Contemplating whether to leave a job is usually a big decision, and one that needs to be made with plenty of foresight and careful consideration. For many people, the decision to leave one job before finding another, is a precarious one.
Leaving one job before committing to another can have a positive impact. Doing so provides you with a much-needed break, and the opportunity to concentrate on skill development and courses that can broaden your career horizons. For example, online and face to face courses (such as those provided by etrainu) can equip you with useful, sought after and highly relevant work skills.
But, before making the leap of faith and quitting your job, there are some pivotal questions to ask and it is critical that they are answered thoroughly and with great honesty.
What frustrates me about my current job?
Being clear about the frustrations of your existing position is very important, and by defining the issues, solutions often become apparent. It is worth considering whether the problem with the position sits with the work environment, people or the work itself.
Examination of the issues may reveal that resigning from the job is not necessary – it may be possible to diversify and find new opportunities in your existing work context. However, consideration of the issues may also show that leaving the job is the best solution, particularly if you discover you are working in the wrong industry or that the pace of work is just too hectic.
Have I taken the actions necessary to improve my current job?
Before you take the final and very definite action of quitting your job, ask yourself whether you have taken all actions necessary to improve your current job situation to the extent that it is workable. Sometimes (but not always) a change of attitude, modifying time management or work habits and opening up lines of communication with management can make a significant difference.
What do I really want from my career and my life?
Taking the time to define your priorities about what you truly want from your job and your career is not only important, it should guide the decisions that you make. For example, it may be a lifelong dream to study law at university and subsequently work as a lawyer, but if a flexible schedule is what you really want, a professional move of this nature may not be best.
It’s also worthwhile considering that a career change may mean that more study, a reduction in pay and the need to start at the bottom and work your way up will be necessary.
Do I have enough money to cover my expenses?
If you intend to quit your job, but do not yet have another job (or if changing to a lower-paying role), you need to examine your finances carefully and work out whether you have sufficient funds to cover your expenses – possibly for up to twelve months.
Financial planning experts recommend budgeting for expenses such as: mortgage or rent, credit card and loan repayments, food, transport, entertainment, clothing and any study expenses.
Do I have support?
Because leaving a job does affect other people in your life, it’s useful to have a frank and honest conversation with family members. This is particularly important if you have a partner or children.
On an emotional level, support can also be necessary if a sense of isolation is experienced after leaving a job and the structure that comes with employment is missed. A support system made up of family and friends can be invaluable in this regard.
While leaving a job can be liberating and create the space necessary for exciting new opportunities, the decision should not be taken lightly. By asking yourself a series of questions, you are better positioned to have thought about a range of possibilities and relevant factors.