In 2014, I hated my job. At the time I was working in sales and had grown weary of it. The job paid well and had good benefits, but that didn’t keep me from waking up every day dreading going to work. Later that year God led me to a job I love using my skills for an organization I’m passionate about and now I love the job I’m doing.
According to the recent studies on job satisfaction in America, over 50 percent of today’s workers are unhappy in their job. In other words, millions of Americans spend a good chunk of their day miserable. Are you one of them? How’s your job? Do you love it? Like it? Tolerate it? What about hating it? Here are nine ways you’ll know when it’s time to quit your job and move on.
When your integrity and ethics are intact but your innovation and drive are not
No one in history had more creativity and innovation than God. And we know, according to Genesis 1:27, God created mankind in His own image. But when we’ve “checked out” at work, our creative drive does too. You work until quitting time and do the basics of your job as detailed from your manager. But that’s where the quality in your work ethic ends. You’ve given up on fresh, new ideas to get things done on the job. While others seem to go the extra mile, you feel pretty content hanging back while others pass you by.
When you dread Sundays because they lead to Mondays
Weekends have a funny feeling when you hate your job. At the end of the day Friday, you’re pumped. You’ve got 48 hours ahead of you to live your life the way you want. But Sunday comes fast, and you’re stuck in the drudgery of the “paycheck cycle,” where your job has become nothing but a paycheck. You live for the weekend, you work for the paycheck. It’s a cycle you feel stuck in.
When you spend your days at work daydreaming about your hobby
You have a passion. You have something there, somewhere deep inside that gives you joy. If this passion begins to steal away time at your job when you should focus on work, it can be detrimental to your job. It’s important that you find time away from work to spend energy toward those hobbies you’re passionate about. That quality time may lead to financial benefits down the line, or if nothing else, enjoyment where you’re lacking it in your job.
When faking it is harder than ever
You go to the meetings and throw out half-baked ideas on increasing sales. You ramble through conversations with co-workers about new products or new company initiatives. You see your boss, or his boss, or the boss of his boss, and masquerade enthusiasm like an Oscar-winning actor. All the while, you’re dying inside. Faking it is hard and exhausting. If you notice you’re stuck in the role of a pretender, it might be time to make an exit.
When you begin thinking negatively about your company and its leadership
The management at your job may not be the worst but because you hate work, you don’t care for them. This can be dangerous when it leads to what Ephesians 4:29 calls “corrupting talk.” This is something Paul warns us against using. This happens especially when you’ve been with a company that doesn’t value you or your opinion. If you work for a place where the management has no interest in helping you get promoted or develop yourself, it’s time to get out. Good management and leadership is evident when there is a true desire by those in charge to see those under them grow, develop, excel and move up.
When your attitude at home matches your attitude at work
When I hated my job, I found myself bringing that negativity home with me many days. We’re told that “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable … think about these things” in the Bible (Philippians 4:8), but I had a difficult time doing so when I despised my work. This is the unfortunate part of hating your job. If your sour attitude about your work comes home with you, it will affect your family. If you despise work so much that you cannot let that hatred go when you’re at home away from work, you need to get out. Fast.
When your job search is for “anything other than what you’re doing”
Lamentations 3:25: “The Lord is good to those who wait for him.” The easiest thing to do when you hate your job is to start job searching. Not career searching but job searching. If you hate your job bad enough and long enough, then you’ll be willing to look for anything that isn’t your job to go and do for money. I did this for years and realized I was refusing to wait for God to show me the next step and instead took steps on my own. Leaving a job you hate now for another one you’ll likely hate in a few years is a temporary fix. Pray for God to open doors to careers you can be passionate about, while also strengthening you to do the work you’re in right now.
When your career path has a dead end
So many people stay at a job thinking their loyalty will earn them a promotion. In 2017, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Companies are no more loyal to you than you are to them. Everyone has to make that decision for themselves when their time is up for waiting out a promotion. If you’ve had at least two different opportunities and still weren’t given a chance, it may be time to look elsewhere.
When you’re nervous about what your tombstone will say
In his book Quitter, Jon Acuff says “I don’t want you to wake up at 65 and realize, ‘I spent 40 of my best years doing something that just funded my life.’” If it scares you what your tombstone may say about you and your career, consider a change. Think about what you want your tombstone to say about you when you’re gone. “Here lies so and so who spent 50 years at so and so company as a mid-level manager.” Don’t get me wrong. Being at one place that long even as a mid-level manager may be a dream for some people. This is the rule of no regrets. Think about yourself at age 80. What do you want to look back on your life as having done? What kind of impact do you want to have made on others?
Deuteronomy 6:5-7 issues us this command: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Consider what you want your impact to be. Your legacy. Make sure your next career is one that you’re passionate about and impacts the lives of others.
lives with his wife and two daughters in Bowling Green, South Carolina, where he writes about faith, pop culture and sports.