Quitting can be productive sometimes, so long as you know when to do it. We have the mentality that we must push on through, never giving up, to reach the light at the end of the tunnel. There’s guilt associated with being a quitter; if we throw in the towel, it means there’s something wrong with us.
Dread your job.
You truly dread going to work every day. If that’s because you’d rather be fishing or shopping, well, wouldn’t we all?! That’s not reason to quit, especially if you have bills to pay. But if that dread factor stems from the fact that you just can’t stand the people you work with or the work you’re expected to perform, that’s a reason to start looking.
Are no longer challenged.
Some people readily admit they work for a paycheck; they’re not particularly interested in growth or satisfaction. Money is money and the job suits their needs. That’s OK. Others, however, figure if they have to work anyway, they might as well do something challenging and fulfilling.
And when they start to feel complacent, like they can just phone it in, it’s time to think about quitting to make a change. When there’s no opportunity for advancement within an organization or a field, it’s time to shake things up. To move up, you must move out, which means quitting.
Are burnt out.
Health trumps wealth. When your work is making your sick, it’s time to quit and rethink your career options. We have to realize that our mental and physical health and well-being is far more important than any one position. If your health is being compromised, it’s probably time to quit. The same is true for the mental health of those closest to you. If your family is suffering because of your work, you may want to think of calling it quits.
Find the ends don’t justify the means.
Be sure that the victory you’re going for is one that actually holds meaning for you personally or professionally. Otherwise all of that effort might be for naught. For example, an English literature major in college needs a math credit and is enrolled in a calculus class. She discovers the course is impossible, so she opts to drop it in favor of a simpler math class because, at the end of the day, all she needs is any math credit. It may be smarter to quit that more difficult course.
You can also try to quit small. Maybe you can’t quit your full-time job, but there are aspects of your life where you can call it quits. It’s OK to rethink investing your time in them so you’re not stretched too thin.
For example, are you involved in committees, projects or initiatives that, even if they go well, don’t offer a productive or meaningful result to you at the end of the day? If so, rethink investing your time in them. While that may sound selfish on the outside, it’s really about using your time and effort wisely, especially as we’re all rowing as hard as we can.
Identify those small opportunities to quit to give yourself some peace of mind and a bit of breathing room. When you do that kind of quitting, you’re a real winner.