We’ve all had days where we just want to burn the office down. Some reasons to up and quit your job are better than others, though, especially considering what’s next. When you go looking for a new job, there is always going to be that dreaded question: “So, why did you leave your previous job?”
Unless you are simply quitting before they can fire you, the best policy is honesty. Sometimes, it’s not obvious, even to you, why you want to quit. It could be a feeling that you struggle to articulate, or a series of unrelated events and circumstances.
In this post we take a look at a few good, honest reasons to leave your IT job — and how they might help you land your next job.
You are not good at your job
Employers don’t always have the knowledge or experience to understand what it takes to do well at a specific IT job. And you may have all the skills you thought you’d need when you applied and got the job, but found out later that the position demands more than you’re able to handle.
If this sounds like you, leaving your job could seem a reasonable course of action, however it would be wise to inform your employer that you are struggling before doing anything drastic. Doing so will ensure that your employer is aware of the possibility of you leaving, and it opens the door to an amenable solution, like providing extra training on company time.
If the company is not able or willing to train you up, then take a bow, and bid adieu. Your employer will thank you for it.
You hate the work
Work isn’t always fun. There will be assignments, projects, and duties you’d rather not have to deal with in any job. In IT, though, there are so many specializations that you might find yourself much happier in a number of different roles… Just not the one you have.
To be able to recognize that you are not well-suited to a particular role – or working with a specific technology – shows a level of self-awareness that a lot of people don’t possess.
Once you have made a decision to branch out into a different field, you’ll want to stick to your guns. Obviously, you can’t tell your new hiring manager that you hated the work you did previously if you’re applying for the same kind of work. So be careful with this one if you’re going to be honest about it.
Your work is not challenging
If you want to leave your job because the work is not pushing you, that’s again something you’ll want to have discussed with your employer before taking the highway.
There isn’t terribly much to be done about demotivation. Your employer could easily find a new candidate to fill your position, someone who is happy in whatever role you stopped enjoying. However, it’s a good idea to talk about this beforehand with your boss or manager. You might even land up with an expanded role at your current company that gives you more purpose to carry on.
Your job is stressing you out
Stress is not just a buzzword, despite its ubiquitous use nowadays. It’s a real health risk, with long-term and possibly permanent implications.
Getting help through stress management coaching or working on your work-life balance are two ways to reduce stress, but the root cause of your stress must also be recognized.
Some jobs are more stressful than others, like supporting critical infrastructure where downtime means millions of lost revenue. Any job can be stressful, however, particularly if your work environment is not an overall positive one.
When stress starts manifesting in ill health or an inability to think clearly, it’s a good time to consider moving on.
There is no room for advancement
When you’ve been at your job for several years, it’s natural to start itching for promotion. If that itch can’t be scratched at your current company, no one is going to hold it against you to leave for greener pastures.
You have likely developed many new skills since you first started, and the only thing keeping you back at this point is your company. Future employers will be more than happy to hear that you outgrew your last position, as it shows you have the right mindset going in the long run.
You are not being recognized
A large part of job satisfaction is simply being acknowledged for your contributions, if not outright appreciated. While you can’t expect your non-IT coworkers or manager to fully understand the significance of your mystical skills, feedback should be given at some level.
If you are not getting feedback at all, then you may as well be a robot. But you’re not. We all are human, and we all need recognition. Explaining this to your boss is unlikely to help, but it may help in future interviews by demonstrating that you are a team player and that you are interested in not only doing a job, but also contributing meaningfully.
Ethical or moral concerns
IT personnel are often bestowed with an enormous amount of power in their daily duties, which comes with an equal amount of responsibility. Few IT professionals are trained to treat that power with the respect it deserves, and you may be witness to dodgy practices like mishandling of sensitive information.
In this case, you have two options: put yourself on the line as a whistleblower, or run! Whichever your decision is, your future employer will admire your moral fiber by not keeping silent or staying.