So I am asked quite often. Usually, the question is asked in relation to whether quitting, without any other job, makes sense.
I respond with a series of questions:
1. Is your job literally (that’s literally, not figuratively) damaging your mental health?
This is a big hurdle. I don’t mean that you feel anxious. I mean you are medicated due to work anxiety. I don’t mean that you have a drink after work to calm you but rather than you feel the need to abuse substances due to work. I don’t mean that you don’t want to go to work on Monday. I mean that you literally (again literally) can’t get out of bed to go to work because you are depressed.
If yes, then we need to figure out how you can pay the bills because you need to quit.
If no, then we move on to our next question.
2. Do you know how you will pay your bills if you quit?
If yes, quitting might be a viable option.
If no, then, sorry, we have to figure out a plan to pay your bills before you quit.
3. Will quitting create significant damage to your resume?
If yes, then we need to figure out “your story” before your departure.
If no, we probably still need to figure out how you will tell your story but at least we have one less thing to worry about.
4. Would you like your boss’s job? Or your boss’s boss’s job?
If yes, then maybe you just need to pay your dues because you might be on the right path. Maybe your career path is fine but your current position is not.
If no, then that’s a pretty good sign that you are not on a career path that will lead to happiness.
5. Are you developing skills/knowledge/connections that will be valuable to you?
If yes, then maybe you should stay long enough to learn what you need to learn and then move onward.
If no, that’s a very good sign that you are in the wrong job.
Work can be awful. But, it is often better than no work at all.