We have a complicated relationship with work. In theory, it’s supposed to give us purpose and meaning, but in reality, a job is typically just a way to pay the bills.
Even when viewed as a paycheck, some jobs are better than others. Some workplaces are toxic, featuring confusing schedules, bosses on powertrips, and entitled customers.
While scrolling through the antiwork Reddit community, a forum dedicated to changing the toxic work culture rampant in today’s society, I came across a thread asking users to share signs it’s time to quit a horrible job.
Users said you know it’s time to quit when the dread sets in.
“I’ve only ever walked out from 1 job. I decided to quit when I started getting to work early but ended up late because I would sit in my car dreading to go in,” shared one user.
You know the feeling, you stay up late on Sunday night because going to bed leads to work on Monday morning. The pit of your stomach churns when you even think about going to work.
“When you dread going to bed because you know you have to get up and go to work tomorrow,” replied another.
When Managers Gaslight Employees
A manager can make or break a workplace. Unfortunately, the people who seek management positions are often the ones who crave power, and they trample their employees to get what they want.
One user said, “Getting gaslight by a boss and seeing management close ranks to protect each other” clearly indicates that you need a new job.
Others agreed, sharing how some bosses manage to make all the good things their responsibility and all the negatives the employee’s fault.
“Our management has set up the most convoluted job roles and responsibilities so they somehow can always claim they are responsible for good stuff, but the employees below them (me) are responsible for the mistakes,” said one.
Prove Your Worth
Poor managers can’t see the value employees bring to a company, but when they decide to put the onus on you to prove your worth, you know it’s time to go.
“On Thursday, my boss let me know I have to prove I’m worth my barely livable wage, so we’re going to have a meeting every day next week to see how I’m going to make the company more money. I had two interviews today,” shared one user, explaining why they started looking for a new job.
“My old boss wanted me to write up an “employee improvement plan” on how I deserved the job and how I was going to “be better” for an “on call” $11/hr job. I said yeah, okay, and then sent in my letter of resignation the following Monday,” replied another.
A good manager should know what employees contribute and celebrate rather than belittle them.
Some layoffs are unavoidable, but if your company is conducting layoffs, pay attention to who gets laid off and why.
“When they lay off the nicest, most loyal, and experienced person in your department. That told me it was about his salary and nothing more. If they are cutting costs like that…time to go. It’ll only get worse,” stated one user.
No Respect for Employee Well-Being
Employee well-being is vital to a successful workplace, so when a company neglects its employees’ health, it’s a red flag.
One user shared how a company they worked for showed little respect for their wellness, ultimately leading to them quitting.
“Due to health reasons(inc. an ER visit), I missed 1 week of work at a company that I had BUSTED my butt for 2 years,” they shared. “I held a specialized position, and had a relationship with the owners. They knew it was my dream job and that I cared immensely about the company and their mission.
“I thought that they valued me. At the end of that week, they started discussing termination. They didn’t follow through(legally couldn’t), but it didn’t matter. The job was instantly ruined for me, and I never went back.”
“Reason why I left my last job,” replied another. “When I was pregnant and nearing labor I got a doctor’s note to be able to sit and take phone calls instead of standing at the desk all day, and they told me I “chose this life.” After I used up all the maternity leave benefits, I dipped.”
Companies often neglect long-term employee wellness for short-term gain, and in the end, they usually suffer for it. An excellent workplace will care for its employees in their time of need.
When you start having intrusive thoughts about your horrible job when you’re home relaxing, it might be time to jump ship.
“When you spend the whole drive home contemplating work, and avoid going to sleep because it means work time comes faster, and you’re fantasizing arguments and one-upping your boss in your head, and wake up feeling like —- every day because your body is naturally stressing about going back there…yep, time to leave,” said one user.
Let’s face it, most of us only work because we need money. If another company offers us more money, we will likely quit and take the new offer.
“I had one job that tried to foster that “we’re a family” BS, and I ended up falling for it,” shared one user. They explained that they updated their resume and started getting job offers with $10-15K salary increases. The user then “Brought this to my boss’s attention, and all I got was a guilt trip for looking elsewhere. Nah, family doesn’t undercut family by $15k a year. Buh-bye!”
However, some say a great work culture can balance the bonus in the paycheck.
“There is no substitute for adequate financial compensation, but I have taken pay cuts to be treated like a human being and come out feeling wealthier, in all ways, for it,” responded another user.
Meh, Fire Me
When you get to the point where you don’t even care if you get fired, you might want to start job hunting.
“When the thought of being fired is actually comforting,” said one user, laughing at the absurdity.
“One of the greatest feelings I ever had was when a company fired me. I wanted to quit for months, but the pay and benefits were excellent. The stress just wasn’t worth any amount of money, though,” shared one user, adding, “When they walked me to the door, I even thanked them.”
Some positions are okay for a while, but if you start to feel stagnated and see no opportunities to grow, it may be time to look for something new.
“When things don’t change, there’s no progression in your position, and those with less experience are getting promoted to better positions over the ones with experience,” shared one user, saying they asked for a lay off when this happened to them.
“This is exactly what happened to me at my old job, and I always felt sort of guilty for quitting on basically no notice,” said another.
New Hires Making More
Companies fail at providing cost of living increases to their employees but will gladly offer competitive wages to attract new staff.
When a company pays new folks more than you and refuses to discuss a raise, it’s time to find a new job.
“I had a technician job where I was the “go-to wizard”. I started looking elsewhere when I found out the technician next to me that I had to assist or instruct semi-regularly was making $5/hr more than me while at the same time being told by the guy that signs the checks that I’m about capped out on my pay,” said one user.
“Try being asked to train them and finding out they make more. This is the world we live in now. I have an interview tomorrow for this reason,” replied another.
Many Reasons to Find a New Job
Companies would retain more employees if they treated folks right and paid them what they’re worth. Alas, many businesses prefer to take advantage of employees they have, then wonder why they can’t fill positions.
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.