3 Things You Must Do Before Quitting Your Job

Posted August 26, 2013

By Farnoosh Brock, Guest Contributor

ALTIt is normal to fall out of love with your job. In fact, on average every adult has two jobs that they didn’t exactly love. So if you hate your job, know that you are not alone – and having a job or two you don’t like is part of growing up and learning through experience.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s normal to stay in a job that makes you miserable. Remember: Whatever your situation, you have a choice – and when you think about every job as a choice, it opens a whole new world of opportunity and abundance.

So what do you do if you are in a bad working situation? The obvious options is to quit your job.  But did you know that there is a right way and wrong way to quit your job -- and how you do it can affect how successful you are after quitting?

I've broken it down to 3 things you must do before leaving to make sure you are prepared for the next phase of your career journey.

1. Know Exactly Why You Are Quitting Your Job

This may sound obvious, but I've worked with clients and students who thought they knew why they were quitting their job, but they ended up being mistaken. It is a humbling experience.

Case in point, I thought I wanted to quit my first job because I didn't make enough money. So I set out to fix that problem. After doubling my salary and still being miserable, it was obvious I had fixed the wrong problem. Or the wrong why, if you will.

This is important because if you quit for the wrong reasons, you are likely to repeat the underlying problem again down the road.

Get to the bottom of why you are quitting. Is it the money? Or the flexibility? Or the management? Or maybe everything is great but the commute is unbearable? Dig deep and ask yourself questions to find out exactly what makes you want to leave this job. That's your first assignment before you quit.

2. Come Up with 3 Exit Strategies and Put at least 1 into Motion

Trust in yourself and have faith it will all work out but at the same time, you don't just want play it by ear and "see what happens". And you don't want to just go applying to every job because any job would be better than this one. Trust me, things can get worse.

Instead, put together at least 3 ideas as part of your exit strategies beyond this job. Maybe you want to work for a particular company or start your own business or switch industries. Be specific. Be intentional about your choices.

Then choose at least one of those ideas and learn everything about it. Do as much prep as possible for it while you are still in your job. Take action in the evenings and on weekends. Build out your exit plan with super smart strategies and put at least one of those plans into motion before you quit.  That’s your second assignment.

3. Make Your Exit Smooth and Easy for Your Manager and Company

I know. Your boss or management may have not been nice to you and you want to show them by leaving.

But don't. Take the high road. Because this is a terrifyingly small world. Things come around. You will cross paths with them again. So be professional and coordinate your exit with your boss so you don't break the trust you have built.

Make sure you do everything to make it smooth and easy and agreeable to them. Leave on very good terms, even if you have had a hard time there. And remember, as you do this difficult third assignment, that you are actually doing all of it for yourself and your future opportunities.

Whatever your situation may be, if you feel that your current job is not the right direction for your career, take these 3 actions sooner than later. If you wait until you are absolutely miserable, then it's hard to focus and think clearly because your emotions get in the way. You want to make the decision to quit your job and the relevant preparation well in advance so that you are always prepared and in charge of your own career.


ALTFarnoosh Brock is an entrepreneur, a published author, speaker and career coach. She started her media company, Prolific Living Inc., after leaving a 12-year successful corporate career. She shows professionals going through "mid-career crisis" how to move up the corporate ladder or get out to start their dream business. Learn more here.

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