what to think about before you quit your job

Quitting your job can be the brilliant move that frees you up to do something better, or it can be a rash decision that you end up regretting later on. If you’re starting to think about resigning your job, here are five questions to ask yourself to make sure that the decision is the right one for you.

1. Is your decision being driven by emotion? Most people have moments where they want to quit their jobs – where work frustrations have built to the point that their thoughts turn to escape. Most of the time, that feeling will pass, so if the impulse is new, give yourself a few weeks and see if it passes. If you still think you should quit after a few weeks have passed, then it’s something that you can take seriously. But don’t make such a major decision in the heat of the moment or after a single tough week.

2. How long have you been at your current job, and how long have you stayed at previous jobs? If you have a pattern of leaving jobs after less than two years, future employers will worry that you’re a job hopper – and that you’ll leave them quickly too. Sometimes it can be better for you in the long-run to stay a bit longer in a job, so that you don’t harm your ability to get jobs you want in the future.

There certainly are times when it’s reasonable to leave a job after a short period of time, since as if you’ve ended up doing something quite different than the work you signed on for, or if the terms of the job like pay or location change significantly, or when your health of safety is at risk. The catch is that you can only do it once with impunity. If you start racking up multiple short stays, that’s when employers will start wondering how reliable you are. You do get one freebie, though – just make sure that you don’t use it lightly. (After all, if you leave a job quickly, you’ll need to be especially careful about the next job you take, since you’re going to need to stick around there for a while.)

3. How long will it take you to find another job?People sometimes quit their jobs with nothing lined up, thinking that they’ll have a new one in a few months. But in this job market, job searches can take a year or even longer. Lots of people only realize that once they’ve already quit and it’s too late. In most circumstances, you shouldn’t quit without another job lined up. You want to be sure that you’re being realistic about your next steps and the likely timeline for moving on, so that you can manage your own expectations and make good decisions meanwhile.

4. Think about the advantages of your current job that might be hard to find somewhere else. For example, if you have an incredibly short commute or unusually generous vacation leave or the ability to work from home whenever you want or a higher-than-market salary, be realistic about how likely you’ll be to find those things in your next job – and how much you care. Sometimes when people do this calculation, they realize that they’re willing to put up with a difficult boss in exchange for a short commute and great pay. Other times they realize that they’d gladly take a small pay cut and spend a bit more time on the road to work in a different environment. The call is yours; just be thoughtful and realistic about what you value most and what trade-offs you’re willing to make.

5. Have you talked with your boss about what’s making you unhappy, and is it likely to change? This doesn’t work in every case; in some situations, the work or culture just isn’t the right fit, or the boss is a nightmare, or you want to move into a completely different field. But in some cases, talking to your boss can actually help. For example, if your commute is wearing on you, could you get permission to work from home one or two days a week? Or flex your hours to avoid rush hour? Or if a particular client is destroying your quality of life, is it possible to spend less time on that account and move to work that won’t make you want to tear your hair out? The answer might be no, but sometimes it might be yes – and you usually won’t know until you ask.

Too often, people assume that the answer will be no and so they never ask – when if they did, sometimes they would end up discovering that their manager cared enough about retaining them to be willing to make changes. Again, not every time. But it’s often worth asking the question.

I originally published this at U.S. News & World Report.

{ 65 comments… read them below }

  1. Amber Rose

    I would say, listen to the people around you as well. My last job was driving me to the hospital from how bad it got, and I kept making excuses for why I couldn’t leave, though people around me kept telling me I should.

    In hindsight, my friends/family were right.

    1. Erik

      Same for me. I was in a crappy job that was hurting my health, when I realized how bad it was and left. I immediately felt better, and I’ve never regretted that decision.

    2. Ethyl

      Yeah my current job is making me sick AND crazy and my spouse has told me he would much prefer me to be able to be present and not a wine-guzzling zombie when I’m home. But I still don’t know. I feel like I can’t trust my judgement anymore.

      1. Ethyl

        But — I did try talking to my boss and got told “welp, that’s just the way the job is,” with zero recognition of all the myriad ways that things could be made better. So I don’t think things will change at all ever.

  2. IT Kat

    Sometimes just checking out the job market helps – for instance, the last several months I’ve been on an assignment at work that I dislike so much I was willing to quit to get off it – after checking around, and talking to a few other employers/having a few interviews, I was reminded at how many benefits that I wouldn’t get elsewhere I have here (slightly flexible hours, relaxed dress code, cash bonuses for performance throughout the year, etc). If I’d quit, I would have ended up either in a job that overall would have been worse then just sticking out this assignment. (While I’m still looking, I’m being very choosy about where I apply so that I can keep a lot of the benefits I forgot weren’t stock for most companies.)

