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6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Say, ‘I Quit!’

You desperately want to move out of your current job, but you don’t have a strong enough reason to justify it. You just very strongly feel it’s time to use your "I Quit" card. Before you take the plunge, hold onto that card just a while longer, as we help you through your decision.

You desperately want to move out of your current job, but you don’t have a strong enough reason to justify it. You just very strongly feel it’s time to use your “I Quit” card. Before you take the plunge, hold onto that card just a while longer, as we help you through your decision.


(Photo Credit: Stuart Miles/

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before making the big decision.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

  1. Are you building your skill-set/learning something new? If you are working on projects which have high visibility, high risk, and high value, the skills you are gaining through these projects could have tremendous value both within and outside the organization. Even if factors like low team cooperation or poor work flexibility bother you, maybe focusing on the project and gaining skills will offset your current displeasure on the job. If your experience is going to pay off in the long run, then maybe sticking with your job is an investment in your career.
  2. Does your manager know about your aspirations? You might expect your manager to discuss career aspirations and long-term goals with his team members, but sometimes things slip or get put off until later. Deciding for yourself “if I were good enough, I would have been promoted/chosen for the project” is not entirely fair. You owe it to yourself, the manager, and the organization to discuss your concerns and aspirations and seek input on how realistic they are. Sometimes, however uncomfortable, having an open discussion is an easier way to get to where you want to go before giving up completely. However, if after having repeated discussions and follow up conversations, your career seems to have reached a stalemate, that’s when you could start exploring options outside the organization.
  3. How does the job change look on your resume? Be patient with the time you can commit to the organization. Nothing happens overnight. Frequent job changes on a resume will not put you on the shortlist in the future, especially since you will not have the opportunity to justify your move at this first stage.
  4. Is it more than compensation? People seldom move for compensation alone, there are other triggers which affect the decision – a bad boss, poor work-life balance. etc. If your decision to move is purely monetary, evaluate your current status in your current organization and understand that you will need to start everything over in the new organization – building relationships, establishing your credibility, building your brand, getting seniority in the organization. Could you instead share your financial concerns with your manager? Is there a chance for a revision in the future?
  5. Can you find new opportunities within your organization? If you want to move to a different field or explore another area, try to see if you can get the opportunity within your organization first. It is more likely that your current organization, knowing your work, will be willing to move you to a new role and invest in your learning than a completely new organization, where you do not have any history at all.
  6. Can you risk uncertainty? Especially ask yourself this if the field you are in or the organization you are looking to join are at risk. Many companies have a “last in, first out” policy when there is a need to downsize. Evaluate your personal and financial liabilities and risk appetite before you make the decision to move.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have any suggestions or experiences to share? Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Padmaja Ganeshan Singh
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10 Comments on "6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Say, ‘I Quit!’"

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The company is expanding!!! Hiring more people and focus on different marketing, department and just not thinking about your evaluation!!! They always got a lot of excuses to extend your request. It’s time to move on is a definite or you just been disregard… How many years do you have to think of opportunity has passed by when you see your friends have been promoted and you remain the same!!! It’s time to change!!!

I am a middle manager in a key goverment department and have moved from the national head office and has been key in setting up our current regional office in 1997. On two occasions I have been overlooked for senior management positions in favour of female managers to comply with equity targets. The last position that everybody believed was mine, ended up being given to a senior manager who took a transfer from another region. I am skilled in all areas of the office and is sought out by my regional head to either lead or participate in major projects.… Read more »

If you have a family to feed and the unemployment is high you might think different.

Stewart Jamison
When the company stops investing in the employee, the employee needs to invest in themselves, and that often means moving up to a more challenging and rewarding position. This may mean moving to a smaller or even a start up company where you push yourself to be better than you though you could be. Large companies die due to being “top heavy” with golden children and empire builders whereas start up companies need and reward those that break the mold and are willing to take intelligent risks. The worst this is a management team paralyzed by risk aversion.
Pole tom

Casinos are dying and companies are not paying. Time to re-evaluate what’s important!

Kelly G
After reading your article, I am convinced I am making the right move in upping my job search to the aggressive level. The company is doing poorly, they have forced long-term employees to retire, and openings are not being filled. My boss accepted a promotion and instead of promoting me, they put another manager in charge of our department yet I am the one who absorbed the work left by my promoted boss. I wrote a beautiful request for increase memo and presented it, along with reasons an increase was justified, to my new manager. It was promptly turned down… Read more »
Disagree entirely with this article. If you feel stuck then you are. There are hundreds of companies where one does not need to feel stuck. What one manager states as gospel from you do not have the skill level, to I do not see you as management material will be the exact oppotsite someplace else. I believe people should move to where they are appreciated and therefore groomed to reach their potential. I have too many colleagues who stayed put too long who now make a 1/3 of what I did staying with the same organization for several years. I… Read more »

Are you running to your next career position? Or are you running away from your existing job? It is always wise to run to your new career for the right reasons. If not…reassess with the questions above.

lucky mphahlele

I have just been retrenched from my work and I wanna learn some trade
I have been thinking of doing carpentry so I wanna know if that will be the right move.

B. Lane

If during your time of training or a probationary period when starting a new job, the mentor/boss continues to say you’re doing fine, despite the multitudes of mistakes you’ve made while training, be on guard! This may be the “cushion” that they hand you before delivering the blow of “it’s just not going to work out”!
I’ve had this done to me twice! Once bitten, twice shy, third time? NOT!!!

What Am I Worth?

What your skills are worth in the job market is constantly changing.