Leaving a job in search of a better opportunity is all part of your journey as a professional. When you take on new roles, you get the chance to grow your skills and give yourself new challenges.
However, knowing when it’s time to leave a job is sometimes difficult. If you’re going through a rough patch, is it time to leave or should you push through and learn from the experience?
If you’re currently wondering if your work situation needs to change, here are some three serious situations that warrant you leaving your job.
Reasons for Leaving A Job
No two situations are alike, so it’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations that if one thing happens, you should always leave your job. Not everyone has the opportunity to leave their current position and start the job search.
Sometimes you can’t afford to go without work while stuck between jobs, or you rely on your job for health insurance. In those situations, it’s less likely that you have the ability to quit immediately if something goes wrong. It’s the unfortunate reality of employment.
However, here are some scenarios where you should probably make the decision to leave.
1. You’re Facing Discrimination or Harassment
If you ever experience discrimination or harassment of any kind, your first step should always be contacting Human Resources. HR needs to be alerted to any untoward conduct occurring in the office.
However, if the root of the issue is not just one bad apple but a systemic issue built into the structure of the company, you may not be able to solve the issue on your own. It’s not your job to try and fix the company at the expense of your mental health.
If you’ve taken all the steps you can to improve the situation but your cries are falling on ears that refuse to listen, it’s time to move on and find a job where you are appreciated and valued for both your skills and who you are as an individual. No one should have to carry the weight of discrimination whenever they step into the office.
2. You Have No Room for Upward Growth
An important part of finding the right company for you is searching for one that will offer you career development. It’s time to find a new job if you:
- Have learned all you can from your department
- Don’t see any room for upward movement
- Can’t see a future with improved opportunities or pay
- Are no longer challenged by your position
A job should give you opportunities to grow, not make you feel like you’ve achieved all you ever will achieve. Find a company where you can see yourself rising through the ranks until you achieve your dream job. If your current company doesn’t have a path to that dream job, it’s time to build a path of your own.
3. Your Company Does Not Meet Your Needs
When hiring managers to review your application, they’re assessing how well you will fit the company’s needs. You deserve a company that fits your needs as well.
You deserve to work for a company that:
- Offers compensation that matches your skills
- Gives benefits that fulfill your needs (i.e. healthcare, PTO)
- Supports you in ways that help you excel
For example, if you are someone that would have improved productivity if you were able to work from home, your job should offer that opportunity for you. The company should be there to meet your needs, just as you are there to meet theirs. If they make no effort to make this job work for you, maybe it’s a good idea to walk away.
Even if you’ve thought it over thoroughly and decided leaving your job is the best course of action, it’s still hard to decide what to say when giving two weeks notice.
Once you’ve decided you’re ready to quit, it’s time to write a resignation letter. The letter should be cordial and professional, thanking the employer for giving you the opportunity to work and grow with them.
No matter how horrible your experience, it’s important to remain professional and not burn a bridge with your soon-to-be previous employer. While it may feel cathartic to leave in a fiery rage, telling everyone exactly how you feel about them on the way out, you never know who knows who when you go to the next job interview.
Once you’ve given your two weeks to the HR department or your superior, your job is to help transition your role to the next person. Even if a new hire isn’t made to fill your position immediately, you need to offboard your projects to others. Make sure you give everyone the information they need, such as passwords or data, so they don’t need to contact you after you leave.
Make Sure You’re Prepared When Leaving a Job
Especially in the wake of the Great Resignation, it’s tempting to burn your bridges and move on to greener pastures. Before you quit, make sure you either have a job lined up or have enough savings to make it through until you land a new job. If you need to, it’s okay to stay longer in order to get yourself ready to make this big transition.
Leaving a job is scary. There are so many unknowns, and you may question your decision on the way out, no matter how sure you were when you sent your letter of resignation.
However, you only grow when you take chances on yourself. It’s better to try, fail, get back up, and try again than it is to just stay stuck in a job where you no longer feel passion or drive. If you need to, consult a career coach, a mentor, or peers outside your office to see what advice they have for your next professional move.
If you’re ever looking for a community of women to rely on while making this bold decision, join WBD. We have the tools you need to make big moves in your career and take yourself to the next level. Invest in yourself, download our app, and join today.Published in
Author, Artist, Photographer.
Sarah Margaret is an artist who expresses her love for feminism, equality, and justice through a variety of mediums: photography, filmmaking, poetry, illustration, song, acting, and of course, writing.
She owns Still Poetry Photography, a company that showcases her passion for capturing poetic moments in time. Instead of poetry in motion, she captures visual poetry in fractions of a second, making cherished keepsakes of unforgettable moments.
She is the artist behind the Still Poetry Etsy shop, which houses her illustrations and bespoke, handmade items. She is the author of intricacies are just cracks in the wall, a narrative poetry anthology that follows a young woman discovering herself as she emerges from an abusive relationship.