Should I Stay or Should I Go – 3 Reasons to Quit Your Job

3 REASONS TO QUIT YOUR JOB: Part 1 of a 3-Part Blog Series on Making Tough Career Decisions

Should You Stay or Should You Go? You’re thinking about quitting your job. You’ve been thinking about it for a while. It pops up every time you

get frustrated, or work ridiculous hours, or find out that you just wasted A TON of your time on a project that suddenly evaporated, or watch someone younger and greener get a promotion, or miss a family event because you’re working, or discover that you are surrounded by idiots who know so much less than you do. You think about quitting your job. You’ve fiddled with your resume, you’ve looked at open roles and career sites and industry recruiters. You’ve made a few pro/con lists. You’re not sure whether you want to do the same job in a different company, look for something that will advance your career, find something a lot less demanding and stressful (barista might not be so bad) or do something completely different (and what would THAT be?) Maybe it’s more accurate to say that you are dreaming about a new job, and hoping that the next call you answer will be from your Fairy God-recruiter with the magic job offer.

You’re just not sure what action to take, or even whether you should take action at all. Here are 3 TOTALLY SOLID reasons to stop stalling, get your butt in gear and get a new job.

Reason # 1. You have issues with the ethics or the values of your company. The next line of the song is “if I stay there may be trouble.” Yup. This should be obvious, but maybe it isn’t. Ethics and values drive actions, right? If you don’t agree with the ethics or the values of the company, then that is a really good reason to go. You may already be asked to do things that don’t sit well with you. It’s your conscience; you’re the one who has to live with yourself. You’re already thinking about going, so staying and fighting the good fight isn’t really a viable option for you. You probably cannot live with yourself in the role of hypocrite – because it’s already bugging you. So listen to your own inner wisdom here! By the way, I am assuming that we’re not talking about legal breaches here, because that’s a different ballgame. You have to decide whether you have an obligation to report, whether you are comfortable being a whistleblower and how safe that even is. That’s a very different discussion!

Reason #2. You don’t fit in with the company culture. Culture includes the patterns of accepted behavior as well as the values, language and beliefs that reinforce them. Culture also includes the policies, rewards, criteria for making decisions, priorities and expectations. It includes the penalties – spoken and unspoken – for violating the norms and values. So how do you know if you fit in? Oh come on, you know! You don’t speak the same language. You don’t understand the ways of working. You disagree with a significant number of decisions, policies and actions. You feel uncomfortable. You don’t fit in – and you really aren’t sure that you want to fit in. And there’s the rub. If you stay, you will either be in a constant battle against the company culture, or you will begin to adapt. Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated.  You may be telling yourself that someone needs to drive change, if it’s ever going to get any better. Why can’t that someone be you? Shouldn’t it be you? If that’s a battle you are willing to fight, knock yourself out. But know that in order to be successful, you need to be in a position with enough power and influence and you need to have a bunch of support and not go it alone. And even then, it’s a hard road. The bigger the organization, the harder it is to change the culture. Not impossible. But decide if it’s really your fight. It might be a better use of your time (aka your “life!”) to change jobs, and make cultural fit a real priority in your search and screening process!

Reason #3. Your profession has an established career path, and you are ready to take the next step. This one is really straight forward, right? You chose a profession that has a standard career progression. Or maybe you designed your own path. For some reason are stalled where you are. It might be that your current company doesn’t promote from within, or they don’t have enough turnover to create an opportunity for you. Maybe you’re close enough to the top of the food-chain that there really aren’t any viable opportunities for you there. Or you’ve been pigeon-holed by some neanderthal who doesn’t recognize your potential (or is intimidated by you). If you know that there is a next step and you know what it is, it doesn’t serve you to be complacent. You don’t have to throw caution to the wind, but no horse wants to drink from a stagnant trough. What?! Oh never mind. You know what I mean…get moving!

So if any one of the above is a “yes”, then you have your answer. Yes, you should go. You don’t need to have more than one! But what if you don’t have a “yes.” Does that mean you should stay? Of course not. These three reason don’t cover every situation. It just means you have some more to do to make the right decision. So stay tuned…more coming. Next up: 3 reasons NOT to quit your job just yet. They may not be the reasons you’d expect.


“The only problem with leaving and going someplace else is that you take yourself with you. You take your vibrational habits and patterns with you.” —Abraham

“Wherever you go, there you are.” (Maybe Confucius, maybe Buckaroo Bonzai)

Either way, a new job might not be the magic bullet. I’m just sayin’.

What do you think? Comment below!


Sound like the kind of things you’re thinking about? Feeling stuck? Thinking about coaching? Let’s hop on a call for a Strategy Session. Email me to set it up:

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