Posted by Robert Half on 24 July 2017
Have the questions ‘should I quit my job’ or “should I look for another job” been popping up in your mind lately?
Making the decision to leave a company is rarely easy, but is a decision that should be a careful, informed and rational one.
Here are five questions you should ask yourself first before deciding to quit your job.
1. What’s the real reason you’re quitting?
People quit their jobs for a multitude of reasons– and each reason needs to be analysed on its own merit.
For instance, if the reason you’re asking yourself “should I quit my job” is because you want to start your own company, your approach to resigning would be different from the executive who’s fed up of being micromanaged by their boss or the manager who wants to be a stay-at-home mother.
However, the real reason you want to quit your job is often not as clear-cut. For instance, you may think you’re resigning due to your heavy workload, but perhaps your long commute may be sapping your energy levels before even reaching the office.
When the thought of quitting pops up, sit down, do some soul-searching on the root cause and try to address any underlying issues first. When you find out what the reason is for wanting to resign, consider discussing it with your superior or HR manager.
2. Have you exhausted all your options?
When a job frustrates you to the point where you’re seriously asking yourself “should I quit my job?”, it’s tempting to ‘just do it’ and hand in your resignation.
If you feel that you’re being underpaid compared to your peers, then maybe it’s time to speak up. Try to fine-tune your salary negotiation skills before approaching your manager.
If the workload is driving you crazy, learn to delegate and know when to ask for help.
Putting in the effort to review all options available before quitting demonstrates your pro-active effort – something that all employers appreciate, even should you choose to resign.
3. Are your finances secure?
This question may seem like a no-brainer for most mid-career executives – but there comes a point in one’s life when financial security is important with mortgage commitments, ageing parents and school-going children.
The moment the “should I quit my job” thought comes to you, crunch your numbers: do you have enough savings for yourself and your dependents for at least 12 months?
If your cash reserves are low but you still can’t stand your current job, plan your way out of the job and build your savings.
To ensure you don’t compromise your financial security, you may want to either consider sticking it out a little bit longer, do freelance work, cut back your expenses, or obtain financial help for dependents (such as medical aid or scholarships) to cut costs.
4. Can you reclaim your job?
As seasoned professionals, we can sometimes forget about work-life balance – making burnout something that’s very likely to happen. But before you decide to quit, consider an internal change of scene to rekindle passion in your work.
To do this, identify the areas of your job that are causing you the greatest stress or challenge, and those that you enjoy as well. From there, devise a game plan to make your job enjoyable again.
For some, it could be reassigning job duties to focus on key areas of strength; for others, it could be a sabbatical, or getting your hands dirty in a brand new project outside your comfort zone.
You may also want to consider becoming an independent consultant if you love what you do but need more flexibility in your day-to-day.
5. Have you planned for what’s next?
Another area that professionals asking themselves “should I quit my job” need to consider is the feasibility of the ‘next step’ that they’re taking.
In planning your career, good timing is key – and quitting your job at the wrong time might derail your career trajectory prematurely.
For instance, if you’re resigning from your current job to become a full-time freelancer, you’ll need to have enough industry experience and confirmed clients that will keep your freelance business up and running. In a nutshell – look before you leap!
Take a deep breathe before asking “should I quit my job”
The next time you ask yourself, ‘”should I quit my job?”, take a deep breath and go through these five questions. When you think it through, you’ll be able to make a more informed decision and move forward with fewer regrets.