17 Important Things to Consider Before Deciding to Leave Your Job

The decision to leave your job is a big one, especially if you’ve been working there for quite some time. With this in mind, you may have doubts and worries about whether to go for it or stay put. To help you out, we made a list of 17 things to consider before you make the decision.

Your Financial Stability

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Before making the leap and quitting your job, you’ll want to assess your current financial situation. Review your savings and expenses, consider any debts and financial obligations you have, and analyze the impact of losing employer-provided benefits. If you do this and find that you’ll manage just fine, you’re good to go!

Career Goals and Job Satisfaction

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Take a moment to reflect on your career aspirations. Before jumping the gun, evaluate your current satisfaction and consider any possible growth opportunities in your current job. You may also want to consider if a new job aligns better with your career goals or if you should hold off and stick to your current role.

The Job Market and Opportunities

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As shared by Forbes, “One of the first principles of recruiting is telling a job seeker not to quit a job without another guaranteed opportunity in hand.” This is especially true if you’re in a competitive field. Before you decide to leave your current job, research job availability in your field and assess the demand for your skills and experience.

Personal Health and Well-being

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If you’re debating whether or not to quit and are stuck on the fence, consider the impact of your job on your physical and mental health. Evaluate your current work-life balance and reflect on stress levels and job-related health issues. If the job is negatively impacting your health and well-being, it may well be time to leave.

Impact on Professional Relationships

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Leaving a job can significantly affect your relationships with colleagues and mentors, especially if you’re a highly valued team member. Evaluate the network and connections you’ve built at your current job and whether or not you leaving is likely to negatively impact your career going forward. Think about potential references and endorsements for future opportunities.

Long-Term Career Implications

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Analyze how the move you’re considering will affect your career trajectory. Reflect on both the long-term career benefits and drawbacks. If you think taking a new position elsewhere will potentially help you advance and develop your skills, it may be the right decision.

Legal and Contractual Obligations

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You may be tempted to just get up and quit, but it’s important to review your employment contract for any clauses related to resignation. Of course, nobody can force you to keep working, but as shared by Indeed, “The way you quit can influence your professional relationships going forward, and you should strive to leave a good impression for the sake of your own reputation.”

Family and Personal Commitments

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Assess the impact that you leaving your job will have on your family and personal life. You’ll want to consider any changes that will subsequently occur to your family routine and responsibilities and reflect on how a job change aligns with your personal life goals.

The Transition

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You’ll also have to consider the transition period that will happen if you decide to leave. CV Library says, “One way of leaving on good terms is to agree—or even offer—to help your company find and begin training your replacement well before your leaving date.” Develop a transition plan for current projects and responsibilities, and ensure a smooth handover to colleagues or successors.

Your Motivations

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If you just can’t decide whether or not to leave your job, consider your motivations. Reflect on your reasons for wanting to leave, and do your best to distinguish between temporary dissatisfaction and fundamental issues. Consider if your issues can be resolved within the current job before you decide to leave.

Exit Strategy and Timing

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As we mentioned earlier, it’s best not to just up and leave. So, before quitting, you’ll need to plan an appropriate time to leave. Consider the timing in relation to your personal and professional milestones, and ensure your readiness for the next step in your career.

The Potential for Remote or Flexible Work

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You may want to explore whether or not your current company can provide you with a remote or flexible work arrangement instead of what you’re currently doing. You should assess if a change in work format could address your current job dissatisfaction. As shared by FlexJobs, “Talking about working remotely may not rank among the easiest conversations to have with a boss, but it could be one of the most important.”

Feedback and Exit Interview

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Know that you’ll likely have to participate in an exit interview to provide and receive feedback before you leave, which is something to consider. If you’re sure about going ahead and leaving, use the opportunity to understand your strengths and areas for improvement. Be sure to maintain professionalism and constructiveness during the interview​.

Gratitude and Acknowledgment

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Another thing to consider when you’re deciding to leave your job is how you can best express gratitude to your colleagues and supervisors to leave on good terms. Acknowledge the support and opportunities provided at the current job and maintain positive relationships and networks for the future​.

References and Recommendations

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Before leaving your job, it’s crucial to gather references and recommendations from your colleagues and supervisors. These endorsements are invaluable for your future career prospects, demonstrating your skills and achievements to potential employers. Offer to write recommendations for your colleagues as well, fostering a mutual support network.

Post-Resignation Plan

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It’s a good idea to develop a plan for what comes after leaving the job. Consider both your short-term and long-term goals and prepare for potential challenges during the transition period. This plan should include financial preparation, potential career paths, and personal aspirations. Anticipate challenges you might face and strategize ways to overcome them.

Final Impressions and Professionalism

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As shared by ProductPlan, “A first impression isn’t permanent. How many times has your opinion of someone changed after an initial impression? Last impressions, however, are established and maintained indefinitely.” So, strive to maintain professionalism until the last day and leave a positive lasting impression. Ensure that all your responsibilities are completed or transitioned properly​ before you go.

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