The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
The thought of quitting your current job and moving on to greener pastures occurs a few times in everyone’s life. It can happen for many reasons. You burn out, you have nowhere to grow from your current position, a toxic workplace, a better offer, and so on. Most of the time this decision is emotionally driven and that can make people act too quickly. Sometimes the decision is calculated or even planned way ahead of time. But before you pull the trigger and act upon these thoughts, here are a few things to definitely consider.
When the main reason for quitting is a toxic workplace, people tend to make the choice of quitting, solely from an emotional point of view. But before acting, they should consider the opportunities they have beyond that position.
People can easily say “I’ll find something”, or “something better is out there”, but you can never be sure. So before actually handing in your two weeks notice, make sure that there are other opportunities out there that are guaranteed to work out. Hand in your CV to several companies, go to interviews and try to hand in your resignation at the last possible moment. This way you’ll have a new opportunity waiting for you.
Of course, people always have a concrete reason when wanting to quit. But instead of quitting immediately and then moving on to a place that is mostly the same, they should look for opportunities that fulfill the thing that was missing in their current workplace.
If someone wants to earn more money, find an opportunity that makes them more money. If someone wants a younger office, find a startup or a company with young CEOs. If they want a place where promotions are inevitable, find a company with a ladder to climb. The list goes on and on, but these aspects are the most important part of switching jobs and should be mentioned/considered in interviews.
Building on the last statement, it’s also important to set the main priority. The goal, or the journey? A good example of this is let’s say, you want a higher paying job, but it’s also important that you don’t work overtime. If you need to compromise, which would you rather choose? A high-paying job with some overtime is necessary, or stable work hours but less pay?
This can be implemented in every part of a person’s life. If someone wants to move to another city, which is important? To move as quickly as possible, or to find the perfect apartment? Because most of the time we don’t get the best of both worlds, and people should be ready to compromise, and when they’re being put into that difficult position, they have to be ready and know the answer.
Most of the time, after quitting, a person gives themselves a little time off. Whether to relax, spend more time with the family, or look for a job, it’s rare to go from one position to the next in just a few days. But whatever the reason for this downtime is, people should always set a timer in their head, and stick to the deadline.
A surefire way to decide what this deadline should be is twofold: how much money do I have put aside, and what do I have to accomplish? People should always calculate how much time they can afford to spend without a job financially, and factor in the time they need to accomplish whatever they need that time for. If they have just enough to get by for one month, and they need to find a job, then they better be handing out CVs like Halloween candy. If they have enough set aside for a few months, and the only big reason is to travel or to spend some time with family, then they can set that deadline accordingly.
Of course, quitting your job is a stressful thing that requires a lot of thought. People should never quit at a moment’s notice, and even if that happens, they better quickly get back on their feet. So even if you think about these few points before pulling the trigger, or after you leave your current position, they shouldn’t be neglected, and they can help ease the pain and stress of this change. And if you act relationally and methodically, things are bound to turn out positive.