How to Know When It’s Time to Quit Your Job
We’ve all fantasized about walking into work one day and just saying “I quit,” particularly after a super stressful week. While it’s fun to think about dropping everything and making a big change, it’s not always the most practical decision. Your first gig as a new grad might not be a job you actually want, especially since finding a job is really tough for a lot of young professionals. Even after you’ve found the right fit, you might think about leaving because you’ve asked for a raise or promotion and didn’t get it, or you’re dealing with a work bully you can’t avoid. It can be difficult to know whether or not it’s worth it to stick it out and hope for the best or just get out of there ASAP. We tapped two career experts to help make it clear when you should put some extra effort into making things work and when it’s time to cut your losses and figure out your exit strategy.
Evaluate your current gig.
why you want to. Hallie Crawford, an Atlanta-based career coach, suggests making a list of things you don’t like about your current position and what you would prefer instead. Be as specific as possible, because this process can help you determine what your ideal job would be. If you don’t know what your best-case-scenario is, it can be hard to fight for it!
Crawford also suggests evaluating your current position in three key ways. First, think about whether or not your job is fulfilling. If it is, great! If not, figure out why and what could make it line up more with your personal values. Second, consider if you enjoy your job. We’ve all heard the saying that you spend more time at work than anywhere else, so actually liking what you do is pretty key. Third, figure out if your job utilizes your talents and skills. Your position should leverage your talents or natural abilities and skills regularly. If it doesn’t, that might be why you aren’t super psyched about it.
2. Consider the reasons you want to leave. There are good reasons to quit a job, and then there are bad ones. Let’s start with the bad. According to career expert Nicole Williams, getting a new boss you don’t get along with is not a sufficient reason on its own to leave. “You never know who might be waiting for you at a new position,” she points out. “You could run into exactly the same scenario or worse elsewhere.” Of course, if there’s an extreme situation that is causing you emotional distress, that’s a different story.
Another not-so-good reason is because you just don’t feel like being there anymore. Leaving without a plan is sometimes necessary, but Williams says that “the best time to look for jobs is when you have a job. Don’t place yourself in a situation where you are unemployed with bills to pay if you can help it. If your job felt overwhelming before, you are about to feel 100 times more so.”
The best reason to leave a job is money, according to Williams. If you’ve found a position that pays significantly more than the one you’re in, go for it. She recommends comparing any new package to your old one and weighing all the different components carefully. For example, a higher salary offer may not be as great as it seems if things like health insurance, paid vacation time and 401K matching are not included. Company culture is also an important consideration. ”Really invest in learning about this new company you may be moving to. Research them on LinkedIn, understand their value and what you’ll be able to learn and provide for them. Does this sound interesting? Not every job is designed for every person. You need to do some homework and make sure this switch is right for you,” says Williams.