How to Decide When It Is Time to Leave Your Job

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There are many reasons why people think about quitting their jobs. Perhaps they are bored, not being treated respectfully or wish to stay at home to raise the children. Whatever the reason, it is a very tough decision to make and should never be taken lightly. There are no guarantees that things will be better, and you don't want to do something you'll regret. Look at the situation from many perspectives.

  • Make a list of what you like and dislike about your job. Include various aspects, such as how you get along with coworkers, hours, pay, workload and more. Use the list to compare the pros and cons and decide which aspects are most important in your decision-making process. If the "dislike" list is substantially longer, there is a problem.

  • Determine which items listed cause you the most stress, and decide if you're willing to endure the stress by staying. You must have a good reason(s) for leaving your job. Be honest. Having to get up too early or work on weekends and miss parties are not viable reasons. Constant, intense stress can lead to a number of health problems---from heart issues, to severe depression, illness and high blood pressure, according to Help Guide. No job is worth sacrificing your health. If your health is declining from too much stress or exposure to chemicals, it is in your best interest to leave.

  • Try to improve the situation before you make a final decision. Talk with a supervisor or human resources representative. If the mere thought of going to work automatically puts you in a bad mood, there is a real issue. You can't let your family or those who live with you feel the brunt of your frustration with work. If your concerns are not addressed and you see no accord, start job hunting.

  • Keep working until you have a plan of action. This means finding a new job, having the finances in savings to live while looking for another job or deciding to stay at home while your spouse works. It is one thing to decide to quit, but it must be done in an intelligent way. It is much smarter to quit a job when you already have another one lined up.

  • Sit down with your supervisor to give plenty of notice before leaving. A minimum of two weeks is typically common courtesy. While some situations may warrant quitting on the spot, try to hold on long enough to give official notice and carry it through. It does not look good if a potential employer finds out that you abruptly quit your last job. He may feel nervous about hiring you for fear that you will do it again.

Tips & Warnings

  • Avoid taking money out of your 401k and roll the money over if it is possible with your new job. Safeguard your present and future (retirement) financial success at all costs.
  • Be confident in your decision, and give things time to balance out and improve. The initial transition is always challenging.

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