It’s bad, really bad. You know that this job or career isn’t for you. It could be a nagging feeling, blatantly obvious circumstances, or negatively affecting your health. Maybe it’s so bad that all of your friends and family members know. Even though the writing is on the wall, you still wonder ‘Am I ready?’ ‘When is the right time to quit your job?’ These are normal questions to ask yourself. Leaving a job is a serious action that can have many effects on your finances, family, and future career options. This topic comes up a lot when working with my career coaching clients. Many have asked me, “How did you know when you were ready to quit your job?”
My story is not too different then what I hear from many professionals. I was disrespected in countless ways as an employee, not making the salary I deserved after years with the company, and quite frankly tired of making someone else rich. My job was affecting my health and happiness. I carried this heavy burden for almost 5 years! I’ve walked through the fire so you don’t have to.
Before I get into the details of this list, I want to stress the importance of proper planning. While you can daydream about walking into your office and telling your boss to shove it, that isn’t the smartest thing to do with out having your affairs in order. Let’s talk about the 3 must haves before you quit your job.
1. Know what your ideal career is- So many people are ready to quit their jobs, but have no idea what’s next. Do you want to get a similar position? Are you ready for a radical shift by switching industries or starting your own business? It’s easy to get carried away by your emotions, if your job is sucking the life out of you. Many people want to get out of a bad situation by any means necessary. While that’s great in the movies, we’d like you to have the choice not to rely on others for everything you need. Knowing what your ideal career is will help you find your next position, where you don’t have to feel like you are settling or compromising on things that are important to you.
2. Set yourself up for your next career/new job- Once you’re clear on what you want, what’s your next step? Will you start applying for new jobs and interviewing when you can slip away from the office? Or do you need more experience, a certification, or advanced degree? A lot of professionals assume they need to get another degree or feel pressured by others to do so. That mindset from generations ago isn’t relevant to most people today. Obtaining (more) student loan debt with no clear plan is a recipe for financial stress. Start forming a plan and scheduling it out. Consider working with a career coach if you need more support around this.
3. Have your finances in order- What does financial comfort mean to you? Is that when you can cover all of your bills and have extra money left over? Is it when you have an extra 10K, 20K, or 30K in the bank? I encourage my clients to have a financial plan and feel comfortable with their money, before making any major changes like quitting their job or starting a business. Most plans take longer to achieve than we initially think they will. Being able to support yourself and your family financially is imperative to your wellbeing.
*Know when it’s killing you!* This might sound a little dramatic, but it’s a very important addendum to the list. There’s a small percentage of people who are in an extremely, negative work environment that is in fact killing them. If you’ve had conversations with your doctor or another medical professional who has warned you about your job, its time to get out, NOW! In these cases everything might not be settled, so you need to reach out to your support system and discuss different options. No job, amount of money, or fancy job title is worth sacrificing your health. This is dear to my heart, because I’ve been in the position where my job was killing me. Please draw from my experience and stay healthy.
If you know it’s only a matter of time before you quit your job, make sure that you have done the proper planning. Understand what your ideal career and position is, set yourself up for the next move, and have your finances in order. You can have the career, income, and lifestyle you deserve! What needs to change in your life, so that you’re ready to quit your job?
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