At any one time more than half of workers are looking to leave their jobs, according to the Gallup poll's most recent State of the American Workplace report. Maybe you're in that group.
Giving your two weeks' notice can feel thrilling and refreshing! But when you decide it's time to go, make sure your reasons for exiting are the right ones.
Quitting has real consequences for your bank account and your career. So don't leave for any of these terrible reasons.
You're offered more money elsewhere
Be careful, because a job that pays more may, in fact, cost you more. Before you give your notice, do the math.
How do the benefits compare? How much time and fuel will the new commute take? Will you be working different hours, meaning you'll need to pay more for child care or spend less quality time with your family? Will you be leaving a secure job for a riskier one?
Once you've answered all of these questions, you may conclude that the higher salary may not be worth it.
You're terrible at your job
If you’re struggling with difficult tasks at work, quitting may not be the answer. Instead of giving up, get help.
Speak with your supervisor and clearly explain which aspects of the job are tough for you or are outside of your training and experience. Your boss should be able to guide you toward fixing the problems.
Take the initiative to learn more about your job on your own time, maybe through self-study or industry events. This will bolster your self-confidence and help you earn a good reputation with management.
You're tired of the drama
Fact: Terrible co-workers are everywhere. Instead of leaving your job because of difficult people, use the situation as an opportunity for personal growth.
If you're having issues with several co-workers, is it possible you are the problem? Consider what you can do to diffuse the tension and improve the situation.
If your co-workers are truly hurtful people, or if you are being harassed or discriminated against in any way, exercise your rights by filing a complaint with human resources.
Your SO wants you to quit
Work-related stress, family duties and finances are all common reasons for one partner to ask the other to quit a job.
If you're feeling pressure to stay home and take care of the family, will you be able to re-enter the job market easily down the road? Does your significant other have a job that's stable enough to support the two of you?
If you’re being asked to switch jobs to something less stressful or with hours that aren't quite as long, will it come with lower pay and a blow to your career advancement?
You want to punish someone
Spite is a terrible reason for leaving a job.
If you feel your efforts aren't being appreciated at work, why do you think your absence will matter?
Or, does it make you gleeful to think that quitting in the middle of a project will leave the company in a lurch? You could hurt yourself, too, by damaging your reputation within the industry.
You want to get rich quick
The internet is awash with stories of self-made millionaires who found a ticket out of the world of 9-to-5 jobs. If you're feeling tempted to strike out on your own, just make sure you have a solid plan in place.
Before you leave your day job, begin testing your new venture on a part-time basis.
And, since entrepreneurs rarely have a steady income at first, make sure to build up a financial cushion of savings. Consider using an automated investing service to help your savings grow.
You're going back to school
Having more education may make you more attractive to employers and increase your earnings power — but no degree comes with a guaranteed job offer.
So, don't leave a job to return to school. If you keep working while you study, you’ll need to borrow less, and you won't risk graduating into unemployment.
Many degrees and professional certifications can be completed part time, in person or online.
You're afraid of getting fired
It’s rarely a good move to quit a job if you believe you're about to be fired. If you're wrong, you'll be making a big mistake. And if you're right, you could hurt your chances of getting work somewhere else.
Potential employers will call the company for a reference. If you depart while you're in the middle of a disciplinary process, your employer will have nothing good to say about you.
Rather than leave, try to fix things. It's better to rebuild bridges rather than burn them.
Your boss is evil
Truly bad bosses exist, but quitting isn’t the only way to be free of their poison.
Supervisors and managers aren't always permanent. If enough employees lodge anonymous complaints, your boss could be fired or sent for behavior training.
Or, maybe you could move to another department. But you could find other ways to cope. Put yourself in your supervisor's shoes, and consider if you might help the boss do a better job of handling stress or difficulties.
You didn't get a promotion
You may expect a promotion when you’ve been working somewhere for years, but promotions are complex decisions. When co-workers are promoted instead of you, it might be that they have more experience or education, or have demonstrated more leadership.
And sometimes when you don't get a promotion and raise, the reason can be the company budget. It doesn't necessarily mean you're unappreciated.
But if you feel the job has run its course and you can’t get any more money or professional growth out of the place, then that may be a valid reason to move on.