Finding a job is usually one of the hardest tasks a veteran will face when coming back to the civilian world. However, one aspect of thriving outside of the military that isn't often discussed is when to leave a bad job. Yes, the job market isn't as strong as it could be, but that doesn't mean professionals should waste their time in positions that aren't fulfilling their needs.
If you're currently unhappy with where you work and aren't sure if it's time to go, here are five strong signs that it's time to quit your job, inspired by The Business Journals.
1. You're not growing professionally.
Landing a job doesn't mean it's time to kick your feet up and relax, especially at the onset of your civilian career. No matter what your experience level, growing as a professional is crucial to your satisfaction and ability to compete in the workplace. Whether you're vying for promotion or are eying choicer positions in other companies, you should always keep a competitive edge by growing professionally. You might be stagnating because the work has become routine, or your higher-ups have stopped teaching you, or there just isn't anything more you can learn at your current position. Whatever the reason, make sure that your job is always helping you grow as a professional.
2. You're not happy with the work you do.
Coming from the military, you probably heard a lot about the honor of serving in the country despite working in tough, often dangerous environments. So, being unhappy with your work might seem like a weak reason to quit. While it's important to tough some situations out, there's no good reason for anyone to force themselves to do something they completely loathe. Job satisfaction is a key component to finding your place in the civilian world. It's not just about finding joy or comfort, but adopting a new positive association between the work you do and what it means to you.
3. You don't feel important.
You might be used to working as a cog in a big machine, but that was when your job had a greater sense of purpose. Some civilian jobs will provide a similar sense of importance and direction, but most won't. It's important that your superiors and coworkers have a genuine understanding of what you do and how it impacts the company. It's not about getting a pat on the back for sending emails out on time, it's about knowing that everyone at your company values your work and provides the camaraderie and respect that comes with that kind of understanding.
4. You lack support to do your job well.
If your boss nailed a bucket to the ground and told you to pick it up, what would you do? Working in an environment where you aren't given the proper tools to do your job is just as bad. Negligent superiors might at least stay out of your way, but at worst they can hamper your efforts by interfering with your work or simply failing to provide adequate support. If you aren't given the proper resources or leeway to do your job, it's time to move on.
5. You're not paid enough.
Salaries and wages are not fixed items like they are in the military. No one will automatically hand you a bigger paycheck for spending more time with a company or learning a new skill. Ideally, companies will value your time and efforts and increase your pay as you grow professionally, but sometimes you have to haggle, and sometimes your company will refuse to budge. If you aren't paid as much as you're worth, then negotiating for higher salaries will be more difficult if you're promoted or find a new position at another company. If your company doesn't value you enough to pay you a fair salary, then they likely don't value you enough as a contributor to their operations.