How to Know When It’s Time to Quit

Everything in life comes to an end eventually, but sometimes it can be difficult to tell when it’s the right time to quit something you’ve been involved in for a long time. When you’re emotionally attached to a job or a relationship, it’s hard to disentangle yourself from it, even when you know you should. There are many things in life you might think about quitting, but in this article, we’ll cover signs you should quit your job, quit a relationship, or quit a personal goal. Being aware of these signs can help you make the right decision when the time comes.

Signs it’s time to quit your job

We all need a reliable job to make ends meet, but sometimes it’s best to leave behind a job that isn’t going to take you anywhere. Since we spend so much time at work every day, working in a job you aren’t happy with can have serious negative effects on your health and happiness. Here are some signs it might be time to quit your job.

You can’t see yourself developing or moving up in the company

Making progress is important in any position - you don’t want to just stay stagnant for your entire career. Everyone has their own career goals and values, so this may be more important for some people than for others, but it’s always something to consider. If you feel like you’re going to be permanently stuck in the same position with little room for growth or improvement, it might be time to call it quits. Even if you don’t want to be a CEO, you should still be in a company that is going to invest in your development and help you be better.

You’re feeling bored or apathetic at work

Everyone has days where they don’t feel particularly invested in their work - that’s totally normal. However, if you find yourself consistently feeling like you don’t care about the job you’re doing, it might be time to move on. In order to be productive at work, you need to be stimulated and given tasks that will challenge your ability. It’s also important that you care about the overall success of the company, or at least the success of your team. The ultimate tell that it’s time to move on is if you find yourself feeling like you wouldn’t care if you got fired. If you can’t be bothered to care about your own success in the company, that means the job isn’t a good fit for you.

Your coworkers or boss aren’t supportive

In order for you to be successful at your job, you’re going to need the support of the people around you. You need people who will appreciate you when you do something commendable and give you guidance and emotional support when you hit a roadblock. If you feel like your boss is inaccessible, ignores you, or worse, actively tries to cut you down, it might be time to move on from your job. This also goes for your coworkers - if you feel like they are consistently competitive and like you’re always in an unhealthy environment, it won’t be good for your productivity or your mental state. Leaving an environment where you’re surrounded by unsupportive people will give you the opportunity to move on to bigger and better things.

You disagree with the core values of the company

Every company has their own core values, both explicitly stated and implicit. Working in an environment where you disagree with the core values of the company can be very challenging and uncomfortable. Keep in mind that there are other companies out there that will have values that are closer to yours, and don’t be afraid to leave if you feel there are major ethical differences between your beliefs and the company’s.

You don’t have time for anything outside of work

Work-life balance is very important for our health and the longevity of our careers. In order to be successful, we actually need to take time outside of work to focus on other things, like hobbies and relationships. Of course, with any job there will occasionally be times where you need to put these things aside to get an important project done. But if you feel like you are consistently neglecting your personal life in favor of your work, it’s time to look for another job that will offer you a bit more balance. Even for someone who’s very dedicated to their career, it’s still essential to have some things you enjoy outside of work.

You aren’t being fairly compensated

Financial compensation is a very important factor in any job, and if you feel like you aren’t getting paid fairly for the work you’re doing, it’s time to seek out a position where you will be. Try to find out what other people in comparable positions in your industry are being paid. If your salary is significantly lower and there’s no chance of getting a raise, start searching for a job with a better salary. Even if you’re not wealthy, it’s important that you have enough money to live comfortably. You shouldn’t be putting in a huge amount of time and effort for a company that isn’t giving you enough to pay your bills and take care of yourself.

The structure of your company is always changing

It’s natural for a coworker to leave or upper management to be restructured every now and again, and it’s not always something to worry about. However, if you start noticing that large numbers of good employees are leaving, or your management structure doesn’t feel stable, it might be time for you to jump ship too. Consistency and stability are important in a good work environment, because a stable environment allows for more personal growth and development.

