doesn’t allow for more growth, consider consulting part-time or volunteering. Unless you’ve got several thousand dollars in the bank or a viable next step lined up, you shouldn’t submit your notice.
When it boils down to it, everyone has a unique set of reasons for quitting a job. However, these reasons tend to fall in a few common categories, and it’s important to sort out whether your list is really worth leaving for before it’s said and done.