Finding a proper work/life balance can be a difficult art to master, but many of us can't just quit our jobs. There are obligations on the line: Families and children to think of; bills and a mortgage payment; to say nothing of other debts!
But then you reach your breaking point––and nothing else matters.
We're certain many of us could relate after Redditor orange_cha asked the online community, "How do you know when it's time to leave your job?"
"I'll give you my take..."
I'll give you my take because I'm at that point.
No motivation to do anything for anyone anymore. Absolutely no sense of urgency on things that are urgent. Thinking about literally everything else other than your work. Also when it affects your sleep schedule and you take your work anxiety/stress home. I stay up at night thinking of the next day, almost every single night. I'm probably going to stay here for another 2 months while I save money and then drop the 2 weeks on a date that I've decided on.
"When it begins to affect..."
When it begins to affect your mental health. Not just standard work stress, but losing sleep, becoming angry or depressed at the thought of going to work, complete apathy towards your performance, etc. This happened to me at my previous job. I couldn't sleep anymore, I would go to bed and wake up with my stomach burning from nervousness, and it got to a point where I couldn't even work anymore because of how much anxiety the job gave me. I would just sit there and stare at the screen, counting down the minutes. My breaking point was sitting on my couch with my wife on a Sunday, and I just started crying, just at the simple thought of having to go in for a another week to that place.
"While on its face..."Giphy
When, during your annual review, you ask for more development and responsibilities and your boss says, "I like what you're doing now; keep at it." While on its face this is complimentary, this is a sign that you're not going to be promoted and there isn't growth for you.
Had this said to me in August and I was at a new position with a different company by December.
"I've gotten to the point..."
When it starts to affect your personal life. I've gotten to the point I'm having nightmares about my boss and I'm snapping at people or stuff at home because I'm on edge. I'm cynical and don't trust anyone at work.
"When your main focus..."
When your main focus is work and not your family. Left a well paying job of 6 years because I spent too much time working.
"She didn't bother me again."
When your home life suffers. I took a 10 day motorcycle trip with my brother from Arizona to Seattle and back. Just cruised the back highways camping and visiting friends along the way. As we got closer to Phoenix I got more stressed about going back to work. I knew I hated the people I worked for and I just realized that it was never going to change, that they were never going to change. It was affecting my marriage and the person I was outside of work. I walked into work Monday morning and went low enough to text the owner my 2 weeks and when she called me to try and fix it I sent her another text that clearly stated if she bothered me about staying that would be my last minute with her company. She didn't bother me again. Only time I have ever quit a job without something else lined up. Best decision I ever made.
"I woke up 3 hours late..."
I woke up 3 hours late once for work once after working long days for 16 days in a row including four flights between LA and London, and I'd literally slept through my alarm until it automatically switched off, which I've never done before, I'm normally a very light sleeper. My boss said, "Don't worry about it, just get in as soon as you can, there's still so much we need to do before the end of the week." I worked another 4 days after that before a weekend off.
I felt like I'd aged years in that 3 weeks and I left a few months later when I found a new job with less rush time.
"I stayed as a creative director..."
I stayed as a creative director for a non-profit for six years. In that time, I saw almost everyone else in the organization quit & leave, or change career paths within the organization. I was fired, working in Arkansas they didn't need to give a "why", just "clean out your desk, you're done".
That was two years ago next month, and what I've noticed since then is:
- If the majority of the staff switches out to an entirely new demographic, you may want to go. It's possible they're working on a new internal structure or culture that you may not be part of.
- If they go through a large series of firings that don't make sense, or seem to be for no reason. I was in a meeting where a coworker was being openly talked about in the context of "we're going to give him enough work to fail with", so they could soothe their conscience about letting him go.
- If management becomes aloof toward your ideas, input or behavior and it persists over a few weeks. Understand managers get stuff on their mind like anyone else, but if you notice over many weeks or even months that there's no buy in on your activities or actions on any level, they might be processing a post-you scenario and don't really care what you do now.
- When the smart people leave. I worked with some intelligent, respectable people and some absolute jack-offs, I don't dare classify myself as smart or intelligent, but the latter segment were people of no substance, no morals and I wouldn't want to be around if I didn't work with them. The good people left, the jack-offs were put in charge. Pay attention to the people living life the way you want to, when they go, follow.
- When there's lots of random decisions being made, and no one, not even management, seems to know the reasoning. This can trigger everything before it on the list. The biggest accomplishments of the people I worked for were that he was born into money and that she married him for his money. When they placed a stronger hand on things and started making decisions, the smart people left, they decided to change the staff over, and as a result managers became aloof. The people running things had no idea what to do.
- When your duties change frequently. If you're a professional and have a knowledge-base and career path, and that gets ignored so you can interface with building contractors, shake hands with complaining customers and oversee landscaping duties, they're probably trying out other people in your job and trying to see if they can get along without you and if the $10 an hour kid they found on Craigslist really can manage the network.
- When you feel like it's time to go. I'm an excessively loyal person, and part of that is that even though I felt like I needed to go, I hung around because I think part of me wanted to help be the cure to the problems I saw around me. Don't ignore the warning lights, when you see signs, follow the signs all the way out the door because at the end of the day, unless it is your business, you are 100% expendable to them. At the end of the day, they'll fire you and your wife in the same meeting, in the same breath, and ask you not to return to the building so please take everything in your first go.
"I left two companies that went under..."
- You start getting passed over for positions you entirely deserved because someone with less know-how or experience got the position based on a relationship (family, friend, lover) with the hiring manager.
- You notice that experienced people are leaving en masse.
- You hate your job and your career allows you to change to another company
- You aren't making what you think you're worth and can get what you're worth elsewhere
I left two companies that went under soon after I left because I saw these things start to happen. One went under in 4 months, the other in 2 years.