So what’s a good reason to quit? Here are seven provocations to help you asses if you’re ready:
1. Rethink your money.
Unless you’ve very improbably won the lottery or great-aunt Agatha has left you a small fortune then it’s unlikely you’ll have funds to keep you going indefinitely without paid work.
You might even be broke so living without that regular salary could be reckless. Quitting your job is likely to cause a bit of panic and should make you rethink your finances.
If quitting the day job breaks the cycle of just working to spend particularly on stuff you don’t need or will force you to be more creative in how you earn your money than go for it.
One radical solution is to do without money. It’s possible but not a choice for the faint-hearted.
2. Scare yourself.
Giving up the comfort blanket of the regular routine and all the associated excuses of staying in the comfort zone (known as a rut) can be a good thing to do.
You’ll have to confront all those fears: what will people think of me? will I be able to spend my time wisely or end up a couch potato? Will I end up a recluse?
A bit of fear once acknowledged isn’t a reason not to do something.
Calling a timeout to take a sabbatical is a great idea. You might have a project to do, maybe you want to spend time with family or even you just want to mull things over and rediscover who you really are.
There’s no law that says you have to work solidly all your life so why not hit the pause button?
If you even remotely ever might need to get another job then it’s vitally important to leave your job well – at least be able to get a reference.
That means working your notice out gracefully and politely.
4. Improve your health.
The modern working life isn’t without its health consequences. In the West we’ve off-shored a lot of dangerous mining and factory work but the commute to the office and endless meetings can take its toll.
If you’ve not been looking after yourself then plan an active change that builds healthy activity into the daily routine or just gives you time to be active.
Changes here could be a simple as finding a job you can walk or cycle two or where you can get out in time to play sport of dig the garden.
If you spend all your time working for a company whose goals you don’t like, with people you have no empathy for, in a way that doesn’t get the best from you e.g. you expect me to be in the office by then!, and find it squeezes out time for what you do value then it’s time to plot a change.
The job might have been fine to start with but world of work changes – not always dramatically – and gradually without noticing it you’ve found that what you want and what the organisation offers have drifted apart and there’s now a gap.
If you can’t bridge the gap then it’s the end of the road and time to move on.
6. Clear out you life.
If you feel that your life is clogged up – too many things to do, too many possessions you don’t need, and want to clear out space for a restart then the day job may be something to let go of.
Having said that getting rid of all the other time, money and space wasters first might be enough. It’s always best to start small rather than going for the dramatic gesture first.
7. Do what you desperately need to do.
If giving up is just a removing of a negative – I don’t like the job – then that’s not really good enough. You need a positive reason, a burning desire to do something. If you have already put the ground work in even better whether that’s writing a novel, cycling across Africa for charity, learning French or starting up your own tree surgery business.
If you’re twitching to go and all set then the time is right.
In truth you only need one truly compelling reason rather than lots of little reasons to change your job. Also rather than a big dramatic gesture of leaving now (“you can take this job and…”) you may quietly resolve to leave in a few month after you’ve some preparation for the next adventure in place.
Are you planning to leave your job and what are your reasons?