3 Times It’s Smart to Quit Your Job — And 2 Times It Absolutely Isn't

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
April 20, 2024 at 10:40PM UTC

Is it time to leave your job? With the Great Resignation upon us, it’s a question on a lot of people’s minds. You might be happy in your job. You might not. Either way, you’re starting to ponder the other opportunities out there — it is a job seeker’s market, after all — and wonder if it’s time to make some moves.

But before you decide to leave for good, it’s important to consider whether this is the best thing for you at the present time. It may be time to quit, of course, but you could just need a change of pace.

What should you do? Here’s what to think about.

3 times it’s smart to quit your job.

1. There’s no room for growth.

Feel like you’re at a dead-end? This is an all-too-common problem for so many employees. If you’ve been hanging on at your job despite little (or no) room to move up the ranks, take on new responsibilities or earn a larger paycheck, then it may be an indication that it’s time to cut your losses and look for opportunities elsewhere — hopefully at a place that values you and your qualifications more.

2. The work environment is toxic.

A demeaning boss. Catty coworkers. Too much gossip. These are some of the milder ways a workplace can be toxic. But there could also but outright discrimination and harassment, making it impossible to stick around and thrive in the environment. This level of toxicity is simply unacceptable and could very well be grounds for leaving — sooner rather than later.

3. You want to change careers.

This one isn’t necessarily in response to a difficult or unmanageable workplace — it could simply be you and your own goals and ambitions. Perhaps the organization you currently work for doesn’t align with your dream career. In that case, the best move is to look elsewhere and move to an organization that will allow you to follow the path you truly want.

2 times it’s NOT smart to quit your job.

1. Your job offers you financial security — and leaving could put you in a bind.

Like it or not, many of us are beholden to paychecks. If leaving your job will put in in a difficult financial situation, then it’s not wise to quit just yet. Wait until you have a solid backup (that is, a decent offer from another organization) before you take the plunge.

If you do have a safety net — enough savings to get you through the next six or so months at least — then it’s reasonable to take the risk. This is a matter of judgment, and it’s a decision you can’t make lightly. Remember, too, that there are no guarantees — some people are lucky enough to find new jobs immediately, and others just aren’t.

2. You have a pattern of leaving jobs too quickly.

If you’ve frequently left jobs before you’ve invested enough time to really see whether they’re the right fit for you, then this probably won’t reflect well on your work history. Future employers are going to raise an eyebrow when they see that you’re a consistent job hopper — they want someone who will demonstrate loyalty because hiring and onboarding new employees is time-consuming and expensive.

Unless the workplace is truly toxic and threatening your well-being, do your best to give it a chance — a few months at the very least — before you consider leaving for good. (Of course, if you’re being harassed, facing discrimination or otherwise are suffering or feeling unsafe in the workplace, then you shouldn’t have to put up with this abuse and have grounds to leave as soon as possible.)

Should you leave?

Every case is unique, of course. It’s always important to weigh the pros and cons of a decision as monumental as leaving a job, no matter how long you’ve been there or how happy or unhappy you’ve been. Everyone is comfortable with different levels of risk, and, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide the best route for you.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab mix Hercules. She specializes in education, technology and career development. She also writes satire and humor, which has appeared in Slackjaw, Points in Case, Little Old Lady Comedy, Jane Austen’s Wastebasket, and Funny-ish. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for someone who's unsure about whether to quit? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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