Recently, I’ve been faced with the difficult decision of quitting (or not) a job I absolutely loved. I loved everything about it, except maybe the pay. But I liked the job so much! There, I felt happy and fulfilled and it allowed me enough space to work on other stuff I loved so, I didn’t mind the meager pay too much… or at least for the time being.
Still, an opportunity had presented itself and here I was, facing those difficult questions: should I quit my job? How do you know if it’s time to quit your job? And how on earth do you quit a job you love, especially when you have no way of knowing if leaving that job won’t turn out to be a mistake down the road?
For most people, quitting their job is not usually an easy decision, and figuring out how to quit a job you like can be an even more difficult one. Perhaps you feel lucky to have such great colleagues, enjoy the challenges of your day-to-day activities, and your work is only 5 minutes away from your home? Talk about the perfect job!
And yet, here you are, faced with the dilemma: to quit or not to quit. Sometimes it seems like you have The Perfect job and yet, you can’t shake the constant feeling that it’s time to move on to something else.
So how do you know if quitting your good job is the right decision? How do you quit a job you love?
Well, when trying to decide if it’s time to quit a job you love, here are a few things to consider.
7 Signs it’s time to quit a job you love
Here are 7 good reasons to quit a job you love and move on to something else.
1. When you are more excited about the future than what keeping your current job entails
You may love your current job, but if you are considering quitting that job, there’s probably a reason. Give your inner voice and desires the respect and consideration they deserve.
Do you already know what you’d like to do after you quit that job? If yes, does the prospect of doing that thing excite you?
You might be thinking of opening your own shop, going the self-employed way, starting your own business, applying for a position elsewhere with more (or less) responsibilities…
Whatever it is, does it create a bubbling feeling in the pit of your stomach when you think about it? Now, when you think about your current job, does it bring the same excitement? Or is it just… comfortable. Safe. Happy but, you know, same old…
“Happiness is progress”Tony Robbins
2. When quitting that job allows you to pursue something that’s aligned with your personal and professional goals
It may be time to quit a job you like if quitting that job means you will be pursuing something that is (even more) aligned with your personal and professional values and objectives. In other words, if quitting that job creates space for a future that is better aligned with your true self, then it might be time to leave.
The tricky part here is for you to actually figure out and be aware of what your true personal and professional values are. Unfortunately, not everyone takes the time to figure these things out.
Often the reason why we can’t make up our minds about stuff and make (difficult) choices, is because we don’t know what we truly want. If we took the time to figure out and hear our true voice, then these seemingly difficult choices would not be so difficult.
Trying to figure out what you want? Check out this FREE workbook I’ve created to guide you through the most important questions you should ask yourself.
3. When what comes after quitting your job is congruent with your long-term plans
This is similar to the previous point but here I mention your plans (not your goals). Just because something is aligned with your goals does not mean that it’s the best next step for you right now. You may want to carefully think about your plans when it comes to quitting your job, especially one you love.
It might be a good idea to quit your “perfect” job if keeping that job prevents you from taking the concrete steps you need to take to stay true to your life’s or professional plans.
For instance, let’s say your medium to long-term plan is to become a self-employed yoga teacher. But for the past 2 years and while studying to become a certified Yoga teacher, you’ve been working part-time at an animal sanctuary. However, you’ve had your certificate for 3 months now, but are still working part/full-time in the sanctuary, which then leaves you with little to no time to pursue your plans of having your own business.
Don’t sacrifice your long-term plans just because a job that was meant to be temporary has become comfortable.
Related post: 8 Reasons Why You Can Never Achieve Your Goals
4. When quitting your job opens up new opportunities for growth and progress
Another way to know if it’s time to quit a job you love is to ask yourself this question: do you consider leaving because it’s an opportunity for progress (personal, emotional, spiritual, financial growth), or do you only consider leaving simply in an endless pursuit of “more”?
If you are considering leaving something that makes you happy just because you think you should want “more” (better status, bigger pay, bigger office), then perhaps you should take more time to reflect on your choice.
In my case, leaving this job I loved so much meant that I had no choice but to finally take the plunge as a freelancer, something I really wanted. Somehow, keeping my job, even if it was part-time, prevented me from taking bigger, riskier (aka scarier) moves in my own business.
