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A Guide to Quitting Your Job: How to Know When It’s Time

Quitting a job can be filled with potential missteps, but there are ways to quit your job in the best way possible with a solid exit strategy.

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Quitting your job is easier said than done. Not every job is a good fit, but it’s important to know when it’s time to move on and when to keep trying. It’s also easier to complain about your job than to admit to your boss you are unhappy or struggling – and to actually do the hard work of getting back on track.

As the saying goes, “you won’t know until ask” yet so many people are afraid to speak up and become convinced that the only solution is to find a new job. Taking action is the hardest part: there is always a possibility that your plan could backfire or your concerns will be brushed off, but this is the first step towards figuring out what next steps might be. For example, is there anything to be done that might make this job better? Have you ever discussed with your boss what’s making you unhappy? Would extra PTO, working remotely a few days a week or other work perks change your perspective?

If you’ve done all of the above, and nothing has changed, it can be extremely frustrating and discouraging. Here are four tips to help plan your next steps, and to figure out if quitting is the right choice for you:

Why do you want to quit: Before you jump in and give your notice out of frustration, figure out what’s driving the decision to quit. If it’s something that can be adjusted, it’s time to speak up and talk to your boss. For managers, it’s much cheaper and easier to give you small enticements and keep you happy, rather than sending you packing.

Why do you want to quit: Before you jump in and give your notice out of frustration, figure out what’s driving the decision to quit. If it’s something that can be adjusted, it’s time to speak up and talk to your boss. For managers, it’s much cheaper and easier to give you small enticements and keep you happy, rather than sending you packing.

How to time quitting your job: The best time to look for a job is when you already have one, without the stress of worrying where your next paycheck will come from so you don’t settle for a less than perfect job.

Why job hopping is common for top performers: We all know about the dangers of job hopping, and how it can look on paper. If you’ve only worked for a company for 6-10 months before leaving, this can be seen as a potential red flag to future employers.  However, it’s quite common for top performers to leave a job after 2-3 years to find a better one, and top performers typically leave jobs to grow in their professional development.

Identify the psychological barriers that are holding you back: Confidence and lack of knowledge are two of the most common barriers.A lot of people are anxious, confused about where to start, and are scared of failure so looking for the dream job remains on the back burner for months or years at a time.  So many people believe they need to just “deal” with a less than ideal situation, instead of coming up with new solutions and being proactive.

If you decide to make the leap to leave your job, it’s important to remember that quitting and finding a new job doesn’t automatically equal newfound happiness or satisfaction. There isn’t one universal dream job out there: if you don’t put in the effort, time and research, you could find yourself in a continuous quitting cycle. Some people prioritize career progression or higher salaries. Other people look for roles that emphasize creativity, or work/life balance. Knowing what is most important to you and figuring out your career values is key to being happy in a role.

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