Quitting your job isn’t something you just do on a whim. Especially if you don’t have anything else lined up. That’s why you’ve been waffling back and forth for weeks (if not longer.
If you’re asking yourself if this is the right move, the short answer is that it depends.
Go for it if:
- You’ve Been Building Your Network for a While
Know a dozen people you can reach out to for help finding a new job? That’ll definitely help you find your next position.
2. You’ve Saved Up
Once you’ve got a few months’ worth of living expenses squirreled away, you can take the time to find a job that’s right for you, and not settle for the first thing that comes along.
3. You’re on the Verge of a Breakdown
A job that’s affecting your health—causing serious anxiety, panic attacks, or depression—isn’t worth the paycheck. (It’s also something you should consider discussing with a mental health professional, and this article can help you understand whether a mentor, coach, or therapist is the best person to talk to.)
4. You Can’t Pinpoint an End Goal
If this job has zero bearing on where you want to go and what you want to do, it’s not as big a deal if you burn a bridge.
5. You’ve Tried to Make it Work
If you’ve done your best to remedy the thing that’s making you unhappy and there’s still no sign of improvement, it’s time to give notice.
Please don’t do it if:
- If you’re Planning to Start Networking Once You’re Unemployed
You don’t want to make your initial email a cold ask for a job. Instead, start warming up your network in the meantime. For help there, here are three better ways than “remember me” to start your email.
2. You’re Thinking: “I’ll Just Figure it Out”
You don’t want to jump into a job you hate to make ends meet or have to take out a loan. And remember, even if a great offer comes your way, it could be a while before they want you to start—and even longer before you get your first paycheck.
3. You’re Simply Ready for a Change
You deserve better. That said, it’s worth staying just a little longer if you’ve been miserable for a while and a few more months won’t drive you to your wit’s end—but will allow you to have a financial cushion. Try to make it through so that when you do give your notice, you have enough saved up to wait for a job you’re excited about.
4. This Job Is a Stepping Stone on the Way to Something Amazing
Is there some major benefit that comes with staying put, like a transfer to the department of your dreams, a huge raise that’ll let you finally start saving for retirement, or a boss who knows everyone in the industry? Sometimes you have to do something that makes you miserable in order to get to something really great.
5. There’s More You Could Do
Something—a micro-managing boss, a nosy co-worker, mountains of unnecessary paper work—is making you want to quit, but you haven’t tried to fix it. Try talking to HR, suggesting a new system to cut down on paperwork, or wearing headphones at your desk. You might be able to eliminate the problem without having to find another job.
Quitting your job without any idea what you’ll do next isn’t a decision to be taken lightly. With that said, it can also set you on the path to do what you’re meant to. So, at its core, this choice is about what’s riskiest—taking a chance or staying still. If you’re not quite sure, go for a jog or walk and think about it. Roll through the list above to see which describes you best.
Check out my related post: Why you should not do rage quitting?