In my article last week, I wrote about the tell-tale signs you’re approaching burnout. Whether you’re approaching burnout or simply overwhelmingly demotivated, it is natural to question if you should quit your job. And the temptation to throw in the towel and walk away can be hard to ignore. I know. I’ve been there. I’ve written many times about how I was stuck in a job I hated before I found coaching. There wasn’t a day that went by I didn’t think, “Should I just quit?”.
Unfortunately, deciding to quit your job isn’t black and white. There are several things that need to be taken into consideration. Some of them more complex than others.
If you’re stuck in a job you hate. Or are on the verge of burnout. 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 transition before you quit your job. Want to make a career change? These articles might help:
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. We have the wrong attitude. Low emotional intelligence, poor emotional management or lack of self-awareness result in ineffective relationship management. We put too much pressure on ourselves resulting in extreme stress. We’re our own worst enemy. Before you quit your job – be brutally honest with yourself. Is it them, or is it you? If you think it might be you, working with a life coach can help.
4) Is it the job or something else?
If you enjoy the job but there are other issues, what would need to change for you to enjoy it more? How much of that is within your control? Could it be a simple change of attitude (e.g. looking for things you can be grateful for)? Or are there processes or changes you could implement that would make your job better? Have you communicated your thoughts and feelings to your manager? Make sure you have done everything within your power to improve your job yourself before you make the decision to quit.
5) Are you still learning?
The company and environment might suck. But if you feel you’re still learning – and learning something that is 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?
The need to be constantly innovative means companies need to continuously change and improve. Uncertain times and volatile economic climates can also bring significant change. 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.
Quitting for a job that looks better to the outside world, rather than one that fulfills you, will only end in disaster.
Also quitting because emotions are running high might not serve you. When we’re emotional, logic goes out the window. And we make stupid decisions we later regret. Give yourself some time to calm down and think rationally before you quit your job.
8) Are you so desperate to leave you’re deluded?
Sometimes we hate our jobs so much we sell ourselves a story that anything would be better than what we have right now. 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 change can you create without quitting?
As discussed above, this might be creating change in your current role. However, if you do decide you want to quit your job, you can start the transition process without formally quitting. Take advantage of the job security while you can and make effective use of your free time.
If you want to find a new job, start to build a job search strategy. This includes expanding your network, working on your LinkedIn profile and CV, and developing your interview skills. If you want to make a career change, maybe try an evening class or a few webinars to get some ideas. If you want to start your own business, start working on your business plan. You only need to take one step to get the momentum going. Working with a career or business coach can help you put an effective plan in place.
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.
What advice would you give someone who wants to throw in the towel? Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!
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Ready to quit your job? Please visit www.zetayarwood.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to make your next career move in the best possible way.
Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.