Working and Career

Working and Career

Brandon Smith

QUIZ - Is It Time To Quit?

By Brandon SmithPosted May 16, 2012 11:06am (EDT)
(Photo Courtesy of <a href=http://efffective.com>Svilen Milev via stock.xchng</a>.

(Photo Courtesy of Svilen Milev via stock.xchng.


Knowing when to quit a job is a tricky decision. Some folks quit way too early and others stay in abusive or dead-end jobs for years, fearing what lies on the other side. So, how do you know if it’s time to quit your job? Consider the following quiz to help you determine if it’s time. Add up your scores at the end for a final “time to quit” assessment.

Your Boss – many studies point to our boss as the reason why we exit jobs (nearly 50% of the time). Score your boss on this readiness to quit scale:

0 points – My boss is wonderful! Perfection is indeed real. No problems here

1 point – My boss is generally pretty competent. He / she generally stays out of my way

2 points – My boss is average. If he/she was an ice cream flavor, it would be vanilla without a doubt

3 points – My boss is any ONE of the following: inconsistent / unpredictable, disengaged, a micromanager, doesn’t like me, backstabbing, incompetent, abusive

4 points – My boss is any TWO of the following: inconsistent / unpredictable, disengaged, a micromanager, doesn’t like me, backstabbing, incompetent, abusive

5 points – My boss is THREE OR MORE of the following: inconsistent / unpredictable, disengaged, a micromanager, doesn’t like me, backstabbing, incompetent, abusive



The Culture – sometimes it’s the company culture that’s the problem. Only you can gauge fit with a culture, so give yourself a score on a scale of 0–5. Here’s the spectrum:

0 points – I LOVE this place. It feels like home

1 point – Overall, one of the best places I’ve worked (from a culture standpoint)

2 points – Very tolerable. Not a perfect fit, but I can deal with it assuming other things are in place and other needs are met

3 points – At least one day a week I dread coming into work because of the culture

4 points – For me, this culture is unhealthy and / or a very poor fit. I’m like a fish out of water – flopping and gasping for air

5 points – If people knew what this place was really like, we would be shut down by every body of authority you could find (legal, regulatory, police, psychiatric, etc…). I die a little bit inside each day I come to work…



The Job – a final category is the job itself. Perhaps the job is a really poor fit for your strengths and / or passions. Or perhaps there is no future in the role you are in. Score your job on the following scale:

0 points – This job rocks! I couldn’t have scripted a better role for me

1 point – The job meets most of my needs, but something is missing. I could keep doing this role for at least 2 more years without a problem, but after that…

2 points – The job works for now, but I’m missing some significant pieces that I will need to fill over the next few years

3 points – I can do the job adequately, but I’m largely unfulfilled and/or unchallenged. I need something different

4 points – This job is a poor fit for me. I am either not using my strengths and / or have no passion for what I’m doing. I feel like I am wasting my time each day. I’m meant for and capable of so much more

5 points – I am a horrible fit for the role. If I continue in this job for much longer, I’m either going to be fired or I’m going to lose my mind. (To borrow a line from Office Space) “Each day you see me is the worst day of my life”.

Add up your scores and consider the following “back of the envelope” scoring key:


“Should I Stay or Should I Go” KEY:

0-5 – Stay put. You are as close to perfect as you are going to get. Make some tweaks and thank your lucky stars for be so fortunate. You should probably thank someone… anyone after you read this post

6-10 – Isolate the biggest cause of your discomfort and try to address it (boss, culture or job). With some tweaking and planning, you might be able to make it fit. Consider things like internal job transfers or finding ways to work remotely as possible options depending on your pain point

10-15 – Yep, you need to get out. Pack your suitcase, polish your resume and hit the networking circuit ASAP. But remember, those with jobs are much more employable than those without. Keep your job as long as you can while you plan your escape

There you have it, the test to see if it really is time to quit. Next week we take on the three things you need to do before you exit. Until then, don’t do anything drastic. Drastic only works in the movies.

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