Posts Tagged ‘quitting’

Know When It’s Time to Quit

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

quit-job

Even in a stable job market, the idea of voluntarily leaving your job can be a bit scary. Compared to whatever horrors you are currently facing, the fear of the unknown often seems much worse and doubt can quickly seep in: will I be able to find a new job quickly and will that new job be even worse than what I have now?

Maybe you’re looking to take a step up the corporate ladder and your current company provides no options. Maybe you’re looking for better pay or benefits. Or maybe you finally want to go into another field entirely. If you stay in the same place forever, you stagnate. But if you move too many times or too often, ironically you won’t get anywhere at all.

So how do you know when it’s time to finally call it quits and move on to greener pastures? Here’s some advice to keep what can be a very emotional issue in perspective.

You’re consistently experiencing more frustration than reward. With any situation, you have take the bad with the good. But if your experience is overwhelmingly negative for a long period of time, you have to consider leaving or some radical change. One unmistakable sign: You breathe a sigh of relief and your life feels instantly better with the mere thought of quitting.

You can’t envision a possible solution or continuing this way. After trying to resolve the issues that have been dragging you down, you still have no confidence things will change. Maybe you’ve been promised a promotion (that’s always fallen through) for years; maybe you’re waiting on others to change their habits when it’s the last thing they want to do. For some situations, like when you’re stuck with a bad manager, you might not have any choice but to quit.

job-security

You’re staying for the wrong reasons. If your decision to stay is based more on fear than on faith, you’re probably in it for the wrong reasons. Are you afraid to hurt someone’s feelings? Staying solely out of a sense of responsibility? Afraid to admit you just made a bad choice or start over (e.g., a wrong career move and now you have to quit a job you just started)?

Don’t think of quitting as either good or bad in itself or a reflection of your self-worth. Many of us have a hard time quitting. For others, change is everything and quitting comes probably too easily. Don’t stay or quit just for the sake of it.

One thing that often holds people back is what economists call the “sunk-cost fallacy”: The belief that you can’t quit because of all the time or money you spent. Beware of falling victim to that kind of thinking.

Spending time on this keeps you from more rewarding endeavors or seriously damages your well-being. Ignore the fear of quitting and consider: Do you think you could achieve a better life for yourself if you quit? Is staying on with a project causing you to over-extend yourself?

Similarly, it’s a huge red flag if your current situation is taking a toll on your mental and/or physical health. Get out of toxic relationships where a partner, client, or boss doesn’t appreciate your value. (By the way, it’s not normal to lose all your hair or take up drinking at 10 am because of your job.)

Your friends and family keep telling you to quit. While the advice of others alone shouldn’t be what you base your decision on, your friends and family want the best for you and may see what you need to do more clearly than you do.

So now you’re probably gnashing at the bit to resign and move to something better. Well, before you do that, you might want to have a couple things in place first, like a new job, a back-up plan, or at least your resume all touched up and ready to go.

And you should also be certain you really understand what is making you unhappy about your job. If it’s the field, then just shifting to another job in the same industry probably won’t help and you’ll find yourself in the same position again in a few months. Or maybe it’s something outside of work, some other personal issue or commitment or just a couple of really bad days in row, that is actually what’s making work so difficult.

But if you’ve finally hit your limit, or better yet decided to take your career by the horns and direct it instead of letting it direct you, then hopefully you’ll now be able to move forward in confidence to whatever is next.

Good Luck!

How to Know When It’s Time to Quit | Melanie Pinola via Lifehacker