There's a time and a place for throwing in the towel, but that time might not be now, and that place might not be your current office. While there are many good reasons for quitting your job, there are also a number of reasons to consider hanging in there.
Business News Daily asked professionals in a variety of fields how they know when not to quit a job. Here are the top 10 reasons for sticking with the job you have:
1: You don't have a plan
"Leave work with a plan about what you will do, where you will go next, and how you will provide for your income until you get a new job or your self-employment takes wing," said George Boyd, founder of Mudrashram Institute of Spiritual Studies in California.
Boyd said he quit his full-time job in 2010 to pursue his life's passion, but before doing so, he made a plan. First, he outlined how he was going to accomplish his life goals, then he figured out a way to earn an income without having a full-time job, and lastly, before actually quitting his job, he paid off all his debt and saved up enough money to cover two years' living expenses.
2: You don't have any savings
Maureen Daniek, a career coach and owner of Radiance Coaching and Consulting in Bellevue, Washington, also emphasized the importance of strategically planning a workplace departure.
Daniek, who has over 25 years of experience working with both corporate professionals and entrepreneurs, said that if you don't have enough money saved up to hold you over until you get a new job, you should definitely think twice before quitting.
Patrick Chukwura, co-founder of Autosend.io, a tech marketing startup, agreed, saying that those considering leaving their jobs should put a little money in the bank before giving their two weeks' notice.
"The only reason to stay at a job you hate is to save up a few months of living expenses before you quit," said Chukwura.
3: You're not done learning
"There were times I really wanted to jump ship in all three of my jobs, but timing was of the essence," said Myra Dorsey, owner of La Bodi Massage Inc., in Maryland, who worked for three Fortune 500 companies before opening up her own business. "At my first company, I really wanted to leave, but I knew I needed to get one more skill set under my belt to make [myself] more marketable."
To get the experience she needed, Dorsey said she volunteered to work in a different department within her company. Once she'd gained a full year of experience in her new position, she happily quit her job for one with a bigger salary.
4: Things could get better
If you really hate your job, then go ahead and quit. But if there's just one aspect of your job that you wish would change, you might want to hang in there. Liz Jackson, an employee at Agency Fusion, a Web design and development firm in Utah, said it's worth sticking with a job if there's a chance things could turn around.
"As companies grow, there is always some disruption to how you're used to seeing things go," Jackson said. "There are always learning curves and changes. Some of the factors for job satisfaction may come and go, but if you're enjoying what you do, some bumps in the road are to be expected and [are] not a reason to hightail it out of there."
5: You're just quitting for a bigger paycheck
You need to look at more than just your paycheck when determining how much your current job is worth. Steve Langerud, a workplace consultant and human relations specialist, said that money cannot and should not be the only criteria used to determine if it's time to quit a job.
"It is easy to fixate on a few more dollars determining how you feel at work," said Langerud. "But sit back and start adding up all the other things — monetary, psychological, social, etc. — that you would lose by changing jobs. Add them up, compare, then decide."
6: You're only quitting because someone said you should
When it comes to quitting your job, only one person's advice ultimately matters: your own. If you're only thinking about leaving because others have told you that you should, it's time to reconsider.
"Opinions are like noses. Everyone has one," Langerud said. "It is easy to get sucked into the opinions or unsolicited advice of others. But resist! Only you know what is good or bad for you."
7: You're not thinking logically
It's easy to get worked up about work, but when making the decision about whether to keep your job or give your two weeks' notice, logic, not emotion, should reign supreme.
"What are your reasons for making such a choice?" said L.D. Perkins, a former corporate employee who now works from home as a regional sales director for an insurance company. "Is it out of pure emotion or logic? Pure emotion, without thought, will take you down a dark road you don't want to travel."
Perkins said it took her six months to finally decide it was time to quit her job. But she took the time she needed to organize her finances and make a plan that ensured the well-being of her family before taking the plunge.
8: You're wearing rose-colored glasses
If you're thinking about leaving your job because something better has come along, think again. While it's totally possible that this new opportunity will be great, it might not be so great after all.
Before accepting a new position, you should ask yourself a few questions, said Diane Dye Hansen, founder of What Works Coaching, a business consulting company in Carson City, Nevada:
- Does this new position fulfill my needs better than my current job?
- Is this really a better opportunity than the one I have? Why?
- Under what circumstances will I no longer be fulfilled at this new position?
9: You can make big changes without quitting
In some cases, it might be necessary to quit your job before pursuing other opportunities, but that isn't always the case. As Rosie Paterson, who is both an entrepreneur and a corporate employee, pointed out, it's sometimes possible to pursue a new career path without quitting your day job.
"You should follow your own path," Paterson said. "For me, that means working full time while I start my business. I know I need the safety net of some savings to tide me through, and I'm still making useful contacts every day."
Paterson, who works in investment banking by day and runs her healthy living business, Living Rosy, by night, said that those who want to start a business or retrain for a new career shouldn't feel like they have to drop everything.
"Try it out beforehand by taking an evening class or getting to know someone in the department you want to work in," Paterson said.
Your resume will suffer
One helpful tool can help you make the final decision about whether or not to quit your job: your resume. As Erik Bowitz, a senior consultant with Resume Genius, an online resume building website, explained, quitting your job strategically comes down to timing.
"Maybe you don't like your job, but you've been there nine months," Bowitz said. "For the sake of your resume, it would be best to tough it out for the last three months so you can say you completed a full year, rather than leave early and only list months on your resume."