Have you been toying with the idea of quitting your job? Or are you deadest on giving yourself a fresh start with an all-out career change? Either way, you might not want to start writing your resignation letter just yet. Before you make any final decisions, you must plan and prepare a strategic departure. That would ensure you do not burn any bridges in the process and could even help you take your career to the next level.
When it comes to planning your resignation, the very first thing to consider is whether you are doing this for the right reasons. Yes, there is such a thing as a wrong reason to quit from a job. These include resigning on a whim or just because you can't stand your coworker's chewing sounds, to name but a few. Although it must be said that the latter can be a pretty powerful incentive to call it quits.
To help you find out whether your motivations are justified, here is a breakdown of the eleven most common — and valid — reasons to leave your job, together with some pro tips on how to make the most of your resignation.
1. A New Job
Quitting a job because you have found a new one is probably the best reason out there, and you shouldn't be having too many second thoughts. There's one caveat, though: your new job needs to be better than your current one.
What does "better" mean? Better-paid, certainly, but quite a bit more too. You need to look at all aspects of your new job and weigh them against those of the old one. Things to consider include the workload, the hours you'd be expected to put in, the corporate culture at the new place, the people that work there, the location of the office, and the opportunities for career growth — and a lot more. These and many other factors can have a huge impact on your professional and personal life, so you want to reflect on them carefully.
Last but not least, before you quit your job, you must be sure that your new position is 100% guaranteed. You don't want any unpleasant surprises once you walk out the door.
2. An Offer for a Permanent or Full-Time Position
If you are a temp or part-time employee, you might be looking to secure a full-time or permanent position. And if your current employer is unable or unwilling to offer you a more long-term solution, it is perfectly reasonable to leave your job for a better one. The caveat above applies here as well. Before you quit, make sure that you actually have a new job offer and that it is 100% confirmed.
3. A Career Change
We've all been there: doing the same job, over and over again for what seems like an eternity, glued onto that same old squeaky chair. Who wouldn't want to flee for dear life? Sometimes, you need a lot more than a mere switching of jobs, and only a total career change could help you recover your zest for life.
Quitting a job and entering a whole new industry could do you a lot of good. You would gain valuable skills and knowledge and meet many new people from what might be some very different walks of life. But before you do any of this, make sure to read up on your new field and get as much expert advice as possible.
If you are moving town, state, or even country, that's obviously a valid reason to quit your job. More and more talented Western professionals are looking for adventures and exciting new opportunities in Asia, Africa, or Central and South America. Whether it's finding an employment in Vietnam or looking for teaching jobs in China, the choices are virtually endless. However, it might be worth checking if your employer would be able to offer you a remote position or if the company has offices in your new location.
5. Going Back to School
We never stop learning. Going back to school to pursue a degree or extra qualifications is a great way to give your resume a real boost. However, studying is time-consuming at the best of times and could require you to seriously reduce your work-related commitments. You might even have to quit your job altogether.
If you decide to leave your job, though, make sure that you have more than enough savings on the side to get you through the whole duration of your course of study and beyond. You might want to think about securing some form of passive income as well.
6. Schedule Clash
Every now and then, we end up having way more on our plate than we could possibly handle. The competing demands of our professional and personal life can sometimes clash to such a degree that they become mutually incompatible. Perhaps you need to look after a child or a sick relative. Or better yet, maybe your side hustle has become more profitable and time-consuming than your day job.
Depending on your situation, you might want to either stop full-time work altogether or look for a part-time position. However, make sure to first ask your employer if they would be willing to negotiate a more flexible working schedule.
7. Health Issues
If you or a family member have health issues that require you to stop working for an extended period of time, you'd be perfectly justified to quit your job. However, it is vital that you or your relative have comprehensive health insurance. Where possible, aim for some passive income and six to twelve months' worth of savings as well. In addition, before you quit your job, don't forget to check if you qualify for medical or family leave.
8. A Toxic Workplace
Difficult coworkers or a toxic corporate culture could make anyone want to resign from a job. If you find yourself in a similar position, don't be too hard on yourself. Quitting in such circumstances is not only justified but also highly recommended. Your psychological health and wellbeing always come first.
Before you leave, however, consider other measures such as conflict resolution methods. Requesting a transfer to another department within the company could also be an option.
9. You Hate Your Job
There are many reasons why you might loathe your job. A low salary, terrible coworkers, a heavy workload — the list is virtually endless. If you hate your job, the chances are there isn't much that you could do about it. Meditation, breathing exercises, counting to ten before you speak — try as you might, you aren't going to fall in love with what you do. So, instead of torturing yourself to nirvana, you might as well call it quits. There is absolutely no use in spending any more time living in bitter resentment than you already have.
10. A Gut Feeling
Sometimes, it is our intuition, rather than our rational mind, that knows best what path we should take. While there is no scientific explanation for this phenomenon (not yet, anyway), life has proven time and again that we need to trust and listen to our gut feelings. In fact, that is precisely what many of the top recruitment and HR experts recommend when it comes to figuring out what your next job is going to be. Sometimes, it's best to just take a leap of faith and see where life takes you — provided, of course, that you have planned your resignation properly.
11. You Did Not Get a Promotion
There is nothing worse than sacrificing countless hours and a lot of heavy work for your company, only to be passed over for a promotion at the end of the year. If that is the case, you might want to consider quitting your job. Why? Because it's often easier for great employees to find a new, higher-paying job than to wrangle a decent pay rise from their current company.
However, don't leave your job before trying to renegotiate the terms of your employment with your boss. You never know — they might agree to give you that rise eventually.