At some point, I had to cut the cord and become the real entrepreneur I wanted to be rather than stay an employee forever.
5. When what is coming is something you’ve wanted
This might sound obvious, but we often easily disregard what we want.
If you are considering leaving your job, even a great job, to do something you’ve long wanted to do, then do it. Do not disregard your feelings and carelessly set aside your desires just because you are comfortable.
Respect your feelings, your wants, and your needs.
Leaving something you love does not mean you don’t appreciate it. But you have the obligation to stay true to your heart.
6. When your biggest argument for staying at your job is that you love your co-workers
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it’s a bad thing to stay at a job because you love your co-workers. After all, 1/3 of our lives is spent at work. Therefore, getting along with our co-workers naturally plays a big role in keeping us happy.
70% of employees say friends at work is the most crucial element to a happy working life
However, before passing on a new opportunity because you like your colleagues, consider this: your co-workers might decide to leave too!
Imagine if you said no to an opportunity and stayed at your job for your colleagues, only to have these same colleagues leave a few weeks or months later. Suddenly, that fun and friendly work environment you loved so much no longer exists! You are now left behind, choiceless, and perhaps even resentful.
If you are considering staying at a job only because you like your colleagues, think again.
7. When your body and emotions tell you it’s time to leave
The universe is always showing you the way. And it shows you the way through your feelings and the sensations in your body.
Think about what you will be going towards when you quit your job.
Fear is normal. Excitement is normal. Joy, anticipation, a healthy dose of worrying… all normal. Dread, however, that’s something else. And if you are feeling dread + deep fear + tears + insomnia + anxiety (…), then it might be a sign that quitting your job, especially one you like, is not such a good idea.
Your body and heart send you all kinds of signals (although sometimes, these signals are buried under too much noise, more on that in another post).
As you wonder if quitting your job is a good idea, observe your feelings. If you only feel negative emotions without any trace of excitement, then it’s probably a signal that you should do some more soul-searching or spend more time preparing your exit.
Is it a mistake to quit your job?
How do you know if quitting is not a mistake?
First of all, you can’t know. You have to do it to find out if it is a mistake or not. Secondly, it will only be a mistake if you call it a mistake when things don’t go perfectly.
How exactly do you quit a job you love?
Leaving a place, a group or a community often requires forethought and some degree of tact. There are better ways, and then there are less ideal ways of saying goodbye to a job you love.
Leave in the best possible way
Telling your boss you’re quitting when you love your job does not have to be a negative experience. Just try to be as graceful as possible about it, especially if your boss didn’t expect your resignation. Not only is this basic respectful behavior, but also, you don’t want to burn any bridges, especially if you don’t know if you won’t want to come back later on. You also never know when you might need a referral, so… be polite!
I decided to make an effort when leaving this job:
- I gave more than 2 weeks’ notice to my boss so he had time to adjust to my departure. You certainly don’t have to do this. But I knew my boss had trouble hiring new recruits + training took a bit of time. So, I decided to give him a month’s notice before leaving. He appreciated the gesture.
- I did it respectfully. I delivered the news personally to each person (no texts!), even my supervisor and coworkers.
- Over delivered until the last day. I kept learning until my very last day and kept giving great customer service. Just because you are leaving does not give you license to behave like an ass.
- Expressed my appreciation for my colleagues. I brought cookies for all my colleagues on my last day and verbally expressed my appreciation for them. As I said, I loved my colleagues!
My boss was so touched (and so were my colleagues btw) that he offered to hire me back, no questions asked, in a few months if things didn’t work out for me with my new projects (ha!). That was really appreciated (especially since I wasn’t 100% sure I was not making a mistake. FYI, it wasn’t a mistake 😉).
… And lastly
When quitting a job you love, understand that sadness is normal. It’s hard to let go of things and people we love. But letting go of things and people, that’s what life’s all about: constant change.
When letting go of things or people, do it Marie Condo-style: thank it, and send it away.
Release it, and embrace what is to come.
Let me know what you thought in the comments! I love reading your comments 😊