You may have very good reasons for quitting your job, but it’s important to think through your decision carefully before you hand in a letter of resignation or even hint to your boss that you’re ready to move on. This is especially true if you haven’t lined up another position. It’s a big gamble to leave a job without a solid plan for the future. Once you’ve announced that you’re quitting, you may not be able to change your mind. Consider these seven questions you should ask yourself before you make a final decision.
1. Are you quitting for legitimate reasons?
If the job truly is a professional dead-end or your working conditions are intolerable, there’s no question that you should plan your departure. However, if you’re simply bored or feeling unchallenged, you need to reconsider. While there may be a dream job out there waiting for you, in most cases jobs are what you make them. Before you leave, sit down with your supervisor and discuss things you can do to make the job more meaningful and fulfilling for yourself and your employer.
2. Are you quitting the job or quitting your boss?
An abusive or overly demanding supervisor can make you miserable, even if you enjoy your work. If you feel like your relationship with your boss is forcing you to leave, there may be actions you can take short of quitting. One step is to try to improve the relationship. If that doesn’t work, you may be able to get transferred to another work group within your company. Another alternative is to talk with a human resources representative about your problems.
3. Do you have a new job lined up?
If you haven’t found a new gig to replace the one you’re leaving, the wise move is to make the most of your present situation until you’ve found another job. You can’t be sure how long it will take to line up a new position, and you may have to tap into your savings to make ends meet. If you experience several months of unemployment, you’ll have a work gap on your resume. This will need to be explained when you apply for a new job. Recruiters are wary of people with employment gaps. They’re afraid of hiring someone who will soon tire of their job and move on.
If you’re on the hunt for a new job, consider this: “Fashion Choices, Word Choices and 5 Other Moves That Will Sabotage Your Job Search.”
4. Have you talked your decision over with friends and loved ones?
Because quitting a job is a big step, it’s always a good idea to talk it over with trusted friends and family members. They can help you decide if you’ll truly be better off leaving. Your friends can provide an objective, outside perspective on the pros and cons of quitting. Your family should have a say since they will be part of any financial changes that result from your decision, especially if you are giving up a secure job for one that might not work out.
5. Are you financially prepared?
Always consider how taking a new job will affect your bank account. If you have to relocate, you could end up spending thousands of dollars on moving costs, depending on your new employer’s willingness to lend a hand. You may need to pay to put things in storage or come up with your first and last month’s rent for a new landlord. If you’re a homeowner who is moving to a pricier real estate market, the money you get from selling your present home may not match the price of homes in your new community.
If you’re thinking of jumping ship, consider this: “9 Ways to Prepare an Emergency Fund When Money’s Tight.”
6. Did you get a description of your new job in writing?
It’s common to hear stories about people who have accepted new jobs only to find out they aren’t quite what they were cracked up to be. Sometimes the vacation benefits are less than the ones they left behind. Perhaps the health benefits limit them to using an HMO they find to be substandard. Maybe their new job’s title doesn’t accurately reflect their duties. The best way to prevent this from happening is to ask your new employer to put the details of your new job in writing. This should include the pay, the benefits and a detailed description of what you will be doing. If the employer is being open and honest, this shouldn’t be a problem.
7. Will quitting your job affect your personal life?
Often people develop intricate social networks at work. They may play on a company baseball team, head the company’s annual charity drive or socialize after work with their co-workers. If you’ve become deeply involved with your co-workers, leaving definitely will affect your personal life. It’s true that you can build a new social network at another company, but the relationships you’ve already established are likely to suffer. Make sure that benefits of leaving your old job outweigh the things you’ll need to give up.
Have you ever left a job for a new one? Share with us in comments below or on our Facebook page.