I feel like millennials (including myself) are always in search for a job that makes them happy versus a job that is “stable”. I’m not sure whether it’s our generation (the millennial) or that we watched our parents/grandparents do jobs they didn’t love. Regardless, having a job that you dread is a terrible feeling.
4 years ago, I left a job that I loved. Well, that I once loved and ended up hating. Don’t get me wrong, for a few years I absolutely loved it! It was fun, exciting, empowering and I learned a lot but then the learning turned into something different. It became toxic. I could write a book on this period of my life but I’ll keep it short and sweet….for now!
Here are 4 signs that I knew it was time to quit the job I once loved:
You are undervalued
This is the biggest slap in the face in any aspect of life (personal or professional). But in the workplace, it is frustrating and confusing. Being undervalued can be either monetarily or that your work is being ignored or both. Either way, it’s not a good feeling. This was something that I struggled with constantly. My work was never ignored, I always had a huge say/input in the company but the amount of money I was being paid didn’t match up to the work I was doing. For a couple years, it was ok because I was “working my way up” but then my attitude shifted. I knew that I was being taken advantage of because I was a young women in her mid-20’s. I was resentful.
Your work ethic starts to slip
I always had great work ethic. But when I finally realized that I was being taken advantage of (undervalued), I was resentful which led to my work ethic to slip. I hated this part! It felt terrible that I didn’t want to do the same amount of work, work the same amount of hours or jump through the hoops that I once did. When I couldn’t get out of my funk for a few months, I knew. I knew it was time.
You have no room to grow
If you have reached the top of your position and can go no further- what’s next? If you reached the top, congrats! But now what? If there is no room to grow within the company then it is time to get your feelers out there for other opportunities. Although some might think that growth means more money, I think that knowledge and learning is worth more than money. We as humans crave knowledge so if I’m not learning anything new or being challenged then it is time to look for new opportunities.
You start to lose yourself
The biggest sign of all! Have you worked in a job where you thought the toxic behavior and environment was normal? I have! I never knew what the extent of a toxic work environment was exactly until I was knee deep in one. Sexual harassment, bullying, threats, corruption, fraud- the whole 9 yards! I started off knowing that the behavior wasn’t normal. There would be many days/nights I would leave work and have to call my parents just to make sure this wasn’t normal. I was assured it wasn’t, I needed them to actually say that out-loud. I thought I could keep the same morals and values that I had, I figured I was strong enough. After a couple years of seeing the same behavior over and over again, I started to think it was ok. I started to think that this is just what successful adults do and what they are all like. Boy, was I wrong! After a few aha-moments, I realized I needed out or I was going to lose myself completely. I got out quickly after this! No job is worth your morals and values.
At the time, quitting a job that I once loved was hard.
Having all of these signs thrown into my face was even harder to swollen. But without feeling undervalued I wouldn’t have let my work ethic slip. Without my work ethic slipping, I wouldn’t have realized I had no room to grow. Without realizing I had no room to grow, I wouldn’t have realized I was losing myself in this job. And without almost losing myself (my morals, my values), I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t be a happy 31 year old women working for myself, starting new opportunities and loving every moment of it! I’ve never felt more like myself than I have these last 4 years.
How did you know it was time to quit your job?