Taking the plunge and deciding to quit your job can create feelings that range from pure joy to total panic. Whether you don't get along with your co-workers, can't seem to get that elusive raise or believe a better job is out there, leaving a job is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your career. It's not something you should make at the drop of a hat; proper consideration ensures you'll make the smart choice.
A major factor when deciding whether to quit your job is to evaluate your financial security. Unless you have a new job lined up immediately after you quit your current job, it's important to determine how long you can afford to live without a steady income. In an article on the "U.S. News & World Report" website, personal finance expert and author Carmen Wong Ulrich suggests having enough savings to cover a year's worth of expenses before you decide to quit without a backup plan.
Quitting your job during a period in which the job market for your chosen career is shaky can lead to several months of unemployment. When planning to quit your job, peruse job postings for the positions you desire to evaluate how many positions are on the market. The "Harvard Business Review" cautions against quitting without having an idea of what you want to do next. If you hold an extremely specialized position and the competition for this job is intense, you might have trouble finding a new employer.
Your parents might have told you not to burn bridges when you wanted to quit your first job as a teenager, but this statement holds true regardless of your age and job. Thinking about how your employer, co-workers and others in the industry will view you should play a key role in your decision to quit or stay. "Entrepreneur" magazine suggests that you don't know if your employer will eventually reach out to you for contract work or a different position. If you don't show professionalism when quitting, you likely won't get a future opportunity with the employer.
Although every state has its own regulations concerning the collection of unemployment, you're typically only entitled to receive unemployment if you get fired or laid off, not if you quit on your own accord. "U.S. News & World Report" notes that if you quit your job with another position already lined up, you don't have to think about receiving unemployment. But if you don't have immediate career plans, you might face financial struggles.
Toronto-based journalist William McCoy has been writing since 1997, specializing in topics such as sports, nutrition and health. He serves as the Studio's sports and recreation section expert. McCoy is a journalism graduate of Ryerson University.