Maybe you want to start your own business, or perhaps you’re hoping to find a different job that leaves you feeling more fulfilled. Whatever the reason, you’re thinking about packing up your workspace, handing in your two weeks’ notice, and bidding adieu to your current job. Quitting your job is a big decision, and it’s not one you should make without giving appropriate thought and consideration. Hasty moves and rash judgments aren’t recommended when it comes to how you pay your bills.
But what exactly do you need to think about before waving goodbye? Well, here are some questions you should ask yourself before jumping ship.
1. Why do I want to quit?
We all reach a point when we feel burned out—and it’s in those moments being unemployed actually sounds like a tropical paradise. However, excuses like “I’m tired of working!” or “This is so hard!” aren’t solid justifications for quitting your job. Sit back and think about why you’re debating hitting the road. If you can’t come up with a valid reason as to why you want to turn around and never come back, that’s a sign you need to give it some time. Don’t make a snap decision on a day when you’re just feeling off.
2. Have I tried my best to remedy any issues?
Let’s say you do come up with a logical explanation for quitting, such as the fact that your boss is constantly piling new tasks, duties, and projects on your plate without checking in with you. You work your tail off with little to no appreciation or recognition. Work-life balance? It’s something you only dream about. Yes, that’s frustrating, and I completely understand your desire to move on. However, simply recognizing a problem isn’t the hard part. You should also ensure you’ve made an effort to resolve it.
Have you had a conversation with your boss about how overwhelmed you feel? Or have you suffered in silence, hoping for the day when your manager could read your mind? Maybe there’s nothing that can be done—meaning quitting really is a suitable option.
However, making your thoughts and desires known is still important. You might be surprised at the alternatives and solutions your bosses come up with! And, if nothing else, you can walk out knowing you truly did give it your all.
3. What’s next?
Does this question seem too obvious? I can promise you, it’s something many people fail to think about beforehand—especially the ones who finally reach a breaking point and storm out of the office without looking back. No, you don’t have to have every last detail worked out, because we all know the best laid plans don’t always turn out as we hope. However, you should at least have a general idea of what your next steps are. Perhaps you already have another sure-thing job lined up, or maybe you’ve already outlined your plan for getting your business started or taking it to the next level.
The most important part is to at least have some sort of mission and purpose once you’re done – after all, you want to feel like you’re running towards something—not away from something.
4. Can I afford it?
Money won’t be an issue if you’re leaving your current job because you’ve received a better offer. But if you’re quitting in the interest of pursuing the entrepreneur life, finances are unfortunately—something you must consider. Life isn’t cheap and you have to pay your bills. So if you are debating leaving the security (and steady paycheck) of your full-time position for a life of hustling and uncertainty, make sure you’ve built up a financial cushion and have a plan in place for how long you can survive with limited income.
I know—it’s not exactly what you want to think about when you’re filled with excitement about a new adventure. But it’s vital!
5. What are my long term career goals?
I encourage you to think of your career as one big puzzle. Every job is a piece of the entire picture. Even if your career goals seem like pipe dreams that are way far down the line, it’s still important to think about them. Not only does it keep you focused, but it also helps you ensure that every choice and move you make is pushing you closer to your objective.
Quitting your job is a decision you should give a lot of consideration before choosing which way you want to go. Ask yourself these five questions to sort through all of your thoughts and determine your best course of action. Good luck!