    1. IT Kat

      *ended up either in a job that overall would have been worse, or with no job at all.

      Argh can’t complete sentences today. I blame DST.

    2. Alex

      This is a great point. When I get really frustrated at work, I sometimes apply to a few positions “casually” just to see what happens. The act of doing that helps me feel better in and of itself a lot of times. Other times, either I get no calls and am reminded that the job market is tough, or if I do go on a few interviews, it still helps me to put things in perspective in my current position. Additionally, it forces me to keep my resume up to date and to keep an eye on what’s out there, which also helps me feel better when I’m having bad days at work, because I feel like I have a good idea of what I’m up against if I want to seriously look for something new. It also has the added benefit of keeping my interviewing skills sharp, and if/when I withdraw from the process because I’ve decided my job is the better pick for the moment, it helps raise my self-confidence.

      1. BeenThere

        Me too! I’m incredibly choosey and at current job no one is more attractive, at current job I haven’t pursued beyond a phone interview. At previous job I did several half day interview processes before finding this job.

  3. C Average

    Thank you! This was very, very timely. After reading this, I feel even better about my plan to take the leap later this spring.

  4. hildi

    Yeah, timely article!! And the comments, so far, too. Look forward to reading more about what people have to say. I want to move on, but am really scared that I won’t find the really good blend of intangible benefits I get here that fit my life right now. So helpful to have other factors to think about.

    1. C Average

      Good luck! I think it’s good that you’re looking around. Even if you wind up staying put, it’s fun to explore the possibilities and dream a little. Based on your recent posts, it seems like some dreaming might be a good thing for you to do right now.

  5. David B

    Ha, how timely! In 45 minutes I’m telling my managers that I’m resigning (in 6 weeks). They know it is to follow a partner that has already made the move so it shouldn’t be a huge surprise. I’m hoping to be able to do contract work and we’re on great terms.

    1. De Minimis

      I’m in a similar position, haven’t told them yet though and still not sure what our plan is exactly going to be.

      Hoping to figure out a way to leave on good terms.

  6. Stranger than fiction

    Bravo to #4 ! This is so important a couple years ago we had a CSR leave for marginally more pay but when she got on the job it turned out her health benefits cost her a couple hundred more per month…one needs to consider the entire compensation pkg.

    I know I’d be hard pressed to find a comparable salary, bosses as cool as the ones I have now that don’t micro manage me etc…even though some days the dozen or so dysfunctional things at my current job drive me nuts

  7. Stranger than fiction

    And re: #5 I recently learned that at least in California you can sometimes get unemployment despite resigning When you left a toxic environment or other intolerable condition IF you had gone to HR and reported the issue and given them a chance to correct the problem. Unfortunately someone very close to me hadn’t done that and instead told HR the reasons while resigning…but boy could he have had a great case for the unemploent benefits if he had

  8. Helen

    I quit my job with no back up plan except school and don’t regret it even though I am having a hard time finding a new job. I actually thought a lot about many of the points brought up in this article and I think if you want to quit this is a great way to figure it out.

  9. AB

    What about part-time people, who don’t get health benefits/leave/bonuses/etc? With the market being the way it is, does anyone have advice for those of us stuck in low paying jobs without benefits who are actively seeking better positions? It’s incredibly frustrating on a daily basis to go into a place knowing you’re making less than others around you and, in some cases, being taken advantage of because of your part time status. I would love to see some advice directed towards people in this unfortunate position.

    1. OhNo

      I think this advice applies whether you are full time or part time. Either way, quitting is not something to be undertaken lightly. Speaking as someone who is employed on a part-time basis, I may not get perks like health benefits or flex time that I have to consider, but I do get the “benefit” of being employed and making money, which is certainly better (for me, at least) than the alternative.

      1. Jean

        I agree with everything OhNo said. My current benefit of being employed (even part-time at a modest hourly wage) is much better than my previous benefit of 40 free hours each week due to NOT being employed.

        No matter how good your reasons are/were for quitting, some employers will give you the fish eye just for being unemployed. If you have anything else unusual in your package (niche field or niche qualifications; desire to avoid a long commute; easy to label as “over-educated;” and/or over age 40 or 50 or whatever the crazy cutoff is these days) why give people one more reason to eliminate you?

