Sometimes people quit their job because they can earn more somewhere else. Sometimes people quit their job to pursue a better opportunity. Sometimes people quit their job because their boss is terrible.
And sometimes people quit a job to start their own business, which to me is the best reason of all. Of course there are compelling reasons to hang on to your full-time job as long as you can while you get your startup up and going. Even though you can start a company in just a few hours, until you're actually generating revenue, quitting your full-time job is often a mistake.
But there are a number of other reasons to quit your job, and they all boil down to this:
You deserve better.
You deserve better than going home every day feeling unfulfilled. You deserve better than working for a terrible boss. You deserve better than leaving work every day feeling taken for granted, feeling taken less than seriously, or feeling taken advantage of.
You deserve better. In fact, you deserve to be as happy as you can be.
Say your grown daughter called and said, "I hate my job. I'm bored, frustrated, and feel like I'm going nowhere."
Wouldn't you tell her to look for another job?
So shouldn't you follow the same advice?
Here are reasons to stop feeling miserable and start looking for something better:
1. Your boss spends more time managing up, not down.
You know the type: As a leader, she should focus her time and attention on her direct reports, but she spends all her time "following" her boss. It seems like your only job is to contribute to the greater glory -- and advancement -- of your boss.
A great boss knows that if her team succeeds--and each individual on that team succeeds -- then she will succeed too.
You deserve better than to develop your boss's career at the expense of your own.
2. You think, "I hope I don't have to..." instead of, "I hope I get to..."
When you love your work, it's like peeling an onion. There are always more layers to discover and explore. When you hate your work it's also like peeling an onion -- but all you find are more tears.
You deserve better than to spend all your time finding ways to avoid doing things you hate.
3. Your ideas are disregarded or even ignored.
Everyone has ideas. And everyone loves when his or her ideas are taken seriously--and implemented. The feeling that you've contributed in a special way is incredibly gratifying.
But when your boss or company shoots down or even laughs at your ideas, it's not only insulting, it's de-motivating. And pretty soon you stop caring.
You deserve better than to not to care.
4. You never volunteer -- for anything.
Doing more is an opportunity: to learn, to impress, to gain skills, to build new relationships -- to do something more than you would otherwise been able to do.
So if you aren't volunteering for projects, or teams, or to learn a new skill... that means you don't see the point.
You deserve better than to think volunteering is not just a waste of time, it's a burden you can't stand the thought of bearing.
5. You get criticized in public.
We all need constructive feedback. We all need a little nudge. We all need to be told when we can do something better -- and how to do it better.
But we need to be told those things in private.
You deserve better than to walk around wondering when you'll be criticized -- and even humiliated -- in front of other people.
6. You almost never hear the words, "Thank you."
Everyone also needs praise. We all need to know when we do something well (and everyone, even a poor performer, does some things well).
You deserve better than to not be recognized for the contributions you make.
7. You don't feel a real sense of purpose.
Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone likes to feel he has an impact not just on results but also on the lives of other people.
You deserve better than to go home every day feeling like you've worked... but you haven't accomplished anything meaningful.
8. You feel like a a cog, not a person.
Everyone is replaceable. Everyone, ultimately, works for a paycheck. But people also want to work for more than a paycheck. They want to work with people they respect and admire, and they want to be respected and admired in return.
If your boss doesn't occasionally stop for a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to see if you need any help, or simply to say a kind word, then you're just a cog in a larger machine.
You deserve better than to feel like a small cog in a larger machine.
9. You never wake up excited to go to work.
Every job has its downsides. (I'm willing to bet even Richard Branson has to do a few things he doesn't enjoy.) But every job should also have some fun moments. Or exciting moments. Or challenging moments. Or some aspect that makes you think, "I'm looking forward to doing that."
You deserve better than to have the only think you look forward to be quitting time.
10. You don't see any light at the end of the tunnel.
Every job should lead to something: hopefully a promotion, but if not, the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities, learn new things, tackle new challenges. Tomorrow should have the potential to be different--in a good way--from today.
A decent boss works to improve the company's future. A good boss works to improve her employees' futures, too, even if -- especially if -- that might mean some of those employees will eventually move on to bigger and better things.
You deserve way better than to live without hope.
11. You feel like an outsider.
Countless companies were started by two or more people who at one time worked together and realized they had complementary skills -- and realized they wanted to carve out a new future together.
If you plan to be an entrepreneur, working for a big company first is one of the best things you can do: It's a risk-free environment where you can meet future colleagues and co-founders. Pick a dozen companies at random and you'll find at least a few that were founded by aspiring entrepreneurs who met as co-workers and went on to launch an awesome business together.
You deserve better than to spend all your time working with people who don't share your hopes, dreams, and passions.
12. You're convinced you don't have other options.
That's the best reason of all to quit your job. I know what you're thinking: "I make too much in my current job; I'll never find something comparable." Or, "There just aren't any jobs where I live." Or, "I've put too much time into this company (or career or industry)."
Or, "I don't have what it takes to start my own business."
All those things are true -- if you let them be true.
You can do something else. You can do lots of something "elses."
You just have to believe--and trust that your creativity, perseverance, and effort will take you to new, happier, and more fulfilling places. Thousands of people start their own businesses ever year. The only difference between you and them? They decided to take the chance. They decided to bet on themselves.
You can too. You deserve better than staying where you are and not doing everything possible to live a better life.
13. You're tired of having your future capped.
Work for a salary and no matter how well you perform, you can only make that salary. Work for someone else and you can only earn what it's decided you're "worth."
Work for yourself and your earnings are only limited by your creativity, drive, perseverance, and talent.
Money isn't everything -- but if you have to work, don't you want that work to pay off to the greatest extent possible? You deserve better than having your financial future determined by other people.
Go out and find out what you're really worth -- both financially and in your ability to make a difference in other people's lives.