Your job is an incredibly important part of your life that impacts you in many ways. And if you are not enjoying your work, it can cascade into other areas like your general mood, relationships, etc.
So if you don’t like your professional situation and you find yourself thinking “I feel like quitting my job every day,” then it can be tempting to want to make a change as soon as possible.
To help you process through the desire to quit your job every day, this article is going to unpack reasons why you may be thinking about quitting your job, and offer some recommendations on what to do.
Let’s get started.
Why Do I Keep Thinking About Quitting My Job?
There are a variety of reasons why you may keep thinking about quitting your job. But at the simplest level, I find that people keep thinking about quitting their jobs because it’s not fitting into the life that they want for themselves.
Now, there are a variety of reasons that your job may not be serving the life that you want and it’s important to unpack that.
To assess why that may be, I find a helpful tool to be the Flower Exercise from the book What Color Is Your Parachute.
Basically, the book argues that there are seven different aspects to a job, which make up the “anatomy of a job” and all of them impact the likelihood that you would enjoy your work.
Here is a quick run down of the seven pedals in the exercise and how to assess each of those against your current job:
- Pedal #1: Compatibility With People
In general, are the people that you work those that you want to be associated with?
- Pedal #2: Workplace Conditions
If you could create your ideal working environment, what would it be? Would you prefer to work inside or outside? Remote or in-person? Is the traditional 8 hour day too much for you and you want more flexibility?
- Pedal #3: Skills
What are your top 10 favorite skills? Do you find that you get to use them in your job? If you’re not using your best and favorite skills, is that causing you to struggle at work and feel like you suck at your job?
- Pedal #4: Purpose
Do you wake up in the morning feeling like you have a purpose and that you’re fulfilling that purpose through your work? Is your work meaningful to you?
- Pedal #5: Knowledges
What are you interested in and knowledgeable about? Is your work aligned with that?
- Pedal #6: Money
Are you making enough money to live the type of life that you want for yourself? Or are you finding that you’re struggling to make ends meet and can’t do the things that you’d like to do in life?
- Pedal #7: Location
Are you living in a place that you want to live? Do you have an abnormally long commute that you’d like to cut down?
Look at your current work situation across each of those seven pedals and make an honest assessment of how well it aligns with what you would ideally like in each of those areas.
Finding where your job is out of alignment with your desires will help you to understand why you may want to quit.
How to Know If I Really Want to Quit My Job?
At the highest level, you can discover if you really want to quit your job by thinking about the life that you want for yourself and assessing if your current job is serving that goal.
Being intentional about what we want and looking critically at if our work and life is aligned with that is a great way to step back and assess big decisions like if we truly want to quit our jobs.
The best tool that I can offer to help you do that is our what to do with your life article. It walks through a step by step process to help you evaluate what you want in life and links to resources like a future authoring program to help you figure out what you really want to be working towards and if your current work is aligned to that.
What To If I Feel Like Quitting My Job?
If you feel like quitting your job, there are a couple steps that I recommend before making the leap and putting in your two weeks notice:
1. Try to Negotiate a Better Situation
Once you have completed the flower exercise recommended earlier in this aricle and have a sense of why you’re note enjoying your job, the next step is to assess if you’re able to improve the situation at your current job. What I mean by that is, can you negotiate a way to get improve the area of the job that is out of alignment with the life that you want to build for yourself?
As an example, let’s say that the workplace conditions pedal is the reason that you’re not enjoying your job. Maybe you work a job that requires rigid hours that are particularly long at certain times of the year. If you’re a good employee that the company wants to retain, you may be able to negotiate a better situation for yourself that will make you happier at your job.
A quick story about someone I know that did this effectively. The person I know is a CPA that works on tax. The nature of that industry involves very long hours, including weekend work, during tax season (mid January – mid April). She likes her job and she likes the company, but she has a young daughter and wasn’t willing to work those hours.
Rather than quitting and going to a different company or industry, she went to her employer to explain the situation and communicate that she didn’t want to work more than normal work day hours, including during tax season. She’s good at her job and the company likes her and wanted to retain her so they worked out a solution where she never needed to work more than 40 hours per week. Accordingly, they adjusted the bonus portion of her compensation down a little bit to account for the lower hours she was working than the rest of the team but that was a tradeoff that was worthwhile to her to bring her job more into alignment with her ideal lifestyle.
I share that story to show that if you’re a good employee, and there’s something that you don’t like about your current work arrangement, it is possible to negotiate changes to your work setup to make it better align with your priorities.
2. Look for Another Job
If you feel like you have a good understanding of the reason that you feel like quitting, and the root cause is something that you can’t change or negotiate, then it is time for you to go look for another job.
At the end of the day, your work is such a significant portion of your life and life is simply too short to be miserable at your job.
Additionally, I find that it’s almost always better to find another job before quitting your current job. I find that it’s easier to find another job when you’re already in a job, and that it’s less financially stressful for you and your family.
Signs That Your Should Leave Your Job Immediately
Despite the previous recommendation to line up another job before leaving your current job, there are some situations where your situation is so bad that you may want to quit immediately.
Here are a a couple of key reasons where it may make sense to leave your job immediately:
1. Ethical Reasons
To me, the biggest reason that you would quit without another job is for ethical reasons. If you’re pressured to do something that is unethical, or the company has done something that doesn’t align with your values, then you may very well want to cut ties with the situation entirely.
At the end of the day, you only live one life and you only have one reputation. It’s important that you carry yourself ethically and be able to sleep at night with the decisions that you make.
2. Significant Negative Health Implications to Staying In Your Current Job
The other case where you may need to quit your job immediately is due to significant health implications. If you simply can’t meet the requirements of your job physically, or if you’re in such a bad mental state that you can’t function in work or your personal life, in may be the right call to leave your job right away.
Outside of those couple of reasons, as people, we can general handle more than we can expect. So, leverage tools like meditation and journaling to try and put your in the right mental state to deal with a job that you feel like quitting as you search for another position.
If you find yourself continuously thinking “I feel like quitting my job every day,” it can be tough to get out of bed and face yet another work day.
However, with some thought and analysis you can understand why you feel like quitting every day and try to find a work situation that better fits the life that you’re trying to build for yourself.