13 Signs You Should Leave Your Job

Eric Ciechanowski
by Eric Ciechanowski   Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) 
Last Updated: May 22, 2023 

Dread going to work? Worried you’re going to lose your job? Feeling burned out or left out at the office? Some negative feelings at work are signs you should leave, while others are just fleeting irritations. How do you know when the trouble is just a little blip you’ll soon get past, and when it’s time to dust off your resume and start perusing job postings?

Let’s take a look at some of the telltale signs.

Signs You Should Leave Your Job

  1. A feeling of dread. Sunday evening blues are normal. But if you truly dread the approach of Monday, it might be time for you to consider leaving your job.
  2. A suspicion that you’re in the wrong place. If you spend your time daydreaming about the job you really want to have, maybe it’s time to leave your job.
  3. Your passion is gone. While a degree of boredom with mundane tasks is expected and normal, be alert to the loss of the passion you once had.
  4. Boredom has set in. If your role no longer stimulates your intellect or excites you, and if this has been going on for a long time, you should consider the possibility of leaving your job.
  5. You are underpaid. This one is an absolute deal-breaker for most people. The psychological impact of knowing that you are underpaid in comparison to your peers can be devastating. If employees who have similar responsibilities in your company are making a lot more than you are, it could be a sign that you are not valued. This is a HUGE sign that it’s time to leave your job.
  6. Conflict with your boss. Your boss is a micromanager, doesn’t respect you, doesn’t appreciate your work, overworks you, or hasn’t given you a raise for a couple of years. Any of these indicate that you are not a valued member of the team. It’s time to consider a move.
  7. Bad things are afoot. Your company loses its biggest client or is involved in very public litigation (think an Enron-style situation), or there is a major scandal that’s all over the news (I’m looking at you, Uber). Any of these things mean loss of revenue, decreased profitability, and a potentially toxic environment and are clear signs that you should leave your job.
  8. You lose your best advocate. Transfers, layoffs, and retirements all can change the landscape of who’s in your corner. The Big Boss used to love you and appreciate your work but he took a role with a competitor. New Big Boss is not so impressed and has you and your peers under a performance microscope. (Pro tip: This is a great time to connect with former Big Boss outside of work.)
  9. There are rumors of layoffs. Although you need to take information that comes via the gossip mill with a BOX of salt, rumors are generally rooted in some truth. If there is rampant discussion about impending layoffs, there probably are impending layoffs.
  10. You’re on a performance improvement plan (PIP). A PIP sounds nice but the reality is that being put on a PIP is almost always a prelude to termination. If you’re put on a PIP, you need to start looking for a new role immediately.
  11. Managers want your info. If the powers-the-be start asking you for the contacts or resources you use to get your work done this could mean trouble. Seemingly innocent questions like, “How do I get in touch with the Web designer?” could mean they’re preparing to show you the door.
  12. The new kid is getting your assignments. It’s a big red flag if your job duties are transferred to someone else. If it is someone who is newer to the company or significantly less experienced, it could mean that they are looking for someone who will do your job for less money.
  13. Your work can be automated. If that’s the case, it’s usually just a matter of time before your company decides that a machine can do your job for less money. Not only should you consider leaving your job, but you must also actively work to develop skills that are in demand and can’t be performed by a robot.
Even if your boss is horrible, or your company doesn’t respect you, it’s crucial that you make a classy exit when you see the signs it’s time to leave your job. When you make the decision to resign, tell your manager first.

You’ve Seen the Signs You Should Leave Your Job. Now What?

When you’ve seen the signs, it’s vitally important that you get your ducks in a row right away. The best way to start is by getting your resume and cover letter in order.

Remember that these are marketing documents that help to sell a premium product—you! To help you craft better cover letters and resumes quickly and easily, consider using LiveCareer’s professional resume builder and cover letter builder.

How to Leave Your Job with Dignity, Diplomacy, and Grace

Even if your boss is horrible, or your company doesn’t respect you, it’s crucial that you make a classy exit when you see the signs it’s time to leave your job. When you make the decision to resign, tell your manager first.

Ideally, this should be a face to face meeting, but if that’s not possible, a phone conversation will do. Do not resign via text. (I have people ask me about this all the time.) After your conversation with your manager, follow up with an email detailing your exit plan.

Always offer at least two weeks’ notice. Fulfill your remaining obligations to the best of your ability. The way you leave your job reflects more on you than it does on your employer or your boss, so do so gracefully. You never want to burn bridges when you leave your job. The people you leave behind may be useful references one day.

About the Author

Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Eric Ciechanowski Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)

Eric Ciechanowski is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), certified by the Professional Association of Resume Writers and Career Coaches (PARWCC). He graduated from Tulane University in New Orleans with a B.A. double major in Creative Writing and Philosophy. His career background includes fields as diverse as education, hospitality, journalism, copywriting, tech and trivia hosting.


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