Have you ever considered leaving your job? If you feel that way, you must have a reason or a gut feeling that something isn't right. The decision comes with a lot of fear and uncertainty, and you might have some trouble justifying it to yourself.
Here are some of the reasons why people leave jobs - even their dream jobs. Most of them are based on personal considerations, so keep reading if you need to think through this major decision.
You don't have much control over this happening to you unless you were fired or suspended for disciplinary reasons. However, while this is one of the most soul-crushing experiences, employment termination happens to most people at least once - even the really successful people you see in the media have had it happen to them too.
Regardless, don't badmouth your previous employer at your next interview, even though there was bad blood. It doesn't reflect well on you and will sabotage your chances of securing better employment.
Layoffs tend to happen for economic reasons, such as restructuring to save the company's bottom line or pivoting to a different business model, where some jobs just become not as necessary. You may get laid off along with other team members in your business unit. While losing your job this way is not good news, it also doesn't say anything about your capabilities - just external circumstances.
You may come to realize that your current 9-to-5 isn't for you. Whether it's the restrictions of not having your schedule or being required to commute for hours every week, this is a good enough reason to consider a new job. Having no flexibility with work hours or the ability to work from home at least a few days a week becomes limiting for your lifestyle, especially if you have to take care of the family.
If a lot of your time is spent commuting, it also affects your mental health. Imagine the time you could spend with personal enrichment, but instead, you're spending it driving or sitting on public transportation.
Working hard without being appreciated is one of the worst things that could happen in anyone's career, apart from getting fired. It feels demoralizing to work hard without recognition. You may be a victim of company politics, where your colleague takes all the credit for your work. That or there is just no path to career progression where you are, which means you're not in line for a promotion or a salary increase. In that case, it's time to move on and find a place that appreciates you.
Unhappiness at work can sometimes be resolved by just talking to your direct manager so that your issues are heard. This is the case when you don't like your day-to-day tasks, some people you work with, or just don't feel any motivation for the company's or even your team's goals anymore. But since work is so interdependent on other people and existing structures in the company, there are times when there's just no way out of any problems other than leaving the job.
You may feel this when your personal life is no longer getting the attention it deserves because work and the lifestyle that goes with it get in the way. As with other issues, a conversation about getting more flexibility can fix it, but sometimes you just need a full break to focus on your personal life.
For example, you may need to care for a family member full-time, or need a pause to reflect on where you want to be in your career. Perhaps you also need some time for self-care, such as getting your health in order. Regardless of what others may think, it's not a selfish reason, nor does taking a personal break mean anything about your worth as a professional.
The drive to achieve great things is a strong reason to leave a company. If you have been with the company for some time and helped them reach a lot of milestones, you might feel that your job here is done. Maybe you're more of a builder, and you're seeking a new project where you can create from scratch again. Maybe you want to build other skill sets or learn new things that you won't get at your current job.
Whether it's by going back to school, starting your own business, joining a different company, or even traveling around the world, it's only human to seek a new sense of accomplishment, especially if it's something outside your comfort zone.
Humans are creatures of habit. There are people we loved working with and were great advocates of us at the company. But change happens and now you're reporting to a new manager and it's not the same anymore. Maybe there's some conflict or you just don't feel like you can be as open with your new manager. The issue could even be further up the chain, where senior leadership is replaced and you don't agree with where he or she is taking the company. In any case, this may be reason enough to leave your job. After all, it's difficult to do well at your job when you feel limited and are frustrated with the person you work with directly.
The golden rule still holds, though: Don't bad mouth your previous boss as you seek new opportunities. Even if you were in the right, it will just look like you were the issue.
Occasionally, there may not be anything that bad about your current job, but a different company is offering something better. This "better deal" could be a higher salary, more flexible hours, a nicer office, a different job title, more interesting projects, or an attractive benefits package. While some of these can be negotiated with your direct manager and HR department, if you were already considering other options, these can tip the scales toward taking a new job over staying at your old one.
At least one of these reasons could have crossed your mind at some point while you consider taking on a new job. When you feel doubt about where you currently are, it's worth examining why and decide whether to leave the job will solve it. Leaving a job is a major decision, so it's best to think through all possible avenues closely. But if a job is bringing down your morale and your quality of life, then leaving maybe something that can give your career the new energy it needs.