4 Reasons It’s Okay to Leave Your Dream Job

4 Reasons It’s Okay to Leave Your Dream Job - Style Nine to Five

Not every job is a great one, even if it’s going to propel you to your dream career. Jobs with responsibilities you can’t wait to take on or benefits you’d love to have can wind up being downright awful for your lifestyle for a number of reasons. The hard part is having to quit these jobs or turn down job offers, but if you find your newest job opportunity falls into the following four categories, turning down this job may be the best thing you can do for yourself.

1. Toxic Work Environment

While you may think the next three factors on the list through and decide how you feel, a toxic work environment is almost never worth the opportunity. When there are other job opportunities out there in your field – even if they take a while to come by – your mental health isn’t worth sacrificing for any job. If you feel a constant pressure on you, feel you have no support or trust in your workplace, are outright abused by managers and co-workers, or anything similar, the opportunity is not worth it.

Identify how your job is making you feel – if you constantly find yourself breaking down about it or dreading clocking in because of how you’ll be treated, it’s time to find something new, even if you’d prefer to stick it out a little longer while you job hunt instead of outright quit. If you’re applying to a job and have suspicions it might be a toxic work environment, seek out red flags, connect with former employees on LinkedIn to ask about their time at the job or look up reviews on sites like Glassdoor.

2. Long Commute

A long commute is very rarely worth the job that’s at the end of it. Think about it – even if you’re making a lot of money, a big chunk of that is going towards the gas needed to get you to and from your job, plus there are unexpected complications like snowstorms or construction that could prevent you from getting to work at a decent time. Besides, how can a job really add to your quality of life if you spend multiple hours of every day commuting back and forth?

3. Compensation Doesn’t Work for You

When job hunting, you should not be taking on jobs for less money than your work is worth or less money than you’ll be able to get by for. If it’s a great opportunity but you feel like you’ll be starving or struggling to pay rent, then consider if you could find something better, or take the time and constantly look for new jobs while you work that one. It’s hard to miss out on a great opportunity because the pay isn’t good, but you shouldn’t be worrying about your workload then going home and worrying about how you’re going to keep the lights on.

4. Bad Fit for Your Phase of Life

When I was preparing to get my driver’s license, I got an interview for a summer internship that was perfect for me after months of struggling to find work I liked – but I couldn’t take it because my road test was at the end of it, and the hours and workload would have prevented me from practicing. I still wonder what opportunities I would’ve been afforded if I had taken that internship, but on the other hand, it would’ve taken me much longer to get my license and I would’ve instead missed out on the opportunities my license got me.

Maybe for you, long hours and heavy workloads mean you won’t get to see your kids all the time, you won’t be able to finish certain courses for school, or you won’t be able to spend ample time with your best friend before they move away. It can be any reason as long as it’s important to you. What you need to remember is that work isn’t your entire life, and if a job opportunity is going to infringe on the aspects of your lifestyle that are important to you or set you back in other areas of your life, it may not be worth it. Just decide what’s most important for the lifestyle you’re living before making that decision: the job or whatever else you have going on. Remember – job opportunities will always be out there, but you may not get that valuable time in your life back.

It’s okay to quit a job or turn down an opportunity if it won’t work out for you. Don’t let one loss stop you from moving forward in your career journey. Train your brain to stop thinking in “what ifs” – leave the past in the past and know there will be many more possibilities in your future.

If anything, consider all the things you were looking forward to with this opportunity and use them when hunting for your next one. You can search keywords and scan job postings for similar responsibilities or benefits, look for similar companies, or skim past employees on LinkedIn to see where else they’ve gotten opportunities. Also, remember there are more job opportunities out there and there is much more to life than your work, so hold on tight to the value in what you would’ve given up for the job you missed out on!

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Emily Morrison is a media professional with passions for writing, film and popular culture.

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