52 People Share Telltale Signs That You Need To Leave Your Job

If you are on the fence about your job, some HR specialists recommend something called the Sunday evening test. The simplified version goes like this, if you start to have a gentle feeling of dread for seemingly no immediate reason on a Sunday (assuming you don’t work weekends), it might mean you really need to start applying to other places.

Some internet users shared their own stories in this online group. We reached out to Alan at Undercover Recruiter to learn some more about red flags when searching for a job, to hopefully avoid some of the problems listed by internet users here. And if you want to keep reading job horror stories, Bored Panda has you covered, check out our other articles here and here.


When the paycheck is late or bounces

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If they refuse to respect your health or your family’s.

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When you dread going to bed because you know you have to get up and go to work tomorrow.

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We asked Undercover Recruiter about some potential red flags in the job application itself. “This is a tricky one, because what makes a workplace terrible for one person might make it a great place for someone else. For example, the phrases 'like a family', and 'highly social' suggest that it's the kind of company where they hold a weekly potluck, and a 'happy hour' after work every Friday.”

“Some people love that. For an introvert, though, that kind of place would be horrible. A lot of very formal, bureaucratic language in a job posting - more like a job description than an advertisement - suggests that the company is highly structured, with a lot of processes and procedures. That's great if you enjoy working in those kinds of environments. If you thrive with more flexibility, though, it's probably not somewhere you'll enjoy working.”


I've only ever walked out from 1 job. I decided to quit when I started getting to work early but ended up late because I would sit in my car dreading to go in.

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When the new person who was just hired is making more money than you.

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I am OUT if someone in authority has anger issues / yells at employees.

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“Generally, though, there are a few things that almost always indicate problems. A really vague job description - one that leaves you wondering what the actual duties are - is a bad sign. When a company is hiring, they should have a very clear idea of what they want the person to do, and should be able to articulate that. Spelling and grammar mistakes aren't a good thing. It suggests disorganization and a lack of attention to detail, in a public-facing place where everything should be pretty much perfect. Lastly, I'd recommend avoiding a company that emphasizes 'future earning potential' over the current compensation. Even in a sales position where commissions are part of the package, an initial offer should still be competitive,” they added as something to be on the lookout for. 


On Thursday my boss let me know I have to prove I’m worth my barely livable wage, so we’re going to have a meeting every day next week to see how I’m going to make the company more money. I had two interviews today.

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When you dont care if you get fired.

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When I get an offer for more money.

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Now, what about if you are already in a job, what might be some danger signs that it’s time to leave? “The big one to watch for, particularly at a time when we're (possibly) heading into a recession, is silence. If owners and managers begin having closed door meetings and hushed phone conversations, this can be a warning sign that the company is in financial trouble. This doesn't guarantee that your job is in jeopardy, of course, but this would be a good reason to at least keep your options open.”


I was having a root canal. The doctor asked why I was smiling. Told him because I wasn’t at work. That’s when I knew it was time to quit

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When all you can think about is how frustrated you are, or how much you wished you weren’t there, or how much you hate your coworkers.

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When they say “and if you don’t like it, there’s the door.” I always take the door. It’s my hard red line.

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“On a similar note, a lack of feedback at an individual level can be a warning sign that you're about to be let go. It might not be because of your job performance; the company might just be looking at cutting back in some areas. But if your manager seems to be avoiding you - giving you no feedback at all - it can be a sign that they're starting to cut ties. In that case, it's best to address it directly with your manager. To specifically ask for feedback on your performance, and 'read between the lines' for things you should be concerned about. Finally, a mass exodus at the management level is almost always a bad sign. If two, three, or more executives suddenly depart, and there's no good explanation for it, that's a good time to start brushing up your resume. People in management have the inside take on what's happening with the company. If they're leaving en masse, they probably know something you don't.”


Everyone should be looking constantly just to see what the market currently is.

Money wise I'm leaving as soon as I can make a significant amount more than I currently do unless I really like everything else about my job then I'm going to try and get a raise and see what happens.

Other than money the fastest way I'm looking for a job is when management starts going on a micro managing crusade.

I don't need you hovering over me all day. Give me some metrics to hit and leave me to do my job.


When I start absolutely hating even waking up in the morning…I don’t like working in general, but when I start hating life every single day, I’m leaving.

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Management changing hands constantly.

