quit your job

While staring at the dull and dreary walls of your office, you may have indulged this common little fantasy: During a particularly draining meeting, you rise to your feet, say “screw this,” and waltz out of the room, free from your ever-mind-numbing day job. It could be that simple; you merely quit your job.

At the start of 2016, Time Magazine reported that the number of Americans quitting their jobs voluntarily was at a nine-year high. Financial stability, a day-to-day routine, plus the benefits and health care: These things are nothing at which to be sniffed. Yet, all too often, they are simply not enough to keep us at the grindstone day in, day out. Here are some perfectly valid reasons to quit your job.

quit job

1. You’re Underpaid for Your Work

Are you toiling away day after day for mere pennies? According to some recent research by Paychex, the primary reason that so many people quit their jobs is because they are underpaid. A massive 68% of the people asked stated that a low salary was the main reason they decided to walk. This shouldn’t come as a shock to any of us; when you work hard, you expect proper compensation for your time and efforts. The moment you realize you’re underpaid, it’s only natural that you’d lose any lust for the role you once had.

2. The Constant Strain of the Job is Hindering Your Health

It doesn’t take Einstein to conclude that your work has a direct impact on your general health. Just this year, Ohio State University found that people who were unsatisfied with their careers in their 20s and 30s were most likely to suffer overall health problems by the time they hit their 40s. Workers who were displeased with their roles were more likely to suffer mental problems such as depression and, later, cardiovascular issues.

As though that’s not terrifying enough, maintaining a healthy weight could also be at risk if you’re stressed out at work. A 2005 study found that there was a link between the demands of your role and how much weight you gain over an extended period. Those who are under strain within their career tend to gain more weight than those who are comparatively less stressed. Put simply, less work woes equal less pounds.

3. Commuting Makes You Want to Quit Your Job

Literature and movies tend to romanticize the work commute without cause. There are countless sickeningly sweet chick-flicks in which the protagonist takes an hour-long train ride to work each morning. Perhaps her eyes catch those of a man two seats down from her. Perhaps their hands brush as they both reach for their bags or he holds a strategically placed umbrella over her head as she steps down onto the platform.

While it would be an ideal reality in which to live, the morning commute is nothing like you see on the big screen. Instead, it’s a concoction of weird smells, claustrophobically small spaces, and awkward chit-chat. One study from the University of Waterloo revealed that the longer people spend getting to work, the less satisfied with their life they will be. Hence, getting the hell out of there and finding a role closer to home is the only logical step.

4. Your Boss is the Devil Incarnate (or Maybe You Just Don’t Like Them)

Unless you’re inexplicably lucky, the chances are you’re not going to adore your boss. This is the person who controls your pay, your time, and your workload. Research suggests that when a leader (i.e. your boss) is abusive, it affects the entire workforce. That means that the whole office will feel the wrath of your manager’s bad moods. If you have valid reasons for disliking your boss, you might consider taking them to HR. If, on the other hand, you plainly dislike them without them doing anything unprofessional, it may be time to call it a day.

5. Put Simply, it’s Just Not Your Dream Job

Disregard everything else you’ve just read and take away only this final point: If the job you have right now is not what you want to be doing, you shouldn’t be doing it. Chasing after some pie-in-the-sky role may not be completely realistic, but it’s certainly better than settling for something just because you think you’ve no other choice. You get one life, and wasting the minutes of it in a role you hate is ludicrous. That’s not to say that you ought to leave without any backup plan; but working toward a career which satisfies you is essential for your well-being, both physical and mental. So, what are you waiting for again?