Signs it’s time to quit a relationship

Relationships are a hugely important part of all our lives, but as people change over time, sometimes certain relationships aren’t a good fit anymore. This can be a romantic relationship, a friendship, or even a close relationship with a family member. Sometimes the best thing to do when a relationship isn’t working is to move on so you both can pursue other things. Here are some of the signs it’s time to quit a relationship in your life.

Most of the emotions you experience with them are negative

Pay attention to how you feel when you are with this person. The relationships in your life should bring you joy, not pain, sadness, or anger. Observe how your emotions react when you spend time together, without any judgement or attempt to change the situation. It’s important to get a clear picture of how the relationship is affecting you before you make the decision to quit. If you find that you feel angry or sad after hanging out with this person, quitting the relationship can help you feel better.

One of you is expecting the other to change

An important part of a healthy relationship is being supportive of each other’s personalities and values. That doesn’t mean you have to blindly support each other’s decisions, but you should be generally accepting of who they are and what’s important to them, and vice versa. If you feel like the other person in the relationship is expecting you to make changes to your behavior or your circumstances that are unwarranted, it’s probably time to move on. This works the other way too - if you’re staying in an unhappy relationship because you are hoping they will change, it might be time to just move forward instead of waiting around.

They aren’t putting effort into the relationship

For any sort of relationship to work, you both need to put in some effort. Things won’t work if one of you is significantly more invested than the other. If you find that you’re the one who’s always reaching out or taking the time to fix things after a conflict, try scaling things back for a while to see how they react. If they don’t reach out or make an effort in some way to maintain the relationship, it’s time to quit so you can focus your efforts on something that’s going to be rewarded.

Signs it’s time to quit a hobby or goal

We all have personal goals outside of work and relationships, and these goals can be very beneficial to our overall health and happiness. However, everything comes to an end eventually, and there are times when you might need to quit a personal goal to focus on other, more important things. These situations are a big more vague than quitting a job or relationship, and ultimately you need to just go with your gut. However, here are some signs to look out for that could indicate it’s time to quit.

Your life and values have changed

We all change as we get older, because we have valuable life experiences that we learn and grow from. This is just a natural part of life, but unfortunately if often means we outgrow the things we love. Things that were once very important to us need to be put on the backburner so we can focus on new goals or passions. It’s okay to give up on an older dream in favor of a new one that’s better suited to your life now.

The goal is becoming too demanding

We have to split our efforts between the many different things we value in our life. Sometimes you might find that what was once a casual hobby is now demanding far too much of you. It’s important to keep good balance of all the things you enjoy in your life, and it’s okay to give up on something that’s asking too much of you. For example, maybe you’ve played on a recreational sports team for many years, but now they team requires a bigger time commitment that would hinder your professional success or your social life. It’s okay to cut back on this outside pursuit to make sure your life stays balanced. This can also apply to any long-term goal you may have - it’s okay to stop working towards it if it’s cutting into other things that are important to you. You should also move on from a goal if it is negatively affecting either your physical or mental health, or if it is draining your financially. Your well-being should always come first, because if you aren’t healthy, you won’t be able to enjoy your success when it happens.

Succeeding wouldn’t make you happy

Before deciding to give up on something you have been pursuing for a while, it might help to stop and think about the potential end result. Consider whether or not success would actually make you feel good, or whether you want it just to have it. Oftentimes we pursue goals because we think that success would help us impress other people. Life is too busy to focus on things that aren’t deeply personal fulfilling, so don’t be scared to cut these things out.

You keep thinking about quitting

This is one sign that it could be time to quit anything - a job, a relationship, a hobby, or something else. Ultimately, you can rationalize your decision over and over again, but you can’t fight your gut feeling. If quitting anything has been on your mind for an extensive period of time and you can’t stop thinking about it, that’s a very good indication that you would be happier doing something else.

Deciding to quit something that has been an important part of your life for a long time is a big decision, and not one that should be made lightly. However, it’s important to remember that there’s no shame in moving on from things that are no longer making you happy. There’s a lot of strength in making the decision to walk away from something you’ve been doing for a long time so that you can pursue something better.