6 signs that it’s time to call it quits
Wednesday, October 02, 2019
When is it time to quit your job or sell your business? It’s not an exact science with a finite timeline. It’s as precise as “buy low and sell high” in real estate or the stock market.
You don’t want to leave before you’ve hit your apex, but you also don’t want to ignore the signs that you’re becoming the no-longer-funny comedian or the pathetic boxerpasthisprime that everyone pities.
Here are some signs that it’s time to move on:
There’s no more joy in your work
The passion with which you’ve initiated your business or undertaken your job has dissipated.
I worked for a company once that ignited such zeal that I couldn’t wait to get up in the morning and go to work to make meaningful achievements with my team.
Fast-forward some months, a new manager was installed, and my joy evaporated pronto; when my dread started weighing me down on Sunday nights in anticipation of the next day’s encounters with the joy-killer, I knew it was time to resign.
Work is boring
Not exciting, not painful, just boring. And when you’re bored, you become indifferent and apathetic; laziness seeps in because…well…why bother. Work is the same-old, same-old.
Routines, which once upon a time had stirred efficiency, now become monotony. Yawn. Continually looking at the clock and countdown to when you can go home; have only five minutes passed? Egads. The day stretches on interminably. A waste of one precious day in your life. Not worth it.
You have no more goals to achieve; nothing more to attain
This is related to the previous reason. When you’re an entrepreneur, you have big ideas, big goals, big dreams, along with big challenges. All very exciting; every day is a testament to your vision and determination. Then, when you’ve accomplished all that you’ve set out to do, you’ve reached the top.
Now what? Where do you go when there’s no more mountain to climb? The challenges and the competitiveness are gone. The only thing left is to start a new company with new challenges and new goals.
You’re not valued or appreciated for your skills
I did a very short stint in a retail outfit that sold clothing, household items, and an assortment of food and décor items. I was frequently impressed with the creativity of our customers in finding innovative uses of the products they had bought there.
I submitted a multipage, detailed proposal to the manager on how to capitalize on our customers’ creativity, engage their loyalty, promote new customers, and even gain valuable PR. I had spent hours analyzing each step of the project’s implementation; frankly, it was a thoughtful, comprehensive proposal.
The manager barely glanced at it and put it aside. Not interested. Period. He made it plain that I was not hired to think; that was someone else’s job. I didn’t last long there.
You’re emotionally spent and burnt-out
This can happen to both company owners and staff. You work so hard, but there’s always so much more to do; there aren’t enough hours in a workday, so an eight-hour day becomes a ten-hour day, then becomes a 14-hour day. And still the work doesn’t let up.
You’re never caught up, let alone ahead of the game. Your relationships suffer because you’re married to your work, not your spouse. You miss important events with your children because work takes precedence. And suddenly, you find you have nothing left to give, and work consumes you like a cancer. Time to get off the carousel.
You’re physically spent
Quite a few years ago, I worked for a sales company that saw me as a money-making machine, not a human being. I was severely criticized for having the audacity to make dinner without taking my mobile phone into the kitchen so I could take sales calls while I cooked and ate dinner. They did not care if I died of a heart attack from working 16 hours per day; just “sell, sell, sell.” That kind of pushy environment takes a toll on a body.
No job, no business, is worth your life. Back in the early days when I was nursing, I sat by many a patient’s death bed to comfort them and their family.
And what struck me then—which was a great lesson for a young person—is that no dying person ever said they wished they had worked more or earned more money. They all said variations of “I wish I had told them how much I loved them,” or, “I’m sorry I didn’t spend more time with my family.”
There is no shame in quitting your job or selling your business when it no longer fills your needs. Work is a necessary part of your life, but it shouldn’t constitute your entire life.
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