If you’re feeling stressed, demotivated or depressed at work, you might be tempted to just quit.
However, quitting your job with no other job to go to, might not be the best solution. And it might add even more stress to your life further down the line.
Here are 10 things you need to consider before you quit your job:
1) Do you have savings?
If you don’t have another job to go to, my advice is to never quit your job unless you can afford to be unemployed for at least 6 to 12 months. You don’t know how long it will take you to find a new job, or to get your business off the ground. Particularly in times of economic uncertainty. To avoid financial stress, staying where you are until you’ve saved up enough money to quit might be the better option.
2) Do you have a plan?
Quitting your job with no idea about what you want to do next is risky. Financially, mentally and emotionally. While it might feel good to quit initially, eventually uncertainty could kick in, which could be even more stressful than your job. Make sure you have a well-thought out and considered plan for your career transition before you quit your job.
3) Is it them or is it you?
Yes, some companies or managers are a nightmare to work for. Excessive pressure, lack of values or ethics, zero support, training or development, bullying, discrimination, abuse etc. are all valid reasons to quit. Sometimes however – we’re the problem. Low emotional intelligence, poor emotional management or a bad attitude can negatively impact our relationships. Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves to be perfect or to be number one. Before you quit your job – be brutally honest with yourself. Is it them, or is it you?
4) Is it the job or something else?
Get clear – is it the job itself you no longer enjoy or something else?
If you enjoy the job but there are other issues, look to change what is in your control. A change of attitude, new procedures and better communication with your boss can all help. Make sure you’ve done everything within your power to improve your job yourself before you decide to quit.
5) Are you still learning?
The company and environment might suck. But if you feel you’re still learning – something valuable to you and your chosen career path – it might be worth hanging around until you’re finished learning.
6) Are the issues temporary or permanent?
Company restructures, changes in management, processes and systems etc. are all common place in a corporate environment – and all carry their own issues. Yes, things might be rubbish now. But will it always be this way? All companies go through bad patches. And maybe you just need to ride this one out.
7) What are your motivations to quit your job?
Quitting just for the sake of a higher salary right now might not be the best approach. A job shouldn’t just be valued by how much it pays. If it’s a great opportunity that could increase your value as a professional, letting go of instant gratification for longer term gain might be a better option.
Also quitting when emotions are running high might not serve you. When we’re emotional, logic goes out the window. Give yourself some time to calm down and think rationally before you quit your job.
8) Are you deluded?
Sometimes we hate our jobs so much we sell ourselves a story that any job would be better. But the grass is not always greener. Get very clear on whether or not the new job would fulfill you more. Is it really a better opportunity with greater prospects and growth? Or will you still face the same problems you’re facing now? In which case, what would be a better solution than to quit your job?
9) What progress can you make without quitting?
If you want to change jobs, you can start the transition process without formally quitting. Take advantage of the job security while you can. Make effective use of your free time and start taking action towards your new goal.
10) Will it damage your CV?
Companies look for stability and loyalty. “Jumpy” CVs will be viewed as risky. If you can at least complete a full year – ideally two – then it might be worth staying where you are.
If you’re really on the verge of burnout but quitting is not an option right now, have a chat with your manager or HR department to see what support they can offer you. And if they won’t offer you any, a therapist or life coach can help you until you’re in a better position to quit your job.
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