For many professionals, deciding it’s time to quit your job and move on is a big decision within your career. The familiarity and comfort of a job which you’ve done for a long time can tempt you to stay within a role which you might have outgrown.
As of May 2021, the average number of hours worked by full-time workers in the UK was 35 hours which means that it’s vital to be in a position in which you can thrive.
However, it’s important to distinguish between just having a bad day at work (let’s face it, we all have them) and recognising that your needs are fundamentally not being met.
In our latest insights piece, we take a look at 11 stark warning signs that it could be time to quit your job for pastures new.
If you feel like every day is the same and what you do doesn’t matter, you are going to get bored very quickly. In fact, feeling bored is one of the most common reasons for professionals to change jobs.
Before you start searching for a new position, it might be worth asking yourself ‘what job won’t make me feel bored?’ to avoid falling into another uninspiring job which you will soon tire of.
By discovering what you are passionate about, you will feel a greater sense of purpose, satisfaction and pleasure within your work.
You don’t get on with your manager
While no one expects you to be best friends with your manager, there should be a professional level of trust and respect between you both.
If you don’t have a healthy relationship with your manager, it could have a direct impact on your professional success within the business.
We’d always recommend speaking with your manager and trying to iron out any issues you may have, but if you simply can’t see eye to eye, it might be best to move on. As they say, ‘people leave managers, not companies.’
You’re in a toxic environment
An unhealthy work environment can have implications on your personal life and mental health. If you feel like you’re surrounded by negative and toxic behaviours, it might be best to leave before it manifests itself in the form of depression or another health issue.
The classic signs of a toxic workplace include high levels of staff turnover, unmotivated staff, above average levels of sickness attributed to employee burnout, and poor/negative communications with colleagues.
You’re not being challenged
Staying in a job where you’re not being challenged can leave you feeling like you’re in a bit of a rut. While some people might prefer to ‘go through the motions’ and take home a wage, others love the feeling of being challenged, learning new things and developing at work.
If you feel like you might have outgrown your role, you should speak to your manager first to explain that you need to feel challenged to feel fulfilled and happy within your role. Your manager should be pleased that you’re looking to enrich your career as it will ultimately benefit them should you choose to stay with the company.
If they can’t provide an environment which matches what you’re looking for, it’s probably time to look for somewhere new.
The company has questionable morals
If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it has highlighted which companies have great morals, and those which do not. The media has ferociously cast companies into the spotlight if they have been considered ‘not doing the right thing’ by their employees.
Laying off staff instead of using the furlough scheme, using the furlough scheme when they didn’t need it and not addressing concerns around the health and safety of staff have been huge talking points in the last 18 months.
If you believe your company has dubious morals, it might be time to find a company which aligns with what you believe in and how you would behave.
There are no opportunities to grow and develop
Most job adverts will tell you that their company will support and encourage their staff to grow their skills and develop within the business. However, some employees will soon find that these are empty promises and that they have no system in place to develop their staff.
During one to one time with your manager, it’s important that you express how you feel and that you want to grow within the business, particularly if you have taken on a job with the expectation of progressing.
The onus is then on your manager to provide growth opportunities. If they can’t provide anything which you are satisfied with, it might be time to find another company that can.
It’s worth noting that growth doesn’t always equate to a pay rise or promotion; it could be learning a new skill, working on a new project or expanding your knowledge within the business. Expanding your skills and knowledge are fantastic ways to bolster your CV and enhance your career in the longer term.
You’re being underpaid for what you do
If you feel like you’re being underpaid for your responsibilities and performance, it can feel frustrating and demoralising; before you start searching for another position, we’d recommend speaking with your manager to see if they can offer you something which is more in line with what you were thinking.
There are many free online resources (such as Glassdoor) which can tell you the average pay for your role and location. If you can also find out what your co-workers (who do the same role) get paid as well, you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate with your manager.
If your manager is flat refusing to negotiate, it might be best to find a company that will pay you what you’re worth.
Work is spilling over into your home life
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been an exponential rise in employees working from home. In fact, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that 25.9% of people worked from home in 2020, compared to just 12.4% in 2019.
With more kitchen dining tables transforming into office desks, it has highlighted the importance of a healthy work-life balance and the need for employees to ‘switch off’ when the working day has ended.
A poor work-life balance, such as working late into the evenings or having to answer emails at weekends, can eventually lead to employee fatigue.
It’s absolutely OK to put some extra hours into your work but if it’s affecting your personal life or mental health, or if it’s become expected of you by your employers, it might be time to establish some boundaries. If that fails, it might be time to move on.
You dread going to work
We all live for the weekends, but if the thought of going back into work on Monday morning fills you with dread, it might be time to question whether this is the right role for you.
It’s important to distinguish what is actually causing these feelings - Is it your colleagues or manager? Is it the workload? Is it the job itself? By pinpointing the reason why you feel anxious or stressed, it could help you to find a solution.
We’d recommend that you discuss it with your manager first to see if they can help - it’s what they’re there for. If you can’t come up with a viable solution, it might be time to leave before it starts impacting your mental health.
You wouldn’t recommend your friends to work there
Ask yourself this, if your company was advertising a job vacancy, would you advise your friend to apply for it? If you wouldn’t, it might be time to ask yourself why and consider why you think it's OK for you to continue working there. Thinking about it from an outsider's point of view will help you to gain perspective on the situation.
Your health is being impacted
If your physical or mental health is being impacted by your job, it’s definitely time to take action. The first thing you need to establish is the root cause of the problem. If you’re struggling to pin it down, try jotting down all the things related to your job and then organising them into 2 piles, things you’re happy with and things you’re unhappy about.
Remember to include everything such as your salary, the commute, relationships with colleagues, the amount of hours you work and the office environment.
Once you have your unhappy list, sit down with your manager to discuss how you feel and what is causing you to feel this way. If they’re a good manager, they will do everything within their power to find a workable solution and alleviate your troubles. If they don’t, it’s definitely time to leave - no job is worth sacrificing your health for.
What should you do next?
If you’ve reached the conclusion that it is definitely time to move on, the search for a new job can be a long and challenging process, particularly if you’re managing it alongside your current position.
However, there are things which you could do to alleviate the hassle of searching for a new job such as signing up to a recruitment agency like us!
We have a range of temporary and permanent vacancies in both the private and public sector just waiting for the perfect candidate like you to apply!
How Spencer Clarke Group can help
As a specialist recruitment agency, it’s our job to connect you with the hottest career opportunities which best match your skills and requirements.
We currently specialise in 8 sectors:
Accountancy & Finance
Construction & Trades
Education & SEND
Health & Social Care
Interim & Executive
Technical & Engineering
Along with taking the time consuming process of searching for a new job out of your hands, we also provide expertise and guidance in how to succeed through the interview process - meaning that you’ll be in your dream role in no time at all!