Are you wondering whether you should quit your job? Job satisfaction surveys indicate that only about 50% of workers are happy with their jobs. Reasons often cited for dissatisfaction include insufficient compensation, too many hours on the job, unrealistic expectations for productivity, stress, toxic co-workers and negative bosses. Here’s a list of more good reasons to quit your job.
If you can put one or more of those reasons on your “Should I quit?” list, you may be wondering if it’s time to make a change. There isn’t an easy yes or no answer. However, if you consider what’s happening at work and what your potential is in the job market you can plan on moving on when the timing is right for you.
Factors to Consider When Deciding to Quit
There are many factors worth considering as you make this possibly life changing decision. First of all, how bad is it? Start by assessing your level of stress. Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms, and do you believe you can trace them to your job: irritability, constant worry, low energy, helplessness, depression, muscular tension, headaches, changes in appetite, dreading going to work after the weekend, continually thinking about quitting your job or telling off your boss?
If so, your job may be posing a serious threat to your emotional and physical health. You should take action to address the problems at work, or consider exploring alternative employment.
What’s Bad About Work?
It can help to try to figure out what the problem is at work. Evaluate whether your dissatisfaction stems from a fundamentally unsuitable set of job responsibilities or other factors like relationships with co-workers or your boss or your workload.
If you are engaged in work that doesn’t align well with your skills, interests or values, then you should begin exploring more suitable options as soon as possible. If you could be happy carrying out your job duties in the right situation, then you might consider whether it would be possible to work with your employer to make some changes.
Check Out the Job Market
Unless your job is unsuitable and intolerable, the best approach is usually to explore alternatives prior to quitting your job. You want to make sure that you will be improving your situation by leaving your job.
In addition, the adage that it is easier to find a job while you are still employed is often true since you will usually be more confident and less desperate. You need to take the time to make sure that your next move is to a more suitable position, and not made out of just the need to pay the bills.
Maintain your productivity and a positive attitude while you conduct your job search so that your references will be as positive as possible. Don’t broadcast your search or your employer may terminate you before you are ready to leave.
When to Quit First, Job Search Second
If you don’t have the time or energy to conduct a viable job search while still holding down your job, then you might need to quit first. In this case, you should still consider what you would like to do for work, and be certain that you would improve your situation, before quitting.
Of course, you will need to consider the financial consequences of quitting before you land another job. Are you or your family depending on that cash flow? Do you have any savings to replace your income? The length of time it will take to find a new job will vary by your credentials, economic conditions in your target industry, location and also your age.
A job search can often take 3 – 6 months or more, so make sure you can meet your financial obligations before quitting. You will generally not be eligible for unemployment compensation if you quit your job. In addition, if you are fired because your boss finds out you are looking for another job, you may jeopardize your chances of getting unemployment as well.
When You Want More Money
If you are planning to quit your job because you believe your compensation is inadequate, make sure you gain an accurate sense of the pay for your field prior to proceeding. Here’s information to help you decide whether you are making enough money.
Ask professional contacts for their estimation of the going rate for someone with your skills. Of course, if you keep your job until you generate a better offer, you will be sure that you can improve your compensation.
If you want to make a career change that will require additional education, you might find it easier to quit, provided that you have a plan to deal with your lost income. It will be easy to explain the transition to future employers, as you can say that you left your job to go back to school to qualify for your new career.
Ready to Quit?
When the reasons to quit outnumber the reasons to stay, it’s time to plan your departure. Here’s how to start a job search, tips for quitting your job and advice for how to handle leaving your job professionally and gracefully.