Top 10 Ways to Know When to Leave A Job (or Company)

Sometimes we stay in a position (or company) too long. It can be difficult at times to recognize the truth about our employment situation. We may stay at a job because we're living from a vision for the future, or a memory from the past. Sometimes it's best to acknowledge the present and simply move on.

1. When it's the other entity that always sets the parameters or the rules, it's time to reconsider. Your relationship isn't a partnership if you're not both creating the ground rules, or both getting essential needs met. (Hint: If you don't feel like a partner in the success of the business, you probably aren't giving it your all. It's not only about how the business treats you! Partnership is what you BOTH bring to the relationship.)

2. When your differences of opinion don't improve the product, and instead injure one's feelings or pride, it's time to pay attention. When both entities are committed to the partnership, each rises above the differences and embraces the best of both perspectives/approaches. It's not personal.

3. When you've lost your sense of purpose, it's time to re-evaluate what brought you into the position in the first place. Perhaps the job fulfilled your original objective, but your objectives have since changed - and it's now time to move on. Maybe not. The important thing is to evaluate where you are now, what it is you want, and whether the job or company is capable of satisfying your needs.

4. When you've lost a sense of fun, it's also time to re-evaluate. How can you make your job more enjoyable? How can you bring new life, passion or commitment to it? If you're not enjoying your job or your experience within the company, it's time to pay attention to ways in which the relationship can be improved. How can you bring more of yourself to your job, so you enjoy both your job and your self, more?

5. Re-look what brought you together in the first place. What originally motivated your interest in the job (or company)? A stimulating work environment? The experience you'd get? Salary? A stable company? Growth opportunities? Be clear about what needs are getting met via the job, as well as what you contribute. Your original objectives might have gotten met long ago ­ look to see what your needs are NOW, and whether the partnership still works to your mutual benefit.

6. When one person's doing all the work, and the other's not contributing to the project or the relationship with commitment and velocity, it's time for a review. Look at the balance of power, look at the workload distribution and look at the results. Over time, each of your contributions should add value to the end product and to each other, so that the sum total is greater than what your individual efforts would have been.

7. When the commitment to communicate is no longer solid, the partnership suffers. Initially, there might have been an incredibly synergistic relationship but you're now "facing the fires" that make or break a partnership. Communication is essential for keeping the partnership open and full of possibility. Respect is not always enough. Communication is what oil is to a car ­ it lubricates the parts and keeps the engine running smoothly. Don't underestimate the importance of communication. What can you do to improve it?

8. If respect is lacking, it's also time to evaluate. Self-respect, as well as respect from and for your employer, is essential. If your employer or supervisor doesn't respect you, that's a signal that something, somewhere is "off." If you don't respect the business or the company's business practices, so too is something probably "off." Deal with this now and don't ignore what needs to be acknowledged. The longer you put off acknowledging your experience, the harder it is to have respect & integrity.

9. If find yourself lying or not telling the truth, this too is a sign to re-evaluate the partnership. Integrity is closely linked to keeping one's word. If your integrity is out, there's no better way to restore it, than to tell the truth. Telling the truth is expedient and effective ­just be tactful and respectful.

10. If there's too much water under the bridge, and not enough commitment and communication to do the work necessary to put the partnership back on track, the relationship may suffer. Take time every day to appreciate what matters. Communicate this to those in your life. Treat your work relationships as you would your personal ­ with integrity, communication and respect.


Jan Gordon, LCSW is an Executive and Personal Coach who finds great joy in helping her clients achieve outstanding results! Ms. Gordon provides coaching to individuals and teams who are dedicated to enhancing their personal power and sense of fulfilment. Her coaching embraces the concept that challenge provides opportunity. Visit her website at: Jan can reached at

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