As much as we all might want to say that we call the shots in our own careers without any regard for the judgements and opinions of others, that’s not always true. Most of us still crave reassurance and validation that we’re making the right move—especially when it comes to a major decision like quitting your job.
Jumping ship is always a nerve-wracking experience, and it usually inspires a fair amount of panicked questions swimming around your brain:
Are you making the right choice? Should you wait it out for another year and see what happens? What if this all backfires?
You aren’t the first one to feel anxious about leaving your job behind, and you certainly won’t be the last. But take comfort in the fact that there are plenty of totally valid reasons—like the seven included below—to pack up your desk and put in your notice.
1. You have a better offer.
This first one is by far the most obvious: If you have a better job offer waiting for you, then by all means, you shouldn’t feel guilty about bidding your current role adieu.
When it comes to your career, you need to look out for your own best interests.
Whether this new opportunity means more money, more responsibility, or a shift to something you’re even more passionate about, it’s important for you to remember that—when it comes to your career—sometimes you need to look out for your own best interests, even when it means leaving something else behind.
No, that’s not selfish—it’s smart.
2. You’re pursuing further education.
Perhaps you’ve decided you finally want to go back and finish that bachelor’s degree you left undone several years ago. Or maybe you’ve been itching to get your master’s, become certified in your field, or even head back to school to pursue a major career change.
Either way, you’re concerned you won’t be able to balance your current job with the demands of education.
In this case, you’re totally justified in quitting your job. Furthering your education is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your career—even if it means making some sacrifices (like quitting your job!) to make it happen.
3. You work in a toxic environment.
Your co-workers are gossipy or downright rude; your boss is condescending and refuses to let you grow in your position; your workplace turns a blind eye to any harassment or blatant mistreatment.
Know this: You deserve a work environment where you feel comfortable and supported. If you haven’t been able to achieve this where you’re currently employed, it’s likely in your best interest to pack your bags and say goodbye in favor of finding a culture that’s a much better fit for you.
4. You’re relocating.
Perhaps you need to move to a new location for your partner’s job or you’re eager to relocate to a different state to be closer to your family. Regardless of your specific circumstances, you know you’re heading somewhere new.
Naturally, this is reason enough to put in notice at your current job (unless you love where you work and your company is willing to let you stay on remotely—it’s always worth a shot!).
5. Your company’s future seems rocky.
Working somewhere when the future seems unsteady is always enough to inspire a feeling of dread that stays permanently parked in the pit of your stomach.
Whether your company has been going through round after round of layoffs or is being acquired by a different organization, you’re feeling uncertain about what the next year—or even the next month—of your career will look like.
In this situation, you might choose to tough it out for as long as possible so you can at least continue to bring in a paycheck while you’re job hunting. But if the anxiety of such a rocky workplace is really starting to drag you down, you might be better off getting out sooner rather than later.
6. You have personal circumstances (that need to be addressed).
You hear a lot about work-life balance. But, sometimes you simply can’t balance the two—one needs to take priority over the other.
Sometimes you can’t balance work and life—one needs to take priority.
Perhaps you’ve run into some health issues yourself or feel the need to care for a sick family member. Or maybe you’ve recently started a family and decided you’d like to take some time off to raise children.
Either way, if you find that your personal circumstances are currently ranked ahead of your career, that’s a good reason to reevaluate and take some time off.
7. You have a gut feeling.
I quit my full-time job in marketing to pursue a career as a freelance writer, so I’d be remiss if I left something like this off the list.
Sometimes, you just know that you’re meant to be doing something different—even if it means taking a pretty large risk to make it happen. It may not seem like a valid reason to other people, but to you it feels completely justified.
Ultimately, nobody knows your career better than you do, and you’re the one responsible for steering the ship in the direction you’d like it to go.
Deciding whether or not to leave your job can be anxiety inducing, and it can usually leave you searching for reassurance that you’re making the right move.
Of course, individual circumstances can vary. But if you find yourself falling into any of the above seven groups, consider this your confirmation: You’re justified in packing up your things, putting in your two weeks notice, and leaving that current job of yours behind.