How to Decide Whether It’s Time for You to Quit Your Job

Hate your job? Spend every spare moment you have dreaming of telling your boss to shove it? No job is worth being miserable, but sometimes people quit before knowing if their problems are with that particular job, that particular company, or something else altogether. Before you quit your job, you should spend some time to figure out what you really want and whether or not you can get it at your current job.

The first step in figuring out what you really want is to evaluate your situation. What do you not like about your work? Are there things that could make you love your job? Be honest with yourself about what exactly you don’t like about your job. If a raise or fewer hours per week would make your job more pleasing, maybe something can be worked out. In that case, be open and honest about your feelings with your boss. You might find that s/he is willing to give you some of what you’re asking for, simply to keep you. Don’t be afraid to ask, even if it seems like a hopeless cause. I know one woman who decided to quit because she wanted to move halfway across the country to a city where her company had no office. Instead of losing her, the company opened a satellite office for her in her new town. Simply by asking, you can often get things you wouldn’t expect. If, however, your boss isn’t open to hearing your needs, it’s probably time to move on.

Sometimes, the problems with your job may be out of your boss’ hands. If you feel uncomfortable in your company culture or you’re a salesperson who hates to sell, then there’s little your boss can do. To find out of this is truly your case, try pretending that your boss is offering you a huge raise or some other great break. Would you still hate your job? If your answer is “yes,” it’s time to dust off your resume.

If your answer is “maybe,” then spend some quiet time really evaluating what it would take to make you like your job. Are those things your boss can help you with, or are you still coming up with things that can’t be fulfilled by your company? Try making a list of all the perks you’d like to have. One by one, go down the list and ask yourself if you’d be happy with your job at your company if you were given only that one perk. If you come across one that you can answer “yes” to, it’s time to sit down with your boss. If you can’t answer “yes” to any of them, or if the only perks you want are perks your company can’t possibly give you-like a million dollar salary for part-time data entry-then it’s time to decide when you want to leave. Not whether, but when.

Knowing exactly why you hate your job can be a valuable tool, not only in evaluating what to ask for from your boss or whether to quit your job or not, but also in getting you ready for your next job. After all, it does no good to jump from a sinking ship into shark-infested waters. By focusing on what you hate about your job, you’ll know whether to quit or not, and if you decide to quit, you’ll have a good idea of what not to look for in your next position.

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