What are signs that you should quit your job?

ben profile image Ben Halpern Jun 05, 2017

I'm curious, do you have experience quitting a job? What was it that made you realize it was the right choice, and what might be something you're better off pushing through with?

I have no interest in quitting my current job, for the record. 😝

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My signs include:

  • growth plateauing

  • teams have stopped celebrating each their own wins and the wins of other teams (morale is tanking)

  • management suggestions of building skills in a particular area you have no interest in growing in

  • lack of respect for time. Meetings are routinely missed or canceled. Extra hours are expected while personal time is scoffed at.

By the time these indicators ring true, my frustration levels are on high alert. What is important when considering these things for me is to base my decisions on what I am moving towards and not what I'm moving away from. It's easy to get into an "I need to GTFO"-mode but I take my time so I am not rushing into a similar situation at my next gig.

teams have stopped celebrating each their own wins and the wins of other teams

That seems like a great indicator! Definitely keeping this in mind as a leader.

I also know I don't want to quit my current job, but I think you should quit when you begin to dread going into work. If it starts to feel like your job is more of a chore and a burden, then leave. If you start to notice that your mental and physical health are being negatively impacted as a direct result of on-the-job stress then leave. There are far to many companies out there that know how to treat their employees to just sit and endure toxic environments.

When you've recognized you're in a toxic culture and you will be leaving. What's the game plan at that point? How do you set yourself up to make the current situation work best for your future?

I tend to err on the side of burning as few bridges as possible, but it really depends on the situation and why it's toxic. In my particular case, I didn't quit my job, but moved to a different team within the same company. I think that was only possible because I continued to do good work and tuned out the trigger to the toxic situation (a person and their comments on gender and masculinity).

Various reasons I've quit previous jobs/teams are

  1. Not being challenged enough

  2. Company morals became more and more corrupt, environment became cliquey and un-welcoming.

  3. Once a safety concern forced me to quickly find another team

  4. No manager support to grow and expand and reach my career goals

  5. Continually being lied to about being able to take time off/ WFH when I needed to / BENEFITS / PAYDAY. Once my paycheck was a week late. My loan payments were not happy.

I think that's all the big things. My first job I was on 4 teams in under 2 years, and my second job I only lasted a year. Not a good track record thus far. lol.

I once quit because I didn't like where I would have gone (less and less technical stuffs) if I had continued doing it, even though the team was, in general, great. 2 years after I am really glad I made this choice as I really enjoy, more and more, learning about computer science fundamentals (thanks to the great articles published on dev.to!) to be able to understand how works (data-intensive AKA big data :p) frameworks under the hood.

Also, have you ever encountered the annoying "don't tell to anybody" policy when you talk to your manager about it? Especially in France, where we have almost all the time a 3-months notice for engineers.

You have to give a 3-month's notice to quit in France?

It depends on your company policy, the most of the time is 3 months for engineers, sometimes is 1 month.

That must be tough trying to keep productivity up if you know for sure you are going to leave for such a long duration.

The main idea is to respect your colleagues by getting sure that everything you know is written down in a documentation and train your substitute.

ah, I'm impressed and am at awe at that gesture.

I think 3-months notice is pretty common in Europe. The same goes for Germany. In Poland, where I leave we have 1-month notice unlesss we have more than 3 years experience. It's probably due to training of people who are going to move into your place or for the employer to find someone to take your place...

  • apathy and mediocrity become accepted norms, things that should be flashing alarms aren't.
  • management frequently sabotages work/deadlines so that there can be no accountability (allowing apathy and low morale to set in)
  • talented people come and go, average/below-average people are the ones with longevity
  • management ignoring or downplaying bad signs (slow/no growth, customer complaints, etc.)
  • when you realize you're living in a Dilbert cartoon ;-P

Hey Ben,

Right now I am Serving Notice Period in my company and basically there are two reasons one of them is obvious hike % other is important from career point of view.

The Project is in Maintenance mode so there is hardly any work no challenges nothing so I am not learning anything neither coding much.

So I think if the same scenario is with you only then quit or else just continue because it seems you are enjoying.

Considering it since I am starting to get feedback that amounts to "you are really technically skilled so we expect you to perform miracles and we aren't seeing enough miracles".

I usually work at a place because of good technical leadership. Most places have enough interesting things to work on, but solid technical leadership is hard to find. I leave when good technical leaders and colleagues leave.

High stress, low rewards. Sometimes you don't realize it was a great idea until after you quit. It could still be a great team and company as a whole. I was in fight mode all the time and ignored my health.