3 Signs That It's Time to Leave Your Job
Three elements are needed for an avalanche to occur. Of course, two of the necessities are snow (or rocks) and a slope. The rapid fall of a mass down a mountainside is similar to that of the rising feeling a person gets when wanting to leave a job. Gradually, snow settles into place until it fuses into a much nastier bulk that, one day, gives way. This brings me to the third thing—I did say three elements, right? In order for an avalanche to occur there is always a trigger.
My trigger was pretty simple. A small pit had formed at the bottom of my stomach after about a year of being at my job. It was almost undetectable at first—leaking tiny pockets of air—until it stretched wider and wider and eventually seemed more like a throbbing ulcer than a little pit. Society told me I was lucky to have steady work, especially at such a young age and in my desired industry. But my brain told me something different.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve wanted to work in entertainment. Primarily, I’ve always longed to be an actor and writer—admittedly, two very difficult and unstable career paths to navigate. At the beginning of my crazy adventure, I decided to hold “day jobs” within the industry so I could always be learning—no waiting tables! When I found my most recent job working on a show (which shall not be named) that had hours with enough flexibility for me to audition and gave me writing opportunities, I thought I’d hit the jackpot!
And then something changed: my workdays boiled over into “bad days” (and then bad weeks and then bad months).
Misery had fallen over me with a thick icy rush. Well into my second year at the company, I realized all at once that each of the slight upsets I’d experienced during the job had joined together to form a mammoth melancholy. I hadn’t received the opportunities I was originally promised. Snow. I was getting bored doing the same trivial work. Snow. I watched my teammates get disrespected over and over again. Snow. I myself wasn’t being treated with basic human kindness. Trigger.
Questions loomed in my mind as I trekked to the office: What if I just didn’t show up today? Is the money worth this heartache? Should I take a risk and quit?
Here are the signs that I found that say it’s time to move on:
1. You're stuck.
A hated job is like quicksand. It bleeds you dry while pulling you deeper and deeper into sadness. It can even affect your personal life. If you ever feel like you’re trapped in your job and not going to advance, then it might be time to think about other options. The stifling feeling I got whenever I walked into my former company’s building was enough alone for me to see that something wasn’t right. But then I remembered, I might feel stuck, but I’m not stuck. There’s always a solution.
2. You're unsupported.
This can be one of the worst feelings in the world. Not to generalize, but I’m pretty sure as people we all crave support in some way. For me, I hated that the “higher ups” at the company didn’t seem to have my back. The only support I felt was from my coworkers, whose unhappiness confirmed my feelings.
3. You're unhappy.
There’s no point if you’re not having fun. Yes, we all need money to survive. I get that. But, ideally, you want to find a job that doesn’t hurt you everyday. If it’s not worth your pain, than it’s not worth your time. I pride myself on having a lot of patience, but there’s really one thing I can’t stand: cruelty. The faintest hint of nastiness really irks me. Witnessing so much of it at my former job was what ultimately made me unhappy. It was the trigger.
If you’re experiencing emotions like I had, I urge you to either consider moving on or to at least create a dialogue with someone at your job that can help onset change. I promise that you’ll feel like a new person. Personally, I realized that the worst thing I could do was stay at a job I didn’t like. If I did, I would be standing in my own way.
There’s an old quote by Alexander Graham Bell that still rings true: “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Your new door will be waiting in the powder of debris as the avalanche settles. Don’t miss it.