Despite loss of income during the pandemic, skyrocketing gas prices and inflation near record highs, the job market is still relatively hot and Americans are leaving their posts in droves.
In March, 4.5 million employees quit their jobs, according to the Labor Department's Job Openings and Labor Turnover report. Economists anticipate "The Great Resignation" to continue as people increasingly need flexible hours and other perks to accommodate life in a possibly endless pandemic.
For some, the decision to quit comes easily. Perhaps a new career opportunity arises that affords them a smooth transition into a better role. Or, less ideally, maybe they've been forced to choose between homeschooling and a career -- a quandary that all too many people (ahem, women) have been cornered into since the accursed spring of 2020.
If you're unsure whether to quit your job (and have the luxury to do so), you may want to consider what career experts have to say. These are their collective signs that you should quit your job -- and fast.
You're Constantly Overworked
"Now more than ever, employees are realizing that it's not fair to work 80 hours a week and for employers to not respect the fact that their employees have life obligations," said Cheryl Grace, executive coach and CEO of Powerful Penny. "This is what the Great Resignation is all about. Employees would rather place their bets on themselves (become a business owner, seek a better work environment, etc.) than overwork themselves."
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You Have No Room To Grow
It's hard to climb the ranks when you've run out of ranks to climb. "If your company is simply too small or none of the other roles in the company are interesting to you, it may be time to make a change," said Manuela Pauer, the Founder and Career/Life Coach at Pauer Coaching.
You Feel Belittled By Coworkers
The people we work with make a big difference. If our coworkers are making every part of the job miserable, you deserve better. "Sometimes you are in the right role where you enjoy what you are doing, but your work environment is toxic," said Pauer. This may be because of a manager who is not supportive, co-workers that try to sabotage you, or a work culture that is demeaning. It's easy to blame someone else or the environment., but it is ultimately you who gets to decide what you are willing to tolerate. You need to respect yourself enough to not allow yourself to be in an environment where you are being mistreated."
You Hate Talking About Your Work
"This one might not be the most obvious sign, but it matters a lot," said Ewelina Melon, head of people at customer service platform Tidio. "We spend so much time at work every day, and it inevitably constitutes a big part of our lives. If you feel embarrassed, uncomfortable or annoyed when telling people what you do for work, it might be a true red flag and a sign that it's time to search for something else. Once you dig deeper, you might discover very different reasons why you are not willing to talk about work with people. Whatever the reason is, you can't ignore this sign."
You Lose Your Advocates
Everyone needs to feel valued at a company, and that usually means someone is advocating for and supporting you. Though you can make your own success, it's also important to feel like you have a team behind you. "Our world of work is complex and always done through people, and so advocates help us navigate and connect," said Leadership Coach, Darcy Eikenberg. "But often, our advocates make their own career moves over time, and when you find yourself without one--and you haven't built others--it's a signal that it's time to consider leaving."
You Procrastinate Every Morning
"A clear indicator that it is time to change job roles is morning procrastination," said Chris Delaney, a career coach. "Motivated employees start the day by checking emails, preparing to-do lists and checking tasks with colleagues. If an employee dreads opening their emails or avoids colleagues they are collaborating with on projects, then something might not be right. Procrastinating at the start of the day, while others complete the 'easy' preparation tasks, is a clear sign of an unhappy or unfulfilled worker."
Salary Benchmarking Reveals You're Underpaid
If you do salary benchmarking for roles similar to yours and find that you are very underpaid, that's a definite sign that you should move on from your current post.
"You can quickly check the right salary range for your current role/industry by using Glassdoor or LinkedIn," said Colleen Paulson, a career consultant and executive resume writer. "Make sure that you take your current location into account when benchmarking."
You Are Not Learning Anything New
"If you have mastered all the responsibilities of your current job and you are no longer learning new things, it is a sign you need a new job," said Michelle Enjoli, a career development coach and keynote speaker. "In order to consistently grow and develop, there needs to be an element of education and challenge. Without that, you become stagnant, which can eventually lead to disengagement, complacency and/or bitterness."
You're Not Playing to Your Strengths
"Research has shown that if we don't get to use our signature strengths regularly, we don't feel fulfilled," said Pauer. Of course you can learn on the job, but it's helpful to be enhancing a skill you have, or want to have. If you find that your job isn't aligned with what you're good at, it might be time to look elsewhere.
You Get Left Out of Important Conversations
"The savvy manager will always put her best people on the company's most important projects," said Natasha Bowman, president of Performance ReNEW and author of "You Can't Do That at Work: 100 Legal Mistakes That Managers Make in the Workplace."
"What might it say, then, when you find yourself not-so-subtly removed from major client meetings, conference calls and strategic planning sessions? If you find yourself being systematically excluded from important conversations, you just might have proof that you've become a persona non grata in the eyes of management. It's time to start planning your transition."
You're Job Is Making You Sick
"When your job is making you sick, it's time to find a better one that won't," said Vicki Salemi, Monster career expert. "This encompasses physical as well as mental health. Do you get the Sunday Scaries every Sunday night? Is there a pit in your stomach every time you have to present in front of the group? When your job impacts your health in terms of stress, anxiety, depression and more, it's definitely time to look for a new job."
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Sam DiSalvo contributed to the reporting for this article.