Do you love your job? Do you wake up each morning - and especially on Monday - with a smile on your face, a spring in your step, and an urgent desire to get to the office (or warehouse, or store, or wherever) as fast as possible? Lucky you!
You’re a member of the minority, though. According to a Gallup report, unhappy employees outnumber the happy ones two-to-one worldwide. So you really are professionally blessed if you can say - and genuinely believe - that you like your job.
Numbers vary from country to country, of course. Another report - this one by Monster, the world’s largest employment website - surveyed 8000 individuals from around the world. The question was simply “how much do you love your job?”, and the available choices were love it/like it a lot, like it well enough, and don’t like it/hate it.
Canada came out on top, with 64% of Canadian employees claiming to like or love their job. The United States? They had the largest group of employees that either don’t like or actively hate their jobs at 15%. The United Kingdom had similar numbers - 46% who love their job, and 12% who hate - while Germany had the largest group who liked it well enough at 54%.
Yes, it jumps all over the map...literally and figuratively.
It’s easy to decide to quit when you hate your job. The decision is practically made for you (whether it’s a good decision is extremely subjective). But what if you love your job? What if you’re in that fortuitous worldwide minority? Should you ever quit a job that makes you sing out loud during your commute each morning?
Absolutely. And because you love it, you’ll make sure to do it properly, too (minimum of two weeks notice, although longer is better, offer to train your replacement, submit a thoughtful letter of resignation). Here are the top 13 reasons to quit a job you love.
1. A Better Offer Falls in Your Lap
You might love your job, your co-workers, your supervisors, and your industry. But if you work hard and eagerly each day, other employers might just try and poach you away. It happens all the time. A rival company, a group of entrepreneurs about to launch a startup, or whatever. An offer may come from anywhere at anytime. More money. More prestige. Better job title. It doesn’t matter.If you love your job, it’s reflected in your performance, and that puts a spotlight on you.
Provided you give proper notice to your current employer - and don’t break any non-compete clauses or agreements - you’re not doing anything wrong. Don’t feel bad. Quit, and move on to bigger and better things.
People move. All the time. It’s rare for someone these days to be born, live, and die in the same place. It used to be the norm just a generation or two ago, but no more. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, for example, the average American will move 11.7 times during their lifetime. You may absolutely adore your job, but when the road comes a-callin’ (or other circumstances dictate), you may have to leave it.
3. Return to School
Ever thought about going back to school? You’re not alone. Maybe you want to upgrade your credentials (Bachelor to Masters, or Masters to Doctorate), maybe you want to expand your knowledge base, or maybe you want to switch careers completely. Whatever your motivation, full-time enrollment will require quitting your current position. There are nearly four million people over the age of 35 attending a degree-granting institution, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. You love your job, yes, but you’re a lifelong learner, too.
4. A Sinking Ship
You love your boss and your position. But sometimes, that’s not enough. Business - any business - is tough, and many worthwhile companies can and do fail for a variety of reasons. Some can be fixed, and others can’t. If your current employer is losing money, losing customers, or losing its market share, it may be time to look elsewhere. This does not mean abandoning them in their hour of need. If there’s something you can do to help, you owe it to them to assist in any way you can. But - and this is important - if the writing’s on the wall, you owe it to yourself to take care of you and yours.
5. Change in Circumstance
Marriage. New baby. Ailing parents or spouse. Partner laid off or transferred. Our circumstances change all the time. In fact, as Heraclitus famously said, the only constant in life is change (or words to that effect). Something may happen, something outside of your control, that leaves you unable or unwilling to continue in the position and at the company you love so much. If it’s a choice, good for you, and if it’s not, that sucks. But it happens, we deal with it and move on.
