Professional Development Watercooler

10 Worst Reasons to Quit Your Job

Written by Peter Jones

We’ve all been there: so fed up it seems the only option is to quit and start afresh. But situations like that call for very careful consideration. If your reasons for the grand gesture happen to include any of the following, it might be best to reconsider.

Here are the 10 worst reasons to quit your job:

1. You’re bored

Your job involves a lot of repetition. You feel like Sisyphus rolling his boulder up and down his little hill. But any job—no matter how glamorous—involves doing something over and over again until you get better and better at it. Remember every job will involve some level of repetition. Ask yourself whether your work is challenging or ultimately satisfying, rather than whether it’s repetitive.

2. You feel under-appreciated

You know you’re awesome. So why is no one tooting your horn? Where are your accolades? Recognition isn’t something that happens overnight—and it certainly can’t accompany every little good thing that you do. Get over yourself; keep working until you have something really worth celebrating.

3. You’re still not rich and famous

Most people will never reach that level. It’s not a great reason to quit your job. Perhaps you could do a bit of financial stock-taking and strategizing instead to see how you can maximize your time and talents? But quitting because you’re not raking in the dough? Bad call. You have to work to earn that money, you know.

4. You’re daunted

You can see success. But it’s an uphill slog and about 5 to 10 years in the future. Just thinking about it makes you tired. But remember: if you quit, you’ll be that many years and that much hard work behind plus the time and work it takes to get a new job. Better to put your head down and get started.

5. You’re not sure it’s worth it

You’re weighing all the compromises and hard work against the possible eventual reward. That’s actually smart. Just make sure you run this by an objective third party whom you trust enough to tell you the hard truth and help set you (or keep you) on the proper path.

6. It’s not about you

A little soul searching is in order here. Make sure you’re not quitting for your partner or a parent—or worse, because you want to rebel against someone. Listen to the voice in your head about whether this job is on the right track to who and where you want to be in five years. If it is, stay put and do the work.

7. Your inner jerk tells you what to do

That meanie in your head is whispering to you that it isn’t worth it—that you aren’t good enough. That you might as well not try. Your job sucks and you suck, right? Wrong. Tell that voice to shut up.

8. You don’t feel important

This is like a little kid deciding to run away because he doesn’t think anybody would miss him if he left. It’s emotionally immature and unprofessional. Instead: start distinguishing yourself in such a way that you never feel this kind of self-pity. Make yourself indispensable to your company and your coworkers.

9. You covet your neighbor’s career

You’re not as successful as the billionaires you read about in Forbes. Or your next door neighbor. Or your high school boyfriend. Stop spending so much time comparing yourself to the next guy and do your work instead. You’ll stand a better chance of actually succeeding if you devote yourself to what you’re doing.

10. You don’t know enough

Missing a crucial certification or skill that you think your field requires? That’s not a reason to quit! It’s a reason to go out and earn that last scout badge. Go out and finish whatever education you need in your free time—you might even be able to get your company to pay for your training process. If you don’t know something, learn!

There are lots of great reasons to quit. But these 10 are actually warning flags that the problem is with you, not with your job. Don’t stress. Just get back to work.

About the author

Peter Jones