By Perminus Wainaina
“I need to schedule a session with you as soon as possible. I’ve quit my job.”
This was what read in part when I received Jonathan’s email recently. Unlike many others that I receive in my inbox in regards to career coaching, his almost sounded like a desperate cry for help.
“I have been gradually warming up for my next assignment elsewhere and I thought I had more time but the work environment took a turn for the worst and I felt frustrated. I had to make this sudden decision to exit” Jonathan explained.
Quitting your job is always a scary thing. But here are times when quitting with no backup plan is the right thing to do for your career.
When you can afford to quit your job
- If the stress of staying is greater than the anxiety of leaving
Quitting without a backup plan is not for everyone. For some people, the fear of the unknown is too difficult to navigate and paralyzing, while there are some people who are adventurous and get bored easily in routine repetition.
- When you are working in toxic work environment
If your work environment is so toxic that you aren’t able to see your own strengths and values clearly, getting some distance may be the only way to regain your faith in yourself.
- You have enough savings
If you’re thinking about leaving your job, start to set aside enough money until you find your next opportunity. For example, think of how you will manage to cater for your daily expenses and paying your rent.
- You’ve got a side hustle that’s ready to grow
So, you’ve been spending your evening and weekends on your passion project. Months or years have passed, and it’s growing well. Congratulations! If your full-time job now feels like it’s getting in the way of your side hustle’s growth, it could be time to leave your current job.
When you can’t afford to quit your job
- You’re Angry
You’ve had a terrible day at work, you’re mad at the boss, and nothing is going right. Quitting may seem like the best solution, but decisions made in haste aren’t always the best ones. Go home, calm down, think it through, and wait at least 24 hours to be sure you really want to quit right now.
- You can’t afford to quit
Finding a new job isn’t always as quick or as easy as you might think. Even if you have a strong skill set and work in an in-demand career field, the interview process can be lengthy, and you will need to replace your lost earnings until you start a new position.
- You don’t have a departure plan in place
Quitting without a plan in place can be scary because there are too many unknowns. You don’t know how long it will take to get hired, you may spend down your bank account faster than expected, and you don’t know where you’re going to find your next job.
- You’ll be considered a job hopper
Job hopping isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, many companies hire contract workers and short-term employees, and there are ways to adjust your resume to mitigate the impact. However, you will still need to be prepared to answer interview questions about why you left your job.
Finally, if and when you do decide quit your job, do so as gracefully as possible; don’t burn bridges if you can help it. It can be a small world, and people remember those who handle things in a respectful and appreciative manner. Your professional reputation matters, protect it.