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Alan was kind enough to share some other details and tips for those either looking for a new job or planning to leave their current employer. “First, no matter how bad a workplace was, remember that in future interviews, it's best to avoid being too negative. Complaining about your previous managers, or the company as a whole, can come off the wrong way. You can mention issues, of course (nobody leaves a great job that they love, after all), just remember that you're best to temper those with some positive attributes about the job. Secondly, when you're looking for a job and worried about 'red flags', review sites like Glassdoor are great... when you use them correctly. Remember that disgruntled employees are more likely to leave a review than happy ones. So just because a company has negative reviews doesn't mean that it's necessarily a bad place to work. Instead of just looking for the number of good vs. bad reviews, read a bunch of them and look for themes. If there's a common thread - employees being expected to work consistently long hours, to be available all hours of the day, for example - you'll pick up on it.”


Invasive thoughts about work while at home and off the clock.

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When they layoff the nicest, most loyal and experienced person in your department. That told me it was about his salary and nothing more. If they are cutting costs like that…time to go. It’ll only get worse.


When none of the employees have been there a year, but all the managers have been their 20+ years.

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When your boss legitimately gives you a full blown panic attack not from doing anything, but just by being present in the room.


When I start having nightmares about the job.

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When I am stressing my family because I cannot stop venting about how work is stressing me.

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When your boss happens to ‘forget’ about your planned vacation and wants you to work. Especially when it was discussed months ahead of time.

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When a customer talks to you like garbage/sexually assaults you/does anything to treat you like a non human and management does not do anything about it.

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I'm a mechanic. One day I was at a yard sale, looking at some old tools. I started chit-chatting with the seller and he asked me where I worked. I hesitated for a minute, then said "I work for ...... one of the local tree services". He replied "You work for (company name), don't you?" I replied "Yes, how did you know?. He said "You were too ashamed to admit it".

He was right. I put in my notice the following week.


Couple things. Harassment or bullying, pay does not match what is expected. Pay does not cover cost of living.


When I start crying on the drive home

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I had a stroke at my desk. Still stayed there for nearly two years


When you absolutely dread getting up in the morning, or are so stressed in the evenings that you can't sleep.

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When things don’t change, there’s no progression in your position, and those with less experience are getting promoted to better positions over the ones with experience.

Hence why I submitted my request for a lay off this afternoon.

Too many options out there to stay stagnant

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My personal favorite was waking up every morning trying to remember if I had any meetings on my calendar or if I could call in sick without it being noticed too much. Every. Morning. I was the director of sales at my location in a very large company. I just couldn't deal with any aspect of the job anymore and the projects I was working on were starting to fall apart. I was having a really hard time finding a way to care about that.


When the perks have just about all gone and they threaten to take the last one.


When I just feel it my gut. It’s like a failing relationship when you finally face the uncomfortable truth that things are no longer working. Or as others have said, more money/new hires making more.


Needing to go on blood pressure medication is probably a good one.


My boss told me that if we wanted compliments or positivity, we were in the wrong profession.

I was a teacher.

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When you are bringing home your frustration and it's impacting your personal relationships.


Getting gaslight by a boss and seeing management close ranks to protect each other.


When my boss doesn’t trust me to do the job they hired me to do without breathing down my neck or micromanaging me. If you don’t trust me to do the specific thing you hired me for then do the s**t yourself.


I think for me it was when it physically hurt to get out of bed in the morning and get to work. My body would just tighten up. And then I had not yet learned to separate my personal life from work b******t. Things at my jobs consumed me for a long time until I realized this is unhealthy. I have to not care anymore.

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When they start giving you more responsibilities with flashy new title, without any raise in pay.


When your heart rate is in the 130's and you haven't gotten to work yet.


When you have to be heavily medicated with anti depressants and multiple different anxiety meds. That's the boat I'm currently in


"If you have time to lean, you have time to clean"




When the person orienting you has their notice in and is leaving in less than a week. Bonus points for when they can’t stop s**t talking the place.


When your whole life just halts because you dread work so much it ruins everything else.


When I feel so bitter and disillusioned that I know I can’t continue there anymore.


When they keep changing goals to make them unobtainable.


When the person who knows less is making more than you


When you stand in the shower and cry.


When my manager starts to call me outside of my working hours.


For me, it's always been when I dread going there every day. I can like my coworkers, but when I get to the point where even the thought of going to work causes me stress, it's time to leave.


not getting YoY pay increase to match inflation.