        1. The Other Jean (formerly just Jean)

          This is uncanny: Some seven months later I find this opinion-writer shares not only an AAM alias but also the same life circumstances and opinion of them! (Did I write this back in March and then forget it? No…”fish eye” is a great phrase but not in my usual vocabulary.)

    2. Not So NewReader

      In that case, you can look at how close the job is to home or if the hours are convenient. How hard would it be to get something similar?
      When I had a part time job, in a retail setting, another factor for me would be how safe is it? Some retailers work hard at keeping their employees safe and some retailers don’t lift a finger to keep people safe.
      But all this did not have a lot of weight with me if managers were totally unprofessional. The boss had to be somewhat reasonable to work with.

    3. C Average

      I think one thing to evaluate with a part-time job is whether it’s effectively a full-time job when you factor in all the hassle.

      If you have a part-time job with erratic hours that require you to have open availability, that has the effect of a full-time job in terms of your ability to take on other commitments. And if you have a part-time job that requires you to work nights or commute a long distance or secure full-time child care just to make the whole thing work, you’re giving full-time output to a part-time job in some important respects.

      If you have a part-time job that’s truly a part-time job, i.e., it doesn’t monopolize all of your workday every day, you have a benefit most full-time workers don’t have: the time and flexibility for interviews, side projects, second jobs, volunteer gigs, or other opportunities that might lead to a full-time job.

      If you’re in the first category and you’re having no luck finding a full-time job, try to at least find a part-time job that’s in the second category. That way, you’ll have some breathing room to develop yourself and pursue that elusive full-time job.

      It won’t get you all the way there, but it’s a start.

      1. I'm a Little Teapot

        +1

        It really should be legally required for part-time jobs with irregular schedules that require open availability should have a higher minimum wage than other jobs. A lot of retailers and food service places deliberately use this kind of scheduling to make it harder for their workers to find another job and leave.

        [/tangent]

      2. AB

        I think you hit the nail on the head with my previous comment. It’s easy to find a lot of part time jobs that feel like full time jobs as far as time commitment and work output is concerned but they lack the pay and benefits of full time work. Obviously all of the advice applies as far as not quitting without something lined up, etc. but these kind of part time jobs can be just as stressful. Part time jobs are fairly common in my niche, competitive field. Employers will schedule you at 30 hours a week and expect you to produce just as much as their full time employees. It just gets frustrating to have that kind of expectation and standard without all the privileges that come with it. Feeling like a second class citizen because you’re “technically part time” demotivates you.

  10. Not Today Satan

    I’m now two and a half months unemployed, and even though I get *very* discouraged (e.g., I listed to “I Dream a Dream” on repeat this morning, LOL), I don’t for a minute regret quitting. *Everything* about it was awful, I wanted to quit the entire time I worked there and finally reached my breaking point.

    I have some money saved and a partner and family who will help me if necessary, so I won’t end up on the street if I don’t find something within a certain time frame. (Although honestly, even if I didn’t have my partner I would have still quit and risked moving back home with my parents if I had to, that’s how bad it was.)

    1. Steve G

      In the same boat. Left job of 5 years and took a job that was a horrible fit and culture so left after a few weeks, left it because it was unbearable, but also because I don’t want it on my resume….I’ve been looking for work for 3 weeks now, got one interview and another phone screen (+about 5 rejects), 10 other applications open, probably still too new to have been reviewed…….

      I discussed the brief stint at the interview because they specifically asked what I’ve been doing since 5-year-long job and it didn’t create a hurdle or a bunch of negativity, as other commenters have suggested. Maybe that is because I got a lot of actual work done in my short stint at in-between job because I was trained in the industry, IDK.

  11. Ed

    I left a job once without having something solid lined up. Never again. Absolutely nobody believes you when you say you quit and were not fired or forced to resign. I immediately realized I gave myself a major huddle to get over in every interview. I think I pictured some kind of freedom or something but not having a solid job prospect is pretty terrifying.

    Things are not as bad now as during the recession but I knew people then who went from making six figures to literally being homeless. One friend of mine quit his job one day because he had finally had it with his boss and then his wife was laid off from her $150K/yr job the following week. Witnessing things like that changed my entire perspective on rolling the dice and leaving a good job without another one lined up.

    I think an important step is to take action, either to make it better or to leave, when you first realize you don’t like your job. Many people wait until they hate their job so much they can’t get of bed. That is not the right frame of mind to make career decisions or to go on interviews. You didn’t just wake up one day and hate your job.

