In any job, there will be things you need to put up with. Personality differences, questionable lunch choices in an open-plan cubicle environment, the coworker who clips his nails at his desk—all are things that likely need to be endured (or at least ignored) in the interest of workplace harmony. However, there are definitely some serious workplace issues where you shouldn’t adopt the “suck it up” policy.
Here are 6 powerful reasons you should quit your job.
1. Being asked to do something morally or ethically wrong
We all have core personal morals and values, no matter what job we’re doing. If your job asks you to do something you know is wrong, or that you believe to be wrong, this is not a job you should keep. The request may be something small, something you could push through and look the other way, but that small thing could grow into a larger ask or a series of requests that make you feel uncomfortable. Very few jobs are worth having panic attacks—even fewer are worth sacrificing your core values.
2. Being asked to do anything illegal
This is even less of a gray area. It’s not just you thinking this is wrong, it’s the law. In real life, illegal activity isn’t always caught like it is in the Hollywood-ized version—but if your company (or your boss) is ever caught and scrutinized, do you really want to be the one holding the bag? “I was just doing my job” sounds awfully weak in court, so why put yourself in that position? If your job is asking you to do things that are illegal, that opens up a whole host of consequences that you need to consider carefully. Unless you’re ready to deal with those consequences, it’s time to hand in your notice.
3. Harassment or bullying
Bullying is something that happens only in kids’ lives, right? Surely professional adults would never stoop to that kind of behavior. Sadly, no. Verbal abuse is never okay, whether it’s from senior employees to junior ones, or colleagues who think it’s funny to belittle others. Basically, you should never be made to feel uncomfortable in a work situation—and if you are, it’s okay to speak up and say so. All of you are professionals, and deserving of respect—no matter if you’re the CEO or the assistant. You shouldn’t assume by default that you’re just being thin-skinned; Human Resource departments are trained in how to handle situations like this effectively and discreetly. If that doesn’t work and it becomes a pattern, it’s time to move on.
4. Giving up a personal life.
This is a pretty common refrain, ‘cause it’s true: no one gets to the end of a career and wishes that he or she’d worked more hours instead of spending time with friends and family. Many jobs, especially ones outside the 9-to-5 template or ones that work on deadlines, make it challenging to balance work and personal life.
If you find that your personal life is being crowded out altogether due to your long hours or answering emails 24/7, it’s definitely time for a priority re-evaluation. If you don’t see the situation getting better, then don’t wait for the Ghost of Christmas Past to come along and remind you of everything you missed by staying at your job. Start looking for a new job (or even a different career path) that works with your personal goals as well as your professional ones.
5. Jobs that hurt you physically
Most jobs are up front about physical demands…must be able to lift 50 pounds or more, must be able to stand for hours at a time. If you find yourself performing physically demanding tasks that you didn’t know you were signing on to do, you don’t have to suck it up and pop painkillers to get through your day. Or even if you knew ahead of time, but you’re less able to cope with the heavy lifting and standing than you used to be, it’s time to think hard about what you’re doing. Your health is not worth losing for one job.
6. Sexual harassment
This can be one of the toughest dealbreakers to handle, because often it’s not the job itself that is the problem—it’s a person in your workplace. Again, you should never be made to feel uncomfortable at work. However, in reality, identifying it and doing something about it can turn into a complicated mess of “he said/she said,” and the person reporting it can be made to feel like they’d have negative career repercussions for doing so. If someone at your job (any gender, any seniority level) is making you feel uncomfortable by making inappropriate comments or advances, that’s just not acceptable. The stress of the situation may well undo any positive career progress you’d get by staying, so it’s important to take a serious look at other job options and opportunities. You should never, ever feel obligated to stay in a role where you’re treated so unprofessionally. And more importantly, you should never feel like you need to hide it and keep going for the sake of the job.
There are always other jobs out there. That can be tough to imagine in a tight job market, but a job that asks you to violate any number of personal boundaries is likely not a job that would make you proud and fulfilled later on in your career. Sometimes it’s best to walk away, with your best self intact, and search for the next opportunity.
Want More Content Like This?
Get TheJobNetwork's Latest Career Advice &
Job Seeking Tips straight to your inbox