Is your current job compromising your happiness? It’s OK to quit your job — once you decide that’s the right decision for you.
When it comes to your job, you can either be “engaged” in your work, “actively disengaged,” or somewhere in between? In a 2018 Gallup poll, 34 percent of U.S. employees surveyed were "engaged," meaning they were “involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace.” Meanwhile, 13 percent were “actively disengaged” and having a poor or miserable work experience. The remaining 53 percent were "not engaged" at work, meaning they were generally satisfied but wouldn't hesitate to leave if a better offer came along. While the number of disengaged workers has gone down over the past few years, these numbers still imply that there are a lot of unhappy professionals out there. Where do you fall?
You have the right to be happy at work — why would you want it to be any other way? If you are not happy and find you are miserable most of the time, then it's time to evaluate your work environment to identify what it is that's making you so unhappy.
Is it time for you to quit your job?
Before you pull the plug, ask yourself these questions:
Is it the people you work with? The culture?
Are you sitting at a desk for too many hours of the day?
Do you prefer to be interacting with people more?
Would a different workgroup, manager, or position be better for you within the same organization?
Is your specific work environment not for you anymore?
Is the problem coming solely from work — or spilling over from your personal life?
Do you dread going in on Monday mornings?
Is the discomfort short-lived and brief, or constant and permanent?
Do you feel like you've outgrown your work environment?
What is your “point of no return?” What is your deal-breaker?
Does the mission of your company make you feel uneasy? Is not something you're passionate about?
What needs to change (if it can be changed) for your happiness to go up?
Have you tried everything to make your situation better?
If the answers to these questions increase your gut feeling towards quitting, that's OK! If you have that little voice in your head — you know, the one that's telling you something's off and that you should be doing something else with your life — give yourself permission and the space to listen to it. Explore your options, daydream, see what ideas come to you, and make a game plan to make the right changes in your life.
If you have decided to quit your job, here are some key points to remember.
Know it's OK to disappoint others
You're in the driver's seat of your life. No one else knows what's best for you but you — not your parents, your grandparents, your spouse, your best friend, or your mentor. If you make a choice to please others before you please yourself when it comes to your career choices, you may grow to resent those people in the long run. Also, you're the one who has to get yourself through each day, and no one else can or will do it for you. If you know that quitting your job is the best choice for you, trust that others will see it too.
Along those same lines, one obstacle to pulling the plug on your current position often has to do with the feeling of loyalty to your co-workers and managers. Though this might seem like a noble action, if your work is impacting your quality of life, you're not doing anyone any favors by staying. Your manager and co-workers might be disappointed or sad to see you leave, but ultimately they should understand that you need to do what's best for you.
Have a game plan
After you complete some soul searching and make the decision to quit, you need to create a game plan so you're not stressing about money and paying your bills in the foreseeable future. Whether it's looking for another job elsewhere, saving up to start your own company, or landing a consulting gig so you can be your own boss, having a game plan in place will support the transition from your current job to whatever your next step is.
Also, before you quit your job, it's important to note that it's typically easier to find a new job or make the transition to a new career path while still employed at your current position — especially when it comes to your finances. However, if your job is causing you to stress to the point of sickness or is causing you more harm than good, it's OK to quit before you've secured your next step.
Update your resume
Once you have your game plan squared away, it's time to focus on your resume. Make sure you've gathered all the information you'll need to properly update your resume and sell yourself in an interview before you quit, in case your company decides they don't want you to give two weeks and has you leave immediately — which is something they are allowed to do.
Too overwhelmed to update your resume? Hiring a professional resume writer to help you out will not only take the pressure off you, but a professionally written resume also helps you land the job faster — and even helps you earn more. The transition between quitting your job and landing your new position shouldn't be overly stressful.
Don't burn bridges
If and when you do decide to leave your job, do so as gracefully as possible; don't burn bridges if you can help it. It can be a small world, and people remember those who handle things in a respectful and appreciative manner.
If you quit your job without notice, in a rude manner, or in a way that can harm your professional reputation, that could follow you around to your new job, your job search, or even a new industry. Trust us, you never want to ruin your professional relationships this way — you never know when you might need to call on these connections later in your career.
We know it can be interesting to go against the grain. It can also be tough to admit you're not happy when you have a good paying job, food on the table, and a roof over your head. Heck, you might even like your co-workers. But something still might not feel right to you. It might take you some time, but eventually, you know you need to listen to that little voice that's telling you to make some changes in your life — and it might need to start with your job and career choice. If that means quitting your job, current position, or current workgroup, it's OK for you to do so. It's OK for you to make choices that will bring fulfillment to your work and life. And the fact is, you're the only one who can choose to do it for yourself.
Not sure if your resume is ready to re-enter the job search? Check with a free resume critique today!
- How to Quit Your Job the Smart Way
- Why You Should Always Be Looking for a New Job