    1. Not Today Satan

      That hasn’t been my experience at all. My situation is somewhat unique–I left a sin industry that has incredibly high turnover. When I tell people/employers why I left they empathize–in fact more than not respond with something like, “I can imagine.” (I actually think the fact that I worked in this industry does me more harm than the fact that I left without a job.) But anyway, I’m sure there are other situations that don’t make employers totally suspicious.

        1. Dmented Kitty

          Totally unrelated — our former/late cardinal from my country is Cardinal Sin. No kidding.

    2. NickelandDime

      Ed, I think the problems you faced are more common when you quit without having something else lined up. There may be an exception somewhere, but most of the time, it ends up being a disaster.

      A jerk on your job is not worth putting your finances and career at risk. I would advise anyone, do what’s best for you in all aspects of your life. Don’t think about these other people. Think about your finances, your career, your family, and your health. People make snap decisions about their lives based on work colleagues that they will probably never see or talk to again once they leave that job.

  12. C Average

    I’ve thought this through a great deal and am preparing to make this leap.

    I’m in a two-earner household and, I’m not gonna lie, my salary is chump change compared to my spouse’s, and we will barely even miss it. What we will miss, as a household, is access to the company gym (for which we have a family membership) and the employee store. Personally, I will miss the atmosphere here. It’s a really fun place to spend my workday.

    That said, my efforts to move out of a role that’s a bad fit have gone nowhere, and my itch to write my book and return to freelancing has only increased. My stepkids would benefit from having a more available parent, and the whole family would benefit from having someone available to take care of the administrative needs of the household: the driving people around, the paying of bills, the cooking and cleaning, the arranging of the calendar. We’re so fortunate that we can afford for me to build a freelance career from home and be there for the kids. I’m really excited about this opportunity.

    Now the big question becomes, how much notice do I give? I have a lot of specialized knowledge and a lot of projects that need to be transitioned to others. I also know that my leaving will have a domino effect on the team: one of our temps will likely seek and get my job, and our management will likely need to make a business case for backfilling the temp. There may even be business concerns about backfilling MY role. Headcount is always contentious here, and the timing with regard to the fiscal year and the decreased on-paper responsibilities of my team may make it more so for my manager. I’m leaning toward a longer notice period for these reasons, maybe four to six weeks.

    Time to hit the AAM archives . . .

    1. Clever Name

      You look out for you. Your company can look out for themselves. You’re trying to move to a more appropriate role, right? And the company’s response is…. They’ll have to get along without you.

  13. Stephanie

    Also, finances. Unemployment (if you can get it) is paltry and savings just have a way of disappearing faster than expected.

    1. De Minimis

      I don’t think unemployment lasts as long as it did during the trough of the recession either.

  14. edj3

    I’d add to #3 that you should also carefully evaluate your network. If you’ve got a good reputation in a needed field and you have a good professional network, quitting without having another job lined up doesn’t have to be the kiss of death.

    I left a toxic place last year (December 2013) with nothing lined up. I expected I would have to explain why I did what I did and I anticipated I’d face a much harder time finding work since I’d only been there for 18 months. I reached out to my network and let them know I was available and what sort of work I was looking for.

    As it turned out, I was able to land a consulting gig last May; that gig ends next week. I have three pretty solid prospects right now for the next gig but best of all I don’t have nightmares any more.

    I know this option doesn’t work for everyone, I’m not that naive. But having a really good professional network made so much difference.

  15. John

    I have a six-month rule, especially when there are personalities who are making you miserable. It’s amazing how the stuff that makes your job seem impossible for a period of weeks or months can improve over time.

    This is especially true when new leaders come in and their work style seems antithetical to what works for you or the chemistry seems off. Over time, you tend to find your groove.

    (I had just one situation where I had to pull the ripcord because it wasn’t going to get better.)

  16. nof

    I work in an industry and role X where half of the CXOs leave within two years. Does that change the calculus for how long you need to stay to not be considered a flight risk?

    1. nof

      Oh just to add – 16 months is the average for all levels of X role (I’m just reading about it now and find it very interesting!). I may need to take this to next week’s open thread!

  17. TT

    The big questions I asked myself when I was in a terrible job: 1) Can I afford to quit? 2) Do I have something better lined up? and 3) What will I do if the new gig doesn’t pan out either?

