In our careers, we’ve all accepted a job that turned out to be the bane of our existence. In a world that rewards productivity and adeptness, it’s very difficult to realize you in a toxic work situation.
Perhaps you are a loyal employee willing to do whatever your boss asks you to regardless of its cost, or maybe the financial reward is so great that you are willing to suffer through stressful workdays just to accomplish your financial goals.
Whatever the motivation, you need to analyze the situation objectively and figure out whether it’s worth the sacrifice. And as you contemplate enduring a few more years of a terrible job, keep in mind the fact that your workplace is where you spend most of your time, especially if you work 40-45 hours a week.
Surprisingly, some people are stuck at a job that demands 100 hours of their time every week and they hate it.
In this article, I will show you how to know whether your job is killing you and when to throw in the towel. But first, let’s look at the effects of holding on to a job you hate.
Effects of Staying in a Job You Hate
Physical and Mental Problems
If you have a job that doesn’t satisfy you, it means you are spending most of your awake time doing something you hate. Consequently, you are left feeling frustrated and mentally drained. Excess stress at work leads to depression and uneasiness. In fact, some studies have shown that getting stuck at an awful job can be more dangerous to your mental health than being jobless.
Other studies have linked workplace miseries to shorter lifespans. Depression and other stress-related issues will compromise your immune system, leaving you susceptible to all kinds of illnesses, including heart disease. It can also lead to overeating or lack of enough energy to work out regularly, which results in weight gain. High levels of stress lead to fatigue and a bad temper.
Eventually, it will affect your productivity and relationships with your colleagues and family members. If your job requires you to put in 100 hours a week, it will definitely eat into your sleeping hours.
Sometimes a terrible job will give you nightmares and deny you quality sleep because you dread reporting to work the following day. Lack of sleep affects your cognitive functions, creativity, physical health, and overall productivity.
Bad Social Life and Personal Life
Misery at work leads to misery at home. It’s okay to take your work home once in a while, but if all you bring is negativity, it will drive a wedge between you and your family. Generally, life is rough, but a heavy load of a bad job can overwhelm you, and it will definitely have a negative effect on your colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Oh, and do I need to mention that your sex life will suffer?
Lack of Motivation
Research has shown that when you hate your job, you will only do the least amount of work to avoid getting dismissed. But when you love what you do, you will do more than it’s expected of you, even without incentives. In the long run, you will end up missing great opportunities and experiences just because you do not challenge yourself.
Lack of Confidence and Self-esteem
When you spend hundreds of hours doing something you were not cut out for, your professional competence declines eventually. This can have a tremendous impact on how you perceive yourself. Even if you don’t define yourself by your job, staying at a bad job will still affect your confidence and self-esteem.
We all have dreams and desires that we want to fulfill before we leave this world. Sadly, getting stuck at a job that doesn’t satisfy you only stops you from fulfilling your dreams. Regardless of how unrealistic your dream job is, you will never come close to realizing it if you remain stuck in the hole you are in right now.
Signs Show It’s Time To Quit Your Job
Whether you’ve already started experiencing some or all of these effects or not, you shouldn’t stay at a job much longer than you ought to. And if you are looking for that push, here are 15 signs to help you know when it’s time to quit your job and find something else.
#1. You Are Bored
Do you still find your job interesting and engaging? If not, perhaps it has become too easy for you and you are spending too much time going through the same processes, or you no longer care. In that case, you need to walk away from the job as soon as possible.
Although it’s normal to feel bored from time to time, psychologists believe that prolonged boredom at work is a sign that you don’t like what you do and you are looking for extra meaning. For instance, if you are always browsing the internet or playing computer games while at work, it’s a key indicator that you are bored. Continuing to stay will only cause you more misery.
#2. You Don’t Get Feedback
The only way to grow professionally and move up the corporate ladder is by getting regular feedback on your performance from your supervisor and colleagues. So, if your boss no longer comments on your work or if they do, it’s always generic or negative, start planning your exit. Good feedback should help you learn and grow in your career.
Therefore, if your employer is the one standing in the way of your career development by refusing to give you regular feedback and advice, it is time to walk away. Find a job that will enhance your talents and improve your worth as an employee.
#3. You Are Never Good Enough
Who doesn’t like to feel valuable? It is quite gratifying to have your ideas taken seriously by your boss and workmates. But the opposite is also true. If your boss is always dismissing or insulting your suggestions, it is a clear sign that your services are no longer needed in the organization.
