Is it time to move on?

It's Monday morning and your heart sank the moment you woke up. You head into the office. Or maybe you don't — maybe you head to your kitchen table to get started. You switch on your laptop, login, and try your best to psych yourself up for another day of work.

Suddenly, a thought pops into your head. And, let's face it, it's hardly the first time that you've pondered this conundrum. “Should I quit my job?” You swiftly banish the question from your mind… but it keeps resurfacing no matter how hard to try to ignore it. 

Deciding to resign from your role is no small feat and, honestly, there's a lot to consider before you take this leap. However, if you keep thinking about it, that could be a sign that you're ready to move on. In the following guide, we'll take a look at eight of the top reasons you may choose to resign. Read this post before you hand in your notice!

1. It's going nowhere… literally 

You've climbed the career ladder and made it to the top. In this company, at least, you can only go sideways. There will be no more step-ups for you so long as you stay with this business. That in itself is disheartening. While it's great that you've made it this far, if you can't see any way that you can move forward in your career, you may want to leave. 

You're not alone. 91% of millennials say that career progression is a top priority for them when it comes to their professional life. If there's no way that you can keep moving in your current job, it may be smart to look further afield. Seeing what opportunities there are at other businesses - or even within a new sector - could be the answer.  

2. Your job lacks meaning 

Similarly, if you don't have a strong sense of purpose in your current role, that may push you to leave. Let's say what you do day in, day out is boring and monotonous. You may be thinking “should I quit my job?” every hour or so. It could be time to listen to your inner voice.

44% of British workers say that having a purposeful job is “very important” to them. Ask yourself whether your current company aligns with your values. What are you getting out of this role? Does it give you a sense of fulfilment or, like oh-so-many of us, are you simply in it for the money at the end of the month?

Should you find that your job lacks meaning, it's smart to do some soul-searching before you jump ship. Everyone's sense of purpose is unique to them. For example, one person may gain satisfaction by working in the third sector, while another may enjoy a creative role. Take the time to think about what you want to gain from your professional life and start there. 

3. You're ready to relocate 

Do you have a case of wanderlust? If you want to relocate for any reason, you may find that you need to move jobs too. While many roles are now hybrid or remote, the vast majority of workers still have to report to their site at least part of the time. If you can't work from anywhere in the UK - or beyond - you may want to start looking for a new job now. 

Location matters when it comes to people's jobs. It's no surprise that 21% of respondents to the Microsoft New Future of Work Report 2022 quit their jobs either because of a lack of flexibility or the location. Should you want to move, it's worth scoping out your career potential ahead of time. Looking for similar roles in the new location will help you decide whether there's a demand. As always, it's smart to do your homework before diving in. 

4. The workplace is toxic 

Toxic workplaces will crush your spirits. In severe cases, working in a toxic environment can lead to a decline in your mental health, surging stress levels, and eventual burnout. If you've recognised that your company has a somewhat negative atmosphere, there are some things that you can do about it. Before you decide to quit your job, you can try the following: 

  • Avoid engaging in workplace gossip or negative talk 

  • Look for ways to relieve your stress outside of work (e.g. meditation) 

  • Try to build positive relationships with your coworkers 

  • Write down instances of toxic behaviour and the dates they happened

  • Speak to the HR department about these instances 

Of course, it's not on you to completely overhaul a company's working environment. If you've tried all of the above and nothing's changed, you might want to leave. Think about the best way to do this. You don't want to quit off the cuff and leave things on a bad note. Remember that you'll want to have a reference from your previous employer. Instead, take the smarter route and strategically plan how and when you will leave this workplace. You are in control. 

5. The commute is too long 

Do you want more time in the day? You might want to look at your average travel time. The most common commute time is between 15 and 29 minutes, with 32% of Brits having to travel for this period. However, 21% of people don't commute to work at all. 

How long you're willing to travel to work depends on you, your lifestyle, and a range of other factors. Of course, if you're done acting like a sardine every morning as you pack yourself into an already jammed carriage, it may be time to look for a new job entirely. 

