Over 3 years ago, I hit a tipping point where I could no longer handle working at an office job. I remember this experience like it was yesterday because I wrote a post about hitting my tipping point, where I wrote out my feelings and what was going through my head while I sat in my cubicle. Luckily I was able to make a change for the better and haven’t looked back since.
Since then, I’ve continued to work for myself and am soon going to be celebrating my 3 year anniversary of being self-employed. It’s been an interesting journey but I have enjoyed it and have learned more about business (and myself) than I ever would have anticipated.
However, the thing I find most interesting is that since writing that post, more than 230 people have stopped by and left comments (and stories) explaining how they no longer enjoy their jobs and are looking for a change in their life. It amazes me how many people feel the way I did and how the stories vary from person to person.
Besides getting a lot of feedback in the comments, I also get emails everyday from people who read that post and fill out my contact form looking for advice and information on what they should do regarding their job or career.
In almost every email I receive, the most common question I get is…
Should I Quit My Job?
This one question comes up so often that I thought it would be worth publishing a post addressing it. It can be a really difficult decision, especially if your situation makes it tough to live without that job.
I always struggle to answer this question for people who contact me because the answer can vary so much depending the person and situation. I remember when I asked myself this question it took almost 6 months before I actually got the balls to quit. It can be a really scary thing to consider, especially when money is tight and you have bills to pay.
Here are a few quick things to consider when asking yourself the question. I hope these tips will at least give you an idea of whether or not you should actually consider quitting your job.
1. Make Sure Your Job Is the Problem
Before you do anything crazy (like saying I quit this afternoon), I highly recommend taking a nice long look at your life. Make sure that the job you have is actually the problem and that it’s not something else outside of work that is causing you to hate your job or career.
If you’re like me, you might come to realize that your job is in fact the cause of your stress and the reason you feel like you need a change in life. Others might find that their job is not the reason for wanting a change.
2. Create A Game Plan For the Future
If you decide that quitting your job is the best solution, I highly recommend creating a game plan for the future. The biggest mistake you can make is quitting your job with no idea of what you are going to do next.
What should your game plan cover? For starters, it should address your living expenses and savings. Can you get by for awhile without a paycheck? If so, make note of that. If you find money is tight, you might have to make your first step saving up a nest egg so that you can quit your job without being stressed. You could also focus on ways of reducing your expenses, which can help you stretch your savings even further.
Another thing that is important to consider is your benefits. If you have health insurance (especially family coverage), you might need to look at alternative options to see what is available. The same goes for life insurance, retirement accounts, etc.
3. Figure Out What Career Is Next
Besides creating a game plan, you should also start looking into jobs and careers that you want to do. The last thing you want to do is quit your job and have absolutely no idea what you want to do next. If working for yourself is one of the things you are considering, I highly recommend starting on the side while still working your job (it worked for me). That way you can start to build up some momentum before you flip the switch and make it a full-time effort.
4. Say I Quit!
Last but not least, you eventually have to say I quit and take the leap. From my own experience, I can honestly say this was the hardest step for me to take. I got very nervous about quitting a job since I had never done it before. I had no idea how to write a letter of resignation, nor did I know what to do with it once I did type one up.
One thing I will highly recommend is giving a two week notice. Despite how much you might hate your job, the one thing you don’t want to do is burn bridges. You never know what life might have in store for you so it’s always best to do things correctly and professionally (I know, I sound like a career counselor).
And that’s it! While I know those are just basic steps, they should at least give you something to ponder instead of asking yourself “should I quit my job?” everyday. You can also read a more detailed version of these tips in my book Life After the Cubicle.
Best of luck!
And remember, this isn’t professional advice but simply my opinion. While I have done it myself, I can’t possibly know if quitting your job is the right thing for you are and your own situation.
Photo Credit: dplanet