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Calling it Quits: When Is Enough, Enough?

Calling it Quits: When Is Enough, Enough?

Ask yourself these questions before giving your resignation.


We’ve all had one of those days — when we hit the snooze button a few extra times, when our stomach muscles clench as the office comes into view and when everything our bosses and co-workers do seems part of a conspiracy to push us over the edge.

Most admins have fantasized about quitting at one time or another. But how do you distinguish between a simple case of the Mondays or the midweek blahs and chronic job dissatisfaction? How do you know when to cut your losses and move on?

Before giving your resignation, ask yourself these five questions:

1. What does your body say?

“Your body is the best indicator in any situation,” says Deborah Rosado Shaw, author of Dream BIG: A Roadmap for Facing Life’s Challenges and Creating the Life You Deserve.

Frequent illness — especially stress-related ailments like migraines or insomnia — could be a sign that your unhappy work situation is taking its toll.

“For some people, quitting their job is the healthiest thing they can possibly do,” says Gail McMeekin, a career coach and author of The Power of Positive Choices.

An overly demanding boss, a hectic travel schedule, projects you don’t enjoy or even annoying co-workers can be hazards. “Not liking the people you’re with can have consequences for your health,” says Carol Adrienne, a therapeutic counselor and author of Find Your Purpose, Change Your Life.

Physical reactions can help you figure out how you feel about it. Do you tense up when walking into your building? How’s your concentration; are you productive?

“When you’re fighting with yourself to get out of bed to face a new day, you’ve got a real problem,” Shaw says.

2. Can you fix it?

Before you empty your desk drawers, try to see your job as a fixer-upper. Unhappy work situations often can be remedied without quitting by pinpointing the sources of your dissatisfaction and taking steps to eliminate them.

For some, a change as simple as turning a desk to face the window can have a profound effect. For others, transferring to a new department or negotiating a flex-time arrangement might be the answer.

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