Quitting is bad. Don't quit. Unless you should.
Every parent with a child in sports has lived through this scene: a player makes a bad play or the ump makes a bad call and the coach completely loses his mind. His screeching voice echoes in the uncomfortable silence as parents, players, and officials stop to watch an adult have a complete meltdown over a children's athletic event. As the ranting continues people start to wonder if they should step in or if that would just make things worse. Eventually, the coach winds down and stalks back to his spot on the bench. That's when the whispering begins: "I think it's time for him to quit!"
Quitting is bad. No one wants to be a quitter. We prize perseverance and make heroes of those who overcome adversity and keep plugging along. Quitting is for the weak, those who can't take the heat and have to get out of the kitchen. It's for kids who can't make the team and adults who can't make a difference.
But what happens when perseverance turns poisonous? How do you know when staying the course is worse than choosing a new path? Is there ever a right time to quit?
When your job, whether it's the one that pays you or the one you do for the love of it (or both, if you're one of those mythical people who "never works a day in your life") starts turning you into someone you don't recognize anymore, that's when it's time to move on. When you hear words coming out of your mouth and feel the urge to look behind you and see who said that horrible/stupid/cruel thing, you need to spend some quality time away from that job and decide if you should ever go back. And sometimes, even when you're still enjoying yourself, the looks in your coworkers' eyes will tell you that they're wondering why you're still hanging around. Then it's time to hang up the metaphorical cleats and look for a new career.
In other words, when your presence is doing more harm than good, you need to leave. Here are three signs that it's quittin' time. Do any of them apply to you?
You've gone from hero to villain
- You can't find anything good about your company, including the people sitting right next to you.
- You refer to your office as "this place."
- You don't trust anyone else to complete even simple tasks correctly, so you either double-check their work or badmouth it when it's done.
- You don't trust your company's leaders to make intelligent, ethical decisions.
- Everyone around you knows exactly how you feel, because even when you try to hold it in (which may not be very often) it comes out in outbursts whenever you're frustrated (which is pretty much all the time).
You just can't even
So if your down days are stringing together into slow weeks, the weeks into semi-depressed months, maybe it's time to look at where you're spending most of your waking hours. Nothing like a spot of change to put the gas back in your carburetor.