6. Too Much Stress
Stress can negatively impact your body, your mood, your behaviour, and your relationships. Too much for too long can actually reduce your life expectancy. Everyone endures at least a little stress virtually every day, but some careers - think teachers, police officers, air traffic controllers, firefighters, paramedics - must deal with high stress situations all the time. It can wear you out. And fast. Even if you love your job, if the stress level is constantly off the charts, it’s probably time to move on to greener (i.e. less stressful) pastures.
7. Heading Out on Your Own
Do you have that entrepreneurial spirit burning in your soul? Perhaps you want to launch a company in your current industry, or something completely different. No matter. Your relationship with your current job may be nothing but wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, but when the entrepreneur fairy knocks at the door, you might do well to let her in. Give your notice, wish everyone well, and head out into the unknown.
8. No Say in Direction
You can love your job - the day-to-day responsibilities and doings - but still feel unfulfilled in some way. It happens more often than you’d think. If your thoughts, opinions, or suggestions are habitually ignored and unwanted, then you’ll only feel good up to a point. Everyone wants to have some say in the direction of their career and company, and if you don’t, quitting and trying somewhere else becomes a viable option. Your input should matter.
9. Taken for Granted
Likewise, if you’re very, very good at what you do (because you love it...see how everything is connected?), but never receive any thanks or recognition for it, you’ll eventually start to feel resentment towards your superiors. It might be buried deep within your subconscious, but it’s there, and will only grow over time. Great employers appreciate great employees, and if yours doesn’t - no matter how good they are in every other way - you’re not going to love your job forever. Sometimes, it’s best to cut bait and try again.
10. No Possibility for Advancement
You want to feel you’re moving forward and upward, right? You want to believe the sky’s the limit if you work hard and diligently. But what if that’s not possible? Some companies always end up promoting from without. Higher ups retire or quit, and they inevitably end up bringing someone new in from somewhere else. No one moves up. No one climbs that proverbial corporate ladder. If that’s the case, you’ll do better leaving. Very few of us want to start and stop at the same place 45 years later.
11. No Challenge
This one is commonplace. You’ve been doing your job - loving it and doing it well - for so long now that you could do it blindfolded, with one hand tied behind your back, and a 50lbs bag of potatoes under the other arm. There’s no challenge anymore. It’s exactly the same, day in, day out. Every conceivable bump, blip, or hiccup that you could imagine has already been experienced and conquered. You, my friend, do this job like a world champ. And that’s the problem. You’re bored. You may love it. Your co-workers may be some of your best friends. Your supervisor may have been the Best Man or Maid-of-Honor at your wedding. But you’re bored. We all want to be pushed, challenged, and motivated to find solutions, but a job you could phone in to doesn’t provide any of that. Life begins outside your comfort zone. Find something that keeps you on your toes instead of asleep at your desk.
12. You're Micromanaged
Your boss is a great person. Outgoing, friendly, approachable. But he or she micromanages absolutely everything. You have zero autonomy in your job. They tell you how and when to do everything, including what kind of pencil to use, the preferred brand and placement of staples, and how to structure your to-do list. This is not ideal. Perhaps they don’t realize they’re doing it, perhaps they (secretly) think you’re an idiot, perhaps they’re control freaks and don’t trust anyone, or perhaps they simply believe they’re helping. Micromanagers rarely, if ever, stop. You need to find something else.
13. You're Expendable
Some careers won’t be around forever (or even ten years from now). Is your current position one of them? Is your job soon to be replaced by a robot or fancy (or even not-so-fancy) computer program? Think about it. And if the answer is yes, or even maybe, you’d do well to start planning. The future is now, and it could happen a lot faster than you might believe. If your position could be phased out, it very well might be. Act accordingly.
See Also: 10 Happy Reasons to Quit Your Job
Jobs come, and jobs go. Even a position you love shouldn’t automatically be the last stop on your career path. There are plenty of reasons to leave. You deserve a job that stimulates, appreciates, and rewards you. If it doesn’t, you deserve better. Find it.
Are there other reasons to leave a job you love? Why did you leave your last position? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.