Starting a New Job

How To Quit a Job You Hate

April 29, 2021

Quitting a job you hate may improve your mood and give you the chance to pursue new professional opportunities. However, knowing how to quit a job while remaining professional can be challenging. You can learn how to leave on amicable terms with your supervisor and coworkers so you can maintain those relationships in the future. In this article, we discuss when you should quit a job, the benefits of quitting a job and tips for how to do so.

Should I quit my job if I hate it?

Before you decide to quit a job you hate, it's important to consider the reasons you want to leave and if those reasons are fixable. For example, if you dread your daily commute, you could try talking to your boss about the possibility of working from home several days a week. If there is a conflict with a coworker, see if you can speak with an HR representative about working on a different schedule or in a different department.

Sometimes, however, the reasons you want to leave your job may not be solvable. Whether you are in a toxic environment, ready to pursue a different field or simply need a job that is a better fit, quitting a job might be the best solution for both you and the company.

Related: Q&A: Should I Quit My Job? 10 Acceptable Reasons To Resign

5 reasons to quit a job you hate

There are many potential reasons people considering resigning from their jobs. Here are five reasons to consider leaving your current position:

1. Ability to earn more money

Maybe you are not earning as much as you'd like in your current position. Leaving your job can give you the opportunity to pursue higher-paying positions, whether in the same field or a new one.

2. More positive work environment

Some people may want to leave their jobs because their current work environment is not as supportive as they would like. Resigning from your current position can allow you to find a more positive work environment. Depending on your particular work needs, a more positive work environment might include greater collaboration, flexibility, honesty and loyalty.

3. Better work-life balance

Leaving your job may offer a better work-life balance by giving you more time to spend with your loved ones or on your passions and hobbies. It may also give you the opportunity to find a job that will allow you the time you want for your personal life to better maintain your work-life balance.

4. Improve stress levels or health

When employees are unhappy at work, their stress levels might be higher than normal. Chronic stress might affect your physical and mental health, even when not at work. If your job is causing damage to your health, leaving that job may contribute to restoring your physical and emotional well-being.

5. Chance to pursue new opportunities

While it is possible to explore other opportunities while at your current job, leaving that job may give you more time to reflect on what kind of job you would like next and work toward new goals. Here are some ways to take advantage of your increased time after leaving a job:

  • Decide what qualities are important to you in your next work environment and job position.
  • Reflect on whether you enjoy your current field or if you would like to try something new.
  • Pursue your hobbies and think about if any of them relate to a potential career path.
  • Take classes in fields you are interested in learning more about.

Staying on positive terms after leaving

Some people worry that leaving their jobs might damage their workplace relationships. However, it is possible to maintain positive relationships with people you no longer work with or for. Here are some tips for remaining on friendly terms with your clients, coworkers and supervisor after leaving your job:

Clients

If you have developed relationships with your clients, it might be difficult to tell them you are leaving. However, letting your clients know about your resignation can help you remain on good terms with them even after you've left. For instance, you might send your clients a professional resignation letter to help make their transition to working with a new employee at your company easier. It's also a good way to remain on friendly terms with your clients and leave the possibility open to working with them again.

Coworkers

Coworkers often talk about work-related issues with one another, especially when they are on good terms. However, if you are about to or have already submitted your resignation, do your best to express your emotions about your job only outside of work. Minimizing how much you discuss your job with team members after you've resigned helps all of you remain professional while in the workplace. If you have relationships with any of your coworkers outside of work, you could choose to discuss your resignation with them after you have left.

While still working with your coworkers, you can focus on showing gratitude for the time you've spent working together. If a fellow employee asks why you are quitting, you can keep the answer vague and positive with language such as:

  • "I need time to work on my health."
  • "I want to spend more time with my family."
  • "I am pursuing a new opportunity."

Supervisor

Employers are often understanding when you quit a job professionally. You can maintain a positive relationship with your supervisor even after you've quit with these tips:

  • Make sure your supervisor finds out about your plans to resign before your coworkers.
  • Offer to help find your replacement, train other employees on your job functions or another activity that you believe might help make your departure easier for your supervisor.
  • Continue to perform your job functions as efficiently and thoroughly as possible, even after you've submitted your resignation.

7 tips on how to quit a job

Knowing how to quit professionally can help you maintain positive relationships with your supervisors and coworkers. Apart from providing at least two weeks' notice to your employer in person and subsequently through a professional letter, here are some tips on quitting a job:

Read more: How To Resign Gracefully (With Tips)

1. Do an exit interview

Some companies ask employees to complete an exit interview upon leaving. If your company requests an exit interview, consider accepting. If your company rarely conducts exit interviews, you may request one yourself.

An exit interview can be an opportunity for you to ensure that, even if you did not enjoy your employment there, you end your time with the company on a positive note. Talk with the supervisor or HR manager conducting the interview about what you appreciated about working at the company. If you choose to offer feedback on how the company could improve, you can offer constructive, objective criticism focused on the company's future improvements.

Related: Exit Interview Do's and Don'ts

2. Complete unfinished tasks

Finish as many details of your current projects as you can before you leave. Think about incomplete tasks that an employee taking over your responsibilities might struggle to understand and do your best to complete them. If you can not or do not have the time, consider leaving instructions on how to handle those tasks.

3. Update your records and files

Update all of your files before you go. These updates might include:

  • Customer records, such as emails or postal addresses
  • Passwords to accounts that other employees will continue to access
  • Training manuals or handbooks
  • Customer relationship management software

4. Clean up your digital and physical space

Cleaning out your desk, locker and any other spaces that were designated as yours shows consideration for the employees you are leaving behind. You can also check with your supervisor or office manager on whether it's company policy to clean computers of all saved files, passwords, bookmarks and other digital assets that could reveal your personal information. If it is not, clean your computer yourself to restore the computer to its original state.

Related: How To Spend Your Time at Work After Resigning

5. Ask your supervisor for a recommendation

If you do your best to leave your job on good terms, ask your supervisor for a letter of recommendation right before or after you leave. While it might feel awkward to ask for a recommendation letter so soon after quitting, your supervisor will probably be able to recall more details about your work performance if they write the letter soon after your departure.

6. Create or change your household budget

When you quit a job, you may not have secured another job before your resignation. This means that you might not have a regular income for a while, so it's important to budget your finances to at least last until you can find other employment or income.

Related: What Is a Budget?

7. Research possible continued benefits

When you leave a job voluntarily, you often will not continue to receive benefits from your employer. However, some companies may offer some benefits for a limited period. Read your employee handbook or ask an HR manager if you will continue to receive benefits after leaving, such as health care, severance pay, or accrued vacation. Also, employees who quit rarely qualify for unemployment, but you may continue to receive some benefits through your state government, and these policies are likely determined by your state's department of labor.

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