So, do yourself a favor and walk away before you lose your self-worth and confidence. Work in a place where you are treated as a valuable member of the team and your suggestions are always welcomed.
#4. Toxic Workplace
How long can you endure constant sexual harassment, in-fighting, insults, bullying, disrespect, and conflict? Whether it’s your boss who sees nothing good in you or workmates who are always patronizing you, don’t spend another day in that toxic environment. Staying in such an environment only affects your physical, psychological, and emotional health.
While every workplace has its fair share of shortcomings, some are not worth the sacrifice. The longer you stick around, the more miserable your life becomes. Once you face your fears and make that bold step, you will be surprised at how many safe workplaces exist out there.
#5. High Level of Stress
Are you always terrified at the thought of reporting to work every morning? Do you always endure long sleepless nights? Are you bad-tempered? All these are signs of work-related stress. No matter how much money that job gives you, it is not worth your health and happiness.
#6. Incompetent Boss
Although it’s normal to be more knowledgeable than your boss in certain areas of your work, it can be really frustrating to have a boss who is constantly making wrong decisions. If you are always anxious about the decisions made by your company’s management, look for another job.
The fear of knowing that the ship is going to sink any minute will affect your overall productivity and happiness.
#7. Your Responsibilities Keep Changing for the Worse
We all have career goals and aspirations that we want to fulfill when we take up new jobs and responsibilities. But sometimes we join organizations where our responsibilities keep changing for the worse, and we don’t seem to have any say in the matter. It’s even worse when your boss keeps giving you more tasks than you signed up for.
Whether it’s temporary or recurring, you will always feel overworked. So, just see it as a sign that the company wants you to go.
#8. You Lack Purpose
It feels great to be part of something big and being able to contribute meaningfully to a higher purpose. But if you can’t enumerate your achievements at the end of your shift, it is time to try something different. Look for a job that gives you meaning.
#9. You Don’t Advance
It is very demoralizing to hold the same position for years while everyone else in the organization is advancing. In most cases, this happens in family-run businesses where family members get all the promotions while “outsiders” remain stuck at the same positions.
In such an organization, you don’t stand a chance to advance in your current job. So, you will just be wasting your time if you continue to hold on to it.
#10. They Underpay You
Even though money should not be the only motivation for reporting to work every day, it helps to know that you will take care of your bills at the end of the month. So, there is no point in sticking around if you are earning peanuts. If the salary is not enough and your employer won’t negotiate an increment, it’s time to jump ship ASAP.
#11. Your Job Makes Little Sense
Sometimes we get stuck at a job because it makes sense to us at the moment. But as time goes by, our priorities change. For instance, you may have enjoyed working as a construction worker when you were young and single, but after you get married, it becomes hard for you to survive on the minimum wage.
#12. You Don’t Have Time for Yourself
It is normal to work overtime from time to time in order to make a few extra bucks, but if it’s a requirement for you to work late into the night, consider trying something different. Find a job that offers you a realistic work-life balance.
Much as you have to work to pay your bills, you also need to have time for yourself and your family. After all, why should you work so hard to make money that you don’t have time to spend?
#13. You Are Overwhelmed
Job burnouts can manifest in many ways, including emotional, physical, and mental fatigue. But the major indicator of exhaustion is to get overwhelmed even by minor setbacks. Although work-related stress is inevitable, it shouldn’t feel like the world is ending whenever a minor problem occurs. If you are troubled by every petty thing that happens at work, it is time to walk away.
#14. Conflicting Goals and Missions
As you join an organization, it is important to ask yourself if its mission is in line with your personal goals and principles. For example, check if the new job requires you to work late into the night, sacrificing time for yourself and your family.
If you don’t like to travel, check whether the job involves a lot of local and international trips. Also, make sure the job offers you enough chances to go up the corporate ladder, depending on your ambition.
#15. Fighting A Losing Battle
A good job should challenge you, and help you succeed in your career. Basically, it should make you feel you are achieving something. But if it feels like you are always fighting a losing battle, it is time to move on.
Getting stuck at a job you hate is like refusing to take medicine when you are sick, hoping the disease will go away. The longer you stick around, the more miserable you become. Also, when you hold on to a stressful job for too long, it affects other aspects of your life, including your relationship with colleagues and family members.
Although I can’t assure you that your dream career will be achievable, I can promise you that a more satisfying job that will make your days meaningful and enjoyable is absolutely attainable. You just have to be committed to making it happen. Let this list serve as a motivation for you to quit that terrible job.