When to Quit Your Job
The vast majority of us will get totally fed up with our jobs at some stage of our employment. For many these feelings will only be temporary and may be brought on by additional pressures at work and/or because of stresses we are also under in our personal lives but, fortunately, these feelings will usually subside after a while, even though they might re-surface again from time to time.
However, if the feelings of despair linger and persist over a long period, it may mean that the only desirable alternative to your misery is to quit your job and find another one or do something else instead, so how do you know when it’s time to walk away from your job and what potential impact this might have?
Why Would You Consider Quitting Your Job?There are many reasons for wanting to quit your job. A few of the more common ones are that you can’t stand your boss and/or any your work colleagues, perhaps things have been said or done which have damaged working relationships beyond repair, maybe your lifestyle has changed since you took the job and you now find you need more money to support it or that the hours are now too long to cope with other external commitments you might have too, e.g. a new baby.
Perhaps you simply no longer enjoy your job. It could be that your hours have been increased and the resulting pressures are causing you to be ill due to additional stress or that you have been forced to take on another role within the company which you don’t like.
Perhaps, your job is not where you saw yourself 3, 5 or 10 years ago and you need a change of direction. It can also be the case that you simply can’t put your finger on what you dislike about your job but if your work is causing you to become resentful and this spreads out into other areas of your personal life too, then quitting it may well be the right thing to do.
Is The Grass Greener on The Other Side?Before handing in your notice, however, you should try to remain calm and rational about your current feelings of unease and to determine, firstly, if there are any alternative solutions to quitting. It’s good to try to maintain a sense of perspective here. For example, everybody knows a boss or a colleague that is irritating. Is the situation really that bad? Is there any course of action you could take personally to improve relations?
Consider your financial implications. If you quit your job and have debts or other bills you have to regularly pay, do you have another job to go to or sufficient funds to see you through until you can be sure you’ve got another job lined up? If you’ve no alternative source of income and there is no new job on the horizon, you should carefully consider all the things that the income from your current job allows you to do.
Remember, no money means no holidays, no new clothes, no petrol to run your car etc. So, is quitting your job at this stage truly a viable option or might it be better to hold off this decision and to grin and bear it for a while?
Talk things over with family members and friends too. Often, another viewpoint from someone who is not directly involved with the situation can enable you to look at things in an entirely new perspective.
Think of the implications for your future job prospects if you walk out now. It’s a fact that people who are in work have a far greater chance of finding another job than those who are currently unemployed. Employers will always ask what you’re doing currently and, if you quit a job and are currently not working, you’ll have to work very hard to convince them that you’re keeping busy in a productive way and your commitment to work and your dedication to an employer may be severely tested at interview, should you be granted one which is also more difficult if you’re presently out of work, especially if that decision was made by your own free will.
Going For BrokeIf you have taken all these considerations and any others and have decided that, even after looking at all the possible options to quitting, that you still have to leave then it is, probably, time to move on.
Before handing in your notice however, you should try to have something else lined up first, if possible. In choosing your next job, look at your strengths and the environments in which you’d like to work to ensure that, hopefully, the same situation won’t occur again next time around.
Whilst there can be no guarantees, don’t fall into the trap of leaving one job to take another that will cause you the same problems as before. For example, you may have got irritated with colleagues at your previous job but that might have been because you were working permanent nights which made you feel constantly tired and irritable. If you’ve identified that fact, then there’s no use applying for another job working permanent nights and hoping that your colleagues will be nicer. They are not the cause; it’s the night shifts which cause the problems for you.
Try to Leave on a Positive NoteNo matter what’s gone on in a previous job that has caused you to quit, try to still leave with dignity and on a positive note. Yes, it may be very tempting to settle a few scores with people but you’ll probably need a reference so follow good protocol and hand in your notice in the way your company would prefer you to, work your notice period if required and make every effort to leave with your head held high.
Once you’ve walked out of the door for the very last time, then it’s important that you don’t look back. It takes a lot of nerve to walk out of a job but once you’ve made the decision and done it, you should have no regret. Harbouring any grudges or ill feeling is pointless now and you could well end up taking that attitude into your next job which won’t be at all beneficial.
Simply learn from the bad experience and then move on.