Quitting your job might be the most liberating, terrifying experience of your life.
You may decide to walk out during the interview or before the job begins because you realize the employer expects you to compromise your ethics to work there.
If not, after some time on the job reveals that your instincts were correct, you exit a toxic work environment.
In each situation, an informal rule of thumb does exist for the right and wrong reasons to say, “take this job and shove it!”
Table of Contents
- Factors That Contribute to Quitting a Job
- Salary Transparency
- Current Unemployment Trends
- Pros of Quitting a Job
- Cons of Quitting Your Current Employment
- Pros and Cons of Quitting a Job – Summary Table
- Should You Quit a Job?
Factors That Contribute to Quitting a Job
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary for March 2022, more than 787,000 workers opted to quit their jobs to seek work elsewhere.
Part of their willingness to say sayonara stems from aggressive recruiting tactics: with 48 percent of companies offering signing bonuses, 43 percent pushing paid time off, and 40 percent creating and promoting prestigious, more accurate job titles in their employment advertisements.
Refusal to tolerate poor working conditions and low pay has employers offering to pay total relocation costs in the five-figure range, an unheard-of luxury previously reserved for the C-Suite.
Employers can no longer keep wages and salaries secret because talking about pay has forced the walls of silence to crumble.
In addition, bait and switch numbers in employment ads have become unsustainable because applicants broadcast dishonest tactics on social media and employment platforms such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.
For example, in a job posting, job applicants’ awareness of weasel language regarding wages means saying “You can make up to” will not cut it.
Learning that the person with the same job title makes significantly more than you do has led numerous employees to refuse to work for less.
Current Unemployment Trends
The record-setting 14.7 percent unemployment caused by mandatory shutdowns is in the rearview mirror.
Nevertheless, employers find that the current national unemployment rate of 3.6 percent and the continued uncertainty that Covid-19 variants may have on the future have combined to make workers much more willing to walk off the job, often with little or no notice.
In addition, ghosting or simply not showing up for work with no explanation has become so common that many employers do not even have any on-call employees to fill the gaps.
Pros of Quitting a Job
1. Salary Bumps
In a survey conducted by Indeed.com, 49 percent of job seekers reported that they sought higher pay at their previous job.
Instead, their employer failed to meet or exceed the effects of inflation or was unable to adhere to equitable compensation among staff at the same level on the organizational chart.
Receiving a performance-based raise or bonus but demanding that the recipient remain silent creates a climate of distrust.
Many such recipients often leave the company within a short time afterward.
2. Stress Relief
Mental health requires stability.
Constant emotional assaults from toxic bosses and traumatized coworkers can disturb the soundest minds.
Carrying this emotional baggage from one encounter to the next raises blood pressure and adrenaline levels.
It leads to heart attacks, strokes, outbreaks of hives, severe head, and body aches, and ulcers.
3. New Opportunities
Once a boss learns to rely on your skills to perform critical tasks, they may become reluctant to risk allowing you to assume other roles.
When you leave the former workplace, you start with a blank whiteboard in your new employer’s mind.
As a result, take the reins and open dialogue regarding responsibilities that match your skills in the first interview.
That way, you set the terms that will allow you to stretch and hone previously unused potential.
4. More (or Less) Responsibility
Due to new opportunities, reducing unwanted responsibilities frees you to take on management roles or step back from projects that leave no time for self-reflection or skill development.
Examine future job descriptions for positions you decide might suit your needs.
Take a skeptical look at anything that blocks your path to fulfillment.
If the requirements prevent you from pursuing additional education, securing your family’s quality of life, or having leisure time, stay at your current job until the right opportunity arises.
5. Improved Health
Less time chained to a desk spent performing pointless tasks to appear productive means more time to head to the gym, walk along the beach, or attend medical appointments without eating into company time.
Request benefits and inducements that conform to your needs.
6. Work/Life Balance
Certain careers have well-earned reputations as the first on-ramp to the Divorce Court highway.
Long hours, irregular schedules, and requirements for constant travel lead to disenchanted kids and resentful spouses.
Before you quit your job, consult your significant other regarding making family a priority instead of grinding away on a hamster wheel to nowhere.
7. Creative Time and Educational Endeavors
As long as your savings permit, use the transition period between jobs to attend career development courses or explore a hobby.
Learn to play guitar, take a photography class, or take up chess or Tai Chi at a local park.
