In my high school football locker room, our coach had a big sign on the wall: “Winners never quit, and quitters never win.” He preached the gospel of not quitting, and it took years before I realized he was full of it. The truth is, there’s plenty of times to quit, and sometimes, quitting is the best thing you can do. We often get caught in bad situations, or organizations that won’t change, or losing teams. In those cases, quitting can often be the smartest choice. But the question becomes, when to quit? How do I know it’s time? Here’s a list of filters to help you make that decision. It may be time to quit:
1) When you’re taken for granted. I love the old adage: “Go where you are celebrated, not where you are tolerated.” If you’ve changed your attitude, developed your personal confidence, and started growing professionally – but the boss still doesn’t change, then I would start polishing up my resume. Don’t feel stuck in your job. Who knows? This might be your chance to finally get from where you are to where you want to be.
2) When you can’t say NO. I’ve discovered that your “yes” has no meaning unless you’re occasionally willing to say “no.” For chronic people pleasers, that’s a tough request, but until you start to push back, they’ll never stop leaning on you. You are gifted, unique, and talented or you wouldn’t be there. Now it’s time you started believing in yourself. But if you’re in a situation where “no” is impossible, then it might be time to get out.
3) If they suck the life out of you. Remember this: Culture is more important than vision. Some leaders have great vision, but have created a toxic culture where that vision will never happen. If that’s the case, get out. Find a place where you can work in a thriving, original, creative culture.
4) If waking up is a chore. You should love what you do. That doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge or you don’t have to work and train. But if you hate rolling out of bed in the morning and facing your co-workers, then why be miserable?
5) If there’s a lid. If you’d hit a wall and there’s no room for growth, then move on. That doesn’t mean your current job is a bad situation, but if you can’t move up the ladder and get to the next level, then you need to find a place where you can.
Obviously, we’re all in different situations, and for many reasons – family, education, experience, and more – you can’t easily change jobs. But keep your eye on the horizon. Don’t EVER think you can’t reach a better place. There’s no shame in leaving your situation and moving to a place where you can fulfill your destiny and calling.
How about it? Are you at that place yet?