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7 Reasons It May Be Time to Leave Your Job

By The ZipRecruiter Editors

If you are thinking about leaving your job, it’s important to consider how it will impact your life and prospects. For one thing, interviewers will commonly ask why you left or are leaving your job.

There are many good reasons to consider quitting a job. Read on for seven of the most common reasons to leave.

Why Do Employers Care About Your Last Job?

From the employer’s perspective, finding, hiring, and training new employees is expensive and time-consuming. If they are going to invest in you, they want some reassurance that you’re committed to the position.

If you have a habit of quitting on a whim, hiring you becomes a financial risk for the employer. However, if you are generally reliable and have a good reason for leaving a job, that makes it easier for a new employer to hire you.

Here are seven scenarios where leaving a job may be a good idea.

1. You Have Plateaued or Want to Advance Your Career

If you’ve been at a job for a while and see no hope of advancement, it can be challenging to stay motivated. Sometimes you may have been promised opportunities that never came. In other situations, you’ve learned everything you can where you are.

Leaving may be the best way to advance your career if your current company cannot offer you opportunities to leverage your skills and knowledge. You may have gained new degrees or certifications and want to advance or move into a new industry. In that case, you may need to leave your current company to find the right opportunity.

Some organizations can help you pay for advanced degrees or offer professional development training that aligns with your career goals. You may find better fulfillment in a new role if you’ve achieved everything you can in your current position.

2. A Company Downturn, Acquisition, Merger, or Restructuring

You may be happy in your job for several years and then face dramatic changes to the company that are out of your control. These changes may create one of the following situations that make you want to leave:

  • Your employer has lost clients, is losing money, and has started laying people off.

  • The company was purchased, and your team or work environment has changed.

  • The business underwent restructuring, and your job description now differs significantly from the one you were hired to do.

3. Your Work Environment Is Unhealthy

There is a range of unhealthy work environments. On one end, it may be wrong for you. At the other extreme, it could be a highly toxic environment that could damage your health. You spend too much of your life at work to endure an unhealthy environment.

Symptoms of an unhealthy work environment may include:

  • High employee turnover

  • Dreading going to work

  • Employees that fear retaliation if they speak honestly

  • No trust among coworkers

  • Contempt and blame

  • No room for mistakes

  • People feel gaslighted or start to doubt themselves and their perceptions

  • Screaming, yelling, or insults

  • No boundaries between work and personal or inappropriate behavior

  • You are asked to do things that are unethical or immoral

  • Employees are regularly worked past exhaustion

If you are in a toxic or unhealthy work environment, you should start looking for a new job immediately.

4. You Are Underpaid for Your Skills and Experience

If you know that other people with your skills and experience are paid more for the same job, the first step is to ask your employer to raise your compensation. If they are unwilling or unable to give you a raise, it’s reasonable to look for employment with someone who can pay more for the time and work you deliver.

Research similar jobs in your geographic area before asking for a raise. A request backed up by data and facts has more impact.

5. Family or Health Circumstances

You may be pleased in your job but have a family or health situation requiring your attention. These range from your spouse’s job relocating to having to take time off to address a serious health problem.

If you can continue working part-time or from home, you can always discuss possible alternative arrangements with your employer rather than leaving your job. If you’re happy where you are, it’s worth the effort.

6. You Need More Work-Life Balance

If you are in a high-pressure and demanding position and your life circumstances have changed, looking for more work-life balance is a valid reason for leaving a job. People’s lives and attitudes change. Even if you loved the intensity of your work for a while, it’s okay to seek more balance.

Sometimes people have kids, need to care for aging parents, or just start getting tired of working all the time. It can be worth taking a pay cut or making a lateral career move to have more control over your schedule.

7. You Find Yourself Consistently Irritable or Overwhelmed

If you’ve noticed a shift in your mood where it’s harder to go to work in the morning or every little thing is annoying you, it may be a sign that you are burnt out at your current job. Dread, procrastination, and frustration are all signs of burnout.

It is probably a sign that you need a change of some kind, and it’s worth understanding what is burning you out before you look for a new job. If you’re able to take some vacation time, it might give you a chance to get clear about what steps to take to improve your daily experience.

Your Job Should Support Your Life

If you want more than your current job can offer, looking for a change is okay. However, unless you are in a highly toxic environment, it’s best to find a new job before you give notice to your current employer.

The ZipRecruiter Editors

At ZipRecruiter, our mission is to connect employers and job seekers with their next great opportunity. On the ZipRecruiter blog, we use insider experience and data derived from our AI-driven jobs marketplace to provide advice and insights on topics such as the job search process, interviewing, and labor market trends. Start your job search or post a job today and connect with us on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn!

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