Cons of Quitting Your Current Employment
1. Income Loss
Since the desire for more income motivated so many people to quit their jobs, it makes sense to take several moments to crunch numbers on the effects leaving your current job placement will have.
It would help if you brainstormed all the hidden costs before balancing them against the benefits.
For example, if you live in income-based housing or your employer provides your quarters (as in the military or a seasonal farm job), that expense must play a part in your decision.
2. Networking Opportunities
Although careful nurturing can help you maintain your professional contacts after severance, losing your day-to-day interactions means fewer new professional referrals due to strong bonds.
Losing your network might cost you thousands of dollars in sales and opportunities, depending on your field.
3. Employment Gaps
Although no one expects 20 to 30 years of devotion to your current workplace, unexplained gaps make employers wary.
Therefore, do not hedge when you explain.
For example, did you spend a year as a reading tutor in an underperforming school district?
Or maybe you launched a program where jobseekers could choose interview outfits and receive free haircuts?
Without an explanation, HR personnel will deep dive into a potential employee’s online persona and make their own, possibly erroneous, assumptions.
4. Career Plateaus and Reversals
Unless your constant stream of temporary positions leads to higher pay or helps you position yourself as the logical choice when your immediate supervisor retires, stay put for at least two years.
The less time spent on each job, the more your resume screams “Unreliable!”
Childcare, elder care, and your health issues provide perfect examples of resume gaps.
On the other hand, spotty attendance reduces or eliminates any stellar achievements.
5. Missing Your Coworkers
After you leave, simple mathematics dictates that you will have trouble maintaining positive relationships with former coworkers, even on good terms.
Furthermore, your departure will likely shift your responsibilities onto your already-overworked fellow staff members, and some may resent it.
If you took the high road and refused to bad-mouth your former employer, someone in your previous position may still shred you and your qualifications, commitment, and accomplishments.
6. Loss of Professional Reputation
A little under two-thirds of respondents to a Bloomberg News-sponsored survey conducted by The Harris Poll saw no problem leveraging a raise with another company’s offer.
On the employer side, however, matching that offer provided no guarantee that the employee would not leave anyway.
Moreover, despite the meme’s popularity, “May the bridges that I burn light the way,” most of these leveraged raises created rifts that blocked further upward mobility in that company’s succession plan.
7. Loss of Mentorship
The longer you spend with a company, the higher the value of mentorship you receive.
Bosses with years of experience from diverse backgrounds typically impart their accumulated wisdom when they decide to hire you.
In addition, succession plans provide the heart and lifeblood of sound companies.
Identifying those workers with the highest potential to replace the CEO after retirement while guiding and nurturing their careers ensures a smooth transition after the CEO is no longer with the business.
Pros and Cons of Quitting a Job – Summary Table
|Pros of Quitting a Job||Cons of Quitting Your Current Employment1.|
|1. Salary Bumps||1. Income Loss|
|2. Stress Relief||2. Networking Opportunities|
|3. New Opportunities||3. Employment Gaps|
|4. More (or Less) Responsibility||4. Career Plateaus and Reversals|
|5. Improved Health||5. Missing Your Coworkers|
|6. Work/Life Balance||6. Loss of Professional Reputation|
|7. Creative Time and Educational Endeavors||7. Loss of Mentorship|
Should You Quit a Job?
Once you and your family weigh these reasons to quit with all the grounds to remain in your present occupation, brainstorm the potential short and long-term impacts on your finances, health, and well-being.
Then, game a few scenarios together and discuss whether the results of a specific set of decisions head to the destination you want to reach and the lifestyle you and your family intend to achieve.
Consult a few recruiters and other executives in your current field to gauge your present job-market value and discuss which skills you should acquire to successfully transition to your intended career.
Furthermore, speak with potential references about their perspective on your transferable skills.
In addition, sites such as Indeed.com, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn provide research, anecdotes, and advice on proceeding.
Best of luck moving upward and outward in the scariest decision you may ever make in this lifetime.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Situation Summary for March 2022
- Robert Half Talent Solutions State of U.S. Hiring: Second Half of 2021 Infographic
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Civilian Unemployment Rate 2002 through 2022 (Chart)
- Indeed.com: Q & A: Should I Quit My Job?
- Bloomberg: Pay Me More or I Quit: Workers Play Risky Game With Their Bosses