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Switching teams: How to decide if it's time to quit your job

Posted by Glassdoor Team

Career Advice Experts

Last Updated August 3, 2022
|3 min read

The Great Resignation has shaken the U.S. job market, with millions of workers changing or leaving jobs because of bad working conditions, low pay, and lack of good (or any) benefits. But it can be hard to know when to throw in the towel. You may be wondering if you’d have big competition in landing another role in this hot job market or what you want to be different in your next job. Ask yourself the following questions and consider these factors before lacing up your running shoes.

Stay or go?

While quitting seems like a quick, easy solution, consider what could change to make you stay, and think big. It costs companies a lot to lose talent, and the lengths they will go to keep you might surprise you. Jot down what would make you feel good about staying: more money, a promotion, or a transfer to another department. Meet with your manager to gauge their interest in ensuring you keep running for their team. If your ideas are all false starts, it may be time to change jerseys. 

“If you’re already job searching, you want out, ”says Gabrielle Bosché, co-founder of The Purpose Company on an episode of Fishbowl’s “Hardly Working” podcast about deciding whether to stay or leave your job. 

It goes without saying that if you need security — a steady income and a regular paycheck — wait until you have another job before leaving. If you have a financial cushion to sustain you during a job search, create a budget and project how long you have to search. This will help keep you on track and in your lane on your way to victory.

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Don’t run without a destination

If you hate your job, you may want to simply quit and figure out what you’ll do later. Without a plan for what’s next, this will only bring temporary relief. Brian Bosché challenges job seekers to ask themselves "Are you leaving something, or are you going to something?"

Run toward a new opportunity, or the cycle of disillusionment can repeat itself after the honeymoon phase ends at your next job. “‘What else could I be doing?’ is a healthy question to ask vs. “How can I get away from here?”

Reverse engineer your new job

Bosché suggests “reverse engineering” a new position at your current company or elsewhere. Consider a day where you felt fulfilled at work. Think about what made it special, what you were doing, who you worked with, and what made you happy that day. Consider what positions or companies you could work for that could potentially recreate that feeling. 

“You’re not fulfilled in your role right now because you don’t have agency. Decisions are being made for you, you have no control.” 

Gabrielle Bosché

Timing at the finish line

If you were to ask your boss, they’d tell you there’s no “good time” to leave a job. But before sprinting away, consider personal obligations and professional integrity. If you’re a key player on a high-profile project and leave in the middle of it, you risk burning bridges. If you can, plan to resign when the workload is lighter. 

Mental health is important

There are some red flags that indicate you should quit your job immediately. If your mental and/or physical health are endangered because of the stress, pressure, and working conditions at your job, or if your job is making you sick, get out as soon as you can. No job is more important than your health and welfare. Glassdoor can help you find a job you love. Check out this “Hardly Working” podcast episode or join a conversation on Fishbowl for additional clarity in deciding whether to stay or go. 

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