We’ve all had one (or many) of those moments at work when you’re at the end of your tether and want to storm out the front door yelling “I Quit!” over your shoulder. You are not the only one! Quitting your job could be the best and most liberating thing you do. However, there are several crucial factors to think about and thoughtless impulsivity will only ever land you in hot water.
Take time to think critically and objectively about why you really want to quit. Make sure not to be guilty of thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. There will always be jobs you cannot have, colleagues that rub you the wrong way and bosses with annoying idiosyncrasies. Work, by nature, is supposed to be hard work and you’re not the only frustrated employee. It wouldn’t be called work if it was plain sailing and easy the whole time. Having said that there is equally no sense in staying in a dead-end job that makes you miserable. So here are some tips to help you with this difficult transition….
Its just a job
It’s easy to get so tied up in your immediate circumstances that you lose sight of the wider perspective. Remember sometimes that it’s just a job, easily replaceable, easily changeable. Although perhaps not in the current climate?
Have a Plan (and a back-up plan)
There are two types of people who want to quit. Over-thinkers who are terrified of the risks and end up never
doing it and impulsive quitters who have no plan and end up stressed and in a mess. You need to be somewhere in the middle.
Can you afford it?
The one unifying factor that drives us all to work is the money. Without a job you have no income. Can you handle this? If you don’t have your next job lined up or are thinking of starting your own business, make sure you have enough dosh. You’ll be shocked at how restricted you’re life becomes without an income. You can’t buy that new movie, try that new restaurant, get those new shoes.
What are your skills?
You need to work out what are you good at and more importantly what (do) you enjoy. This way you have a greater chance of not ending up in another job you despise. What skills and qualities do you have that could make you indispensable to a company?
Be precise about what it is in your current job that drives you mad. Don’t be guilty of the “grass is greener” mentality otherwise you may just end up in another job that makes you equally miserable. If possible, test the waters for your new job. This is not always possible but if you are starting you own business for example, spend your evenings and weekends experimenting. This way you still have an income if it goes up in smoke.
Be discreet and respectful when leaving. It is advisable to write a formal resignation letter and work out a suitable notice period with your boss. Leave quietly and work hard to leave everything in order, in a professional and dignified manner.
Don’t burn your bridges; root out references
The worst possible thing you could do is release all that pent-up frustration and tell your ex-boss exactly what you think of them and where they can stick it. DO NOT burn your bridges. You may need them in the future if for nothing more than good references. Diplomacy and discretion are always advisable. In addition you have probably made a few useful friendships and connections during your time there. Ask them if they’d be happy to verify your abilities if the need arises, then secure email addresses and telephone numbers.
Prepare for a bumpy ride
You are not living in a Hollywood film and it will more than likely be a bumpy ride. Unemployment, whether self
inflicted or not, can be brutal and your self-confidence can take a hit. Once the adrenaline has vanished you may find yourself disoriented, lonely, depressed and bored. Set yourself hourly, daily, weekly targets. When your alarm goes off in the morning, get up and out, brush up on your reading, network, go to the gym.
Do it with conviction; No Regrets
Once you have quit your job there is no going back. Make sure you have thought about it carefully and then quit with conviction. No looking back. No regrets. Maintain a positive forward thinking attitude.
Lastly, enjoy it! You have taken a positive, assertive step to better yourself and improve your life. Have a party, celebrate, take a break, do whatever it is you do to have fun!