We live in an age where technology dominates our day to day lives and everything moves at the speed of light. Sometimes we can become so blinded by the everyday routine of going to work that we completely miss the signs that may be telling us it’s time to move on.
A U.S. Department of Labor report from 2006 indicates that baby boomers, born between 1957 and 1964, held an average of 10 jobs between the ages of 18 and 40. Whether this could be evidence of either job mobility or wage-slave burnout, clearly many workers experience a dramatic disconnect between ‘what they do’ and ‘who they are.' Here are seven really good reasons to give your two weeks’ notice.
1. Your Career Interests Have Evolved
Scientists estimate that the body replenishes its cells every seven to thirteen years, meaning you literally are not the same person that you once were. Similarly, what you once found stimulating and exciting may now seem tedious and mundane. Reinvigorating your career may be as simple as switching to a different position within your current company, or moving to another company within your industry. But if you're considering switching careers, be sure to do your homework and look before you leap. It's never easy to re-career, but it can be the difference between living a life worth living and just living.
2. You Just Don't Fit In
For whatever reasons, you just don't fit in. Maybe you clash with your co-workers and your relationships are irreparable. Or, when you take initiative or think creatively, you're whipped back into the “paint-by-the-number” IBM-type marching line. Bottom line: If you feel extremely under-appreciated or the last hour of the workday seems as long as the Jurassic Period, it's time to pack your box.
3. Your Company Wears Grey or Red to Work
If you're aware of grey areas your company is exploiting, or worse yet, are privy to criminal activity, evaluate your options. You may have to think hard about being a whistleblower, but if your company is pursuing a code of ethics or values widely different from your own and it's impacting your performance or morale, quitting shouldn't even be a question.
4. Your Lifestyle is Unsustainable
With gas prices tipping $5 a gallon and the U.S. dollar recently hitting a 30 year low against the Canadian dollar, more and more people are having to readjust their lifestyles to accommodate the decreased value of their salary. Sometimes, however, readjusting the lifestyle you lead is out of the question. The answer: If you've already tried getting a raise and were shot down, start looking for a job that pays the salary you need. But before you go job hunting, be sure to determine exactly the kind of salary you're looking for and evaluate whether it will comfortably sustain you and your family.
5. Your Company or Industry is on Life Support
When a company is in financial trouble, layoffs are likely. You have to be prepared to get proactive if your company is looking like it's about to board the train to bankruptcy. This is especially true if you suspect the company won't be handing out severance packages. Remember though, you shouldn't necessarily jump ship whenever seas look rough. Sometimes calm, prosperous seas can lie just a stone's throw ahead. The best you can do is make an educated guess.
6. Your Company Has No Future For You
Whether you're facing a glass ceiling or a career cul-de-sac, if you can't see a future at your current company or your future puts you at the same job with a slightly higher pay grade five years from now, it's probably time to move on. Successful work involves constant personal re-invention and change and if your company can't offer that to you, you need to find someone that can.
7. You're Doing Something You Hate
Seems simple, right? If you're working at a job you hate, leave. The problem is, most people don't recognize the fact that they're doing a job they truly hate until they're stuck in the daily grind and it's twice as hard to get out. The surefire way to know whether you're doing work you love is that you have so much passion for what you do that you can't wait until the sun rises the next morning to get started again. If that doesn't typify your feelings for your current job, you owe it to yourself to hand in your resignation and find the work that you truly love. As Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple, Inc., said in his 2005 Stanford Commencement address, "Life is too short to live somebody else's dream."