Job dissatisfaction and resignations are on the rise at an alarming rate in America. Over 3.6 million Americans quit their jobs in May 2021, which was a 63% increase over the same month in the previous year.
And that shouldn’t be surprising considering approximately 70% of Americans are not engaged in their jobs. (Source) Maybe that’s why the average time people spend at a job before leaving is only about 4 1/2 years. (Source)
But is that a bad thing?
With a growing economy comes more jobs competing for talent, which means sometimes it’s just smart for us to shop the job market and level up when appropriate.
But how do you know when it’s time to quit your job? Here are a few “tests” to ask before quitting a job:
Reason #1: You’re not making enough money
One source found that only 19% of people are comfortable with the amount of money they make at their job. (Source) If you’re not making enough money, then your heart can’t really be where you are. Fear is a terrible distraction, and it’ll steal your focus every time. So if you’re trying to make it work at a place where you simply can’t survive financially, it’s time to look elsewhere.
Reason #2: It doesn’t fit with how you best contribute
We were created to serve, and were most fulfilled when we’re serving. An 80-year Harvard study found that giving your time and energy to others through relationships is actually the number one key to happiness. (Source)
So here’s how you can figure out how you’re uniquely gifted to serve:
First, what are you good at? If you’re not good at something, chances are people won’t pay you to do that. Second, what do you enjoy doing? If you don’t at least somewhat enjoy it, you probably won’t stick with it. Third, what do you find important? What do you think the world needs more of?
Jobs that encompass all three of those areas are in what I call your “service sweet spot,” and everything else is a great stepping stone until you find something that covers all three categories.
Reason #3: There isn’t something you need to learn before moving on
Ask yourself, “Have I learned what I came here to learn or are there things I need to learn before leaving?”
Lying to yourself here will only make the transition to your next job more painful as you relearn the lessons you skip now. We learn best in the places where we’re stretched and pushed beyond what we’re comfortable with, so try to embrace where you’re at with open eyes to see what’s available to you right now that could help you better serve in the future.
Reason #4: There’s actual abuse going on
Are people misusing their words and their actions to cause bad effects on you or the work environment? If there genuinely is some sort of abuse going on, getting out of an abusive situation is always the smart thing to do.
But if they’re just pushing your buttons, that’s not a good reason to leave. If you walk away from everyone you disagree with, you’ll pretty quickly find yourself isolated and alone, and worse than that, you’ll be ineffective at serving and helping others.
Reason #5: God and wise counsel say it’s time to go
Life is seasonal, and there’s a time to move and a time to stand still. And the only way you’ll truly know if it’s time to leave or stay is by hearing God’s guidance through his word and through advice from other people who pursue God’s voice in their own life.
Another extremely important aspect to consider is your vision for the future. Our vision should only come out of our relationship with God, because as we learn his heart, we start to see his desires for our life. Once we know his heart, then we can make decisions that line up with his vision.
So get close to God and examine your heart. If you can’t live on what you’re being paid, it doesn’t at least somewhat fit with how you best contribute, there isn’t something you can and should learn before leaving, or there’s actual abuse going on, then please, for the sake of the people who need you to move on, move on.