If You Can’t Pass This ‘Dinner Table Test’ It’s Probably Time To Find A New Job

The simple test can tell you if it's time to quit.

people eating around dinner table fizkes / Getty Images

We all have good and bad days at our jobs. But what is our overall attitude towards it? One career coach thinks that can determine whether we should stay or go, and we can figure it all out at the dinner table.

Try this simple ‘Dinner Table Test’ to find out if you should move on from your job.

In a TikTok video, Madeline Mann proposed trying out the ‘Dinner Table Test’ to figure out if your job is right for you. It’s pretty straightforward.


“When you sit around the dinner table with your loved ones or hypothetically imagine yourself doing so, and your loved ones ask you how your day was at work, for the majority of those meals, would you be effusive about your day?” Mann asked. “Or, would you typically say something negative?”

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According to Mann, your positive or negative reaction speaks volumes.



If you are excited to talk about your day and the things that happened, like the fun projects you are working on and productive client interactions, your job is probably a great fit for you and you should keep it. However, if you don’t have that kind of reaction to the "Dinner Table Test," then it’s time to look for something new.


“If the majority of things you say about your job around the dinner table are negative, it’s time to revise your resume and find a new job,” Mann explained.

RELATED: If You Can Answer ‘Yes’ To These 10 Questions, It’s Time To Quit Your Job

Is the ‘Dinner Table Test’ really a good determination of job satisfaction?

The "Dinner Table Test" is awfully simple — maybe too much so. After all, there are many factors to consider when it comes to employment. There are plenty of reasons you shouldn’t quit your job even if you hate it, like not knowing what you really want to do or worse, not being able to pay the bills without your salary.

It sounds nice to imagine immediately quitting your job if you aren’t enjoying it, but that isn’t the reality for many people. Financial concerns are enough to give you pause. If you quit without something new lined up, how will you get by? And what is your plan for finding something new?


If you are truly dissatisfied with your job, looking for something new before quitting might be a better, and more realistic, option.

Additionally, you have to consider that the test does not make room for complexities. For example, what if you generally like your job but have a few bad days? Or perhaps your outlook on your day is affected by negative things that happened that aren’t even related to work.

RELATED: Woman Says She Was Fired For Not Liking Her Job — 'Since When Are We Supposed To Like Our Jobs?'

look for a new job if you can't pass the dinner table testPhoto:  AnnaStills from Getty Images / Canva Pro


This confusion seems to extend to comments on Mann's video. One TikTok user agreed with her, saying, “Brilliant advice!” Another didn’t seem so convinced, asking, “What if it’s always just neutral?”

The commenter made a good point. What if you fall in that gray area between positive and negative? What if you are not particularly happy or unhappy with your job? Is that still a sign that you should make a huge life change?

Ultimately, the answers to these questions have to come from each individual. While assessments like the "Dinner Table Test" can help someone weigh their options, they are too basic to account for everything involved in making such a big decision.


They can, however, be a helpful way to evaluate your overall outlook on work, and what you can do to improve it from one day to the next.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.