Considering quitting? If so, you aren't alone. More than 2 million people in the U.S. quit their jobs every month.
There are plenty of good reasons you should quit your job. Perhaps:
- The work no longer seems challenging, exciting, or fulfilling.
- You've accomplished whatever you originally set out to do.
- You've mentally checked out.
- Your passion isn't as high as it used to be.
- You're dreaming about the future and you don't see yourself at your current company.
Whatever the reason, quitting is a huge and difficult choice.
So how to you know WHEN you should quit your job?
Here's my take.
When NOT to Quit Your Job
You absolutely should not decide to quit when things are going badly.
It's really easy to quit when lots of stuff is going wrong. It's obvious.
It feels like the ship is sinking. Now is a smart time to quit, right?
Instead, you should wait to make your decision until things stabilize.
You want to make a calm decision--not one based on fear of failure. Sometimes the grass really isn't greener on the other side.
Don't quit while things are exploding. You aren't thinking straight.
Focus on getting your product or business to a better place. You can reassess after you've restored order.
So How Do You Know If It's The Right Time to Quit?
You should quit your job when things are going really great.
Like, you feel uncomfortable because it's so ridiculously great.
It's much harder to quit when things are doing OK or great. The opportunity costs are much higher. You're leaving something that's doing well rather than something that's doing terribly.
The time to leave your job is when you're feeling very comfortable. Too comfortable.
The surest sign that it's time to make the change is when things are going so great that you've lost the feeling of "uncomfortableness"--that thing that makes you want to work harder and maybe keeps you up a little at night.
During my career I've achieved the biggest gains during times of uncertainty. When there was a lot of pressure. When there were higher risks and higher rewards.
Sometimes Quitters Win
You've probably heard the saying, "winners never quit and quitters never win." While that may be true in sports, it definitely doesn't apply in the startup world.
Here's a much better way to think about quitting your job when things are going insanely well. This quote comes from Osayi Emokpae Lasisi, author of "Impossible Is Stupid":
"Quitting is not giving up, it's choosing to focus your attention on something more important. Quitting is not losing confidence, it's realizing that there are more valuable ways you can spend your time. Quitting is not making excuses, it's learning to be more productive, efficient and effective instead. Quitting is letting go of things (or people) that are sucking the life out of you so you can do more things that will bring you strength."
It's really hard to quit when things are going great at your company.
However, if you're feeling too comfortable it probably means you've plateaued.
When you've reached this point you'll know it's the right time to quit your job..