Ready to Quit? Which of These 5 Reasons Fits?

You’ve had it. You’re tired, burnt out, ready to quit.

But is that the right step?

That depends.

You’re burnt out.

What if you’re just burnt out? If so, you’ll take your burn out with you to your next job, where your next employer will expect you to come aboard with full enthusiasm. Then, once new-job- excitement fades, you’ll be worse off than before.

If this fits you, take time away from your job. Give your head a chance to get back int the right space. You may even realize you like your current job—or you’ll given yourself the time you needed to be ready for a new challenge.

You’re not challenged.

Or is the problem you’re no longer challenged—and you can handle your job duties with one hand tied behind your back. You think ahead to five more years of handling the same duties and fear your mind turning to sludge.

If so, let your manager and the managers above know you’re ready for new responsibilities or

move to a new job—but take the time you need to find new challenges and an exciting career trajectory.

Ready for a mission?

Perhaps what’s happened with the pandemic and what’s happening in your country have shaken and stirred you—and you’re ready for a mission. Possibly you fell into a job after high school or college and while you’ve gotten to a good level of success, you no longer feel a job, any job, is enough. Now, you want to work in a job that offers purpose and in an organization that makes a difference in the world.

If so, look around. The nonprofits in your community need you.

What if it’s your leadership and the people around you?

Workplace culture, that intangible vibe that we often ignore, may be what makes you ready to leave. Every organization of three or more individuals has a culture, a prevalent type of behavior. In some it’s cooperative and collaborative. In others it’s competitive and guarded.

We pretend workplace culture doesn’t matter, but it does, especially when we work forty plus hours a week in an organization with the wrong culture. Think about what it means in real terms. An employee in one organization says, “I love working here. Everyone helps each other out.” At another organization you hear, “You’ve got to watch your back; it’s cutthroat here. And you can’t trust the managers.”

In Managing for Accountability, I wrote about what it’s like to work in an organization with an accountability culture, in which employees demonstrate they’re “all in.” Employees at all levels hold themselves responsible for their actions, behavior, performance, and the results they achieve. Coworkers can trust each other and their managers because when because when managers or employees say they’ll do something, they get it done. An accountability culture glues employees together and to their organization.

If that’s what you’re missing where you are, you have two choices—create it or find it elsewhere.

Something basic is missing

Recently, my inbox has filled up with blog readers commenting about employers or coworkers who don’t take safety or employee personal lives seriously. If your work environment is missing what you need—whether that’s safety protocols, the opportunity to work flexibly or remotely, or the chance to make enough money to secure your future, perhaps it is time to look elsewhere.

If so, start now, before your dissatisfaction leads your work performance to spiral downward.

Have you “had it”? Are you ready to quit? If so, what do you plan to do about it?

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3 thoughts on “Ready to Quit? Which of These 5 Reasons Fits?

  1. Finding a new job and then having that job be demonstrably different and better than the one you left, especially in terms of level of work and involvement in work of coworkers, support from the boss, giving new opportunities, is hard to impossible. From what I observed, the same conditions of absent boss, lack of support, burn out, letting coworkers slide, are pretty much universal–hence the great resignation. Also if you’re a technical professional who has reached a certain level of responsibility and level of discretion in your work, opportunities for a promotion or change in a comparable job are rare to nonexistent. Watching someone I know and highly respect who was in this situation until retirement, I saw a different kind of coping strategy–an ability to tune out the distracting and upsetting things and to try to make jokes, have fun, be upbeat. It sounds lame, but sometimes, it’s the only out.

  2. Be Happy and Challenged by Your Career Choice and You will never be bored or dissatisfied…

    At 26 years of age, I was working in a factory while going to night school.  Soon, I would graduate.  It seemed as though I had been working almost my entire young life.  First on our dairy farm (as one man told me, “The only difference between a dairy farm and prison: you don’t have to milk cows in prison.”  Evidently, he hadn’t heard of Angola Prison in Louisiana).
    Then a two-year stint in the army and a set of sergeant stripes.  Summers between semesters were spent working mostly on construction and once driving truck.  When going to school fulltime, I “worked” both sides of the bar so I could afford the sitting side.  Now with graduation approaching, I needed to choose a career that may last a lifetime.

    I had always loved the outdoors and the freedom that it provided.  Could I be happy enrolling in corporate America?  Since childhood, thoughts of Alaska had always been present.  I owed $1200 on a ’66 Pontiac with 109,000 miles, had $600 cash, and no credit card.  Foolish by today’s standards, yes, but 4,300 miles later, four of us arrived full of optimism and wonder at sights we had seen only in pictures.  We had no jobs, no place to stay, and we were the proverbial “Strangers in a strange land”.

    I had $200 left; my friends were in similar straits: one even flew back after a few days.  The rest of us got jobs and stayed.  We never regreted our choices.  I ended up working on construction in remote areas all over Alaska.  I got paid to experience the outdoors I loved. My degree enabled me to sensibly invest the proceeds of my labor, so in the long run my time at university was also rewarding.

    We have reminisced often over the years and have concluded that the old saying, ” “If You Love What You Do, You’ll Never Work a Day In Your Life” pretty well sums up the motivation for our move to Alaska and our career choices.

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