How to Know It’s Time to Quit Your Job

May 19, 2014

Quit JobWe often refer to the traditional workplace as the “rat race.” As the name implies, it’s often seen as a place that we want to escape. However, it’s not always best to simply walk away. In many cases, due to the fact that you are likely using your job as your primary source of income, it makes more sense to carefully consider whether or not it is truly time for you to quit your job.

Do You Have a Backup Plan?

The best scenario is to quit when you have a backup plan. When everything is in place, that’s when you quit your job. This might mean that you have a side hustle that can replace your income, or you have a large emergency fund. In some cases, you might actually have another job already lined up.

As soon as your ducks are in a row, from having another source of insurance to knowing you can support yourself for a few months if you have to, that’s the time to move on.

You Feel as Though There is No Career Advancement

If you want to advance in your career, but you don’t see any potential for that in your current position, it might be time to quit your job. If you are continually frustrated by your job, since you can’t grow and improve as a person, you might want to quit.

However, this doesn’t mean that you just walk out one day. If you think that you are ready for bigger and better things, you want to start your job hunt for a new position before you quit your current job. You can also take the step of talking to your supervisor about your situation, and asking if there is a way to get different job responsibilities, or become involved in more challenging projects. In some cases, you don’t really need to quit – you just need a different role.

If you can’t work it out with your own company, though, it can make sense to go ahead and look for a new job with a new company. Just make sure you line up as much as you can before you make your move.

You are Concerned about the Company

In some cases, a company will offer severance packages ahead of layoffs. The idea is to encourage people to quit voluntarily in order to avoid layoffs. If you are concerned that your company could be in trouble, or that downsizing is a possibility, it can make sense to take the severance package and look for a new job.

Even if you aren’t being offered a package, you might still want to carefully consider the company. Do you get the feeling that a change is in the air? Have scandals impacted the company? If you think that there might be problems with your employer in the relatively near future, it’s a good time to at least start looking for a new job, even if you don’t quit.

If you are especially concerned about legal or ethical issues, though, you might want to quit sooner in order to avoid being associated with the company. This works best, though, if you have a backup plan and you are prepared for the possibilities going forward.

Quitting your job is rarely easy. You want to make sure that it makes sense for you right now, and that you have the support system – or at least another job lined up – so that it doesn’t result in problems for your finances.

Are you thinking it’s time to quit your job? Leave a comment and tell us what you plan on doing.


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Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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2 Responses to How to Know It’s Time to Quit Your Job

  • constance k

    One should never quit their job unless you have a backup plan or at least know where you are heading

  • Mario Adventuresinfrugal

    Advancement is a touchy topic. Trying to do it at the same company often means waiting for positions above you to clear out, whereas looking at other companies means potentially waiting less time. This, of course, has to be balanced with the costs inherent in switching companies…