“Should I quit my job if it makes me unhappy?”
It’s a question that many of us have asked ourselves through the years. When you first enter the workforce, it may even be a question that comes up often.
After all, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to secure your dream job right out of the gate. Many people have to work bad jobs for years before they’re able to find a job they truly love.
So, first of all, we’d just like to remind you to keep calm and assess the situation as honestly as possible.
In answer to the main question here, maybe. You should maybe leave your job if it makes you unhappy. And only you will be able to make that decision.
But first, you’ll need to take a look at several different factors, which we will explore below.
The Bad Job Blues: Symptoms
If you’re unhappy enough with your job that you’re considering leaving, then chances are you’re already having specific symptoms of your unhappiness.
These symptoms are highly subjective and vary from person to person. In fact, it’s also possible to experience many of these symptoms while working a job you love.
But when it comes to your physical and mental health, you have to be your own best watchdog. Take a look at some of the symptoms below. Do any of these apply to you?
One of the first major effects of hating your job can be a strong sense of general anxiety, especially while you’re at work.
Do you feel constantly worried or like you need to watch your back to make sure that no one double crosses you?
Whether or not those concerns are valid, the anxiety itself can have adverse effects on your health and you’ll need to find a way to alleviate them, even if it doesn’t involve leaving your job.
Lack of Sleep
If you’re losing sleep because of your job, then you should probably start working toward a long-lasting solution.
In the short-term, you should try to find methods that will help you fall asleep more consistently and for longer.
For many people, this can involve sleeping pills, boiled banana peel tea, or just sticking to a specific sleep schedule that your body will get used to over time.
But if your job is the core source of your sleep troubles, then you should try to alleviate that root problem.
It could be that you’re worried about an upcoming presentation or concerned that you’ll be laid off in the near future.
Whatever the problem is, try to talk it out with a human resources representative or even just friends and family members.
If you often find yourself daydreaming or picturing yourself is a vastly different life, with a vastly different job, this could be a sign that your subconscious is trying to tell you to get out.
As we mentioned above, feelings like these could also be the result of not having yet realized your personal career ambitions.
Ask yourself whether your current job is contributing positively to your career as a whole. If it’s not, then for the sake of your career and your health, you should look into finding alternative employment.
When Enough is Enough
If your current job has been causing you to suffer both mentally and physically, then for your own sake you should set a deadline for yourself.
Give yourself several months to find a different job or to save enough money that you can spend a few months doing nothing but looking for a new job.
But if you fail to stay motivated to find work elsewhere, then you will continue to suffer under your current conditions.
There comes a point when self-respect has to take precedence over a paycheck. Where exactly that point falls, however, is entirely up to you.
If you find yourself on the verge of quitting, then it may be worth the effort to speak with someone within your company.
This will be your chance to discuss your career aspirations, if any, and get an honest response about how likely it is that you’ll achieve those goals if you stay with your current company.
Ask Friends for Opinions
There are certainly times when we can be oblivious to our own problems, or a drop in our own general wellbeing.
This is why it’s always a good idea to ask friends and family members for their opinions on your situation.
It could be that certain friends have already been warning you to leave your job. Or maybe you’ve blown things out of proportion and your friends won’t see any major issues on first glance.
Either way, you won’t know for sure until you ask.
Take Your Time to Transition
We do not recommend quitting your job without a backup plan already in place. Quitting on short notice can make for a very bumpy transition to a new job.
And most importantly, suddenly becoming unemployed can make the job search that much more difficult.
It can take months to find a new job in your area of expertise, especially if your skillset is highly specialized.
If possible, you should try to stay at your current job for as long as you can, saving as much money as you can manage.
That way, if you do eventually decide to quit before you’ve secured a new job, you’ll have more savings put away to help yourself pay the bills while you look for a new job.
Don’t let a single bad day force you out of the company. Take your time and dedicate much of your free time to updating your resume and submitting thoughtful applications to companies that you admire.
As we said above, whether you want to quit your current job is ultimately up to you. We’d simply like to emphasize the importance of keeping track of your own mental and physical health.
If you feel like you’re wearing down to nothing, then you need to find a careful and considered way out.