Ready to quit? 5 things to consider first

As millions of people leave their old jobs in search of better opportunities during what has been dubbed the Great Resignation, you may wonder if it’s a good time to make a move as well. After all, the job market is ripe with opportunities –– hiring is up 10% over 2020 –– and employees are gaining the upper hand.

That said, how you leave a job matters (don’t even flirt with the idea of quitting over text).

Businesses and workers alike are still struggling with employee burnout, making career decisions more precarious and challenging than ever. Here’s the best way to navigate the change.

Do a gut check

While you may have had it for the last time after your co-worker makes her hundredth snide comment or your boss doles out a less than positive review, it’s crucial to pause first and take a gut check, Joyce Marter, a psychotherapist, public speaker, and author of The Financial Mindset Fix, told Yahoo Money.


“Ask yourself if you’re being reactive or responsive first,” she said. “Are you emotional, or clear and calm? Check in with your support network, and remember, the pandemic is a global trauma, so there’s more depression and burnout than ever right now.”

In other words, we’re more vulnerable than ever to our emotions taking the wheel.

Consider your financial resilience

As tempting as it can be to quit without another job in place when you’re unhappy at work, it’s not a wise decision.

“It’s important to be realistic,” Marter said. “Financial planners recommend having between three and six months of savings [in this situation].”

Take an objective look at your career

Marter also recommends that those considering leaving their jobs also take time to think about how the move will impact their career trajectory.

“Does it look positive, like forward movement?” she said. “Consider how this will impact your resume and career trajectory. Think about yourself at your next few interviews.”

If you feel unsure what that looks like, she said it’s worth seeking out help to find out the answer.

“I’m a big proponent of career counseling and/or therapy to learn what else is possible [such as] using your skills and talents in a different arena,” she said. “It’s a real opportunity to provide insight and get aligned. The average person works seven different careers in their lifetime.”

So, don’t be afraid to consider other possibilities and start thinking about where your path could go next.

Think about the impact on those around you

While those disgruntled enough to quit are often focused on their own emotions, Marter said the responsible thing to do is consider who else your decision could affect. If you’re in a partnership, she recommended discussing it with your spouse or roommate first. If you split expenses and don’t have sufficient savings in place, it could easily put a person that relies on you in a bind.

Maintain a professional reputation

Last, if you’ve done all this and still feel it’s time to move on, Marter stressed that it’s crucial to remember that you could encounter your bosses and co-workers in business circles in the future. Resist the temptation to air your grievances, regardless of what they may be.

“If you leave, do so in a diplomatic way, “she said. “Give notice. End work responsibly.”