Even the best job can be tough. But some jobs are needlessly tough because of politics, poor management, favoritism, lack of communication.
If you're in a bad job and you've made a good-faith effort to solve the issues with no indication that anything's improving, maybe it's time to go.
Your job shouldn't be a source of misery. You spend too many hours at work to hate your job, so removing yourself from a toxic situation--even if it's risky to do so--may be crucial to your happiness and health.
Here are 10 good reasons to help get you out the door.
1. Your body is telling you to go. If your stomach hurts, your head starts to ache, or you feel drowsy and depressed when it's time to go to work, listen to what your body is telling you. Sometimes it's out ahead of our conscious mind in knowing what we need.
2. You're not able to excel. Mediocrity should never be enough; we're all capable of greatness. But without challenges and opportunities to stretch, mediocrity is probably the best you can expect of yourself if you stay.
3. You're unappreciated. The greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated. When you're not appreciated for the work that you do, it can make you question your own abilities. You deserve to feel gratitude for your contribution.
4. You crave contentment. The best kind of happiness comes from contentment. It's the greatest form of wealth. If that sense of well-being seems impossibly far away, maybe you need to move to a more nurturing environment.
5. You have a bad boss. If your relationship with your boss is tense and untrusting, it will be hard for you to succeed where you are. Once you've done everything in your power to make it work, it is time to leave. If your boss is bad but the company is good, maybe a transfer to a different work group will be possible.
6. Your values aren't supported. If your values are at odds with your boss's or company's--for example, if you pride yourself on your integrity and you have reason to believe your company conducts its business dishonestly--it is time to leave. There's nothing more worth protecting than your values.
7. You're miserable. If you've lost interest in what you do, you're never having fun and you find yourself dreading every day and counting the minutes till the weekend, do yourself a favor and start packing.
8. You're suffering from stress. If stress is taking a toll on your physical and mental health, if your relationships are suffering, if you're having panic attacks or starting to worry that you're at risk for a serious health condition, move on. Long-term stress and low control are a deadly combination.
9. Your reputation is at risk. Too many disagreements with your boss, too many days of calling in sick because you can't handle the environment, too much apathy, and the reputation you've worked so hard to build can suffer damage that will take years to repair. Get a fresh start somewhere else before that happens.
10. You feel in your heart it's time for a change. Change in life is inevitable, and sometimes it's just time to move on. Maybe your family situation has changed, or you want to pursue an outside interest, or your strengths have. Maybe it's time to go find a new opportunity. Life does not get better by chance; it gets better by change.
Of course, if your circumstances may not allow you to leave today. Especially if you have family members who depend on your income, you may need to wait until you have something new in hand. But if these signs sound familiar to you, at an absolute minimum you can start planning your departure. It could turn out to be the best move of your life.