Is quitting my job OK?' 11 reasons it may be time to quit

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 May 2022

Deciding to leave a job is a major life decision which involves reflecting on your priorities and goals. Many factors can cause someone to consider quitting but some may be short-term problems that you can solve while others indicate that it's time to pursue other opportunities. Thinking about the reasons you may want to leave your current role can help you make the best choice for your career and ensure you're confident in your decision. In this article, we discuss when it's okay to quit your job and list 11 reasons when it may be in your best interests to resign.

Is quitting my job okay?

Many people who wonder 'Is quitting my job okay?' want to balance obligations to employers, career stability and their personal wellbeing. The decision to quit a job requires serious thought but it's ultimately your choice. It's okay to quit when you feel that doing so is important for your career, mental health, finances or other aspects of your life.

Before immediately leaving, it may be worthwhile to consider whether you can resolve the issues that initially made you want to quit. You may decide to stay and look for ways to improve your situation in your current workplace but quitting your job might ultimately be the change you need to advance your career and access other growth opportunities. Whatever your reason for wanting to quit, remember that only you can make the personal decision to leave or stay.

Related: Should I quit my job: reasons for quitting and FAQs

11 legitimate reasons for quitting

There are many reasons people decide to leave their jobs but some situations are more valid and common than others. Here are 11 good reasons you may think about quitting:

1. You've found a new job

If you find a new job that offers more growth opportunities than your current role and pays better, it's time to quit your job. A new job can further advance your career and allow you to put your skills, abilities and expertise to good use. Be sure to confirm the new job offer before handing in your notice to ensure you have stable employment after you leave.

When deciding whether to accept your new job offer or not, consider the following:

  • Pay and benefits: It's ideal for your new job to offer an increase in pay and benefits, especially if you gained new skills and experience in your current role.

  • Relevance: Ensure the new job opportunity aligns with your values, interests and goals and is relevant to the direction you want your career to take.

  • Career opportunities: A good job offer typically has career advancement opportunities such as a possibilities for promotion or training programmes to improve your skills.

  • Work-life balance: Research your potential employer to learn if the new job offers a healthier work-life balance, allowing you to spend time with family and friends and still meet deadlines.

2. You're going back to school

Going back to school is an excellent opportunity to gain new knowledge and expertise in your field of interest. It also allows you to acquire the proper certification and education required to practise a specific career. If you're thinking about going back to school, whether part-time or full-time, you may think about quitting your job. Many people decide to leave their jobs so they can focus on attending class and completing assignments. You can discuss this with your current employer to see whether they're open to re-hiring you once you complete your education.

3. You're moving

Relocating to a new area away from your workplace can necessitate a job change unless there are opportunities for working remotely. If you're planning to move, you could ask your employer if you can work from home or telecommute. They may allow you to stay with the company as long as you work your core hours and complete tasks regardless of your location. If they don't, you can start looking for jobs near your new home. You may also decide to use your relocation as an opportunity to make changes in your career whatever your current employer's remote work options.

4. You have health concerns

Taking care of your health or the health of a loved one is a valid and legitimate reason for wanting to leave a job. You may decide to take time off from work so you can become the full-time caregiver of an ill family member. If you're experiencing health issues yourself and they're affecting your ability to perform your duties at work, you may also consider putting in your notice. This can be an especially important decision if you have a physically strenuous job or work in a role that may interfere with any medical conditions.

5. You're in an unhealthy work environment

A negative work environment can make your job more challenging than necessary and have an impact on your wellbeing. If you've already taken steps to improve the dynamic in your workplace, you may decide to leave so you can find a better situation for your personal and professional needs. Depending on the situation, you may decide to leave immediately or take some time to consider other options before submitting your notice. Some factors that may show you're working in a difficult job environment include:

  • Your company overlooks you for promotions.

  • Your company doesn't value your input, accomplishments and contributions.

  • There's a high turnover rate in your department or organisation.

  • Your work constantly stresses you.

  • There's a lot of arguing and gossip among employees.

  • Projects lack clarity and communication.

  • There's bullying in the workplace from either co-workers or employers.

Related: Signs of a toxic work environment

6. You don't look forward to going to work

If you start feeling stressed or frustrated at the idea of going to work, you may start considering other job opportunities. Not wanting to show up at work shows there's an underlying issue to address. It can be anything from having stressors at work to being unhappy with the company culture. Before quitting, figure out the problem by looking at your current situation. Consider if your feelings are work-related or if they may arise from issues in your personal life. Once you determine the problem, try to find viable solutions before deciding to leave your job.

7. You want a career change

If you've been doing the same thing for too long, a career change may be the right choice for you. After being in the same position for a long time, you may want to look for other challenges and opportunities that you can't find at your current job. A change in career gives you something different, exciting and interesting to do, improving your overall motivation, productivity and morale. When deciding to quit your job to change careers, it's important to consider the requirements for the field, job opportunities and your long-term goals.

8. You dislike your job overall

You may start a job and eventually realise that you dislike your responsibilities, causing you to reconsider whether you want to keep your role. If your duties don't align with your interests to the point where you feel unhappy at work, quitting may help you explore options where you feel more satisfied. Although disliking your job, company or employer is a reasonable cause for quitting, don't do it right away. It's wise to strategically analyse your situation and determine whether there's anything you can change. Some common reasons for disliking a job include:

  • too many meetings

  • long hours

  • difficult bosses

  • not enough holiday time

  • unfulfilling

  • lack of proper equipment to perform tasks

If you or your employer can't do anything to resolve the issues, it may be time to look for another job that makes you happy.

Related: I hate my job: How and when should I quit?

9. You're underpaid

If your job salary doesn't match your qualifications, skills and abilities, consider looking for another position that does. When you're overqualified, receiving a low compensation can be demotivating and affect your productivity and morale. You may be able to improve your situation by looking for a job opportunity that compensates you properly for your knowledge and expertise. Before quitting, you may try negotiating an increase in salary with your current employer, especially if pay is the main factor in deciding to leave your job.

10. You're not challenged

A good job challenges you and gives you the opportunity to explore new skills and abilities. This can help you feel important, motivated and happy. If your current job no longer challenges you and your employer always gives you the same tasks and responsibilities, quitting may be the right choice. When handling the same tasks every day, you may be less likely to feel a sense of fulfilment and excitement. Be sure to look for a job that is interesting and constantly challenges you to be and do better.

11. You want to focus on your personal life

Some people go through a period where they focus on aspects of their personal life instead of their career. If your personal life changes and your current workplace can't accommodate the change, you may want to look for an employer that aligns with your personal needs. Maybe you've recently welcomed a newborn into your life and require a better work-life balance, or maybe your job involves travelling and you can't go due to your health. Whatever the change is, discuss it with your employer to see whether they can be flexible and make it work. If not, it's time to start the job search.