Want to get ahead? Maybe it’s time to quit your job

How to quit your job

When it comes to living life to the full, there is much to be said for having a job that makes you want to leap out of bed each morning. But if you don’t feel totally challenged, supported, appreciated or engaged at work, where’s the inspiration to head into the office every day? Could it be time to move on?

Once upon a time, we worked to survive, and life was tough. In today’s modern world, however, such an approach is outdated. More of us are realising that to live our dream lives and manifest our goals, we must take hold of our career trajectories in order to arrive at where we deserve to be. You cruise, you lose, as they say, and it’s never been truer than in the current workplace.

With Gallup’s recent global report on the State of the Global Workplace confirming that only 13 per cent of us are really engaged in our jobs, rising to just 16 per cent when looking at Australia as a whole, it is clear that many of us are just not feeling the love at work. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

The answer? Maybe it’s time to quit your job.

Sound crazy? In fact, it might just be the smartest thing you’ll ever do.

“There has never been a better time to search for greater conditions at work, instead of sticking around to wait if your talent is being noticed,” says Dr Louise Metcalf, specialist in leadership and performance.

Kelly Kozaris, a leading career-transformation coach, agrees: “As we head towards 2020, the average time an individual will stay in their job is three years. Generation Z will typically have six careers in their lifetime.”

Why can quitting your job be a good thing for your career?

“Quitting your job enables you to do what you love, and to thrive,” says Karen Gately, author of The Corporate Dojo. “Aligning your career to your passions is essential to your ability to thrive at work and in your life more broadly. Contemplate the extent to which your work energises or drains you. If you don’t like your job, you are entirely unlikely to bring your full potential to work every day and excel.

Gately adds that when you are happy in your role, you are more likely to invest in your work, develop your capabilities and ultimately achieve success. In addition, a new role with a new employer can open up possibilities you may not yet be aware of, enabling you to explore new opportunities and unleash your potential.

Quitting can therefore be a great thing for your career if it improves your situation. This normally happen if your previous place of employment had a flat organisational structure. Such business structures make it difficult for those wishing to advance to more senior roles to stay within their current organisation. Often, the individual will have to wait years for a role to become available, as those in more senior roles hold on to them. If you find yourself in this situation, moving might is the right step in your career.

Other positive reasons to move on to a new job include:

  • Professional development
  • Monetary advancement
  • Cultural / organisational clash
  • Job satisfaction
  • Career transition
  • Job progression
  • Alignment with values

When it is appropriate to quit, and how can it be done without burning any bridges?

Even when you are disgruntled, it is important to choose your time to resign in a calm and measured way. When looking at how to quit your job the right time is usually when you can frame and deliver your resignation with poise, dignity and professionalism. If a resignation is delivered respectfully, there is a far higher chance of maintaining future working relationships. It is important to think ahead about what you might be asked, and have clear and calm responses. Consider that you are speaking with another human being, whom you may well work with again in another company or might need for a reference. Include a thank you or appreciation for what you have learnt or gained from the company.

“Depending on the type of role and duties performed, giving your employer as much notice and assisting with finding a replacement can go a long way to keeping them onside also,” adds Cameron Blewett, national industrial relations expert with IR Simplified.

Changing jobs is challenging because in many ways it is like starting afresh – you have new people to meet and build rapport with, new systems to work with and a new company to get used to. If you're not feeling challenged in your current role, then you have every reason to seek out a new one in order to be. Take ownership of your career, quit on your own terms and don’t look back.

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