“To quit, or not to quit?”
This question can often turn the most decisive person into a second-guesser, and rightly so. Quitting a job when you have another job on the horizon still instils some hope that all will be well, but what about when you want to quit first and job hunt later?
About a year into her job, a friend of mine started developing the itch to quit. She had begun to strongly dislike her boss, was unhappy with her tasks, and, to top it all, hadn’t received an appraisal. To me, these seemed like valid reasons to quit, but she was still unsure. Over coffee one day, we decided to make a pros and cons list of why she should or shouldn’t stick it out.
With 6 reasons to quit and 2 reasons to stay, the next step was evident, but she was still unsure. Only after another few months of things getting progressively worse did she take the leap, but not before she was frustrated and burnt out, in desperate need of a break.
This got me thinking about how many women struggle with the decision to quit their jobs, especially at a time when the demand for jobs exceeds the supply.
How can you know for sure that quitting or sticking it out is the right step?
While you can never be 100% sure, evaluating a few factors can help you make a logical decision.
What To Consider When Quitting A Job
1. Is there a new job on the horizon?
Most people – including myself – have often waited for another job to come around before quitting their present one. If you’ve been selected at another organisation that offers you higher pay and a meaty job description, go for it!
However, if you don’t have another job in hand and still want to quit, there are more factors for you to consider further.
2. What exactly is making you consider quitting your current job?
For someone like me who feels anxious at the drop of a hat, small, solvable issues can often appear bigger than they are, leading me to sometimes make rash decisions.
Think about what factors in your current job are making you unhappy.
Is the workload increasing by the day? Are you unhappy with your current salary? Did you receive an unsatisfactory appraisal despite working hard? Or is there no room for growth anymore? Note down these points and read ahead!
3. Is the source of your unhappiness temporary or permanent in nature?
Some organisations have periods of crunch-time, during which employees can feel burnt out and overworked. This can be before a launch or a big event. If your desire to quit stems from something temporary, quitting may not be the best decision.
When working for a subscription model, the week before a launch was when I felt exhausted. Over time, I started taking time off after each launch to recuperate, which gave me the respite I needed. However, after a few months, with significantly more work on my plate and no break in sight, I decided to quit my job.
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4. Have you exhausted all the avenues to make this job work for you?
The first thing many bosses ask employees who have given their notice is, “Is there anything we can do to make you stay?” This point will not only help you make the decision to quit but also prepare you to answer that question if you do.
Once you’ve identified the issues holding you back at your job, try and look for ways to resolve them. If your workload is burning you out, speak to your boss about what you’re feeling and if there’s a solution. If your salary does not match up to the kind of work you’re doing, get in touch with HR and ask if anything can be done.
If you’re able to find a solution, you could consider staying; if not, maybe it’s time to move on.
5. Will your current finances sustain you?
Finances are subjective to each person, depending on their lifestyle, salary range, savings, investments, and responsibilities. In my case, being financially independent comes first, due to which I would never consider quitting without another job in hand.
People usually evaluate if they have enough saved up to last them 9-16 months, which is a reasonable period to find a job.
If you have enough saved up and can afford to take a break until you find something else, quitting your job might not be such a bad idea. Evaluate how much you spend on bills, basic necessities, and more. This will also give you a time frame to find another job.
6. Are there better opportunities available elsewhere?
Scope out various job portals to identify what the job market for your specific career looks like at the moment. Are there better companies hiring? What kind of people are they looking for﹘ freshers or experienced people? What kind of position will your current job role and salary get you if you were to search?
If you’re able to find good opportunities, apply and set up interviews with them. All of this will help you find something or at least know your position in the current job scenario.
7. Do you have a career plan in place?
Without a solid plan in place, you might end up in the same situation once again.
If you’re planning to quit because you’d like to switch careers altogether, think about what kind of job you’d like to do next. Will you need to study for it? Exactly what would you need to start pursuing the career, and what will you need to do so?
On the other hand, if you’re only switching jobs and not careers, set a time frame for when you need to have the next job in hand. Also, list down how you’ll go about applying. What portals will you look at? Will you speak to industry leaders? Do you have a few companies in mind? Do you need to upskill to land a better job?
List all these factors down and have a plan in place before you quit!
8. Is there a way to cut expenses or earn some money in between jobs?
If you’re planning to quit your job not due to financial reasons but for some respite, think of ways in which you can cut down on monthly expenses or earn some money to sustain yourself. Could you freelance or take up a part-time job? Can you cut back on junk food or going out as often? Some organisations even retain employees on a contractual basis or as consultants, so ask your boss for some options.
If you’re able to find ways to stay afloat while looking for something new, it might be time to cut the cord with your current job.
9. Will my family support me?
If you’re supporting your family, quitting your job will affect not just your life, but theirs too. Have an honest conversation with them about what you’re feeling, and how this decision can be made smoother. Are there any savings to tide you over the next couple of months? In case you’re not supporting your family, ask them if they’d be able to help you out in case finding a new job takes longer than expected.
Apart from financial support, the emotional support of your friends and family will be much needed to get through this time, so be clear with them about what you plan to do!
10. Is this the right time to quit?
Timing means everything, especially when you’re planning to quit. Though they may never be a ‘perfect time’, there are some periods where quitting isn’t wise. Do you need to work a couple more months to save up more? Or are you just about to help launch a project for the company?
Are you just a month away from your next increment? A friend once postponed her resignation by a few months to get an appraisal, which she could then use to quote a higher salary to the next organisation.
Think about what it would mean if you were to quit right away, and how it would affect not just you but also your family, colleagues, and bosses. If it seems better to wait it out for a couple of months, do so!
The timing can never be perfect, but once you have a plan in place, the decision becomes much easier. And if your boss is toxic, it’s probably time to let this job go!
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