It’s Okay to Quit Your Job—But You Need to Have a Plan

Nearly half (49%) of employees are unsatisfied with their jobs. It could be due to a bad boss, lack of work/life balance, or simply that they don’t enjoy the work they do.

If any of that sounds familiar, it might be time to quit your job. But that means the uncertainty of a new job, a change in pay, and plenty of other complications. A solid plan is one way to cut down on those concerns.

First things first: start looking for a job now, while you’re still employed. Traditional wisdom dictates that it’s easier to find a job when you’re already employed, and research backs it up. As noted by Quartz, Columbia University economists and the Federal Reserve Banks of Chicago and New York studied the job-seeking activities of 2,900 people, aged 18 to 64, and discovered that:

  • Employed individuals were both more likely to get contacted by potential employers and receive referrals from their contacts.
  • Employer response rate to people with jobs was four times higher than that of unemployed applicants.
  • Employed people received two times the amount of interviews and three times as many offers per application.

Now that you’re looking for a job, it’s important to make a list of the pros and cons of your current position. What do you like and dislike? Both in terms of responsibilities, company culture, and any benefits your employer offers (or lacks). Feel free to be candid with everything you dislike about your job, too. Once your list is done, you’ll have a much better idea of the type of job you want to accept moving forward.

Next is the most important part of having a quitting plan—setting your “exit by” date. If you don’t set a date in advance, you might end up staying at the company for months or even years. Ask yourself how long you can stay at this job without sacrificing your mental health and work backwards from that date to set mini-goals and deadlines. For instance, number of applications filled per day, networking events attended, etc.

And there you have it! Now that you’ve planned everything out, you’re ready to quit. Ideally, you’ll know what you want and have plenty of job offers by your quit date.

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