Every new year, thousands of people put this question into their Google search: Should I Quit My Job? There’s something about the start of a new 365 days that makes us want to shed everything old and embrace anything new.
Should your job be one of the places where you start fresh?
As someone who has quit their job in the past (three times to be exact), I can tell you it feels incredible to leave a toxic job behind.
However, as someone who said goodbye without a solid plan in place, I can tell you quitting your job is not always the best decision.
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I’m going to knock your socks off with this advice but I don’t think you should quit your job. Not this month or any month this year.
Why do I want you to stay in a bad job?
I don’t! If your job is causing physical or mental harm, get out of there. Most likely, if you’re asking Google to make life choices for you (I’ve been there) you’re not in danger. You’re simply weighing out your next step and asking the internet for guidance.
Google is not the place to gamble with your future.
Most search results will return articles about people leaving their jobs and living their best lives. What those results don’t tell you is the writer had a 50k+ a year salary, they had savings, they had a retirement plan and they know how to play the stock market.
So that pic of them living on a Caribbean island, taking selfies on the beach is cool but don’t use that carefree vibe as the reason to type your resignation letter.
Instead of basing your next steps on a dream that will never work for regular folks (that’s you and me), base your next steps around reality offered from someone who has a few regrets about quitting jobs prematurely.
Why do you want to quit your job and can you fix the issue?
The very first time I quit my job, it was due to lack of money and respect. The company wasn’t paying me and I was doing things that weren’t in my job description – for free. I was routinely being played.
That was a job that I quit, quit. Like, I just walked away one day after my boss hurled insults at me in the middle of the office. Bye.
I had a valid reason to leave.
In retrospect, I should have done my bit to help ensure it never got to that point. The issue of payment and disrespect didn’t happen overnight. I should have spoken up about the payment issues, I should have gone home at 5 pm – there were a lot of small steps I could have taken that would have shown I wasn’t a pushover. The toxic behavior happened because I allowed it.
I am not blaming you for what is happening in your workplace, nor is it your responsibility to fix a toxic environment. However, if there is anything that you can do to make your day more enjoyable and tolerable why not try?
What you should do instead:
Ask yourself what is pushing you out of your job and how can you change it? Most of the time people admit if the issue was resolved they would stay right where they are. Instead of jumping ship, make an effort to resolve the issue. Granted, it’s not your job to fix the entire issue but if you don’t make a start there’s no guarantee your work environment will improve.
Don’t quit your job to focus on your side hustle
Now more than ever we’re embracing the idea of entrepreneurship and more people are working on side projects in their free time.
It can be incredibly tempting to decide to leave your job and focus on your project full time. I’m literally begging you, don’t do this.
I believe in hustles (in fact I have a 5-day email course dedicated to helping you Hype Your Hustle) but there’s a right time to become a full-time hustler. Chances are you’re not ready to make that move.
If you’re honest with yourself, your “hustle” isn’t strong enough to be considered a full-time job. You haven’t generated profit, even if you have generated income, and you’re not ready to pay your bills off of your idea alone.
What you should do instead:
Use the income from your job to supplement the costs of your project, especially if you’re not generating income/profit. Give yourself another 6 months to a year before you decide to leave the security of your full-time job to become fully self-employed.
I can tell you from experience, leaving your job prematurely to become self-employed is not smart or sexy. It is scary.
Don’t quit your job without a plan
This economy is not your friend. We are living in a time where everyone is creating multiple sources of income (starting a blog, becoming a social media influencer, selling products online) in order to survive.
Ten years ago, I could easily quit a job and find a new one within two weeks to a month. Unless you have great connections or you’re incredibly persistent, it doesn’t work that way anymore. I know people who have been job hunting for months, even years.
Quitting your job without a plan in place leaves you at a disadvantage. We’re adults now, scrambling to make it through life isn’t sexy. If you’re going to quit your job at least put on your thinking cap and plan ahead.
What you should do instead:
- Stay in your current job for one more year. Use my first tip (do your part to make the workplace better) to make your job as tolerable as possible.
- Save for your next step – don’t be that person (ahem, me) that doesn’t have any money when they leave a job. If you stay in your job for another year, create a savings plan so you can have some security when you do leave.
- Learn new skills – during the last year on your job take advantage of any training the company provides. Learn on their dime. If your job doesn’t provide training there are still ways to up your education. One of my fav sources is Skillshare. You can learn everything from Photography to Business Skills. Use this exclusive link to get 2 months of premium classes for free!
- Line up a job before you leave – do not think you can walk out of a job and magically find one a day later. A few months before your departure date, revise your CV and start putting yourself out there.
When should you quit your job?
If your job is affecting your mental/physical health, leave. Don’t forget to visit HR on the way out!! Get those complaints filed.
You could also leave your job:
- If you already have savings and a backup plan
- If your side hustle isn’t a hustle anymore and can truly pay your bills
- If you’ve outgrown your position and there’s no room for growth (but again, have that plan in place before you leave)
I know it seems strange for someone to encourage you to stay in a job you don’t like but I hope you consider my advice. In a time where everyone is encouraging you to try something new or make new moves, sometimes it makes sense to stay where you are.
Use the stability of current job and paycheck to build for your future. Once you have a foundation in place, then it’s time to take a leap. Whether it’s about you being self-employed or moving onto a job that is a better fit, you’ll be prepared.
Your pockets and sanity will thank you.
If you have a side hustle and you want to discover ways to develop it (while still working in your 9-5) don’t forget to sign up for my FREE 5-day email course, Hype Your Hustle.
Over 5 days I share a tip that helps you transform your hustle to the big leagues. You’ll also receive a few handy freebies to help guide you along the way. Sign up now!!