How to Know When to Quit Your Job (A Helpful Guide)

Updated 26 May 2023

Knowing when to leave a job can be beneficial as you progress through your career. There may be times you want to leave a role to pursue another, retire or leave the workforce for various reasons. Understanding when to resign from your job and how to approach this change could help you with your future aspirations. In this article, we discuss how to know when to quit your job, list the common signs to look out for and explain the next steps you can take on your new career path.

How to know when to quit your job

If you're considering leaving a position, you may wonder how to be sure that quitting your job is the right thing to do. Here are some of the most common signs it's time to leave your job:

1. You want to find a new work environment

If you're seeking a healthier environment that offers more support, then it might be worth leaving your job. Working fewer hours in a relaxing space can benefit your mindset and allow you to complete your tasks effectively. Having positive workplace relationships can also boost your productivity because of a high level of workplace morale.

2. You plan to seek different job opportunities

If you're thinking about other jobs and want to start a different career, this may be a sign to extend your interests and find something more suitable. Many people gain motivation through searching for higher roles in their industry. You can take this as a chance to find what works best for you, even if it's completely new and beyond what you expected. For example, if you're currently working as a sales assistant, you might want to become a sales manager in the future.

Related: What Is Frictional Unemployment? Definition and Causes

3. You want to grow

Wanting to grow your skills and knowledge in a different company could be a sign to leave your current job. This might be an opportunity for you to find another job that can encourage you to progress your career and help you develop in your role. Growing as a person in your job can be one of the most important aspects of working, so you can consider taking the time to think about what you want to achieve next. This might be creating a portfolio of your computer designs or travelling to a different country to perform on stage.

4. You want to extend your skills

If you feel as though your skills aren't challenged then it could benefit you to find a job that utilises them better. Perhaps you have set new goals for yourself that could aid your growth as a person or you're interested in using your skills for another industry. You could also use this realisation as an opportunity to talk to your manager about further responsibilities and how you can take on more challenging roles.

Related: How to Say Farewell to a Co-Worker (With 36 Examples)

Tips to help you know when to quit your job

Here are some tips you can use to help you determine when it's time to leave your job:

1. Think about the long-term

Maybe you've been in your current job for a while but can't seem to picture yourself working there for too much longer. If this is the case, then it might be worth leaving the job. You can try to find a job that you may enjoy for a long time, whether it aligns with a new interest or an older passion and motivation of yours. The right career can benefit your long-term plans and allow you to set reasonable goals for the upcoming years.

2. Consider salary expectations

Taking on more job responsibilities can help you to develop your skills and show the employer that you're a strong team player. But if you aren't receiving the right salary for your work, it might be time to resign from your job. In cases like these, it's often worth talking to your employer about it first to ensure they understand your concerns, which may lead to a salary increase. If you don't receive the salary you prefer, then you can consider applying to other positions that offer a higher salary for your level of work or experience.

3. Consider your excitement

It can be important to feel excited about your job, even if you've been working for that company for a long time. Being in a role that makes you happy can have proven benefits, like the chance to succeed in your chosen industry and gain experience that could push you further in your career. If you're seeking more work-related excitement, it may be a sign that it's time to move on from your current job. You can consider taking the time to think about what you might enjoy and consider other job options that sound fun and engaging.

4. Reflect on responsibilities

Completing a variety of tasks can be rewarding, although you might prefer something less busy. It may take people longer to find what suits them best, for example, someone working in retail might prefer to be in an office performing administration duties. This process can feel different for everyone, which is why you might benefit from changing jobs. It might be that you prefer a job with casual tasks like a receptionist or library assistant, both of which focus on similar duties throughout the day.

5. Acknowledge balance

One day you might realise that want to spend more time with family and friends or visit new places abroad. Working overtime can assure the employer of your hard work and dedication, but reducing these hours might also benefit your free time. Maybe consider talking to your manager about changing your schedule and whether you can adjust your shifts. If you're unable to agree on a suitable arrangement that can help you achieve your desired work-life balance you can also use the chance to find a job that is more suitable for you and your lifestyle.

Related: How to Balance a Fast-Paced Workplace

Why it can be important to resign

Knowing when to resign from your job can be important. You might find yourself thinking often about pursuing an alternative career or potentially returning to university for additional study. Thoughts such as these may be signs it's time to consider resigning from your job.

Leaving a job can bring about positive change. You can think of resigning as a chance to pursue new opportunities. These opportunities may include the chance to do more of what you love, move into a more senior role or further your education and list of qualifications. Knowing when to resign from your job is usually only something you can determine yourself.

Next steps after you leave your job

Forming a plan for when to resign from your job can help you feel more comfortable in your next steps, whatever they may be. Use your free time to determine what you want. Here are some actions you may consider taking after leaving your job:

Find another job

The first thing you do after leaving your job could be looking for another job. You can also consider seeking alternative employment before you leave your job. This can be especially helpful if you're wanting to transition straight into another position. When looking for your next job, it can be a great idea to ensure it relates to your passions and career goals for the best chance at job satisfaction.

Gain new skills

Another useful step you could take could be to gain new experiences and qualifications. You might like to volunteer for an organisation you feel strongly about or enrol in a course. Increasing your skills and knowledge can help broaden your job opportunities for your next potential career.

Related: How to Write a Resume Employers Will Notice

Start a hobby

After leaving a job can be a great time to start a hobby. Finding new hobbies could create several interests that might inspire your next career path. These hobbies may be graphic design, writing blog posts, dressmaking, cooking or photography for example. Discovering a new passion or involving yourself in a new activity can be both motivating and rewarding.

Related: How to List Hobbies and Interests on Your Resume (With Example)

Take time off

Your next step after resigning from your job may be taking time off. Taking some time off after leaving a job can be beneficial, allowing you to rest, revitalise your creativity and think about your plans for the future. Taking time off before commencing a new job can also give you the opportunity to spend time with friends and family or travel before committing to your new role.


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