We all have days at work where we feel like we just can’t handle it anymore. The stress, the strain, the feeling of constantly being watched by a management team– the pressure of it all begins to mount up. You begin to fantasize about the idea of quitting; just walking out without so much as a backwards glance.
The above may be tempting, but it’s fair to say that it’s also a pretty bad idea. Sure, it would be satisfying in the moment, but what came afterwards in your life would be anything but. While you might rid yourself of one problem, you’d soon find yourself with plenty more to replace it.
If you have decided that enough is enough and you truly do want to leave your job, then there’s a few things you’re going to need to do first. These needn’t take months to plan; you won’t have to stick out a job you loathe for an interminable period of time, so don’t worry. However, you will need to run through this list, so your life isn’t going to be inadvertently affected by you walking out and leaving the job you loathe behind.
#1 – Assess Your Financial Situation
Can you afford to leave your job?
If you have a decent amount of savings and little to no debt (and you can comfortably service what you have), then the answer to this question is probably yes. Even so, it’s worth running through your finances to make sure you can get by without your wage, at least for a couple of months.
However, if you have significant debts or have been financially struggling even when on a full-time wage, then it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to just up and leave. Don’t worry; you still have options, you’re just going to need to think through your next steps very carefully indeed.
#2 – Read Your Contract
Before you quit, you’re going to need to know what your contracted responsibilities are. You may be required to give your notice in writing, or contact a particular supervisor to go through the process of leaving the job. As tempting as it might be, just shouting “I quit!” and storming out probably isn’t going to do the trick.
#3 – Try Not To Burn Bridges
While you may hate the job and can’t imagine yourself ever wanting to work there again, you never know what might happen in the future. With a bit of rest and clarity, you might realize that the job wasn’t quite as bad as you had imagined it to be. You might even want to return there one day, perhaps even in a management capacity if an opportunity opens up. So it’s important not to burn bridges. State that you’re leaving for personal reasons, even if the real reason is more along the lines of: “my boss drives me mad and if I have to work with him for another minute I will scream”. This is one scenario in which honesty is very much not the best policy!
#4 – Have Another Method Of Earning Lined Up
Note this says “another method of earning”, not “have another full-time job lined up”. If you’re going to reduce yourself to zero income, then you’re going to need some money flowing through your finances– but you don’t have to leap into another full-time, career-orientated goal right away, especially not if you have a substantial savings buffer already.
You will, however, need to have some earning method available to you. A part-time job is a good option, even if it’s far from what you’re actually trained to do. Opt for service industries that have a short application process if you’re in a hurry to leave your existing job; you could opt for Subway and apply at https://jobapplicationcenter.com/subway-application/, or even turn your people skills to working in customer service. These jobs might not advance your career path, but they will provide you with an income while you recover from the last job. After all, you don’t want to rush into something else that’s full time– you might find yourself jumping out of the frying pan, and into the fire.
#5 – Give Yourself Time To Sleep On It
We all have moments where we want to quit our job and storm out, but these are often just moments. You have to give yourself the chance to calm down and see how you feel. Making the decision to quit on the spot is rarely going to work out well, no matter how well prepared you are for the future.
As https://www.livescience.com/5820-sleeping-helps.html shows, sometimes, sleeping on it can be the best decision you make. Promise yourself that you will at least sleep on the issue for one night. If you still feel the same way in the morning, you can put the wheels in motion to leave, but give yourself that single night of assessment so you can be confident you really are doing the right thing.
#6 – Always Give (And Work Out) Your Notice
Your notice is part of your contractual obligations to the company. If you try to leave without working that notice out, then you’re going to nix a number of the points as mentioned above: you’re going to burn bridges, and you’re not giving yourself the chance to think through such a huge decision.
Even if you’re certain that you’re never going to want to work at the company again — and thus don’t care about burning bridges — you still have to work out your notice. It’s likely to be in your contract that, if you don’t, then you forfeit pay or benefits. Even if you can afford this, it’s a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. You can last a few more weeks, so stick it out until the notice period has passed.
If you can leave your job after following through all six of these points, then you’ll be on strong ground. Hopefully, leaving will be the best thing you have ever done, opening up worlds of opportunities and excitement for your future career growth.