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Did you wake up this morning and wonder, "Is it time for me to quit my job?" Or is it something you've been considering for a while? Switching jobs can change your life, for better or worse. Should you take the plunge or grind onward? The first step to good decision-making is to evaluate why you're making the decision. You might think, "That's easy; I'm miserable at work." But why? How can you ensure you don't feel the same at your next job? Evaluate the options below, write down which ones you relate with, and note any areas where they overlap.
You aren't connecting with your coworkers. Is there conflict? Do you feel like an outsider? Have you tried to get to know the people you work with? Other areas of your life will get affected by the attitude you carry from your work relationships. There are many possible reasons you could feel distant from your coworkers, and most of them have solutions. If it's a truly negative environment, moving to a workplace with a better culture could be your wisest choice, but don't throw in the towel because of one obnoxious coworker. The Bible has a lot to say about how to encourage others and can help you identify healthy environments going forward.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
You don't get challenged enough. Human beings have the instinct to strive. We don't prosper without something to work toward. If you're feeling gloomy at work, you might not realize that it's because you lack a challenge. Maybe you have enough tasks to fill your time, but none of them require any real thought. Can you step out of your box? Are there skills you can develop in your role if you ask for more responsibilities? Before looking for a new job, note the specific skills you want to strengthen. Often positions end up being different in the day-to-day than their title suggests, so it's important to know what you want to do. You may end up loving a job you've never considered!
"The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty." - Proverbs 21:5
You're overwhelmed.Are you doing the work of three people? Or do you never know what you should be doing? Inefficient leadership is the main cause of worker burnout, and the most you can do is tell your boss what you need to work better, not harder. If you get no feedback, it's probably time to search for a new job and make sure to have meaningful conversations with potential future supervisors. Or maybe you are that leader, and your confidence is failing. It's time to listen to what God has to say about you. He made you with something to contribute. You have what it takes to be a leader, even if that means taking a step back to build a foundation. Whether you're a supervisor or an employee, God will provide rest and guidance when you turn to Him earnestly.
“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.” - Psalm 18:32-36
You have issues with authority. This one won't change with employers. It's reasonable to dislike working for somebody else, even if you enjoy your work. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, that's a beautiful thing to pursue, but I've learned through experience that self-employment shouldn't be a do-or-die choice. Making your own schedule is great, but there are other freedoms and lessons that come with employment. If you have trouble respecting authority, that's a reason (in my opinion) to stay in an employee position and work through those qualms. Ask God to give you humility and sober-mindedness to help you contribute. If/when you do go freelance, start with preparation and a mission.
“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” - Hebrews 13:17
Responsibility scares you. Let's be honest; who isn't scared of responsibility? Maybe you were super excited to get promoted, but now that you see how important you are, it freaks you out. Even if you don't have much on your plate, what you do have may hold a lot of weight. What if you mess something up? It's tempting to stick with familiarity, but then you won't grow. It's a good thing if a venture scares you a little. Reach out to mentors in your field, and seek wisdom to steer your thoughts in a clear direction.
“Each one should test their own actions.Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.” - Galatians 6:4-5
The big picture doesn't motivate you.Your job doesn't have to go toward saving orphans to make a difference. Our society would fall apart if the many, many "basic" roles were not filled. Yet your passions do matter. You can practice contentment and open up to new possibilities. God gave you gifts for a reason, and He wants you to uniquely pursue your calling. You should work toward your dream job, and you should make changes if your employer doesn't match your values. In the meantime, give your best where you are and reflect on ways to improve your "toolbox."
“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” - 1 Peter 4:10
Your income isn't sustainable. What if you like your job but not your salary? The Bible says that our hearts shouldn't follow money. Our lives are fuller when our goals aren't materialistic. If money is the only reason to switch jobs, don't chase after comparison. You will never have enough when money leads you. However, to do good, you need to care for yourself. If you're struggling with your current income, that might be the push you need to move on to a new chapter. Pray for God to set your eyes on His purpose and know He will provide.
“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; do not trust your own cleverness.Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone,for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” - Proverbs 23:4-5
Don't "jump the gun." I tend to get bored easily and get the impulse to jump ship when I'm not excited by what I'm doing. However, as I grow, I'm learning that patience helps me enjoy my life more consistently. When was the last time you took a big leap without preparing yourself? Do you have any regrets? Finding the balance between over-thinking and recklessness is challenging, but that sweet spot produces continuous peace. Before you dive into job applications or ask your boss for a list of new tasks, stop and analyze where your aim is. Our minds are often deceptive and fleeting, so it can make all the difference to work through your thoughts and come back to the topic in a few days. Here are some tips for praying about a job decision:Stay open to fresh insight. Chances are, you have a direction you're leaning, but God may place something different on your heart. Don't just look for validation. God sees your future and has far greater plans than you can begin to dream. Tell God how you feel. He already knows, but talking through it could help you realize your true feelings. Practicing transparency will also help you let go of your burdens and build your relationship with Jesus. Take action. God isn't going to whisper in your ear, "Ditch your job; your genius business idea will instantly take off because it's my will." You still have to move your own two feet. Use discernment and move cautiously but not in slow motion. Ultimately, what matters most is how your decision will bring you closer to Jesus. Recognize the areas where God convicts you, and see how you can apply that to your work life.
“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” - Proverbs 16:3
What can you do if you hate your job but have no other options? First of all, ask God for peace. You can do that at any time, even in the middle of your work day. You don't have to voice your prayers audibly; God knows your thoughts and feels when you trust Him. Prayer may not provide instantaneous answers, but it will renew your mind.
"But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint." - Isaiah 40:31
God doesn't give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). That means we should put in the work to live our best lives. There are circumstances outside of our control, but we have the personal responsibility to improve where we can. God uses all things for good and He will always walk with us as we navigate our paths.
Written Content Coordinator at Sun Valley Community Church. An avid writer since the age of 5, who loves to explore new ideas and places. Inspired by Jesus, books, and travel.