More Workers Are Saying ‘I Quit’: Should You Join Them?

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Are you itching to quit your job? Or do you long for the moment you can wave goodbye to your boss but have critical commitments standing in your way? Well, you now have a day devoted to confronting your predicament.

Welcome to International Quit Your Crappy Job Day, scheduled for March 31 and designed to honor those in the workforce who just can’t take it anymore.

“Way too many people stay in jobs they hate for way too long,” the man behind the plan, Alexander Kjerulf, tells Money Talk News. “We need to shift our perspectives and realize that quitting a job you hate is not an act of weakness [but] a lead to a better work life, a happier home life and a more successful career.”

Kjerluf, author of The Chief Happiness Officer blog and founder of Woohoo Inc., which coaches companies on employee satisfaction, started the International Quit Your Crappy Job Day website. He says the response has been enthusiastic.

“People love it. I keep getting stories from people who have quit and who have not only gotten out of stressful, miserable jobs but gone on to bigger and better things,” he tells Money Talks News. “If [people] wake up most mornings dreading work, or if they spend much of their free time stressing about work, then it’s definitely time to go.”

An increasing number of people are quitting, some without another position lined up, which is a calculated risk.

“There [are] of course financial realities to face: That is the most common reason why people stay in jobs they hate,” Kjerluf says.

That financial conundrum is the reason many are now battling their inherent desires to move on to bigger and better things, and the employment pendulum has swayed from focusing on unemployment to examining underemployment.

LinkedIn has even set up a blog topic called “#IQuit,” where professionals share all the right — and wrong — ways to leave a job. You can post your thoughts on the topic, and they will be part of a much wider discussion as long as you include #IQuit.

Under the headline I Quit: Everything You Wanted to Know About (Gracefully) Leaving a Job, LinkedIn has recommendations from experts. It also has inspiring stories, like one featured on The Ellen Show about a man who quit his Wall Street job to sell pizza and in turn started a “Pay it Forward” movement for those who couldn’t afford a slice.

The experts also remind you that if you do decide to make an exit, avoid the temptation to make a dramatic statement. Read this Money Talks News Story for some examples of what not to do as you depart a job. (I’m guessing the brick through the window produced a pretty short-lived buzz.)

As job market improves, change is alluring

In the United States, the number of people who voluntarily leave their jobs is on the rise.

According to the March 2015 report from the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor and Statistics, which analyzed January 2015 numbers, 2.8 million Americans said goodbye to their jobs as the year began. That’s up from 2.2 million — or a whopping 27 percent — in the same month of 2013.

According to the Associated Press, larger firms are beginning to feel the impact of the “quits” movement. Interim CEO at the consulting and auditing firm Deloitte, Frank Friedman, says his firm’s clients, which include about 80 percent of the Fortune 500, are struggling to retain staff.

“The biggest problem for many businesses is talent retention,” Friedman told the AP. “Wages are a critical component of it. The balance of power has changed in favor of the employee.”

So: Why are more people deciding to jump ship?

Earlier this year, Business Insider outlined a comprehensive breakdown of reasons to quit:

  • You’re no longer learning;
  • The passion is gone;
  • Your skills aren’t being tapped;
  • You hate the work;
  • You don’t fit into your company’s culture;
  • You have a terrible boss;
  • Your company is on a downward spiral;
  • Your health is affected by stress and anxiety;
  • Your personal relationships are suffering because of your job;
  • The way up the ladder isn’t appealing;
  • Your duties have increased, but your pay hasn’t;
  • You wake up dreading the day; and
  • You yearn for something else.

The last point is the most critical, as that could determine whether you are willing to forgo a steady paycheck to pursue a dream — a startup for example. (Check out this article for ideas: (Seven Simple Steps to Build Your Own Business.) You may love every aspect of your job, but you’re advanced in your career and you no longer have a seemingly unlimited window of opportunity to try new things.

Kjerluf is one of the world’s leading experts on workplace happiness and the author of “Happy Hour is 9 to 5: How to Love Your Job, Love Your Life and Kick Butt at Work.” His website gives you tools to see if it’s time to quit, knowledge and inspiration to make the leap, and success stories.”

Kjerluf conducts workshops on happiness at work, businesses or conferences in more than 30 countries, with clients including Hilton, Microsoft, LEGO, IKEA, Shell, HP and IBM.

Should I stay or should I go…?

There have been numerous studies as to whether — and under what conditions — quitting is either a step forward or a disaster in the making.

Bernard Marr is a bestselling business author and globally recognized as an expert in strategy, performance management, analytics and big data. In a recent post on LinkedIn, he outlines his reasons why you should not to quit:

  • You don’t have a plan;
  • Recruiters and potential employers have a preference for “passive — or still employed — candidates;
  • There are benefits to being promoted within a company rather than hopping around from company to company;
  • Being willing to leave puts you in a position to negotiate, leaving doesn’t; and
  • The grass is always greener.

And there is one more factor not yet mentioned: age. It’s a lot easier to quit outright — and get another job — when you are 25 than when you are 45.

So, you are stuck with a very personal and financial decision. Do you have the gumption to move on without all your ducks in a row? Do you have the cash to hold you over? Do you have an incredible plan for a startup, one that has investor interest?

To this day, I believe that there is only so much disrespect a person can take at a workplace before they decide enough is enough. And, I might have quit some jobs before the time was appropriate had I not found other venues — or needed the money.

Have you been considering quitting your job? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page.