    The answers to those questions were enough to keep me employed at Horrible Job for almost 2 years. It took its toll on my mental health (took me 3 years of great performance evals at the new place before I stopped having panic attacks going in) but when I left I had a much stronger resume and a decent amount of time on the job so that if the next gig went bad I could get out quickly without looking like a job hopper. It was tough but it was worth the wait.

  18. S

    I work very closely to an industry where high turnover is common, and almost expected. It’s interesting to hear about this perception where leaving a job after less than two years is a sign of trouble, whereas in this city and in this field, it’s seen as a sign of ambition and simply ‘moving on to better things.’

  19. D

    It’s hard to know what the right decision is – I mean you can’t live without a paycheck but you can’t put a price on mental health either. In any case, I think every job deserves 6 months to really know if the job is toxic.

  20. Suzanne

    I did this twice; once without something lined up. I do the first bailing out tosome extent, but it was a long commute, a horrible work environment (it was obvious quickly that as a woman, my job was to do everything the men didn’t want to), no clear instructions on procedures and processes ( “just figure it out but, oops, sorry, that was wrong. Try again”), and no communication. At some point I could no longer stand living everyday with the pit in my stomach floating in a sea of anger. I lasted almost a year & quit, but it took me almost 6 months to find even a temp job, so quitting probably wasn’t the smartest move.

    I did it again several years later leaving a full time job with benefits to return to a part-time, no benefit job. The full time job should have been great, but the hours involved were totally misrepresented and discussions with the HR dept by several of us ended with the HR specialist wagging her finger and saying discussion was done. I was the first to bail out, but certainly not the last & the bad Glassdoor.com negative reviews are beginning to pile up. I miss the money, but am happy to be back at my short commute, pleasant position where I feel valued and feel like I am contributing to the business.

    I sent the link to this article to a young woman who has been at her job less than a year but is nearly ready to quit because of the utter chaos at the workplace. The entire office is madly applying for other positions. I hope it helps to give her some direction.

    1. Anon for today

      Suzanne-
      It’s amazing! What you described in your 1st paragraph is my work environment right now! I hate it most days and I am going to start looking for something else.

      1. Suzanne

        I feel you pain, Anon! The pain lingers as you can tell-my second sentence begins with unintelligible garbaldygoop!
        Good luck to you. Part of what makes a job like that so difficult is that people who have not experienced a workplace freak-fest try to tell you that you’re being irrational, too thin skinned, grow a pair & deal with it, but you can’t reason with the unreasonable. At the job you referenced, I finally met with the supervisor and tried to tell him some of the struggles I was having with the job. His response? “What do you want me to do about it?”

  21. Stephanie

    I left the company I was with for 12 years in August 2014 to move closer to family. I don’t regret resigning however I highly underestimated the amount of time it would take to find a new job. 7 months later with 15+ interviews and no offers. I had no idea it would take this long. And after so many interviews rejection does take a toll on morale. My advice to someone who resigns with no job waiting in the wings is be prepared for a long job search, have enough savings to get you through and develop a tough skin.

  22. Anonymous Educator

    I just quit my job for a new one, letting my manager know months in advance I’d be looking, being deeply involved the hiring process for my replacement, and then ultimately giving two weeks’ notice. Absolutely no regrets. Just had my first day of work at my new job today—it’s not perfect, but it’s much better, and I’m hopeful for the future. I don’t recommend this course for everyone, but it works for me.

  23. Not So NewReader

    For me, it requires that I be totally determined to find that next gig. I have to get myself psyched up that no matter what, I will just plow through and get that next job. So, obviously, I don’t do this very much…
    I think that my determination level has been a deciding factor. I don’t want to sit home and “woe is me”. So I have to burn out the tears/anger or whatever from the toxic place and then move on. And as C Average is illustrating in her storyline, I have to have something that I am going toward, as opposed to just having a job I am running away from.

    1. C Average

      We’ll see how this all plays out. It’s going to be a grand experiment but, like you say, I’m going toward something as much as I’m going away from something.

      Part of the reason I have faith that I can make this work is that I grew up with a model of the role I want to fill. My mother published her first magazine article a month before I was born, and by the time I was in preschool, she had picked up two monthly columns that brought in regular and predictable income. She was perpetually querying new editors and pitching new ideas. We wrote off all our family vacations because she spun our trips into articles for travel magazines, and we were subjected to constant culinary experiments as she developed recipes to sell to cooking magazines. But she never came across as inauthentic or excessively marketing-oriented, and she never went overboard with personal branding. She just liked to tell stories. (Clearly, I come by this honestly.)

