Is it okay to quit a job you hate?

Some people change their job seemingly at the drop of a hat. For the rest of us, it’s more challenging – even if we don’t like the role. But is it okay to quit a job you hate?

Because it’s easy to feel trapped. You need that income. Your family may rely on it. You may feel you have a responsibility to the job or your employer.

Someone who quits easily though, may see a job as an asset they can trade up to get a better deal. If you hate your job, this might be a worthwhile viewpoint.

Let’s take a look at the psychology behind quitting a job. Is it actually okay?

The myth – “winners never quit”

The connotations of the word “quit” are invariably negative. It suggests you didn’t try hard enough or weren’t good enough.

You might think that a “winner” would never “quit”. Of course, that isn’t true. Many people who are regarded as “winners” quit jobs very easily.

The key is that they quit for the right reasons (or for reasons that can be clearly explained) and they do so at the right time.

Identify the thing you hate

What is it that makes you say you “hate” your current job? Can you put a finger on it?

Before you decide to try to move on, it is important to be sure this is a problem that can be moved on from.

It’s not uncommon for people to say they hate their job only to find the real problem is in a personal relationship, their living situation, or their health. Things that leaving a job won’t change.

Make sure you can identify the specific problem with your job. For instance:

-Is the problem a personality mismatch with your CTO or tech lead?

-Is it the overall company culture?

-Is it too much desk time, not enough flexibility?

-Is the commute too far?

-Is there no opportunity for career growth?

What would make you consider staying in the job?

Even if you are 100% mentally committed to quitting a job because you hate it, it’s worth doing the groundwork to consider what could make you stay. For example:

-Could your employer offer you remote or flexible working?

-Is it a short-lived circumstance that’s going to change?

-Could you change role or manager in the same company?

You should also, if possible, try to be honest about your own part in creating this situation (if any).

At least then, if you were to walk out the door and into something just as bad, you know you’ve exhausted all the possible options.

How to quit a job you hate

If you go into work every day and hate it, it’s time to do something about it. If you don’t act, nothing will change.

1) Look at your options

Take action. Check out the jobs market. Reach out to your contact at your engineering or IT recruitment agency of choice.

Do try to set realistic expectations though. If you’re looking to get a job in IT from outside it, there are options there. Training may be available. You may need to take a pay cut through.

2) Don’t get hung up on guilt

If you do find a good option and successfully apply for a new IT job, don’t get held back from considering it because you feel obligated to stay where you are.

If you can explain your reasons for leaving in a way that makes it seems no one is at fault (this may be challenging if you feel someone is!), you won’t burn bridges.

3) Aim higher

Don’t “fire, ready, aim” when changing a job. Make sure you have something to go to before you bite the bullet on leaving.

Don’t switch to “something, anything” else as some people do. Aim higher. Aim for something you can actually see yourself enjoying.

Is it okay to quit a job you hate?

If you actively dread sitting down at your desk every Monday morning, it might be time to quit your job.

It is okay to quit a job you hate. Just be sure you can pinpoint why you hate it. Consider if there is anything that could improve it. Then take action – see what’s out there.

Do you need a little help with that? Let’s talk.

Ernest Gordon is a specialist IT recruitment company. We’ll give you access to exclusive jobs you won’t find anywhere else.

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