Maybe you want to dedicate all of your time to starting your own business or perhaps you’re hoping to find a different full-time gig that leaves you feeling more fulfilled. Whatever the reasoning, you’re thinking about packing up your workspace, handing in your two weeks notice, and bidding adieu to your current job.
Quitting your job is a big decision. And it’s not one I ever want to encourage you to make without giving it appropriate thought and consideration. After all, hasty moves and rash judgments aren’t recommended when something as serious as your career is on the line.
But what exactly do you need to think about before waving goodbye? Well, here are seven questions you should ask yourself before jumping ship. Think these over and you’re sure to make a well informed and practical choice.
1. Why exactly do I want to quit?
We all reach a point when we feel burnt out—and it’s in those fleeting moments when being unemployed actually sounds like a tropical paradise. However, excuses like “I’m tired of working!” or “This is so hard!” aren’t really solid justifications for packing up and leaving your position.
So, sit and think about why exactly you’re debating hitting the road. If you can’t come up with a single valid reason or a logical explanation as to why you want to turn around and never come back, well it’s a sign you need to give it some time. This ensures you don’t make a snap decision on a day when you’re just feeling off.
2. Have I tried my best to remedy any issues?
Let’s say you do come up with a compelling argument for quitting, such as the fact that your boss is constantly piling new tasks, duties, and projects on your plate without ever bothering to check in with you. You work your tail off with little to no appreciation or recognition. Work/life balance? It’s something you only dream of.
Yes, that’s frustrating, and I can completely understand your desire to move on. However, simply recognizing a problem isn’t the hard part. You should also ensure you’ve made a decent effort to resolve it.
Have you had a conversation with your boss about how overwhelmed you’ve felt? Or did you simply suffer in silence, hoping for the day when your manager could read your mind?
Maybe there’s nothing that can be done—meaning quitting really is a suitable option. However, making your thoughts and desires known is still important. You might be surprised at the alternatives and solutions your superiors come up with! And, if nothing else, you can walk out knowing you truly did give it your all.
3. What’s next?
Does this question seem far too obvious? I assure you, it’s something that many people fail to think about beforehand—especially the ones who finally reach a breaking point and storm out of the office without so much as a glance backwards.
No, you don’t need to have every last detail worked out, because we all know the best laid plans don’t always turn out as we hope. However, you should at least have a general idea of what your next steps are.
Perhaps you already have another job lined up that you’ll be moving on to (which is great, by the way!). Or, maybe you’ve already outlined your plan for getting your business started or taking it to the next level.
You want to feel like you’re running toward something—not away from something.
The most important part is to at least have some sort of mission and purpose once you’re done with that full-time gig. After all, you want to feel like you’re running toward something—not away from something.
4. Can I afford it?
Of course, money won’t be an issue if you’re leaving your current job because you’ve received a better offer. But, if you’re quitting in the interest of pursuing the entrepreneur life, finances are—unfortunately—something you need to consider.
Life isn’t cheap and you need to have a way to pay your bills. So, if you are debating leaving the security (and steady paycheck) of your full-time position for a life of hustling and uncertainty, make sure you’ve built up a financial cushion and have a plan in place for how long you can survive with limited income.
I know—it’s not exactly what you want to think about when you’re filled with excitement about a new adventure. But it’s crucial!
5. What do I like about this position?
I’m a big proponent of reflecting on each stage in your career. It helps you narrow your focus on your goals, as well as where exactly you see yourself headed in the future.
When you’re thinking of quitting, it can be easy to get so wrapped up in all of the negatives. But, I’m sure there are still a few things about your position that you enjoy. So, before breaking any news to your boss, take some time to think about all of the aspects of your job you actually like.
Again, this will help you identify what you value in a job or career. And, in some cases, doing this is enough to make you realize you don’t actually dislike your job—you just needed to find your passion for it again.
6. What do I dislike about this position?
Alright, I know I said you don’t want to get completely absorbed in the negatives. But if you are planning on leaving, it’s also important to take note of the things that you didn’t like about your job.
What’s the point in doing this? Well, quite simply, it clearly illustrates what you should avoid in any future positions or career paths. That’s some pretty powerful information you’ll want to have in your back pocket when determining next steps.
7. What are my long-term career goals?
In terms of your career, it can be easy to miss the forest for the trees. However, I encourage you to think of your career as one big puzzle. Every job is a piece of the entire picture.
Think of your career as one big puzzle. Every job is a piece of the entire picture.
Think about the last time you put together a jigsaw puzzle. Would you have had a hard time completing it if you had no idea what the finished product was supposed to look like? Unless you’re some sort of puzzle savant, I’m willing to bet you’re nodding yes right now.
Even if your career goals seem like pipe dreams that are way far down the line, it’s still important to think about them. Not only does it keep you focused on your end game, but it also helps you ensure that every choice and move you make is pushing you closer to your objective.
Quitting your job isn’t a decision you should make likely. In fact, you should plan on giving the situation a lot of consideration before choosing which way you want to go. Ask yourself these seven questions to sort through all of your thoughts and determine your best course of action. Good luck!