Are you trying to decide whether to quit your current job and find a new one? That might not be an easy decision, especially when you still need to get another job lined up. On the other hand, staying in a position that makes you unhappy isn’t necessarily a good choice either.
If you feel like bad workdays outweigh good workdays, it’s tempting to think the only solution is to find a new job. But you might have regrets if you make a rash decision about quitting your job based on boredom or minor frustrations.
While only you can decide if it’s time to quit, give yourself a chance to sit down and thoroughly analyze the situation before deciding on your next steps.
Signs It’s Time to Quit Your Job
Recognizing when it’s time to quit your job while you have the cushion of steady employment is the best-case scenario.
Spend some time diving into your motivations to determine what your best career move is. Perhaps you’re simply going through a rough transition with a new leader, or there’s been a change in company priorities that has resulted in some temporary adjustments.
Consider the following scenarios to determine whether or not it’s time to move on.
Lack of Professional Development Opportunities
Has your career growth stalled? Are you no longer progressing toward your professional development goals? Perhaps you’re feeling unappreciated and frustrated. Is it possible that this is a growth phase that will pass?
If you’re looking for the opportunity to move up in the ranks but you’ve determined that there is no chance for upward mobility in your company, it may be time to move on.
Lack of Interest and Enthusiasm
Take some time when you’re away from work and analyze your feelings. Think about getting ready to start your workday. Do you have to drag yourself to your computer every day because you’ve lost all motivation and energy for your role? That’s not a good sign.
Here’s another way to think about it.
Suppose you have a close friend looking for work. If you were to give your honest opinion, would you tell them your company is, overall, a great one? Would you say your talents and skills are generally appreciated, despite not enjoying some of your current duties? Or, would you advise your friend to steer clear and apply elsewhere? Your response may lead you to your answer.
Lack of Work-Life Balance
What about your mental and physical health? With consistently high stress levels, you might notice that your mental and physical health are plummeting. You’re struggling to concentrate on routine tasks, and your work performance is slipping.
Outside of work, do you lack the desire to enjoy your free time? Instead, are you focused on getting some rest just to get you through the following week?
If you’re regularly overworked and overwhelmed by job-related stress, it may be time to seek a new opportunity that supports a better work-life balance.
How to Quit Your Job Gracefully
If you’ve taken a big-picture view of your job and determined that it’s time to move on, here’s how to do so with grace and professionalism.
Keep Your Job Search Quiet
Resist the temptation to tell your favorite teammates that you’re looking for a new job, or leaving without notice just hoping something works out.
You could jeopardize your current job if your employer finds out you’re looking before you’re ready. They may launch a search for a new candidate themselves. And not only that, but they might decide that they can redistribute your workload and let you go before you have a new job lined up.
Set clear boundaries to help keep your networking and job search-related activities under wraps. For example, never use your work email or phone number for your contact information in your job application. Instead, use a separate, personal email address and your personal phone number for job search-related activities. And schedule interviews or phone calls before or after work, or during your lunch break.
It’s also important to be discreet on social media, including LinkedIn, as coworkers or supervisors could notice even seemingly innocent posts or interactions.
Share the News
When you’ve finalized your plans to leave your current position for a new one, your manager or leader should be the first to hear the news, and you should provide a written resignation.
Ideally, you’ll give adequate notice. Most industry standards require at least two weeks’ notice so your manager has time to transition your workload and start looking for a replacement.
Exiting gracefully also means you should be respectful and courteous in your interactions with your manager, colleagues, and HR department. Don’t vent your frustrations or burn bridges on your way out. You never know when your actions now will impact future job prospects or your industry networking efforts.
Provide Support With the Transition
Focus on helping your company with the transition by completing or detailing outstanding projects or tasks. Participate in an exit interview, and provide any feedback or suggestions on how the company could improve. But remember to stay positive and not to bad-mouth anyone.
Moving On to the Next Stage
Quitting your job can be a challenging and emotional experience, but it’s also an opportunity to take control of your career and pursue new opportunities.
Remember that it’s essential to prioritize your mental and emotional well-being, and leaving a job on a positive note can have long-term benefits for your career.
Whether you’re leaving your job to recharge, pursue a new role, or launch a freelance business, you’ll be thankful you did it right.
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