The Number One Reason You Should Quit Your Job
The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question, “What are some signs that you should be looking for a new job?” is written by Mark Achler, lecturer at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and managing director of MATH Venture Partners.
When do you start listening to that little voice inside your head? You know that voice—that nagging thrum of curiosity about a new career that turns into doubting the growth prospects of your current role. How do you know when it’s time to dust off the old resume, spruce it up a bit, and take it out for a trial run?
Here are five things to consider when thinking about leaving your job:
Are you moving up the career ladder, learning new skills, taking on additional responsibilities, and becoming a manager? Or is this a dead-end job with little room for advancement and growth? How important is it to you that you grow professionally and personally? What are your personal goals? And can you achieve them in your current position?
Know the signs of stagnation, and be honest with yourself as you answer these questions. Jotting your thoughts down on paper can help you think more clearly. Try making a T chart of pros and cons.
See also: 5 Signs You’re About to Get Fired
Do you truly love what you’re doing? Are you making a difference?
I’m a movie lover, and I got the job of a lifetime working at Redbox in 2009 just as it was really taking off. Even though I was a senior executive, I was required to man the customer support lines my second day on the job. Boy, was that an eye-opening experience. I had one person tell me that they stopped renting movies because they couldn’t afford it, but since Redbox came along, every Friday night became Redbox night. We were democratizing entertainment and making it affordable and accessible to the masses. I loved knowing that we were making even a small difference in people’s lives.
The number one reason people leave their jobs is because they don’t like their manager. A bad manager—whether he’s self-aggrandizing, unintelligent, or inept—can suck the joy out of life.
Sometimes you can help train a manager and rehabilitate them. Sometimes they get fired or leave and you can wait them out. And sometimes, you just have to look yourself in the mirror and say, “It’s time to move on.” It’s not you—it’s them. You definitely deserve better. And yes, there really are great managers out there to learn from—managers who help you grow, be better at your job, and have your back. Don’t be afraid to go forth and find them.
Right after a bad manager, the next most prevalent reason people leave their jobs is an underperforming team. Let’s face it: You spend more of your waking hours at work than you do at home. You don’t have to be friends with everyone you work with, but it sure helps if you like at least one or two of them. Some teams just have bad mojo or are filled with under-performers. It’s hard if you’re the person who is always carrying the weight of others. It can really drag you down over time.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, do you share the same values of your company? Are you proud of the work the company is doing and how it goes about doing it?
Can you imagine being on the team of a car manufacturer that was lying about gas mileage, or a bank that was opening new accounts without customers’ permission? At the end of the day, a job is a job and you have to make money, but you always have a choice. I would argue that it’s time to start looking for that next job when your own values and sense of true north don’t align with the company that you work for.