Is This the Right Time to Quit Your Job?
When you find yourself in a tight labor market where there are more jobs available than candidates to fill them, you might be tempted to jump ship and find a “grass is greener” job. The hospitality industry has a fairly high turnover rate, so there may be plenty of opportunities out there. How do you know when it’s the right time to quit?
We all have a bad day here and there. You and your co-workers meet after work and the complaining begins: you hate your boss, your hours are terrible, the guests are rude, etc. How can you be sure you’re quitting for the right reasons and aren’t going from the “frying pan, into the fire” on your next job? There are some definite warning signs that you should leave, but there are also some reasons to stick it out.
Take a look:
Maybe you should stay:
- You’re unhappy in your current job. Yes, you may hate your job right now, but is there a way to make it better without leaving? Can you make a lateral move to another department or team? If you like the company and there are options to move around, you may want to explore those before you make the leap.
- You’re mad. You’ve had a pretty rough week (or month) and nothing is going well. Is this something that will eventually blow over or is there something you can do to resolve the problem? Take some time to figure out why you’re feeling angry and be sure you really want to quit before you take the next step.
- You don’t want to be seen as a “job hopper.” This isn’t as big a stigma as it was in the past, but if you appear to be a person who is never satisfied and cannot stick with a job, it may affect future opportunities. Be sure you have a good reason to leave and be prepared to answer questions about it in your next interview.
- You’re burned out. If you’ve been working crazy hours and lots of them, maybe you need a break. Take a few days off and recharge before you decide to quit. Then you’ll be able to make a clear decision about what to do next.
- You don’t have a new job yet. If you don’t have something lined up after this job, it can be a scary time. You don’t know how long it’ll take to find another position and how far you can stretch your savings. Sometimes it’s best to hang on until you have another job waiting.
- Take the time to do a “pros” and “cons” list. Include all the duties, benefits, shift schedules, growth opportunities, etc. Then compare what options are out there in the industry and what they offer. See if you are really going to find something better if you quit.
It’s Time to Leave When:
- The job is making you physically ill. Whether you have a new job waiting in the wings or not, it’s never worth risking your health. If you’re self-medicating every night, can’t sleep and not eating well because your stomach is in knots, it’s time to go. Especially, if you’ve taken some steps to make changes and nothing is working.
- You are not challenged and see no upward opportunities. Maybe you took this job because you thought it was a good stepping stone to more responsibility; or maybe you have completed additional education since you started and there seems to be no path to get ahead. Whatever the reason, if you’re over-qualified and not making use of your skills and experience, it may be time to move on.
- The company culture doesn’t seem to include nurturing, grooming or educating employees for advancement. Don’t continue to waste time and energy on a job that leads nowhere. You need to invest in your career for the long term.
- The work environment is toxic. If everyone is constantly complaining, no one is motivated and you’re all barely doing the minimum, you are not doing yourself any favors by staying. It will kill your enthusiasm and your work will suffer.
- You positively dread going to work. If you have to drag yourself out of bed, are constantly watching the clock and live for every day off, it’s time to move on. You’re not engaging with anyone and you feel like you can’t wait to escape. It’s not healthy.
- You’re not learning anything. You go to work and do the same things the same way, each day, day after day. This job is no longer helping you grow and there are no options for more challenging work. The company is clearly not investing in you and it’s time to move on.
- You don’t fit the culture. If you constantly feel like you don’t fit in, you have nothing in common with your co-workers and management doesn’t seem to be aligned with your career goals, you need to find a better environment. Troublesome work environments will hurt your job performance and lower your morale.
- The company is laying people off in droves. This is a signal that the company is in trouble and there’s no reason to go down with the ship. Start looking for another position ASAP. The flip side of this is that everyone is quitting…a sure sign that there’s some systemic problem that is wide-spread across the whole company.
- You are surrounded by people acting unethically. If there is any hint of bullying, harassment or illegal behavior going on, it’s time to get out. You should never feel uncomfortable on the job. Document what you see/know and find a different place to work.
When you do decide to leave, do it professionally. Maintain your reputation by doing a good job and showing up on time until your last day. You may want to ask for a reference letter before you go so you’ll have it on hand for the next interview. Write a resignation letter, give adequate notice and don’t be negative in your exit interview.
Be sure you understand what your benefits are, how to roll over your 401k or other pension plan as well as what sick time or vacation pay you may have coming to you. Thank your team and your boss for the opportunity and leave on good terms.