The very title of this article sounds crazy on the surface. The unemployment rate is just under 8 percent and the underemployment number is close to 14 percent. In a time of such scarcity of jobs and the overwhelming number of people unemployed, who would even begin to suggest such a thought?
I would. I’m guilty.
Perhaps the pending retirement of Pope Benedict XVI got me thinking in this direction. Or perhaps it’s because I hear from many employed people who are miserable in their jobs. Is it really worth it?
No, I’m not suggesting you quit tomorrow and abandon the security of your paycheck. But I am suggesting you may need to begin moving in that direction. Below are some of the signs that may indicate it’s time for you to quit your job.
- When your job no longer has meaning or purpose.
- When your family is hurting as a result of your job.
- When your job is making you physically or emotionally sick.
- When you’ve outgrown your job, but your employer offers you no opportunity to move forward or advance.
- When your values do not align with the values of your employer.
- When you are hurting your organization rather than helping by attempting to hang on to your job.
- When you can’t keep up with the demands of your job.
- When you discover you are in the wrong seat on the bus (Jim Collins’ terminology for getting into a job that is an ill fit for you and your talents and gifts).
- When it’s time to make room for younger and brighter talent.
- When you can no longer work with your boss or your fellow employees.
- When you are not paid fairly.
- When you just know.
Perhaps you can take some less drastic measures than quitting your job. Maybe your employer is unaware of your issues, and much can be resolved with a healthy conversation. Maybe you’re looking at the glass half empty and fail to see the good qualities of your job. Maybe there are other places in your organization that would be a better fit for you, and you have a boss that is willing to allow you to try a new position.
Or maybe it’s time to quit.
Life is too short to spend thousands of waking hours in misery. Life is too short not to make the maximum contribution with the gifts and abilities God has given us. Life is too short to hold on to a job for the lone reason of a paycheck or retirement benefits.
The time may be right to start proactively looking for another job. Perhaps you can begin something small on the side that could ultimately become a great self-employed job. Maybe the time is right to take that new venture even though it has risks.
The miserable person at the end of her life says she lived a life with little meaning because she wouldn’t make a decision she knows she should have made. The miserable person at the end of his life has regrets because he lived in fear rather than stepping out in faith.
Maybe it’s time to quit your job. The risks may be real. But the rewards can be incalculable.
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