Question: What do you do when even Rihanna can’t motivate you through a day at the office? Obviously, there are a lot of incredibly legit reasons to quit your job. Maybe it’s so totally soul-sucking, it’s starting to impact your mental health. Maybe you’ve tried every trick in the book for dealing with a difficult boss and still run into a dead end. Or maybe you did everything right when it came time to ask for a raise, but still find yourself unable to make ends meet. Whether your boss is more of a Miranda Bailey or a Miranda Priestly, sometimes you need to know when to walk away. Before you quit your job, make sure you know the answers to these six questions.
1. What’s my ideal situation?
When you’re unhappy at work, the negatives can become overwhelming. Take a step back and re-frame your complaints as positives. For example, if you’re dying to get away from a bad boss, your ideal situation is one in which your superior supports and encourages you. If you feel you’ve been consistently passed for promotions, your ideal situation involves a clear professional development plan.
2. Is there any way to fix my current situation?
Once you know what you want, figure out how to get your #goals. Are the issues with your current workplace too big to overcome, or can you request a review meeting and wow them with your badass solutions? Channel your inner boss babe and put it all on the table. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
3. Do I have a back-up plan?
If it’s time to quit your job, that’s okay — but try to make a back-up plan. Do you have enough cash to get by till something else comes along? Is your health insurance tied to your job from hell? Can you get part-time or casual work to tide you over if the job market sucks? Make sure all your bases are covered before you give notice.
4. Who’s the best person to ask for a reference?
We’ve all been there: You’re nearly out the door and you have no idea who to ask for a reference. Maybe coworkers passed along sketchy comments your boss has made behind your back — or maybe your supervisor even sassed you out directly. Don’t panic. Can a senior employee from another department vouch for your great collaborative thinking? Does your boss’s boss like you? You could always schedule an appointment with HR to outline your concerns. And in a worst case scenario, work on a diplomatic answer to why you won’t be providing a reference from that particular job.
5. What’s my handover plan?
Once you know your notice period, ask yourself: How much of my current workload can I finish in that time? Yes, it’s totally tempting to leave a company high and dry if they’ve treated you like sh*t — but remember, karma always gets you in the end. Before you quit your job, figure out which projects you need to finish personally, and which ones your coworkers can pick up. You’ll leave knowing you’re a total professional, and you might even rack up another accomplishment for your CV along the way.
6. How should I start to prepare for my next job?
Have you ever heard the old “you need a job to get a job” cliche? There really is some truth to it. Start applying for jobs before you give notice, or sync up with an agency in your field. If you’re changing careers, get a head start on any extra training or volunteer experience that might make you a more attractive candidate. Let friends know that you’re looking for work, too!
It’s always scary to quit your job, but sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Remember: You got this.