When Is Leaving a Job the Best Option?
Many people joke about “walking away from it all.” Although fantasizing about leaving your job for something better is a typical way to relieve stress, sometimes quitting is truly the best thing to do. But if you’re considering this type of change, make sure you do it in the right way. Otherwise, you might burn bridges that are vital parts of your career path.
Stay or go?
The average American spends 10.3 years at work — about 13% of a typical lifetime. That’s a significant amount of time, especially when you’re in a job you don’t enjoy.
Of course, we all have times when we experience varying levels of job satisfaction. However, there are some signs that indicate it’s time for you to move on:
- You hate your job, but you’ve stayed with it for financial security.
- You’re working harder and longer hours than ever, and seeing no additional return benefit.
- You’ve been promised a raise, but it hasn’t materialized yet — either because your employer is unwilling or unable to follow through, or because the company condition overall is deteriorating and layoffs might be pending.
- You’re satisfied with your job but aren’t sure it’s something you truly want to do as a career.
- You enjoy your job, but it compromises your work-life balance.
- You feel marginalized: You’re working on low-priority projects while coworkers are getting the high-profile ones — and the recognition that comes with it.
- You’re burned out. Your job drains you, and even the idea of continuing in the position makes you feel ill.
If any of these signs describes your situation, it’s time to change jobs. Are you ready to take that step?
Before you go
The best way to start is to follow the advice of career experts and plan for a smooth transition out of your current job and into your next. Here are their tips for quitting the right way:
- Plan ahead. Ideally, you’ll have a new job lined up prior to leaving your current position. If you’re leaving to go into business for yourself or to take time off, make sure you’ve accumulated a nest egg that covers at least six months of expenses. Also, set up your business in advance so that you’re ready to launch immediately. If you’ll be taking time off, a personal website along with a blog or social media posts can help you stay professionally relevant. Be sure to collect references and gather work samples before you leave.
- Give your employer notice. Give enough lead time to find and at least begin training a replacement. Generally, you should provide at minimum two weeks’ notice before leaving. Resign both orally and in writing, and always notify your manager or employer before you tell your coworkers that you’re quitting.
- Don’t burn bridges. Maintain a good relationship with your employer. This includes staying productive through your last day with the company, helping to train your replacement, leaving your work and desk in order, and giving plenty of notice.
- Avoid drama. “Telling the boss off” or making a dramatic exit can feel cathartic — until it’s time to get references. Stomping off violates every rule of professional resignation etiquette and might even make it more difficult for you to find another job.
When you’re ready to quit but don’t have a new position lined up, working with a reputable IT recruiting firm like Chase Technology Consultants (CTC) is a smart move. CTC can help you land a motivating, challenging position with a “perfect fit” employer.