8 Reasons You Shouldn't Leave Your Job
"Take This Job and Shove It" is a great country song, but it's terrible career advice. We all have bad days when it's tempting to run out the door, but before you give notice, stop and think. Here are eight solid reasons why you shouldn't leave your job.
1. You don't have a plan
What's your next move? If you can't answer this question, don't quit your job. In the short term, you still need a paycheck—and in the long term, you need a solid career trajectory. A better move is to hang on at your old job while you formulate a strategy.
2. You don't have any savings
Closely related to "no plan" is "no savings." The average job search takes four to six months, so to be on the safe side, save up six months of living expenses before you quit. Don't start your next job saddled with credit card debt.
3. You just want more money
A raise is a solid reason to switch jobs—but for long-term career fulfillment, you also need to enjoy going to work most days. Is a bigger paycheck worth, say, adding an hour to your commute? Make a list of pros and cons.
4. Someone is telling you to quit
Significant others, parents, siblings, and close friends all have our best interests at heart (or think they do). And they might be pressuring you to quit. But if your intuition tells you it's not the right time, don't.
5. You've only been in your position a few months
This isn't a hard and fast rule, and it depends whether you're quitting with no job or quitting for another opportunity—and whether you have a pattern of jumping ship after less than a year. But, in general, it's best not to leave a job after only a few months. Future employers want to know you've given positions a chance and won't do the same to them. And it often takes close to a year to really get settled in a new job. Have you given this one a fair shake?
6. You haven't tried to fix your situation
Maybe you're frustrated by a perceived lack of opportunity for advancement, or perhaps your current work schedule creates challenges for your family. Don't quit without trying to address the situation with your supervisor, who deserves the opportunity to remedy it. Managers are justifiably frustrated when an employee quits without giving them a chance to address a fixable situation. After all, it's harder and more expensive to find and train a new employee.
7. You're burnt out
In today's always-on world, employee burnout is a common challenge, and it's especially rampant in the "caring" professions—educator, nurse, social worker, etc. If you find yourself exhibiting the signs of burnout, which include difficulty sleeping, cynicism and hopelessness, and an inability to concentrate, explore options such as a sabbatical or counseling before quitting your job. The problem might be your current position, or it might be the personal boundaries you have or haven't established—in which case, you'll find yourself in the same predicament in your next position.
8. You're emotional
Do. Not. Quit. In. Anger. Again: Do not quit in anger. It is incredibly tempting to say "I quit" in the heat of the moment, but in almost every case, you will immediately regret doing so—and not every boss will let you rescind your resignation. Instead, take a deep breath, excuse yourself, and follow the 24-hour rule. If you still feel like resigning 24 (or more) hours later, at least you can do so in a more professional manner and control your exit.
Deciding to quit your job is never easy, but if you're going to turn your life upside down, make sure you're doing so for the right reasons.