Is it time to quit your job?

People often reach out to a career coach as they are looking to change something in their lives; to get happier. Some are keen to identify a new career path as they feel they’ve made a wrong choice, believing doing something different will lead to career happiness.

Sometimes, it’s not a wrong career path that’s making someone unhappy. It’s their current role getting in the way of their career happiness.

Do you feel like you’ve had enough, that it’s time for a change?

If you can relate to any of the following, it might be time to make some changes.


  • Hate your job
  • Don’t get along with your boss or colleagues
  • Aren’t using your knowledge, skills and strengths
  • Can’t handle working long hours any longer
  • Don’t feel like you can be your authentic self at work
  • Feel like you’ve hit a glass ceiling and see no way through
  • Don’t feel your values match those of your employer or co-workers
  • Feel your commute to work has become so painful you can’t bear it

If any of these resonated with you, it might be time to quit your job. But not so fast. Acting on the spur of the moment is the last thing you should do. First, we need to be practical and make sure you have a carefully thought out action plan in place.

It’s important to be really clear on what it is that is making you unhappy at work and to determine if you have control over any of these elements. If you hate your job, what is it about your job you hate? Is it that your role has changed and no longer uses your talents? Have you evolved and need more of a challenge or career progression? Perhaps you realise that the job you are in just doesn’t interest you and never has. Whatever it is that’s making you unhappy, identifying exactly what’s getting in the way of your career happiness is key to successful change.

If it’s your boss or colleagues you can’t stand, what is it about them that gets on your nerves? Is your boss an overbearing micromanager who undermines everything you do? Do your colleagues treat you badly or manipulate things in the workplace to make your job unpleasant? Or is it just that you don’t gel with them and find them difficult to be around day in, day out?

Occupational psychologists who measure job satisfaction have found that employees who don’t feel they were fully using their talents scored much lower in job satisfaction surveys than those who were. If you’re stuck in a job where you don’t feel you’re using your full range of skills and strengths, it’s time to take action.

Do you feel that your work persona is worlds away from the real you? Sure, most of us need to present a slightly different version of ourselves in the workplace. What I’m talking about here is that fundamental in-authenticity that can happen when we have a job or work for an organisation that doesn’t fit with our values.

If you feel you’ve hit a glass ceiling at work with nowhere to go in terms of growth and development, it can be difficult to stay motivated. Business management experts warn that a work environment devoid of opportunities for employee growth leads to disengaged staff who lack motivation.

Are long or irregular hours taking their toll on your health and work life balance? Unpaid overtime has sadly become the norm in some workplaces with bosses expecting more from their workers which can result in not only bitterness and resentment but exhaustion and fatigue.

Has your commute to work become unbearable? If you drive or take public transport do you find you are stressed the entire time? Apart from the negative physical and psychological effects, research has found that an additional 20 minutes of commuting per day had the same negative effect on job satisfaction as receiving a 19% pay cut.

Once you understand what it is about your current situation that’s getting in the way of your career happiness you’ll be able to take the necessary action. There are many ways in which you can boost your career happiness from re-designing your current role through to finding a new role that meets your needs.

The most important thing is to recognise what needs to change and why, then creating an action plan to take the steps to live your ideal life.

Picture of Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev,  RCDP, MAC

Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev, RCDP, MAC

Career Coach, EMCC-Accredited Master Practitioner Coach and CDI-Registered Career Development Professional with more than 20 years’ experience helping achieve successful and fulfilling careers.



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