Quitting your job is either an act of desperation or a calculated risk. Working under adverse conditions or knowing that all your good work is going unnoticed or worse, being credited to someone else, can make quitting your job seem like the right thing to do for your sanity. Or perhaps you yearn to shake the yoke and make a career out of the things you are passionate about. But before you hand in your notice, take some time to consider a few things.
Is It Really as Bad as It Feels?
Even the most satisfied workers or entrepreneurs have bad days. But for them, those days are the exception, not the norm. You have to be honest and ask yourself questions like: do you use all your personal days to avoid going into work instead of using them for appointments or fun outings, do you spend your Sunday night dreading going to bed because that means having to get up on Monday to go to work, or does being at work feel like you're wearing a lead weight around your neck? If you answered yes to all of the above, there's a good chance your job is making you physically, mentally or emotionally ill, and it's time to consider other options.
Are You Appreciated?
You give it your all every day and either your efforts are not recognized, or in some cases, even wanted. The company rolls along content with the status quo, and here you are straining against the leash to be all that you can be and more. Being appreciated is a basic human need; so if you spend eight hours a day being unrecognized, it's going to take a toll on your attitude about your job. Maybe it's time you look for a job where innovation is as valued a commodity as enthusiasm and a good work ethic.
Are You a Visionary?
If you’re pursuing your passions after work and finding more joy in those few hours than you did all day, that’s a fair indication that you should re-think how you spend your life. Working at what you love to do as opposed to what you think you should do is a decision that has to be made with a clear head, however -- not with the desperation of unfulfillment that your current job engenders.
Are You Ready?
Quitting your job without a plan is bad. Quitting without having built a substantial nest egg is even worse. Reign in your righteous indignation before you flounce out the door, and plan your strategy with your significant other. This is going to affect him too, and he has to be on board. The best plan of attack is to stay right where you are, save as much money as you can, research other companies and use your personal days to book interviews. If you want to become self-employed, same thing; suck it up, save your money and prepare yourself for entrepreneurship by making yourself an expert in your field. Stockpiling enough funds to get you through at least a year is non-negotiable if you feel it's time to quit your job.
Linda Kaban is a certified yoga teacher and professional life coach who specializes in helping people achieve their fitness goals. With a bachelor's degree in the humanities, Kaban has been writing since 1998 and has been published in YOGALife magazine along with other healthy living publications.