Can you pinpoint the exact moment you decided to quit a particular job? That moment when you said to yourself: "I just can't do this anymore"?
A recent Tickld article asked 30 employees to share a work moment where it became crystal clear they would have to quit. And boy, do these employees have some jaw-dropping, and occasionally sad, stories to tell.
What Makes Employees Suddenly Decide to Quit
It turns out there are common threads of a shared employee quitting experience! There are key moments in workplace time where we as employees can mentally throw in the towel and decide it's time to move on, right now. Without further delay -- because I know you need to quit reading this and get back to work -- here are 18 workplace events that can make employees decide to quit (and sometimes, right on the spot):
1. Getting a new manager. The new boss is not same as the old boss, and this job is just not working out anymore! Maybe it's a personality clash, or perhaps it's a work style clash? One thing is certain: some employees are already managing their departure by applying for new jobs (or corporate transfers) on the down low.
2. Not being thanked for doing an outstanding job. Look at you, going above and beyond on the job for the company and fellow colleagues on a Huge Project! Too bad the boss couldn't even acknowledge your hard work with a simple "thank you" just this once. Wow, what a thankless job. Thankfully, you have plenty of outstanding employment options out there.
3. Being handed a bigger workload but no raise. You've been given a lot more responsibility at work, but you're still being paid like a brand-new hire! What gives? Not your employer, that's for sure. You come back from lunch the next day to find an overflowing inbox that's tipped over on to your desk, and that's the moment you decide to add your updated resume to the overflowing inbox of potential employers.
4. Feeling nickled and dimed. From overtime pay to reimbursements, it's hard to get the company to show you the money. There's a memorable moment where the employer's cheapness resonates more than it ever has before, and that's when you decide you're worthy of a new workplace as soon as possible.
5. Being told to up-sell unethically. It's clear a customer is vulnerable and is experiencing tough times, but the boss still wants you to sell them something they don't need and/or to stick the customer with an unfair deal they don't deserve. Your conscience says it's wrong, because you have a conscience. Suddenly, you're a very conscientious job seeker.
6. The laziest teammate gets the promotion. You work, work, work and then the teammate who does nothing somehow lands the Big Promotion. This isn't the way things are supposed to work, and now you're working your way out of this company at the earliest opportunity.
7. Not acknowledging illness and personal obligation. You are managing a chronic health condition, caring for an ill family member or trying to balance work and home, but management treats these obligations like annoying, trivial inconveniences. Eventually, there's a pivotal moment where you really, really need the employer's understanding, but you don't receive it. Ouch. There aren't enough Band-Aids to cover the wounds to your morale at this point, and so you leave.
8. Being put in dangerous situations. Maybe safety standards on the job are lacking. Maybe a client (or co-worker) has a bad reputation but the employer doesn't think twice about putting you in situations where you must deal with them one-on-one. Bottom line: There is no safe space at work, and it's time to get out for your own safety.
9. Hiring a consultant to do your job "better." Management gets in its head that your team needs some third-party "help," so they call in a consultant to tell you how to do your job better. Funny how the consultant doesn't know what they're doing. Now you're busy setting up informational interviews while the consultant tries to decipher the information in the binder.
10. Witnessing a heartless firing. You could tolerate your job -- until management fired the kind, dependable co-worker on the team who desperately needed the job due to life circumstances. In an instant, you've lost all respect for this soulless workplace that doesn't seem to have a heart. You decide this is the moment it's time to throw your heart and soul into finding a new job!
11. Never getting any backup. The company is short-staffed, and is begging you to stay for just one more hour. The problem is, they've been asking you to do this for months on end because they won't hire anybody new, and tonight is the night you've waited for all year because you have concert tickets to a sold-out show! Now you're stuck at work, miss the opening act, and ask your friends at intermission if they know of anyone who's hiring. You're determined to exit this company stage right!
12. Lying liars and the lying lies they tell. No, your colleagues aren't "misspeaking," they're a bunch of lying liars! Everyone at work lies, all the time. Then there's a situation that finally gets you to be honest with yourself. You can't lie to yourself anymore; it's time to quit!
13. There's always surprise money for management perks. Sorry, there isn't enough money in the budget to buy new mouse pads for employees -- the budget is thistight! -- but management won't be in the office early next week because they're going on a four-day, $75,000 retreat to a swanky, five-star resort. Um, what? To you, this resort might as well be called The Final Straw.
14. Your co-worker cheats one time too many. Your teammate is doing very well at work because this co-worker always cheats! The boss trusts, but never verifies, this co-worker's work output and holds them up as a good work example. You could deal with it -- until That One Time (s)he cheated big time at your expense. You knew then that it was time to quit, and you did.
15. Management treats staff like robots. Management says you clocked in 1.43 seconds late to work this morning. Really? 1.43 seconds? You could see this employer replacing you with a robot and pondering how the robot is cheating the company out of electricity. This is the moment you decide to stop going through the motions and finally quit for good!
16. Victories aren't equally shared. Your boss gets five cookies, your new colleague get four cookies and you get...nothing? Where is your reward for doing the lion's share of the work on the project? Hmm. This job suddenly feels like a half-baked idea. You go find a new employer so you don't get burned like this ever again.
17. Feeling unfairly accused. The boss has pointed a finger at you as the cubicle-lurking culprit, but you didn't do "it." You later find out that a co-worker did "it," but no apology is forthcoming. Nobody will blame you for shopping your resume around to employers who don't accuse employees before having all the facts.
18. Failing to reward employees as promised. The team is offered a grand prize for meeting a goal, only to have their hopes dashed when no prize is forthcoming after meeting said goal. You were ready for your Oprah car moment, but all you got was...bees? Now your workplace morale is idling in the driveway until you can zoom from zero to 60 into a new job at another company. I love this gif.
And there you have it! 18 workplace situations that can tempt employees to say, "That's it, I quit right now!" And with this, I hereby quit this blog post. I never wanted to write here, anyway.