But let’s not be hasty here. Believe me; I’ve done this a few times. It’s much more effective to focus on doing it right. Here are a few of the ideas I like to review with my career coaching clients when they’re ready to give up and go home.
Run Towards, Not Away From
Don’t just focus on leaving your current gig. Quitting isn’t about running away, it’s about moving forward. It’s a path that opens opportunities so focus your attention on the future. Don’t waste time and energy pushing the job you don’t want away from you. Instead, pull the job you do want towards you.
Slow Down and Check Your Ego
Don’t get in a rush. Focus on making the right long-term career decisions. Ideally, give yourself as long as six months to make the move. Obviously, this can be difficult. Many of us get to a breaking point before we truly make the decision to quit. By that time, we’re maxed out with anxiety and frustration. Try to be proactive and make the decision before you get to that point.
Once the decision is made, check your ego. When you know you’re ready to leave, it can be hard to put up with those everyday irritations. You want to just mentally and physically check out. Instead, swallow your pride and continue to do your best even with one foot out the door. Don’t disengage before it’s time. The right position may not come along for a while so keep yourself grounded. There’s no need to rush the process just because the decision to quit has been made.
You Have Nothing to Prove
Quitting is an emotional experience. Often, when we’re ready to move on, we start noticing all the ways in which others have been holding us back or treating us unfairly. Our patience goes right out the window. All too often, I see people trying to teach others “a lesson.” They think that by quitting abruptly or making a dramatic exit, they’ll prove something to those who let them down. Save yourself the energy. You’ll never teach anyone anything by quitting in a huff or storming out. Don’t pour your frustrations into a manifesto Jerry McGuire style. No one cares. That’s a hard pill to swallow, but it’s the truth.
Be Honest With Yourself
When you’re searching for a new job, you’ll need to weigh your options. No position is perfect, no matter what they tell you during the interview. In every career transition, something is gained and something else is lost. Don’t fool yourself into believing that any career move will come without a shred of sacrifice. Just be honest about it. If you’re willing to give up the big bucks in exchange for a job you truly love, understand that this decision will come with a few hardships. If you want the paycheck and are willing to do a job that doesn’t ignite your passion, recognize that there will be a different price to pay. Make your decisions with eyes wide open and remember that one is not better than the other; they simply have different consequences.
No matter what, I always recommend that you give a full two week notice. There is simply no excuse for failing to do so. It’s unprofessional and it puts an unfair burden on the employer. You won’t make any friends in business if you don’t respect the basic rules of etiquette, and this is certainly one of the most important. Offer to help train others and organize your work as best you can for an easy transition. No matter how you feel about the job or the company you’re leaving, it still provided you with a paycheck and the experience you needed to get to this next step. A two week notice is a small price to pay.
Manage Your Stress
Change of any kind is stressful. The process of transitioning out of one job and into another is one of the most stressful changes to go through, even once the job search is over. You end up in a new environment, learning new skills and meeting new people. It’s a brand new routine and, for many, it can take months to feel comfortable in a new job. Create a game plan for managing that stress and recognize that even the most positive career changes can feel downright overwhelming at times.
Visualize your perfect career transition. Make a plan and then execute it to the best of your ability. If you need a little more guidance and personal assistance, consider working with a career coach throughout the process. You may find it’s one of the most intelligent investments you’ve ever made in your long-term career success strategy.
Photo Credit: Dev Null (Flickr)