The question of whether you should quit your job is something many consider, for both good and less-than-ideal reasons. In this article, we’ll look at the question of should I quit my job and give individuals considering a job change a framework to think through this important decision.
Your job status is a big deal because for most of us, work is a major part of life. Many of us spend more time with people we work with than even our own families. Work is a major part of life, so thoughtfully considering job moves is important. It’s also important to be realistic and know that there are likely very few perfect job scenarios. Like anything in life, there will always be challenges with work. If you need to quit your job to make a move, do your best to line up your next opportunity first so you aren’t going through a period of time without income. This can do severe damage to your finances.
In this article, we’re going to omit some personal family and health reasons from the discussion. There are a myriad of reasons that people reference for considering quitting his or her job. Often times, personal illness or maybe an illness in the family forces some really challenging short-term circumstances that require making some job or career adjustments. These situations are too individual to really provide much general guidance about so the only thing we’d say in these situations is do your best to stick out your job if the situation you’re navigating is truly short-term in nature. If you’re facing a really long-term scenario and have alternative ways to supplement income or you don’t need the income, then it becomes a case-by-case situation.
So, moving forward, we’ll look at non-health/family situations as we assess both good and bad reasons for quitting your job. We’ll also provide guidance on how to navigate the situation.
Should I quit my job? Some bad reasons
You’re not getting along with everyone
In most cases, this is a really bad reason. Often times, the person considering quitting might be just as much at fault for not getting along with co-workers as the co-workers they have a problem with. Unless you have another option to jump to that is a great situation, in most cases, it’s strongly encouraged to just be humble, apologize and try to be a good co-worker and make the best of the situation.
The work is difficult
Well, it’s work! Again, in most situations, this just isn’t a good enough reason to quit your job. Unless there’s something incredibly strenuous leading to health issues (manual labor situations), If the work is a bit above your skill set, talk to your employer about extra training or getting the necessary guidance so that you can do your job well. Explain that you want to ensure you’re adding value. It might be a path to more opportunity, too.
The schedule isn’t ideal
For most people, a less than ideal schedule isn’t a reason to immediately quit a job. It could be a reason to begin searching for other opportunities, especially if your family situation has changed (maybe you just added a child to your family). Most of these situations are known ahead of time, so if you anticipate needing a different work schedule in a few months, either talk to your boss or begin looking for other opportunities.
You want to go back to school
In the vast majority of cases, you need to find a way to do school while working. It’s a really big mistake for most people to kill off their income to go back to school. Unless you are going to see a drastic jump in income by completing a degree, you need to do part-time school WHILE working. Too many people make short-term financial sacrifices for educational programs that don’t lead to increases in income. Instead, the situation sets you back financially.
If you’re unhappy, you need to consider other elements in your life. Is work really why you’re unhappy? If it’s been years of unhappy working at your job, then start looking for other opportunities. Don’t quit your job though and lose income because you’re unhappy at work. Find a solution to jump to so that you maintain your income.
Should I quit my job? Five important good reasons to consider making the move
Now, let’s look at reasons to considering quitting your job. There are indeed valid reasons to quit your job. With all of these situations, it’s encouraged to line up your next opportunity first so that you don’t have a period of time without income.
Your opportunity is capped
Some jobs just have a ceiling on growth. Growth can mean a combination of things like more responsibility, new opportunities for learning and of course, compensation. If you’re a talented individual and you’ve hit the ceiling in your current opportunity, it could definitely be time to begin looking for other options.
You’re aggressively adding value to the company, but not being compensated for it
If you’re under-compensated, then you have a few options. First, you can tell your employer that you’re under-compensated. If you do this, you better be ready to really back it up with all the responsibility and value you bring to the table. If it’s true, then your superior will likely already know this to be true. Be realistic and explain that you want to continue growing with this company, but the compensation has to line up with the increases in value you’re adding to the table as well. Be respectful and direct.
If that doesn’t work, it might be time to look for another job. It could be that your employer is simply unwilling to pay fair salaries, or it might be that the company is struggling and doesn’t have the money. In either situation, it could make sense to find a better place to bring your talents.
You’ve stuck out a toxic environment for years, and it’s time to move on
We discussed above that being unhappy or having people you don’t get along with usually aren’t reasons to quit your job. This doesn’t mean there aren’t truly toxic environments that you should leave. Toxic can mean a lot of things. It can mean that you’re working with a group of people you don’t respect and need to escape it. It might mean your boss is abusive and creates a really poor working environment for everyone. It might mean that the business is engaged in illegal or unethical actions.
You have a much better job offer (short-term and long-term)
Sometimes, you love your job, but a much better opportunity presents itself. In this situation, you have to ensure the long-term success (as much as possible). Don’t just jump ship because they’re going to pay you higher at the new job. Analyze the company and its direction. Can you continue to grow and gain new opportunity long-term?
You’re ready to start your own business and are well prepared to do so
If you’ve been an employee for a long time and are ready to go out on your own, it can be a great reason to quit your job. As long as you’ve prepared and planned for this move for some time. Many people jump into entrepreneurship ill-prepared and it is not a good experience. Many of those people would have been better served to just stay at their current jobs.
Here are some questions to consider to ensure that you’re prepared to jump into entrepreneurship: Do you have enough savings to live off of for a year or so as you attempt to get your business off the ground (click here for some insights on saving for an emergency fund)? Who are your first customers going to be (your first, initial sales are the most important)? Are you starting a business in a new field or in the same industry with which you have experience (the latter has much higher chance of success)? How old are you (bad idea to start a business in your 20s, just be patient)?
A few tips for executing the job quitting process
If you’ve made your decision and you plan to quit your job, make sure you follow a proper process for doing so. Way too many people leave jobs in a poor manner and regret it later. You never know if you might end up working together with people at the previous job down the road, so always do your best to leave on respectful and good terms with your bosses and co-workers (regardless of how much you dislike people or the work environment). Here are some tips.
Give your employer ample notice and don’t leave them in a bind
The worst thing you can do is to leave the company in a bad situation because you just disappear. Give the company at least two weeks and explain that you are very willing to help the company transition so that they are in a good situation when you leave.
Give direct, respectful feedback
When discussing the decision with your bosses, be willing to offer direct and respectful feedback. Being honest is good. If there are things you didn’t like about working there, feel free to discuss those thing. Just be respectful when you’re doing it even if it is an emotional subject. How your bosses receive your feedback isn’t on you. If they handle it poorly, well then you can leave knowing that you gave direct and honest feedback and that’s likely not a person you want to work for again in the future.
Leave on good terms
Do everything you can to leave your job on good terms. It’s shocking how frequently people fail to realize that they may encounter previous co-workers and bosses either at companies down the road or even in some sort of commercial/vendor relationship. Always take the high road. You want the company to think that they lost a great person and great employee when you leave. Don’t be the guy that people are glad to see go.