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November 9, 2021

How To Quit A Job That Isn’t Right For You

Career Guides|Career Resources
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We all want to love the work we do. But if you're like the average American—who will change jobs 12 times before they're 52 —chances are you might end up at a job you hate at some point. A recent Gallup poll found that 66 percent of Americans aren't fully engaged or enthusiastic about their jobs.

We all want to love the work we do. But if you’re like the average American—who will change jobs 12 times before they’re 52 —chances are you might end up at a job you hate at some point. A recent Gallup poll found that 66 percent of Americans aren’t fully engaged or enthusiastic about their jobs. That’s a lot of people just “working for the weekend.” And hating a job can reverberate through much more than just the hours of 9 to 5. When we’re unhappy in our work, it can affect every aspect of our lives, from getting sick more frequently to losing sleep to depression and anxiety

So if you hate your current job, it may be time to quit. And while, sure, it can be stressful to leave, it doesn’t have to be. But it’s important to ask yourself these three questions before quitting. We’ll also explore the ways to quit your job without burning bridges.

1. Is this a passing emotion?

In short, are you having a brief bad spell? Or is this the tenth Monday in a row when you’ve awakened at home and dreaded heading to work?

Think about what Steve Jobs said in his 2005 speech at Stanford University:

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” If you put a percentage on it, how often do you find yourself wishing you don’t have to go to work? 

Of course, you’re going to have bad days sometimes. But people who work for 40 years get about 8,800 working days. So when bad days become too regular at your current position, it’s time to think about moving on. 

2. Does your job negatively affect your life?

Work is essential, but it’s not the only thing in life. It would help if you asked yourself these questions

  • Is this job negatively affecting my health? How so?
  • Is the work environment toxic?
  • Does it have a detrimental effect on my relationships with the people most important to me?
  • Do I want to leave this job?
  • Is this a good place to continue my career or do I only feel as if I’m stuck in place?

If the answer to these questions are yes, then it may be time to re-consider the job you’re in.

3. Do you feel like you’ve stopped growing professionally? 

If you feel stagnant professionally, it could be a sign that you are in the wrong field. For instance, you could have been in the same job for over three years but are not growing with the company or learning anything new. It’s essential to never stop growing and learning. Since we spend a majority of our waking hours at work, it stands to reason that this is a crucial question. In fact, a British study based on the lives of 600,000 people concluded that “lifelong learning” was one of seven factors that led to greater longevity.

When you’re always learning in your role, you open yourself up to new opportunities at your current company, more chances for promotions, a higher likelihood of earning more income, and even making yourself more valuable when you move on to the next venture.

Try cataloging where you’ve learned and grown in this job. Is it difficult to find even a few examples? If you’re putting in hours, trading your time for money, and helping build someone else’s wealth — but not growing, learning, and gaining things that you value — then think about quitting.

Next Steps

Everything up to here is about whether you should quit once you’ve decided that it’s time to quit your job. But, of course, once you’ve made that decision, there is nothing at all wrong with sticking it out another three or six months — whatever you need, frankly — to formulate a career path plan.

Maybe it’s about getting serious about a job search, or starting to lay the groundwork for a side hustle that could turn into something bigger, or finding ways to cut spending and build up your savings before moving on.

Here’s the best way to quit your job that will leave you prepared for the future.

Find Your Next Job Before You Leave

Though this might seem like an obvious first step before quitting a job you hate, some job seekers still make the mistake of not lining up for their next gig. Research shows it’s easier to get a job offer when you’re still employed.

Before you quit, update your resume and LinkedIn profile, and start your job search during non work hours. Begin to ask for recommendations from former supervisors and colleagues. Also, save work samples to help build your portfolio.

Need some help? Check out our blog. 

When preparing to search for a new job, make sure to register and upload your resume to popular job websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and CareerBuilder. Companies and recruiters scan these sites frequently. Also, turn on notifications so that you receive daily job alert emails.

Inform Your Employer

Once you find a new job and decide to leave your current job, you need to tell your employer or at least give two weeks notice. It would be best to leave your current employer on good terms, as you might need them to act as your references in the future. Tips for telling your boss that you are leaving include:

Give two weeks notice, if possible, and try to tell your boss or co workers in person instead of just a resignation letter. (An official resignation letter is still a good idea.)This might be nerve-wracking, but it is the polite, professional thing to do and a way to leave on a positive note without burning bridges.

Keep it brief. One way to keep the conversation positive is to be general and concise about your reason for leaving. For example, you can simply say you are leaving for “a new opportunity” or another general reason. Maybe you can also offer to help find and train your replacement to go the extra mile and show you still care about the team you’re leaving. Your hiring manager might also ask for an exit interview so be prepared to give a brief explanation about why you are leaving your current role.


Remember: Transitions can be scary, but the average American spends over 90,000 hours at their job over a lifetime. You deserve to spend that time doing something that fuels your bank account and your career and what gets you excited. Do you want more tips and tricks on navigating your professional life? The Meratas blog has you covered on building the best career for you!

About the author

This post was prepared by the author, in her/his personal capacity. The views expressed are her/his own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Meratas Inc.
The information contained in this site is general in nature and should not be considered to be legal, tax, accounting, financial or other professional advice. In all cases, you should consult with professional advisors familiar with your particular situation prior to making any important decisions. Although every effort has been made to provide complete and accurate information, Meratas Inc. makes no warranties, express or implied, or representations as to the accuracy of this content. Meratas Inc. assumes no liability or responsibility for any error or omissions in the information contained herein or the operation or use of these materials. Copyright 2022

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