When Quitting is the Right Choice

Transitions can be tough.

Especially if they involve changing degrees, starting jobs, moving cities or making life decisions that require you to shift priorities. However, sometimes it is what prevents us from making a transition that is even more stressful.

I have seen friends struggle through jobs they are unhappy in, while others struggle with too many volunteer commitments. I myself have struggled with change when I realized the degree I was pursuing was not what I wanted to spend the rest of my career in. There many come a point when you are posed with an internal conflict between what is expected of you, and what you really want.

As young adults, many still hear the voices of mentors and parents in our heads saying “stick it out”. Or more commonly “finish what you started”. With years of this rhetoric in our heads, you may find yourself asking: “Am I really allowed to quit?” As young professionals starting out in our respective industries, we are at the bottom of the working totem pole. Not only are we trying to fill out our resumes, we are proving ourselves as professionals.

All of this adds to the dilemma of needing to make a change that may not always be convenient for all parties involved. But regardless of these factors, sometimes moving to new opportunities is still the right decision.

Here are a few considerations:

Be Thoughtful

Make sure you don’t rush a decision. Take some time to evaluate short and long-term repercussions or benefits. Taking a little extra time can help remove the immediate emotion out of a decision which will allow you to objectively view the right course of action. An outside opinion from mentors or close friends is also beneficial as these people have your best interests at heart and make suggestions unique to your situation.

Be Assertive

Although outside opinions should be considered it is still important to be a strong leader of your own direction. If leaving is truly what you need, don’t be ashamed or scared to move forward.

Be Tactful

Burning bridges should never be the objective. Rather, transparency and honesty can help ease any tensions. If you are quitting, consider a few extra weeks notice if possible. Or, for volunteer positions, try to leave notes for the next person moving into the role. Creating a smooth exit can help keep relationships in tact.