Ever wondered how to quit your job? You’re not alone. When I made the illogical decision to quit my job as a dance professor that I had literally worked my whole life to get, I was amazed how many people later confided in me that they wanted to quit their jobs, too. Thankfully, more people are realizing that quitting a job isn’t the end of the world. It’s not necessarily a sign of irresponsibility or stupidity. In fact, the people who are brave enough to leave a situation, whether it’s bad or good, and work toward something even better are contributing to the world in meaningful ways. They generally feel more fulfilled, are happier, and often want to help others in their own journey toward fulfillment.
So if you’ve ever wanted to know how to quit your job, here are my top 7 things to keep in mind as you take the steps toward living your dreams.
How to Quit Your Job: 7 Important Lessons
Know why you want to quit
That’s really the important question to ask before you send in any letter of resignation. Do you want to quit your job because you’re burned out? Because you don’t like the work? The people? Is some aspect of the job stressing you out? Or is there simply something you rather be doing for work? While it ultimately shouldn’t matter why you want to leave if the feeling to leave it strong enough, peeling back the layers and looking at the situation can help you navigate the journey better. Wanting to quit because you dislike a weekly meeting is a very different reason than that deep-in-you-gut feeling that you’re supposed to be doing something else with your life. Take some time to really consider your reasons for leaving before you take the big leap.
Have a plan
Some people will tell you that you should never leave a job without another offer or opportunity already lined up. Sure, having that sort of security is nice, but not always necessary. If you’re in a situation you absolutely hate, sometimes taking a step away and giving yourself some breathing room is essential to aligning your future prospects with your real passions and talents.
Still, before giving your two weeks notice, it is important that you have some idea of what you rather be doing. Having a plan doesn’t mean everything ahead of you is crystal clear. But by understanding your basic next step–and how you’ll support those steps (financially and mentally)–you be less likely to freak out when things get hard and return to a dead-end situation. Be creative and open to the many possibilities, but do have some sort of vision for your future.
Have a support system
Far too many people will not understand your desire to leave a secure job for something else, especially if you plan on doing something off the beaten path. Sometimes the people who love us most can be the least supportive as they tend to fear your failure. Surround yourself with powerful examples and reach out to those who have taken similar journeys. Having the right support system is absolutely essential to realizing your dreams. (If you don’t have that kind of support system, grab a copy of Take Back Monday to read up on the stories of those who have taken the leap.)
Timing is everything
There is no ‘right’ time to quit. Some people will feel the need to quit as soon as possible, others are willing to bide their time and wait future opportunities to present themselves. Carefully consider your own situation and be willing to show a little (or a lot of) patience as you wait for the right time to quit your job. Maybe two weeks is all you need, maybe it’s two or more years. Don’t be too hasty, but also don’t stick around just because you are afraid of the unknown.
Don’t burn bridges
Whether you hate your work or simply want to do something more in line with your passions, it’s important that you don’t burn bridges when it comes time to quit your job. Beyond bringing a whole bunch of bad karma your way, you just never know when you’ll reconnect with former employees, customers, etc. This article from Harvard Business Review, “How to Quit Your Job Without Burning Bridges,” has some great advice on quitting your job with grace.
Whether you’re in the market for a new position, a new career, or wanting to start your own venture, be realistic about the timing and success of that next step. Very rarely will you experience immediate comfort or wealth, but that doesn’t mean you made a mistake in quitting your job. Give yourself time, embrace failure (it’s going to come at some point – it’s how we learn), and stay true to your dreams.
If you’re willing to work hard and get up when you fall, you will find your way. And it will be worth it.Click to tweet
Follow your gut
Ultimately you have to trust that voice in your head that listens to your heart and speaks to your gut. Many people dream of quitting their job. Very few take that leap of faith. But the vast majority of those who bravely turn their situation around rarely regret it. Even if you don’t end up where you thought you would, when you feel the need to change your situation, follow that intuition and believe in your ability to make great things happen.
Tell me: What would you add to those who want to know how to quit their job?