Mental Health Matters: How to Tell if Quitting Is the Best Career Move?

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Call centers can have fast-paced and demanding environments. While some stress is normal, it’s important to be aware of the signs that your mental health might be taking a hit. We’ll explore some signs to watch out for and alternative solutions you can explore before reaching the point of quitting.

 

The Current Workplace Mental Health Landscape

Feeling the strain of mental health challenges at work? You’re not alone. In fact, a whopping 86 percent of employees still see mental health as a pressing concern in the workplace.1

Why? Burnout and toxic management practices are hitting hard, leaving many feeling drained and disillusioned. Add in stagnant wages, and it’s clear that broader economic issues are fueling the fire of workplace stress. This toxic combination can lead to Call Center Stress Syndrome. It’s a real issue that can result in decreased productivity, poor customer service, and increased healthcare costs.

But here’s the thing: when all that stress piles up, it can ignite a powerful urge to quit. The numbers also speak volumes: a whopping 57 percent of employees are battling burnout, and only 48 percent feel truly cared for in 2023. This is a sharp drop from 56 percent in 2022 and 59 percent in 2021.2

You’re not alone in feeling this way. However, it’s important to take a step back and assess your situation. Knowing when it’s time to quit and whether you can work things out are both crucial considerations.

 

Is It Time to Move On?

Working in a call center can be tough on mental health, but recognizing when it’s time to consider quitting is important for your well-being. Here are some signs to watch for:

 

Chronic Stress

Call center jobs can be fast-paced, and it’s normal to feel stressed when you have a big project or a looming deadline. But if that pressure becomes chronic—if it leaves you constantly overwhelmed, burnt out, or anxious, even after work. It might be a sign that your environment is impacting your well-being more than usual.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to Combat Customer Service Burnout: Symptoms, Causes, and Solutions

 

You’re Always on Call

Does work consistently intrude on your personal life? Does it leave you with no time to relax or pursue hobbies? If your life feels like it revolves around work all the time, it can lead to burnout. If you’ve talked to your employer about creating a better work-life balance and haven’t seen improvement, it might be time to consider other options.

 

Feeling Like You Don’t Belong

Constantly feeling like an outsider at work? Whether due to a lack of support from colleagues or a mismatch in company culture, can chip away at your confidence and sense of self-worth. Remember, you deserve to feel valued and respected. If you’ve tried to improve the situation and things haven’t changed, it’s perfectly okay to walk away and find a more positive environment where you can thrive.

 

Toxic Workplace

Call centers can be fast-paced and demanding environments. While challenging goals and high volumes of interactions are normal, a truly toxic workplace goes beyond that. It can include being pressured to meet unrealistic quotas or goals that are outside your control, along with constantly facing verbal abuse or harassment from callers without management intervention.

If you are constantly stressed about these factors and attempts to improve the situation haven’t succeeded, it’s important to prioritize your mental health and consider exploring other options.

Read More: Empowering Workforce Well-being: 5 Strategies to Align Company Culture with Employee Mental Health

 

When It Makes Sense to Stay Put

Here are the reasons why quitting might not be the answer.

 

Temporary Stress

Sometimes feeling a little stressed at work is normal, like when you have an important project due soon. But there’s a big difference between that temporary strain and chronic, overwhelming stress that makes you miserable even after clocking out.

If it’s just a temporary crunch, don’t panic. There are things you can try to ease the pressure:

  • Open up to your manager about how you’re feeling. Maybe they can help adjust some deadlines or reshuffle your tasks to lighten the load.
  • See if coworkers can help out by taking something off your plate during this busy time.
  • Use stress-relief techniques like taking breaks, doing breathing exercises, or going for walks.

Speaking up is okay! A little communication can go a long way toward making this stressful spell much easier to manage.

However, if the overwhelming feelings persist for weeks or months on end, that’s a red flag. Constant, unrelenting stress means this job may be taking too big a toll on your mental health. In that case, it’s worth exploring options to improve your situation or move on.

Read More: The Importance of Wellbeing and Health in the Workplace

 

Lack of Skills Development

Just because a call center role might not seem like it offers growth opportunities right now doesn’t mean you have to quit after a short time. Many call centers offer training programs or development opportunities in customer service, communication, or project management.

So, what can you do? Talk to your manager. Schedule a meeting to discuss your desire for growth. You could also ask about any training programs or resources available to help you develop new skills relevant to your career goals.

 

Financial Strain

Quitting your job, especially without another one lined up, can cause serious financial stress. If you don’t have savings or a new job secured, consider how it might impact paying bills and meeting other expenses. Before making any quick decisions, ask yourself: Is the job really that bad, or could things get better with some tweaking?

Exploring resources or support networks can also help you through tough times. While quitting might seem like a solution to escape stress, it’s important to consider the long-term effects. Being unemployed can bring more challenges, like financial insecurity and difficulty finding a new job.

 

Short-Term Issues

Resigning might seem like a drastic step if you’re encountering new or relatively minor issues in your call center role. Instead of jumping to conclusions, consider conversing with your supervisor or HR department to address the concerns. Open communication can often lead to swift resolutions in a call center’s fast-paced environment.

Proactively problem-solving can make a significant difference. Whether it’s adjusting your workload, clarifying expectations, or improving communication channels.

 

Know Your Options for Well-Being

Feeling like it might be time to quit, or maybe you’re thinking of sticking it out? Either way, you’ve got options. Before you jump into any big decisions, remember this: taking care of yourself comes first. Quitting can be pretty scary, especially with everything going on in the job market.

So, take a breath, think it over, and remember that you deserve to work somewhere that values your mental health just as much as you do.

 

START FRESH WITH SALEM SOLUTIONS

Thinking of quitting your job or maybe you’ve just left one? We’ve got you covered! Salem Solutions understands the challenges contact center employees face, and we’re here to help. Our team can match your skills and values with the culture of our best call center partners. Send us a message so we can begin helping you look for your next best opportunity.

 

References

1 Robinson, Bryan, Ph.D. “Workplace Safety And Well-Being On The Decline In 2024, Study Shows.” Forbes, 4 Feb. 2024, https://www.forbes.com/sites/bryanrobinson/2024/02/04/workplace-safety-and-well-being-on-the-decline-in-2024-study-shows/?sh=4d1e68a64732.

2 Mayer, Kathryn. “Why Mental Health Will Be One of the Biggest Topics of 2024.” SHRM, 12 Jan. 2024, https://www.shrm.org/topics-tools/news/benefits-compensation/mental-health-burnout-top-trend-aflac-report.

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