An Executive Recruiter’s Advice: Why You Should Think Twice Before Quitting

New Year’s resolution to quit your job?  It’s cold out there, says this veteran executive recruiter.

It’s that time of year…. cold weather, holiday parties, annual bonuses, and yes, thinking about whether you should quit your job – or not. At least that’s what a lot recent articles seem to indicate.

perfect job
Careful! Your perfect job may not be easy to achieve.

Here are some examples: How Do You Know When it’s Time to Quit Your Job? (Fortune); 9 Signs You Should (Maybe) Quit Your Job Now (Entrepreneur); Contempt, Crazy Hours and the Economics of Quitting Your Job (Knowledge @ Wharton); 14 Signs it’s Time to Leave Your Job (Forbes).

It may be a rhetorical question, but is it really time to quit your job? How do you know? Are you prepared?

Statistics reflect that in 2014 the Quit Rate, the percentage of workers leaving jobs voluntarily, increased to 2%, a substantial increase from the 1.6% rate in 2009, but well below the 2.5% in 2006. Quick analysis may indicate that more people are quitting. And most of us look to what others are doing as part of our decision-making process.

In this instance, a cursory analysis may get you in trouble. What others are doing is not important. That’s right. Just because someone else is leaving their job doesn’t necessarily mean you should.

There are lots of reasons to consider quitting, ranging from burnout, boredom, frustration, not being appreciated, don’t like the environment, not being challenged, and many, many more.   But before any of these become paramount, make certain you have a pretty good idea of what you are going to do when you quit.

I recommend you initially focus on the financial impact quitting will have You know you are talented. Someone just around the corner will hire you into the perfect job very quickly. Or you will start your own business and be wildly successful.

But, just maybe, it will take longer than anticipated for this to happen. Are you prepared? Can you handle spending months without an income?

All this become irrelevant if you are quitting to accept another job or you have planned well, and know you have financial assets that will support you for some time. If neither of these, I suggest you take a cautious approach about quitting your job just because it is not perfect – not many are these days. Really understand the market for your skills before you walk out the door.

There are a lot of very talented individuals who are actively searching for a job. We receive a number of resumes every day. The probability of any of them fitting into a search assignment we are currently conducting is extremely small. Organizations have very tight requirements, and tend to prefer individuals who are almost a perfect fit for their job. That’s what they expect of us as well. The competition is stiff.

When you quit your job make certain it is a well-planned move. It is far better to leave a job knowing you have “something to go to” than to take the risk that something better will show up. Remember, it is very hard to make a good impression interviewing if you project a touch of desperation.



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