We have all had frustrating days or even weeks at work. We have all had times when we are not excited by the thought of going into the office. Convinced our manager is just out to make our lives difficult. But when do you know it is serious enough to actually resign?

Do you feel challenged?

Did you know that research shows employees are more likely to resign if they are bored as opposed to overworked? Providing of course they are not overloaded with tasks that are simple and boring. If the work is easy, doesn’t challenge a person, and there is no chance to learn or develop new skills, its usually a perfect time to move on.

A good way to test this is to ask yourself when was the last time you had the opportunity to do something new? If you can’t think of a recent example, it might be career suicide to stay. You may be comfortable, but you aren’t going to be moving your career forward. Its been proven that a sense of pride and purpose in your work is vital. Without it, you will become less creative, productive and engaged.

People don’t leave companies they leave bosses

Research has proved this to be true. Gallup looked at 25 million employee records over several years, and the number 1 reason for quitting by a long way was a person’s boss. Of all the traits that make up a bad boss, there is one redeeming feature – is your boss supportive and helpful? Great managers empower their people to grow and develop. It might be a quiet period at work, or an essential project that may be dull, but must be completed which means you aren’t being challenged right now. But if you have a good boss, it might be worth sticking around.

However, if you have a bad boss who is just a task master who just orders business as usual tasks to be completed, and shuts down any opportunities to do new things, that could be different. Do they value your insights? Do they treat you with respect? Do they show you empathy? If not, time to wave goodbye.

Are you rewarded fairly?

A simple question, but not an easy one to answer. Research has shown that even if a person can get more money elsewhere, providing they feel fairly paid and have sufficient challenges, they won’t move just to get more money. But if a person feels they are not fairly paid for the work they put in, and/or know that their peers receive more, then they will look to leave.

If you are feeling this way, then leaving could be an option but not one to take right away. First you should talk with your manager and HR team. If they can’t have a constructive discussion around your salary, then that is a red flag. The best way to get a raise is to position it as a value exchange. Providing you can deliver some activity that is of higher value your employer should respond in kind. Ensure it is all documented with clear outcomes. However, if they wont even consider this, it’s time to leave.

Is there room to grow?

We can be fairly paid, have a great boss and have some great challenges, but all of that needs to be leading somewhere. Are you going to be promoted? Is the company big enough to fulfill your ambitions? The easiest way to tell, is to have a look at your boss. Have they been in that role for more than 5 years? If the answer is yes, then its highly likely they aren’t going anywhere. If they aren’t going anywhere, where does that leave you? You have guessed it, looking for somewhere else to work.

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