Independence. It’s a great concept – leaving the old for something new.

Hey Everyone,

Melissa Varischetti here, owner of 

It’s July, and hopefully all of you were able to celebrate the 4th with some fireworks, cookouts, and time with family. In the spirit of Independence Day, this month’s blog post is all about declaring independence from your job – in other words, when it’s time to leave and go on to something else. You may have heard of “The Great Resignation”, where employees are leaving their employers en masse for other opportunities. Before you join them in search of other things, you’ll want to review common red flags in a job, reasons NOT to leave, and finally, what to do when you find yourself a job-seeker rather than an employee. Thankfully we’ll be covering all 3 of those things in this month’s post. Let’s get started!

Common Red Flags In A Job – Warning Signs That It’s Time To Declare Your Independence

Bad Management

The first thing I think of when someone says “what’s a red flag in a job” is bad management. I’m sure most of you have experienced working for a manager that wasn’t great, or at least you know someone who did. However, just because one manager isn’t the best is not necessarily a good reason to leave your current company. Generally you’re looking for at least 2 red flags before shipping out for other things. Obviously bad management is one, and when I say that, I’m talking about management that’s taking a company in a direction it shouldn’t be going in. To say that another way, if you summarize the company’s mission statement and it doesn’t align with the goals, priorities, and coaching from your managers, and said management doesn’t have any interest in changing or even having a conversation, consider that a red flag. 

Not Enough Money

Another red flag involves money. If your personal financial situation isn’t working out because of low pay, or sub-par benefits, it may be time to look for another job. If you know you need $25 an hour plus health insurance but your current job has you at $20 without insurance, you can either negotiate with your employer for a raise, or just call it quits, declare your independence, and find somewhere that offers that particular compensation package without the need for a negotiated raise. 

Long Commute

Commuting is money. Regardless of which method you use to get to work, there is a cost involved. If nothing else, there’s the time to get to and from your employer, not to mention commuter costs like bus and train fare, or gas plus wear and tear if you drive in. Remember that everyone’s situation can change from time to time, and just because something was working a few years ago doesn’t mean it’s still the best thing for you. For example, right out of college, taking an hour-long commuter train to work wasn’t a big deal. But then you got a dog and bought a house, and suddenly taking another 10 hours out of your workweek just to commute didn’t seem like such a good idea. 

Now that we’ve gone over a few red flags, let’s look at some reasons to stay in your current job. 

Reasons To Stay In Your Current Job And Not Declare Independence

Great Pay And Benefits

Even if your manager isn’t the best, or the commute is rather long, if you’re making enough money to stay on your budget and do all the things you want to do, it might be worth sticking it out where you’re currently at. Especially if you’re taking advantage of benefits like health insurance, keep in mind if you switch employers you may not be able to get similar insurance benefits immediately – there’s usually a waiting period that can be anywhere from 30 – 90 days before those benefits activate. 

Good Community

For better or worse, most of us will spend most of our week at work with our co-workers. If you have a great community at the office and enjoy working with those other folks, you might not want to jump ship and lose that community. After all, being happy at work is its own benefit, sometimes worth more than a little more money. 

Late-Career Benefits

Even though many employers will let you rollover an old 401(K) retirement plan to another account, if you have later-career benefits like vested stock options and a pension, you might want to consider staying on until those benefits activate. Usually, especially if we’re talking about stock units, if you leave before the stocks are available, you won’t be able to cash them out or otherwise take advantage of their cash value. Similarly, not every employer will let you cash out your pension plan when you leave. And even if you are able to rollover a 401(K), your new employer might not match your contributions at the same rate as your current employer, which means you’ll have to take a greater paycheck deduction to be at the same place as before (which means less money in your pocket, even if the pay is the same). 

Now that we’ve reviewed some reasons to leave as well as some reasons to stay, we’ll wrap up our post by reminding you of some great tips to help in that job search if you do decide to leave. 

How To Job Search

I could write a lot about job searching. In fact, I already have! If you need some advice about how to job search, I recommend checking out some blog posts from the archives: 

And there you have it, folks – the guide to knowing when it’s time to declare independence from your job. Or not, as the case may be. 

As always, let us know in the comments below if there are other red flags you’ve seen in a job, or if there are other reasons you would stay in a job. 

Until next time,