“Should I quit my job?” If you’ve never asked this question, you probably have a trust fund.
Since you’re on this page, you already know your job isn’t working out. Here’s
- A quick quiz to test if you should quit your job now
- Factors to consider when asking if you should quit your job
- Reasons not to quit your job right now
- Other FAQs when deciding if to quit your job
- Resources on how to get a job before you quit
The “should I quit my job” quiz
Ask yourself these eight questions to decide if you should quit your job. If your total points add to five or more, quitting is probably a good option.
|Question||Responses & points|
|How does the thought of working tomorrow make you feel?||0 Points: I can’t wait!|
0 Points: Not excited, but it’s a job
1 Point: I really want a new job
2 Points: It fills me with dread – I’m thinking of calling in sick, making myself sick, or faking my own death
|When was the last time you didn’t really want to quit?||0 Points: This week|
0 Points: 2+ weeks ago
2 Points: Months ago
|Is it possible that what’s making you want to quit your job could change?||0 Points: Yes|
1 Point: No
|How long did you work at this job and your previous job?||-1 Point: 0-2 year|
0 Points: 2-4 years
1 Point: 4+ years
|Do you have a job offer?||0 Points: No|
4 Points: Yes
|Do you have a bonus or vesting date coming up?||-1 Point: Yes |
0 Points: No
|How many months can you live off savings or side-income?||-2 Points: 0-3 months|
0 Points: 3-6 months
1 Points: 6-12 years
2 Points: 1+ years
|Is your workplace unsafe or asking something illegal of you?||0 Points: No|
2 Points: Yes, but I haven’t tried to resolve it through formal channels
6 Points: Yes, and I’ve either (A) tried to resolve it and failed or (B) I don’t trust anyone to help me resolve it
Top factors to consider before deciding to leave your job
Sometimes, it’s clear you have to leave: When thinking about leaving a job:
- How bad is your job? Is the job killing you slowly, or are you about to rage quit every day? If you can “check out” while looking for other options, it’s always better to leave.
- How long have you felt this way? The first time you think about quitting, put reminders on your calendar for 2 weeks and a month into the future. See if things have changed.
- Is there a chance it could change? If your unhappiness is a result of a strategy the company is pursuing or a particular project you’re working on, is there chance the strategy or project will change? If so, it can be worth giving yourself a deadline to see if the situation improves.
- How easy will it be for you to find another job? If you’re an experienced software engineer in a field that is constantly looking for talent, it’s a lot easier than if you just started your first call center job. Also, if it’s the middle of a recession, try and wait till you have an offer on hand.
- Is there a payout for staying a limited time? If your equity vests after a year, or your end of year bonus comes in January, it can be enough motivation to stay around.
- Does leaving now emphasize an existing resume weakness? If you’ve never had a job for more than a year, employers will wonder why. In these cases, it’s probably better to find a job before you leave, because your search could take a bit longer than if you’ve proven the ability to stick with a company for 2+ years.
- Can you afford to miss a paycheck? Ideally you’ll have six or more months’ of living expenses if you leave a job. If you have fewer than three months’ expenses, it could force you to take a worse job just to get some income.
Reasons not to quit your job
The most common reasons to wait before quitting your job are:
- You can’t afford it. If you can’t cover your expenses for at least three months, try to get an offer before you leave.
- Things might change. If now is the first time you’ve felt this way, try waiting a month or two before deciding to quit.
- You’re waiting for a pay-out. If you have a bonus or stock vesting coming up, it could be worth accepting the golden handcuffs 💰💰💰.
Other FAQs when you hate your job
This depends on (1) how bad your job is and (2) if you can afford to search for a job without a salary.
Take the quiz above to find out. If your problem is just stress but you otherwise like your work, you could (1) talk you your boss about reducing stress in your work, (2) reduce stress outside of your work, or (3) talk about changing roles within your company before you think about quitting.
If you’re looking for another similar job, try to get another offer first at a company that won’t have the same problems as your current job. If you’re going to school and can afford it, consider quitting to give yourself more time to focus on school. Often, focus on grades and career development can be more profitable long-term than working a minimum wage job.
If you hate your teaching job, first decide if it’s teaching or if it’s just your school. If you want to leave teaching altogether, there’s good news: teaching skills can transfer into many careers in tech and other sectors.
This depends on (1) what your job is, (2) what you want to get out of school, and (3) your financial situation. For more information, see: Is an MBA worth it?