Every employee faces hassles at work—the coworker who pops gum, the boss who meticulously red lines your mistakes, and the cleaning crew who moves your stuff every night. If that’s all you’re facing, just deal with it. Be grateful your boss isn’t a creeper who makes you sick and drives you to drink. However, when your job threatens to ruin your life, it may be time to move on. Here are thirteen signs:
1) Your employer is a creeper. One worker knew it was time to leave when during his January performance review, his employer told him, "One day in July last year, you went to the bathroom five times. I know because I was watching on the security monitor."
2) Your job drives you to drink. One reporter started thinking about moving on when she realized that in addition to knocking back three glasses of wine after work, she was coming home at lunch for a quick glass of wine to make it through the afternoon.
3) Your job makes you sick. One worker in a high-stress field returned to his job after retiring because his replacement didn't work out. In the meantime, he was being treated for cancer. Finally, his doctor told him, "You have to retire—I can see the stress on your face. You're not going to beat this cancer if you don't step back."
4) Your position has a higher churn rate than pay TV. One manager learned his first month on the job that 23 people had held the position for the last four years. Some had left at lunch their first day, never to return.
5) The company is on the financial skids. At one newspaper, workers raced to the bank to cash their checks every payday, fearing the losers in the race would not be paid. Worse, employees at one publication have waited months this fall to get their checks. By staying, you’re loaning—or perhaps even giving—your hard-earned money to your employer.
6) Your co-workers are bullies. One worker started updating her resume when she came to work to find a coworker had converted her prized, autographed poster into a dartboard.
7) You’re pressured to work unpaid overtime. One worker started looking for a new gig after being forced daily to clock out and return to work.
8) Your boss doesn’t believe in time off. One general manager, who worked 12-hour days six days a week, was ordered to make a four-hour round trip to the owner’s farm on the Sunday before Christmas—his one day off—to discuss work issues.
9) Your pay is docked, and it’s not your fault. On his first week on the job, one manager was asked to return an item for credit on the company credit card. He did. Since the credit card statement had already been issued, the credit didn’t show up that month. The manager’s first check had $250 deducted with a nasty note from the boss saying the $250 would be restored when the worker “did his job.”
A fast food worker started thinking about leaving when her pay was docked for stealing even though other employees had access to the register.
10) Communication fails. One salesperson walked five miles to work through snow only to find out his office was closed. No one had bothered to let him know.
11) Your boss has no boundaries. One worker logged onto social media at ten p.m. on Sunday to find a message from the boss asking about an upcoming event.
12) Your boss plays the blame game. Instead of solving problems so they won’t happen again, your boss believes in blaming and shaming.
13) Your job is being advertised. One worker was perusing the classified ads and saw an ad for her own job. Enough said.
If you’ve experienced one or more of these telling signs and have decided to move on, congratulations. But, how do you proceed? If you truly feel your life or health are in danger, it might be time to walk out that door even if you don’t have a new job lined up. If you think you can hang in there until you find something better, then it’s time to network, read the classified ads and fill out applications.
Take your leave carefully. You’re on the way out—hooray. However, while the temptation might be great to unload when you leave, you may face that boss or coworkers again. Better to say you’re moving on for new opportunities. It’s unlikely a toxic boss, coworker or job culture will change based on your exit interview.
Instead, celebrate your freedom. Create a song mix to listen to as you leave on that last day. Song selections will depend on your age but Johnny Paychecks’ “You Can Take This Job and Shove It” is a good choice. Don’t turn the volume up too high until you’re out of range.
Starter list for your goodbye playlist
- “I’m Still Standing,” Elton John
- “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye,” Steam
- “Fly By Night,” Rush
- “Leave It,” Yes
- “Don’t Stop,” Fleetwood Mac
- “Freeway of Love,” Aretha Franklin
- “Be Good to Yourself,” Journey
- “Ramble On,” Led Zeppelin
- “Walk Away,” Full Circle
“Captain of the Sun,” Renaissance