You may have been fantasizing about quitting your job for months, or even years. You feel ready to quit your job for so many reasons (your boss is an asshole, you come home exhausted, or you know you deserve so much better).
But are you actually ready to quit your job? You may not be ready to quit your job until you’ve taken 3 action steps, 3 signs that move you from needing to quit to actually being ready to quit your job.
The Difference Between Wanting to Quit and Being Ready to Quit Your Job
Here are the most common reasons you may want/need to quit:
- Emotional trigger. Signs: You’re burned out, deeply bored, you feel bad while you’re there, you dread going. There may be toxic or abusive behavior at work. Your mental health is suffering. The wild animal in you knows you need to go.
- Physical trigger. Signs: Exhaustion, digestive problems, fatigue, brain fog, lack of movement, heightened nervous system makes it hard to “turn off” and rest, insomnia. In some way, it’s costing you your health.
- Culture/values clash. Signs: You have to betray your own values in order to fit in or do the work. You experience micro-aggressions, are the butt of the jokes, your contributions are devalued by the team. The touted values are on the website and brochures not actually practiced or protected. It is clear that you don’t belong.
- Crisis of meaning. Signs: It just doesn’t matter enough at the end of the day. Feel pointless and like a waste of your time and potential. If you died tomorrow, you would not be leaving behind the contribution or legacy that you’d be proud of.
- Hit a growth dead end. Signs: No path for growth. You’re not learning new things, no professional development, you don’t want boss’s job, no income growth potential. You’re just stuck where you are.
You may be experiencing one or multiple of those things. Those are indicator lights that you need to quit, but they don’t make you ready to quit. Let’s talk about those 3 things you need in order to be ready to quit your job.
3 Signs You’re Ready to Quit Your Job
1 | You know what you want to do next.
When your job is making you miserable, you just want to get out. But if you don’t know what you want from your career and what needs to change and how you might need to change, it’s extremely likely that you’ll end up in another job that’s a bad fit.
When you quit, you don’t want to just run from something, you want to move toward something instead of repeating old patterns.
I do not recommend taking time off to figure out it out. Time doesn’t help if you don’t have an effective strategy. Journaling, informational interviews, volunteering, taking classes, assessments, travel – these are not career choice or career change strategies. You will probably have a nice time and learn about yourself but that doesn’t help you choose a career.
If you need help figuring out what you want to do, my free training is a great resource.
2 | You have a transition plan.
I know you want to quit with integrity, whatever that means to you.
I also want you to be able to quit your job with a practical plan in place so you can safely move from A to B. Don’t quit your job to leave a stressful situation only to enter a new stressful situation where you’re out of work and have to scramble to piece things together.
3 | You feel confident about quitting.
It does not feel that good to quit when you feel defeated. It feels amazing to quit when you know what you have to offer and are eager to share that with an employer or client who will value you.
Go out on top. Go out peaceful, energized, and proud of yourself and your choice.
There are exceptions to all of this: If you are in an abusive situation or your mental or physical health are in danger, you may not be able to wait to quit under ideal circumstances. If you are worried for your immediate safety or health, there are some resources for you in the links below.
If the indicator lights are flashing for you, it’s time to get ready to quit your job. Learn what you want, make your plan, leave with confidence.
If you are in an unhealthy or unsafe work situation, here are some resources:
- Empowerwork is a free, confidential texting service to give employees a safe way to report workplace issues. It is run by a non-profit and staffed by trained volunteer counselors. https://www.empowerwork.org/
- Concerns about physical health & safety at work: The US Dept of Labor has a breakdown of information (when & how to file an OSHA complaint and how you’re protected if you file a complaint against your employer) at https://www.whistleblowers.gov/
- Check if your company offers EAP benefits (Employee Assistance Program). Who to call will vary by employer and insurance. Usually a free service available 24/7 with a range of services, including counseling and legal aid.