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Should You Quit Your Job? 5 Solid Reasons to Pack it Up

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leaving your job

Winners never quit, and quitters never win.

For decades, powerful leaders like Vince Lombardi and John Rambo have uttered these words to their young pupils. Their point is clear: cowards never prosper.

But let’s give quitters a chance to win just this once. In fact, let’s create a game. Here are the rules:

  • The sections below outline the top five reasons to leave a job.
  • If the situation applies to you and your current gig, give yourself two points.
  • If it doesn’t ring true at all, that counts for zero points.
  • If it applies “sometimes,” mark down one point.

Enough about the rules. Let’s begin:

1. Your job interferes with your personal life and goals

There’s no way around it: a full-time job sucks hours out of your day. But that doesn’t mean work should inhale your leisure activities as well. Similarly, your schedule shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your big-picture goals.

Has your job significantly cut into your personal life, like spending time with your friends? Hobbies, like starting a blog? Long-term goals, like applying to grad school? Your health, by leaving you little time to work out?

If so, chalk up two points on the scoreboard.

2. You’ve sold your soul to your employer

This one’s tough. On the one hand, your job pays for everything in your life that requires money. By the same token, though, you don’t want to swap your pulse for a paycheck.

Even if your company doesn’t force you to lie, cheat or sacrifice fuzzy animals, it might feel like your job has turned into an eight-hour, unfulfilling chore. You can deal with the stress, commute, busy schedule and occasional unwanted assignment, but sometimes you wonder if you’re showing up more out of obligation than interest. If so, perhaps it’s time to hang up your dress shoes.

3. You’re not learning anything new

Similar to life as a student, having a job gives you an opportunity to learn and grow on a daily basis. You pick up new skills and add to your bank of knowledge by interacting with coworkers who are experts in their field.

But maybe you’ve stagnated over the past year and feel underutilized and bored. Your tasks have become monotonous, you’re not being pushed hard enough, there’s little room to move up and you’re forced to seek out new challenges on your own.

Brain turning into cotton candy? That’s two more points.

4. You don’t care about the company’s mission

Even if you enjoy your everyday tasks, it’s hard to invest yourself for the long haul if the company’s goals don’t align with your personal interests.

It can take years of job-hopping to finally land the perfect position, but even if you haven’t yet reached this point, your job shouldn’t conflict with your values. Ideally, you should believe in—or at least “buy into”—your company’s overall mission. If not, it’s hard to imagine staying put for years to come.

5. Your gut tells you to quit

Sometimes we ignore the best career counselor out there. After all, who knows your situation better than you do? If your instincts are screaming “This job isn’t right,” listen.

Never write off an opportunity too early, but don’t disregard your gut reaction, either. It’s often right.

Survey Says…

Okay, the results are in. It’s time to plot your number on a parabolic graph, apply the quadratic function to calculate where you fall on the “arc of happiness” and…

Screw that. Let’s keep it simple. Add up your points and find your score below:

0-1: Your job is awesome. Stay put.

2-4: You have a good job with a few solvable issues. Walking away would be very gutsy, but if these problems are really plaguing you…make the call.

5-6: You’re trapped in employment purgatory, stuck between staying and leaving. If you think things could change for the better, ride it out. If not, free your soul.

7-8: You might be able to hang on for a bit longer, but quitting looks like it’s on the horizon regardless.

9-10: You probably have moments at work where you fall into a trance, stare at a fire alarm and weigh the pros and cons of unleashing a horde of sprinklers onto your office so you can go home for the day. Don’t. Just quit.

Rocco Brown-Morris is the Content Team Manager for www.livecareer.com, America’s # 1 Resume Builder. Check them out at www.facebook.com/livecareer or on Google+ for advice and tips on all things career- and resume-related.

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.