3 Signs That It’s Time to Quit Your Testing Job

A former co-worker of mine once worked for a prominent job-search site. I won’t disclose which one, but let’s just say they were a monster in the industry (wink wink). Anyway, she told me that traffic to the site peaked first thing on Monday morning, when disgruntled employees would return from a nice weekend back to a job they loathed. Some would call this a case of the Mondays.

This being Monday morning, chances are there are a few testers out there considering whether or not to quit. To help make that decision a little easier, I wanted to share this advice from a recent Mashable piece, 3 Signs That It’s Time To Quit Your Job. Since it was written for a general audience, I’ve inserted some testing-specific commentary.

1. Your Values Do Not Align With The Company’s Values

It is stressful to be in a situation when you are asked to carry out practices that contradict a company’s written policies or stated values, or that conflict with your own personal values. The cognitive dissonance alone can drive an employee up the wall.

You may decide that the reasons for leaving are mainly because your personal values do not fit with an organization’s values (even if at one time they were aligned), or you may decide to leave because an ​​organization does not even live up to its own values and contradicts its own written rules of professional conduct. Figure out what values are most important to you and what brings you job satisfaction.

In the tester world, I suppose one example of this could be the adoption (or lack thereof) of the agile methodology. A company or department saying they value the agile method is different from actually adhering to its principles. This has been called “fake agile” by Elisabeth Hendrickson and it can make dev and testing teams quite dysfunctional. Bottom line: As a tester, if you’re unable to influence key decision-makers about the benefits of a particular approach – and it’s hampering your ability to do your job - then it may be time to leave.

2. You No Longer Enjoy Your Job

If you really have to force yourself to be happy at work, then it is time to move on. Unhappiness at work, or dreading even going to work, is a sign of some underlying problem. The problem doesn’t have to be with the company either. Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed in your role, or your job is no longer challenging.

If your job is not personally and professionally fulfilling, and there is no way to achieve that satisfaction where you are currently employed, then maybe it’s time to consider a change of employment. You only pass this way in life one time, so choose your path well and do what makes you happy.

I wrote a post last week on myths of software testing, where I caught some flack for saying that testing isn’t boring. What I should have said that testing isn’t necessarily boring. If you, as a tester, cannot get excited about the work you’re doing, then it’s probably time to think about quitting. If you’re  spending most of your time checking as opposed to real testing, it’s probably time to think about quitting. In short, if you’re not having fun, it’s likely time to go. (Note: We have an upcoming Testing Roundtable discussion, where the subject will be “What Do You Like Most About Testing?”)

3. You’re Surrounded By Irresponsible Behavior

Leadership, by its very nature, must be able to create vision and influence others to achieve that vision. No matter if the behavior is unethical or downright senseless for the longevity of the company – it’s logical, and justifiable, to leave a toxic work environment.

It’s not uncommon to find companies with a lousy approach to quality and testing. If you work at one of these companies, your department is probably under-staffed, under-funded and ill-equipped to perform even the most basic functions. QA teams like this always seem to get blamed by management when things (inevitably) go wrong. If you’re not appreciated or understood by your company’sleadership, it may be time to quit.

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Of course, we hope you’re happy at your current testing job, but in case you aren’t, you can always sign up as tester and starting looking for paid testing projects in the uTest Forums. In fact, many testers in our community have actually quit their jobs to become full-time uTesters.

What are some other signs that it’s time to quit your testing job? Let us know in the comment section.

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