When And How To Quit Your Job (On Good Terms)

Diana Murphy · Jun 17, 2019
Women hugging in an office group photo

We’ve all had our fair share of bad days at work. Maybe you jokingly threaten to quit or entertain the idea of putting in your two-weeks notice. Most of the time, we don’t act on these impulses (happy hour, anyone?). Yet, how do you know when it’s actually time to call it quits? You’ll want to make your escape before things get really bad, but you also don’t want to make a rash decision you might later regret. The trick is to find that sweet spot—you know it’s time to go, and you’re ready and confident in that choice.

Of course, in the best case scenario, you’ll already have a new offer on the table, making your decision relatively easy and painless. But even if you don’t have another job already lined up, there are certain considerations to take to ensure that you’re ready to make the right move.

What Are Some Signs That I Should Quit My Current Job?

There are many subtle and not-so-subtle signs that may indicate that it’s time for you to look for greener office pastures. If you notice any of the following warning signs, take a long hard look at your situation and decide if your job is actually a good fit for you. These red flags may include:

  • It’s Detrimental To Your Health: If you leave work completely exhausted when you get home or you're completely unmotivated to get out of bed on workday mornings, it might be a sign that you are over-stressed.
  • There’s No Opportunity For Growth Or Promotion: If you feel as though you’ve plateaued in your current role and there’s nowhere to go at your company, it may be time to move on. If you’re not learning and developing new skills, this will likely hinder your long-term career growth.
  • The Work Environment Is Toxic: We’ve all worked with not-so-great colleagues. But if your workplace constantly has low morale, that unhappiness will trickle down to you and will impact your mental state. Negativity loves company.
  • The Company’s Mission And Your Values Aren’t Aligned: If your company’s work conflicts with your personal values, or you’re not happy with your day-to-day tasks, then it may be time to take your skill set elsewhere. This is especially the case if you believe that your company is asking you to do things you consider unethical.

What To Do Before Quitting

If you’ve decided to leave your current job, there are a few things you should prepare in advance of putting in your notice. You’ll definitely want to be strategic. With a little planning, you can gracefully quit your job without burning any bridges. This will help you stay on good terms with your current boss in the case that they are ever contacted to provide a future job reference. Professional relationships are vital—don’t ruin any that could possibly help you in the future.

Before you go, try to have another job offer on the table. That way, you won’t have to go into too much detail about your reasons for leaving. Out of courtesy for your coworkers, complete (within reason) any outstanding projects or tasks you may have taken on before giving your official two-weeks notice. On that note, always give a full two weeks advanced warning that you are leaving. Your colleagues will thank you. If you’re feeling generous, write a list of your daily tasks so that your replacement can easily transition into their new role.

Whether you’re ready to call it quits, or are considering sticking it out, deciding to quit a job is no easy choice. But after a lot of thought and consideration, we hope you make the best choice for you.

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