When You Should Finally Probably Quit Your Job

You don’t want to quit. But you know you should.

Photo by Emiliano Arano from Pexels

You actually wish you didn’t have to quit.

Almost everyone wants to quit their job at some point. For lots of reasons. You have to figure out those reasons before punching out. But there’s probably only one reason to quit your job if you don’t want to. And that’s because your job has become dangerous.

You think everyone else should quit, too.

Lots of people dream of quitting out of ego. They don’t get enough respect. Or enough money. Or enough praise. These reasons usually suck. Now imagine a job where you see everyone else treated just as badly as you. Maybe you even know a few people working even harder than you. When you think those people should quit, that’s a bad sign.

You’re relieved when other people quit.

Maybe some of your friends have already left your company, and you’re glad. That’s a bad sign.

You secretly wouldn’t recommend your own products or services.

This one’s probably the worst sign. You really shouldn’t be working for anyone you don’t believe in, at least a little. This revelation hit me in the face today. It’s been lurking through the back of my mind for months. Today I finally looked at my students and wished I could tell them to drop out. Apply to another university. Or find an apprenticeship program. Do literally anything but try to earn a degree from here.

You get a promotion without a raise.

Just run. Scream while you’re running, to warn the others. Your company either knows they can scam you, or they actually can’t afford to pay you for the extra work and responsibilities. They can’t compensate you fairly, so they’re going to feed your ego. Don’t work for anyone who thinks they can pay you with flattery. You can’t buy a house with compliments.

Money mysteriously disappears all the time.

Let’s say you got a multi-thousand dollar grant for important research. Or you netted some big client. You were supposed to get funds transferred to pay for new computer hardware and software. You were going to hire someone. Actually, you did hire someone. And they did work for you.

Your boss jokes about laying people off.

Even sociopaths know better. At least they’ll pretend to feel bad about having to let people go. It’s one thing for coworkers to joke about getting laid off. I’ve been doing this a lot. That’s because we’re in the same escape pod. If our pod crashes, we’ll both probably die.

Or he jokes about cutting your pay.

One of your bosses announces possible salary slices for everyone, including middle managers like you. Then he shrugs and says something like, “It might be a nice chance to take a longer vacation.”

Your other boss emails you five times a day.

Yes, you have multiple bosses. Their bosses have bosses. All of them make about twice what you do. But one of them just loves you. Thanks so much for your timely response to her email. That’s right, this other boss is a gal. So she knows what it’s like, doesn’t she?

The idea of going to another meeting fills you with dread.

There’s one universal good reason to have a meeting. When something’s completely f*cked up. That’s when you have a meeting.

Your side hustle makes more than your real job.

Hey, it happens. At first you feel guilty. I mean, if you put that time and energy into your real job, then imagine the results. Then you remember, last year you got a promotion without a raise.

You keep watching movies about people who quit.

Seriously, it’s like your new porn. You keep Bad Moms on in the background while grading papers and filling out contracts and folding laundry. You watch Office Space. You watch The Devil Wears Prada three times in one week. You can’t stop playing the opening to Jerry Maguire. You even watch parts of Batman Returns, because you really like that scene where Michelle Pfeiffer kills her boss. Something is definitely up with you lately. You should probably think about quitting your job.

You scream “I quit!” at your inbox.

The embarrassing part: You do that in front of your spouse. You throw in an F-bomb. He gives you a sad puppy dog look. Because you’re checking your email at 8 pm, and that’s when it happens. An email floats in from your other boss, the girl boss, the “Just one more little thing…” boss. She’s volunteering you for a meeting you don’t have time for. A meeting where you’ll need to explain all the good work you’re doing to an outside consultant who was hired to do the same thing that you’re doing.

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