How to Decide if Quitting a Job Before Getting Another is a Good Idea for You
"Take This Job and Shove It" says the old song by Johnny Paycheck. Anyone who has been in the workforce for any length of time has considered saying this at least once over the years. Half of those you ask say you should keep your current job while looking for another one. The other half says to quit and take a chance. What is the correct action? You may be surprised to hear that there is no one correct answer. It is a decision you need to think about, consider all factors and then decide what is best for you personally. Let's take a look at the things to consider before making your decision.
Make a Pro and Con List
Not only should you make a pro and con list but you should also add to it regularly. This will help you make sure you have included as many factors as you possibly can. Start by writing down all the good reasons to quit your current job first and then write a second list that covers all the ways quitting might cause a problem. If you are having trouble thinking of things, ask a trusted friend or family member to help you. As the two lists become longer you will get a clearer picture of the benefits and problems involved.
Why Do You Want Out So Bad?
Ask yourself why you want to leave your current job. Be brutally honest with yourself. Take time to fully answer the following questions. Make sure you aren't simply making the decision based on anger over one event or some other emotionally charged reason that isn't a lasting thing.
Is the workplace unbearable?
Are you in a situation where your physical or mental health is being jeopardized? Ask yourself if you are being bullied or harassed in some way.
Do you not fit in with staff or managers?
Sometimes personalities within a workplace don't mesh. Is yours so different from those of your co-workers or manager that you don't feel comfortable where you are?
Do you feel like you wouldn’t be able to look for a new job at the same time?
Maybe your life consists of your job, family and other social activities and you don't feel you would have the time necessary for sending out resumes and going to interviews. Is there any way you can see a way around the time issue so you could fit these things in?
Is it not paying enough?
As life progresses, our needs change. Maybe you are adding onto your family or buying a new home. Is there a chance you can get a raise where you are at if financial issues are the only cause?
Is it just not the right career path for you?
Have your dreams and plans changed since you first started at this job or have you grown to the point where you realize this isn't the career for you?
Are there issues that may actually be fixable in your existing job?
If you want to leave for a reason that can be fixed, maybe sitting with your manager can rectify the situation. If you are happy where you are except for a fixable reason, it may be worth the effort to try and fix things.
Assess Your Current Financial Position
Most of us are only a paycheck or two away from being homeless. Take time to review your financial situation completely and determine how long you can go without a job before you find yourself in a bad situation. Consider your spending habits, required bills and how much money you have in your savings. Be realistic in your calculations.
Assess The Local Job Market
See if it is actually a really bad time to be unemployed, it could mean it may take a lot longer to find another gig. Take into account your training, experience, and age. Do you have the type of skills that can be used in a position that may be different than what your ideal position is? How likely are you to find another job quickly? You may also want to consider if you will need more education to enter the local job market if you have been in your current position for some time.
Talk To Other People
Don’t just bottle it all up inside, unburden yourself. Often we are too close to a situation to see it as clearly as those around us. Most people don't mind taking the time to help others figure things out but they need to be asked. Some of the people who may be able to see the whole situation more clearly are:
Be careful here. You don't want word getting to the wrong people and you don't want to be seen as someone who is all talk and no action.)
These can include career counselors, therapists, or life coaches.
Map Out Your Plans
If you do decide to quit, what are your plans for finding another job? You don't want to simply walk out without some plan of action. Have a list of places to start your search such as:
Other jobs already available
Look on employment sites, local job boards and listings in business publications to see what positions are open and waiting to be filled.
Jobs with family or friends
Sometimes it helps to know someone with some pull for a position where they work. Be cautious here, however, some friends and family may become hard to deal with when you spend all day, every day with them.
These will at least give you some income and many of the positions they offer are long-term. They can also help you decide what kind of position you may be better suited for if you are at a loss about that right now.
Once you have a list of places to start searching, create an action plan. The freedom of having no place you have to be every morning can be exhilarating to the point that you don't notice how much time has passed until you are in a situation that is difficult to get out of. Having a written plan of action gives you momentum.
Make a Decision Sooner Than Later
This isn't a decision you have to make alone. In fact, it is one you shouldn't make alone. Others can see the situation from a place removed from the emotion and can help you see both the good and bad sides of any decision. The longer it takes to make a decision, the harder it becomes because you start to overthink it, second guess yourself, and allow fear to make your decision for you. Do your homework, ask for advice from people you trust and then make a decision and act. A decision this big is a burden to carry, don’t carry it for too long. You have the rest of your life ahead of you. Don't put it on hold.
This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created between the author and reader of this blog post, and its content should not be relied upon as legal advice. Readers are urged to consult legal counsel when seeking legal advice.