If you don’t like your job, and have the ability to be employed somewhere else, then you should leave it.
Every job is going to have something to complain about, but if your job is a source of constant stress, you’re getting no life skills from it, the pay isn’t good, the management is terrible, and you have no reason to be there, then you should quit. It really is as simple as that sometimes.
That approach is definitely not for everyone. Some people stay at their bad jobs because the idea of being jobless and having no money is overwhelming or unfeasible. Some people just aren’t ready to move on yet. But luckily, you can prepare yourself beforehand. Follow this guide to learn what you need to do before you leave your job.
Ask Yourself if This Situation Can Be Saved
You need to ask yourself why you want to leave your current job.
Perhaps the work is too boring and you’re not learning anything. If that’s the case, try to talk with your boss and see if you can get a new position or more direction. If you feel that you’ve reached a new level in your career and deserve to make more money, ask for a raise. When you can’t stand a coworker in your department, try getting transferred.
The situation may end up being a lost cause, but you need to do your due diligence and figure out if that’s actually the case. Usually, a bad situation can be rectified. It might be easier than you think.
Basically, if you like your job, but there are certain reasons you want to leave, see if you can resolve them. If you can’t or the people around you won’t, then keep trying to get a new job.
Search for a New One While You’re Still Working
“Well, that’s obvious,” you may say, but there are many people who don’t do this. They quit their jobs without another job lined up, thinking they can get the next job quickly, and then they’re unemployed for a long time. Don’t be this person. It never ends well.
You should be working at this all the time if you plan on leaving your job. Go to job fairs, apply to local businesses, search the local job boards online for a possible lead. Do anything it takes to have another job lined up before you go.
Think about what’s worse: continuing in your current job or being unemployed and not being able to find a new source of income. It’s almost always the second option.
Set Yourself Up with a Budget
If a new job isn’t possible, or isn’t available right away, and you have to leave your job now, you need to plan accordingly. Start setting a budget for yourself and make sure you have enough money to survive a dry spell of no work.
See if your health insurance will still be in effect and for how long. Think about your 401k. See if filing for unemployment is a possibility. Not being financially prepared can spell disaster. You may have quit your bad job, but you’ll soon have other things to worry about. But this can be stopped if you know what you’re doing.
Position Yourself for an Amicable Break
Going off on your coworkers about their annoying quirks and giving your boss the middle finger sounds great in your head, but in practice, it may come back to bite you.
No matter how bad your job was, you’ll end up looking like the bad guy in this situation. Burning your bridges will never be worth the brief, fleeting satisfaction of telling your boss off. You’ll end up regretting this, because it’s a huge, huge mistake.
Archive Anything Important
Before you leave your job, take anything you can with you that you feel will help you in the future. Emails, job performance reports, or anything else that you can use for your career. With Dropbox and other forms of cloud storage, archiving has never been easier, but too many people forget to do it.
You need to be collecting documents and projects that will bolster your professional portfolio before you’re locked out of the system. If not, you’ll be kicking yourself as you’re putting together you next resume. With that being said, make sure your Cover Letter and Resume are up-to-date and well written.
Tie Up Any Loose Ends
If there are any tasks that need to be finished, do them before you leave. You’re going to make it harder on the next person if not. Take a look around, and if things look good, then you’re free to go. Otherwise, help prepare your job for the next person to make it as easy as possible.
This follows the same logic as making an amicable break. Your coworkers and managers will appreciate and remember that when a reference calls to check out your work history.
Plan an Exit Interview
If your job doesn’t mention exit interviews when you leave, try to plan one with your employer before you go. Exit interviews allow you to give feedback to your job, leave amicably, and leave the door open should you return.
With an exit interview, be honest, be constructive, and don’t use it as a way to vent. Instead, give your feedback and move on. At worst, you’ll just be able to get some things about the company off your chest. At best, you’ll help improve the company for coworkers and friends who will remain with the company.
Keep in Touch With the People You Like
There is probably a coworker you’ve enjoyed talking to. You’re not so close that you’re hanging out on your days off, but maybe they’re someone you wished you got to know better. If there are coworkers like this, then don’t let your potential friendship end like this.
Ask for contact info, whether it’s through phone or social media. You may end up making a good friend, and maybe you can convince that awesome coworker to join you.
Take Some Time Off
Even with another job lined up, maybe take some time to unwind, especially if your job didn’t allow many days off. You’ve earned it, and you’ll come into your next job with a clear mind and more determination to do your best.
Quitting your job can be the best decision you’ve ever made, but if you aren’t prepared, it can be your worst. By following these simple steps, you can make the transition to your next job smooth.
Susan Ranford is an expert on job market trends, hiring, and business management. She is the Community Outreach Coordinator for New York Jobs. In her blogging and writing, she seeks to shed light on issues related to employment, business, and finance to help others understand different industries and find the right job fit for them.
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