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7 Signs It's Time To Quit Your Job

Industry TrendsJanuary 02, 2023

To leave or not to leave—that is the question. If you’ve started to think about quitting your job, you’re not the only one. The Great Resignation made headlines earlier this year when millions of Americans made the jump to self-employment. In fact, the quit rate in the United States reached its highest point in 20 years last year, and it’s not showing signs of slowing down. 

Some people are motivated by the promise of more flexible workdays. Others are just ready for the next adventure. Whatever the individual reasons, their decisions add up: More than half the U.S. workforce is predicted to be self-employed by 2027.

Quitting your job is a big decision, and it can have long-lasting implications on your career and financial stability.  It can also be a moment of much-needed change. We asked more than 200 self-employed individuals to share how they knew it was time time to move on, and here’s what they said: 

Lack of career advancement 

Professional growth doesn’t look the same for everyone, and it isn’t always just about getting a promotion or salary increase. Do you have opportunities to take on new projects in your current role? If not, have you asked your supervisor for an opportunity to deepen a skill set or learn something new? Could something like a professional training course help you build your expertise? 

Every company has a slightly different approach to mobility, promotions, and raises, so it helps to be familiar with how your current company operates. However, if you feel like your requests for growth opportunities have fallen on deaf ears, and you’ve reached a dead end in your current role, it may be time to consider finding a new role better aligned with your long-term career goals. 

Bad managers

Have you heard the adage “people quit managers, not jobs”? Research shows some truth to that statement: 57 percent of employees have left a job because of their manager. If your boss is a micromanager, has frequent outbursts, or doesn’t follow through on their commitments, it can make your job more difficult. 

Subpar management isn’t always intentional, but it can still directly impact overall satisfaction at work. If you’ve identified your boss as the problem but otherwise enjoy your company, consider initiating a skip-level meeting with your boss’s boss or look for other opportunities in the organization with a different manager. 

Toxic work environment 

There are a lot of warning signs for a toxic workplace: microaggressions, gaslighting, gossiping, or bullying. And these are all too common: According to a recent MIT Sloan School of Management survey, one in 10 people consider their workplace toxic.

Many toxic workplaces get worse over time. If a toxic workplace is impacting your mental and physical health or preventing you from being successful in your current role, it’s probably time to start looking for something new. 

Low pay

When you’ve been with a company for a period of time, or you’ve taken on additional job responsibilities without receiving a raise, you may be wondering if you’re being underpaid. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to tell if you’re being under-compensated for your work. Online research can help you find average salary data for your position and location. You can use tools like Glassdoor’s salary benchmarking tool to determine if you’re fairly paid. 

If your salary is the only thing lacking and you otherwise enjoy your current role and company, let your boss know you’d like to set up a meeting to discuss your compensation. Come to the meeting with benchmarking data and be prepared to highlight your accomplishments and how they’ve moved the needle on your company’s goals and objectives. If your supervisor doesn’t respond well to your request, it might be time to start looking elsewhere.

Lack of flexibility

There are a lot of life circumstances that can necessitate the need for a job transition. When asked why they jumped to self-employment, more than 60% of Found customers said they desire more flexibility in their work schedules and locations. During the Covid-19 pandemic, flexible schedules and remote work became more commonplace. If you dread the commute to the office or using sick days for routine errands, it may be time to find a role with more flexibility. 

Misaligned values

A company’s mission and values have never been as important as they are in today’s society, particularly for younger generations. In a recent study, 52% of workers said they would quit their job if company values were not consistent with their personal values. For some employees, it may be the company’s mission or a stance (or lack thereof) on a particular social justice issue. If you find yourself at odds with your company’s mission, it might be a good sign it’s time to turn in your resignation for a more aligned role with your personal beliefs. 

New professional opportunities 

Sometimes the opportunity to venture into freelancing might fall into your lap. Perhaps a former colleague asked you to consult on a project, or the side hustle you started for a creative outlet has actually started making money. Whatever the reason, new professional opportunities may have you more excited about burning the midnight oil than clocking into your current 9-to-5.

If you want to pursue your freelance work more, you may be able to negotiate reduced working hours with your current employer for more flexibility. However, carefully navigating any conversations around modified work schedules is important. The same boss you work alongside may be a future client or reference in the future, and you don’t want to burn any bridges.

Take the leap into self-employment

Are you considering quitting your job? Taking some time to reflect can help you determine if quitting your job is the next right step in your career. Depending on your background and why you’d like to make a job transition, you have a few different options for what’s next. You could find another full-time role at a company that aligns with your needs, or you can take the leap into self-employment. 

Side hustles have grown in popularity over the year: 45% of working Americans currently have a side hustle. Whether you’ve worked on your side hustle for a few months or a few years, many people hope to one day take their hustle full-time. Everyone has a different threshold for when it feels safe to quit a traditional job, and there isn’t a magical number to know when to take a side hustle full-time. Do you want to match your current income, or do you feel comfortable making the jump earlier, knowing you can devote more time to your business if you aren’t working a traditional job? 

The freedom and flexibility of entrepreneurship can be incredibly rewarding. It allows you to choose what you work on, when you work, and how you work. You also can create more stability and earning potential for yourself than you would in a traditional job. But it also comes with its own set of challenges and risks. 

Starting a freelance business might feel overwhelming, but it’s definitely doable. Having the right people and tools behind you helps with finding clients, managing workloads, and making tough decisions. That’s where Found comes in. We built Found to make self-employment easier. Our suite of financial tools makes it easy to track expenses, estimate taxes, and keep up with accounting, all from one easy app. 

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only.

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