4 Signs It's Time to Leave Your Job -- Even if Your Paycheck Is Generous

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  • You may be earning a decent wage given your job title and experience level.
  • But money isn't the only factor that should determine whether you stay put or pursue a better job.

You may want to start drafting that resignation letter.

The U.S. labor market is loaded with jobs, and that's driven a lot of people to tender their resignation in recent months in pursuit of better opportunities. You may be thinking of getting a new job yourself. But what if you're paid really well where you are?

Having a great salary could make it possible to not only live comfortably, but also, meet different financial goals, whether it's saving for a home or aggressively funding your IRA to build a retirement nest egg. It may not be easy to give up that generous salary, even if you're ready for a change.

Now in some cases, it does pay to stick with a job that pays well -- especially if you're convinced no other employer will match your salary and you have specific near-term objectives to address, like paying off costly credit card debt. But if any of these four situations apply to you, it could be time to move on to a new job -- even if it means giving up a robust paycheck.

1. Your workplace benefits leave much to be desired

You may get paid well for what you do. But if your employer benefits stink, that devalues your higher paycheck. Imagine your job pays $5,000 more than any other comparable job you've seen, but you also get little paid time off and terrible health insurance that costs you a lot of money. A different job with more robust benefits might work out better for you financially, even if your paycheck itself is smaller.

2. The job is too demanding

It's important to maintain a good work-life balance for the sake of your mental and physical sense. But if your job requires 70-hour workweeks, you may want to seek out an opportunity elsewhere -- one that doesn't have you chained to your desk. As much as you may be hesitant to give up your generous paycheck, when you break your compensation down into an hourly rate, you may find it's not all that impressive -- and that another job that has you working much less might pay better on an hourly basis.

3. The atmosphere is toxic

It's one thing to power through a tough job with the help and support of a great manager and colleagues. But if your workplace is overwhelmingly toxic, it may not be the place for you. Even if you have the personality to cope with that sort of atmosphere, if you work for a company or manager that doesn't have your back, you could, at some point, wind up on the chopping block for no good reason. You may want to seek a job that's far less cutthroat.

4. It's just not what you want to do

Some industries pay more money than others. But if you've landed in a field that pays well but just isn't what you want to do, then that's reason enough to give up your generous salary and pursue something different. You may still have 10, 20, or 30 years in the workforce ahead of you. And you deserve to spend your days doing work that's meaningful and engaging.

It's hard to leave a job that comes with a giant paycheck. But in the long run, you may not be doing yourself any favors by staying. It's okay to stick out a well-paying job that isn't right for a few months as you work to build an emergency fund or pay off unhealthy debt. But once you've met those goals, it pays to start blasting out your resume and networking to find a job that's a better fit.

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