Looking for a job that is literally closer to home may be the answer. It's important to consider what you value the most here. For example, you may find that a closer job has a lower salary. Weigh up whether the difference in pay is worth the time that you'll save each day.

6. You want to continue education 

Fancy going back to school? Perhaps there's a master's degree that you've always had your eye on. Maybe you want to retrain and do something completely different. If you're ready to restart your education, there are many things that you need to consider including: 

  • How will I fund my learning?

  • Should I quit my job or go part-time?

  • Are online courses the best way to go?

  • What do I hope to gain when I am qualified?

Answering the above can be tricky. A lot will depend on your personal circumstances, how flexible your job is, and how much you have in savings`. If you want to re-enter full-time education, you'll likely need to quit your job. Before you take this step, make sure that you have an action plan in place. You need to be able to fund your qualification and cover your life expenses for the foreseeable future. It may be smart to speak to a Financial Advisor first. 

7. A career change is on the cards 

When you first started in this field, chances are, you were excited by it. However, if your enthusiasm has waned over the years, you may be ready for a career change. Switching things up won't happen overnight. However, the first step in this process is to create a clear, concise career change action plan. Armed with this outline, you can get moving and start taking the right steps that will lead you toward a whole new professional life. 

You may be thinking “should I quit my job if I want to change careers?” The answer is that you might want to wait a second. You likely need an income - most of us do - so leaving before you're ready to do so is a mistake. Use the plan to guide the way. You may want to get started by taking some evening classes or networking with the right people. When the time comes for you to move into a new sector, you'll be able to quit your job with no risk.

8. You've been headhunted

And finally, one of the main reasons that people quit their jobs is, frankly, because they receive a better offer elsewhere. You may find that a recruiter reaches out to you on LinkedIn or that you get an unsolicited email from a potential employer. If you're headhunted, you'll have the chance to negotiate a salary and benefits that work for you. While you may not have considered quitting your job before now, you should take any offers you get seriously. 

How should I quit my job? Top tips

Thinking about quitting your job? Ahead of doing so, there are some additional things that you need to consider. Read our tips below now.

  • Decide if it's the right time. “When should I quit my job?” is a common dilemma for many of us. Before you start writing that letter, decide whether now is the right time. Consider your financial situation and prospective roles and make the right decision

  • Write a resignation letter. If you're ready to make a move, the first step is writing a resignation letter. This document will serve as a formal way of quitting your job. 
  • Speak to your manager. Next up, you may find that it's best to give your letter to your manager in person. (Note: You don't have to do this!) If so, speak to them about arranging a meeting. You may also want to ask a member of the HR team to attend.
  • Work your notice. Your notice period will depend on your contract. In some cases, it may be as short as one or two weeks. When you've given in your resignation letter, your notice period will usually start immediately. Make sure you're clear on what it is. 

Leaving your job is a big step. If you believe that you're ready to take it, make sure you follow these tips. It's crucial that you take a professional approach to this move.

When shouldn't you quit your job?

We've covered the times when you may want to quit your job, however, handing in your notice is not always a smart move. Think long and hard before you quit your job. 

The truth of the matter is that you do need a safety net. People often wonder “should I quit my job without another job?” and - unless you have loads of savings - the answer tends to be no. It's better to be strategic and start applying for jobs while you're employed. That way, you won't have to worry about making ends meet financially while you're job seeking. 

Start putting the wheels in motion while you have a job. That may mean taking on some training, looking to see what roles are out there, or sprucing up your CV ahead of time. 

The takeaway 

Whether it's the right time to quit your job depends on your personal circumstances. However, if the above reasons rang true with you, you may want to start looking for new opportunities. Ensure that your CV is up to scratch and that you've perfected your cover letter ahead of time. When you have the right application pack under your belt, you can start applying for your next position. What are you waiting for? There's no time like the present to get started!

It's not simply about finding the right vacancy for you. If you want to get ahead, your CV needs to be on point. Request a free CV review today and gain the insights you need to get ahead of the competition. 

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