5 Reasons Why You Might Regret Quitting Your Job — Even If You Didn’t Like It

woman thinking at work

Adobe Stock / Fairygodboss Staff

Carma Khatib for Wealth of Geeks
Carma Khatib for Wealth of Geeks
May 30, 2024 at 1:47PM UTC
Even after a record-shattering number of US workers have resigned in the last year, the “Great Resignation” is still in full force, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Droves of employees quit their jobs during the pandemic, in hopes of finding more flexible employment, working for themselves, or just to retire early.
As millions of workers on both ends of the age spectrum are quitting their jobs for various reasons, maybe it’s something you’re also considering.
While contemplating leaving the workforce does come with a sense of reward, it’s not entirely without risk. Quitting any form of employment can mean something different to every employee, and it’s good to dig deep into the “why” of the situation rather than following a trend fueled by masses of unhappy employees.
Before leaving, and starting your search for greener pastures, perhaps consider both scenarios: not just the positive, but also how you could regret your decision the moment you’ve packed up your desk and handed in your resignation letter.

Financial Scrutiny

You’re not just quitting a full-time job; you’re also quitting a full-time paycheck. Leaving your career comes with the stress of dealing with increased financial burdens and worries.
While leaving may seem like the most viable option, and living off your savings or 401(k), measuring your current expenses and spending habits, consider whether it’ll be enough to support you and your family, and for how long?
Leaving one job for another can come at a different expense; these can include taking a pay cut, working longer hours, or minimal employee benefits such as medical and dental care. These will be additional expenses you will need to oversee while unemployed. And don't forget to consider how these burdens could impact your family and personal life in the long run.

There’s No Plan B

Employees quit for all sorts of reasons. For some, it may simply be taking a sabbatical or reshuffling their interests in the hopes of finding a more fulfilling job role. Unfortunately, if you have no plan B, that can lead to a whole different level of stress for others after the exodus.
If you don’t find a job that suits your needs, what are the chances of your current employer rehiring you? Are you prepared if you need additional long-term financing?
Use a logical decision-making process for every choice you make regarding your job, not just from a financial viewpoint, but take into account how current actions can impact future endeavors.

Freelancing and Entrepreneurial Struggles

For some, it’s not just the misery of their current job, but also the frustration of extended lockdowns and periods at home, pushing them to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. What works for other people, it may not be true in your case.
Choosing a new career path of freelancing and entrepreneurship does come with more flexibility, freedom, and the ability to call the shots. But it also comes with a host of other stresses which aren’t easily visible from the outset.
Being your own boss, you’re now in control of everything, and although you may have thought the 9-to-5 life isn’t for you, most entrepreneurs work even longer hours.
On top of extended working hours, you're now responsible for expenses, generating new sales, building a network of customers, having a business strategy, compiling your tax returns, finding medical insurance, applying for business licenses and permits, and taking out a loan. After all of this, of course, you still need to make time to spend with your family.
The flagship opportunity of entrepreneurialism might seem attractive at first, but it’s the underlying subtleties that only come to life when you dive headfirst into it.

Medical and Dental Insurance Coverage

While employed, you probably enjoyed access to medical and dental insurance, which may have covered both you and your spouse, even your entire family.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the average annual cost of medical insurance in 2020 was $7,470 for an individual and $21,342 for a family. These are costs some employers typically cover around three-quarters of.
Being unemployed now means that these benefits and medical services are being terminated, and you are now left to cover the bill yourself.
While you may still be able to reap benefits from your employer’s COBRA plan, these are only good for about 18 months. After the time is up, you can perhaps consider Medicare, but that’s only applicable to individuals 65-years and older.
Medical and dental insurance remains one of the more attractive employee benefits, and leaving your full-time job means you’re now left to source your own insurance plans and cover the costs thereof.

Professional and Personal Balance

Having more time at home benefits you by having the chance to spend more time with your family. But with more flexibility, you will now have to juggle your work-from-home routine, while also having to compensate for at-home duties and responsibilities.
If you're someone who struggles to set boundaries, this can be particularly challenging.
Being a working parent brings its own issues. Finding a balance between making time for your family while at home and completing all your work responsibilities can quickly drive one to become easily burnt out and overworked.
Whether working remotely or not, parents with jobs have been dealing with this since the start of the pandemic, and lot of them are at the end of their rope.
That certainly paints a different picture than the rosy image you hope the future holds. While the idea of leaving the workforce and having more time at home seems ideal, it can quickly become a challenge.
Before leaving the workforce behind, first consider how a new set of challenges, not work-related, will become a burden on your shoulders, if not adding more stress on top of it all. Then, make sure to prepare physically, mentally, and more so financially.
The Great Resignation illuminates how a current work situation may not be what you want or enjoy – but it also comes with a new set of modern issues. 
This article originally appeared in Wealth of Geeks.

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