Tips on How to Quit a Job You Don't Like

Quitting a job isn't the end of your working life. It can allow you to reconnect with your interests and spark creativity. Discover these tips to quit a job you don't like and move on to better things in this article!
Tips on How to Quit a Job You Don't Like

Last update: 14 July, 2021

You may have wondered how much of our lives we devote to work. More or less, taking the life expectancy in the United States into account (which is 79 years), it turns out that we spend an average of a continuous 12 years of our lives working, with an average working life of 45 years and 40 hours a week. What happens, then, if you decide to quit a job you don’t like?

Employment can be a source of job satisfaction and well-being, or it can be quite the opposite. In the latter case, even when all the conditions are in place to do so, most people find it hard to quit and rarely do so directly.

The truth is that a bad work environment with chronic stress and an imbalance between cost and benefit is a threat to your health and you should consider quitting or changing to another job.

3 reasons to quit a job you don’t like

Bad work environments, inadequate salary, humiliation, and violence are all reasons to quit a job you don’t like. Or perhaps there’s something about your job that goes against your values or you’ve got new professional interests. Maybe you want to move to a different company or even change careers completely. These are just some of the reasons why most people quit their jobs.

However, when faced with a job you dislike, we can summarize the reasons in a few words: Health, personal satisfaction, and low productivity due to lack of motivation.

A man separating two fighting coworkers.
Some work environments are violent daily, which is counterproductive for our health.

1. Taking care of your health

What’s the price you’re paying for staying in that position?

Anxiety, insomnia, panic attacks, sadness, or permanent anger are just a few of the costs.

These are some of the symptoms that can appear when work not only produces boredom, but also discomfort or depression. The particular economic conditions can be critical, but it’s much more critical when it affects your health, leading to severe consequences.

2. Self-esteem and motivation

Staying for a long time in spaces where we don’t feel at ease affects our self-esteem and motivation. On the one hand, because we stop feeling useful and valuable. On the other hand, we lose interest in what we’re doing. Facing daily tasks and maintaining our creativity becomes tedious.

3. The risk of making mistakes

Along with motivation, when we start working on autopilot, our attention and concentration decline and we’re more likely to make mistakes that can be significant.

You may be interested in: Seven Tips to Discover Your True Passion

How to quit a job you don’t like

When you don’t have enough reasons to stay, then you’ve got enough reasons to leave. However, it can be easier said than done when it comes to quitting a job you don’t like. Convincing yourself and realizing that it’s the right thing to do can be very difficult.

Get informed

As a matter of responsibility and even reputation, it’s generally a good idea not to leave a job from one day to the next. It’s important to give advance notice and also to make sure you’re aware of the administrative and legal procedures you need to follow.

Regarding time, many people how much notice they have to give: 2 weeks? 1 month? The first thing you should do is check if your employment contract makes it explicit in some way.

The second thing is to evaluate what position you’re in and check how much time you may need to dedicate to your replacement. For example, if you’re in a key position where very specific training’s required, it’s best to give more than 2 week’s notice. That way, there’ll be to hire someone new and for you to accompany their training, even if only minimally.

Preparing for your departure

This point’s related to the previous one. It’s always best to make your exit on good terms. Therefore, you should consider sharing the reasons why you’re leaving with your superior or with human resources. This provides feedback so that they can try to make improvements.

It’s also wise that the first person to find out is your boss and that they don’t find out from someone else. Finally, keep in mind that you’ll also need time to pack up the things you need to take with you.

I want to, but…

It’s important to think about what beliefs, situations, or fears are making you feel that it’s impossible to quit a job you don’t like. Sometimes these ideas are linked to self-esteem (“I won’t be able to get another job”), while in other cases, it’s a financial concern.

Forget the guilt of having time off

Leaving a job doesn’t have to be the end of your working life. It’s important to think of it as a time of transition, in which you can give yourself time to get to know yourself, to regain interest, and even to get bored.

It’s important to work on the guilt of having free time, especially in a society that’s taught us that, to be worthwhile, we must be productive.

Many times, in the dizzying pace of everyday life, we lose the possibility of connecting with our interests and allowing our minds to wander aimlessly. In such moments, great ideas can emerge so you can reinvent and reorient yourself.

Thinking about alternative scenarios

To leave a job, you don’t need to immediately take up another one. What’s important is setting a horizon in the short and medium term, as it also helps to calm anxiety.

For example, check how much money you need to have available to meet your basic obligations (food and rent, for example) and how long you’ll have those savings available. This doesn’t mean that unforeseen events may not arise along the way, but their impact will be less.

Sometimes, this plan doesn’t have to do with finances, but with the peace of mind that you’ll be doing something. In this case, you can think about what activities you’re interested in and which ones you’ll be able to sign up for.

A man sitting in a cafe, thinking about his future.
Contemplating and planning how to quit a job you don’t like is key, as it helps you get organized in the medium term.

Prepare

Many times, we want to quit a job because we’re thinking of developing a new venture or changing our line of business completely. In any case, the best thing to do is to prepare. You need to find out what’s happening in your field of interest, update your résumé, look for courses that can help you, etc.

Don’t idealize

Quitting your current job isn’t the end of the world, but you shouldn’t idealize it either. That’s to say, the first feelings and emotions about quitting a job will pass, and then others will come.

It’s important not to idealize or dramatize one scenario or the other. Just recognize that, just as there will be good times, there will also be heartaches.

Take care of your mental health if you need to quit a job you don’t like

Discomfort in the work environment has a direct relationship with our mental health. There are even syndromes, such as burnout syndrome, which are more potent or overt expressions of this daily suffering.

It’s important to respect the times and processes for resigning from work, but you also need to take it seriously and not wait for everything to blow over or for things to change on their own.

Behind many of these ideas, there are excuses and fears, but at what cost? Let’s not lose sight of the fact that there’s no reason to get used to discomfort and that we deserve the chance to feel at ease and continue to grow.

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