Tired of your job – Is it time to move on?

Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, MBA, MASCL

I recently spoke to someone whose son quit his job because he did not find it interesting.  According to the person, he did not like the progress he was making and didn’t feel the passion to keep doing the same job.   The question is: Is that reason good enough to drop everything and move on?

During the time he quit his job, he was convinced it was the right thing to do.    It has been over two months and he has not found any other opportunity and his cash is running low.    He’s feeling the pressure of the decision he made and wonders what he got himself into.    Life lessons often provide us with tough lessons that we can learn, but the experience is rather a painful one.

The question is: Is it right to quit your job without having another job?  My personal point is that you need to assess your personal situation and also the economic situation in general.    In this economic situation, is it best to stay at a job you don’t feel passionate about, but that gives you a steady income and stability, or do you seek what makes you tick?  If you leave your job without another job, you run the risk of being unemployed for an extended period of time.

My suggestion is staying put for the following reasons:

  • Reinvent yourself – you can always showcase other skills you have by volunteering on other projects.  It provides you with the opportunity to show you’re a team player and are maturing to accept new challenges.
  • Learn new things or attend a class – sometimes by attending classes, you can learn new skills that can help you to be more marketable.  Also, you might learn something that you can take back to your job and use this so your manager sees that you’re adding value to the firm.
  • Find the reason why you’re leaving – unless you know why you don’t like your job, you can’t just leave for the sake of leaving.  You need to be able to pinpoint the three things that make you hate your job.  Otherwise, you’ll be in the same stage again a few months down the road, except you’ll be working elsewhere.   You need to seek the reason for your dissatisfaction.
  • Seek your mentor’s help – sometimes asking someone’s perspective can help you see things differently.   Especially if you have an experience mentor to work with.

One has to take into consideration that grass is often greener on the other side.   It applies to jobs and also your lawn if you own a house.    From a certain vantage point, my lawn looks great, but as I drive closer, I see brown patches that make my smile turn to a frown.    I agree that you need to find your passion and do what you love, but you also need to summon your practical side and survey things before you jump to conclusions.   The best decisions are the ones that are made over time rather than one hastily made because of a knee-jerk decision.

Unless you find why things are broken, you are bound to repeat the same mistake, only that the view is different.   The cost of mistake later on in your career cost a lot more than mistakes incurred earlier in your career.     I say let the head do the thinking and keep your emotions in check.



  1. I think you nailed it. If you are leaving a job then it is better to go TO something than AWAY from something, and to do that you need to know what is wrong.
    If you are feeling that your current position isn’t providing satisfaction then there are always alternative, a few of which you have mentioned. But it doesn’t have to be work that becomes your passion. Volunteering for a charity or (if you’re a developer) contributing to an open source project can all be ways to find that creative outlet without giving up your income.

  2. Money isn’t everything, that has been said before. I see people all the time out here in West Los Angeles that look loaded and also miserable at the same time. That being said, to the worker on the opposite side of the spectrum, getting paid barely enough to compensate for the area they live, that motivation wanes even faster. Had I be making about $25/hr, I might find a way to get through. At $13/hr, I find it very hard to take seriously

    Here is my motive though, I am a supervisor when they need me, but untrusted to handle my job in the normal concerns when they do not. It’s kind of like a fair-weather friend, to the regard that when a holiday comes, they want me to run the show, so they can have the day off, but when promotion time comes, the responsibility is given to another person, often someone with less experience than myself in the same job. Whether they are as able to handle it to me seems null, the point is that they think I can handle the responsibility, but not the position, and pay. I see that as being used after almost two years. Like the 80’s generation, I have been waiting for my chance to get rich and strike it big, in this case, with a mere $3/hr raise. And of course, like the world today, I have started to question that I will see it…I have been told at times that I probably won’t. So why am I still here?

    Passion is huge in a job. The more you have the more you pull through, and enjoy your job. For two years now people have been in awe of my passion to go above and beyond in my job, and now my passion is starting to wane. I feel like it’s time to move on, but the world is not that easy anymore. I have my GI Bill Income till January, so part of me just says, live lower and on your income and damn the torpedos…find a job in the next five months or so. But the other part says to just stick it out. I think that’s the adult part of me. But when you are not making enough money, find yourself getting frustrated and almost yelling at the supervisor, who I view as a peer, then it’s perhaps time to reconsider.

    That’s my take. Don’t keep letting your head get shoved under either. Good workers are often exploited ones, for the reason that it’s easier for lazier people to employ them and push them to death than to chase around the bad ones who will sue you if you fire them for doing a bad job. But the last thing they want to do then is promote you, because then they lose the good worker. Except, Supervisors of America, you’ll lose us anyway…because we get tired of getting left behind, pushed harder, and uncompensated reasonably for it. The time comes when its time to move on, and then all you have is your bad workers…and yourself to blame.

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