      I began copy-editing her work when I was a teenager, and I am now reaching out to editors whose names I recall from those years. I am not shy about dropping my mom’s name. I know that once I connect with editors and they see my work, I’ll be able to sell some writing. If there’s one thing I’m rock-solid confident I can do well, it’s write, and I can write about damned near anything and happily will for money.

      Like her, I am extremely fortunate to be married to someone who provides a steady paycheck and good benefits. There was a wonderful piece on Salon a few weeks back about “sponsored writers” who are able to ply their craft because their spouses are the main breadwinner. That’s my husband and me, and probably always will be. (If I write that bestseller that I dream of writing, though, I’m going to buy that man anything he wants.)

      And it’s not a purely selfish decision, it’s not a “I’m going to follow my dreams” thing. I mean, I do have dreams, and I am following them, but I’ve also done the math and realized that the pittance that I make isn’t worth much to the family, while the contribution I can make by eliminating our ongoing scheduling nightmares, making a happier home for my husband and stepkids, negating the need for child care in the summer and after school, and being the go-to person for errands and appointments and obligations is going to be hugely valuable. Even if I don’t make a cent, this move is going to benefit everyone in this house.

      Strangely, this decision emerged more or less organically just as I was enjoying my job more than I have in months. I will actually be sorry to go, in some respects. I have begun talking to my manager about the timeline for my departure, and she has asked me if I’m open to contracting and consulting. I absolutely am. My phaseout is going to be unhurried, with no burned bridges. It feels utterly right to be doing this.

      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        That’s fantastic. Good for you for making the leap!

        I hope we won’t lose you here, even after you’re not working a traditional job!

        1. C Average

          Not a chance! Though I will have to limit my time here. In fact, something I’ve been practicing in recent weeks is working for an hour, then letting myself spend five minutes here. I’ve been building up my willpower to ensure that I don’t spend whole hours in the comment section, which could totally happen if I’m not vigilant about it.

          This site has some of the best content on the web, as far as I’m concerned, and there’s no way I’ll stop reading it.

  24. Olive K

    I just quit my part -time job last week with nothing else lined up, but in my situation:

    * there is a 50% chance my family will be moving cross country
    * I still have two other part-time jobs
    *I wanted to leave on good terms and schedule it for would cause the least disruption (giving them almost 2 months notice, which I felt made sense since there are only board meeting once a month to discuss issues with my position)
    * This is a very low paying position and I need to make a better salary.

    I always feel guilty when resigning from jobs, so I felt that, but elation as well. Once I know if we are moving or not, I’ll figure out where to start looking for my next position.

  25. aka

    This posting is especially appropriate for me because I’m considering quitting my job. I don’t have anything lined up, but I’m in a position where I’m not very good at my job and I’m afraid that they’re going to fire me anyway. I probably have a bit of time before I’d be let go, but my lease is up in May and it would be much easier for me to move then. There are not a ton of opportunities for work in the town that I live in, and I’d like to go to a new city where there might be more opportunities. It’s probably crazy and I’m probably thinking with my emotions but this job is causing me great amounts of anxiety, to the point where I’m wondering if it’s worth it.

    1. De Minimis

      I’d start looking in the new town now, and tell potential employers I’m planning to move.

      May isn’t that far away, but also landlords will often work with you on leases if you help them out as far as finding a tenant.

  26. Case of the Mondays

    One alternative I’d suggest for people trying to stick it out until they find something else – try to mentally detach yourself from the toxic workplace. Realize the jerk boss is the one with a problem, not you. Consider it an anthropological study. What will the monkey throw at me today? Decided you don’t care if they say your work sucks because you know it is them, not you. Remind yourself that you are in control and you are just there to get a paycheck until you find the next thing. This isn’t your life and it isn’t your career.

    I worked in corrections so I had to learn how to ignore all mean things the inmates said to me. There is a way to compartmentalize yourself but it is a learned skill. You know how the military brings you down to build you up? You can let your bad boss think that is what he is doing. Boss “this is the worst thing I have ever read.” You “well, thanks for letting me know, I will try harder next time.” You in your head “@$$h0!3. My work is great, you are insane and I’m out of here before you know it.”

    1. MsChanandlerBong

      I quit a job without anything else lined up when the environment became too toxic to bear. Let’s say I worked for a company that offered training on how to make chocolate teapots. Our boss would have the receptionist print out BLS info for occupations related to chocolate teapot manufacturing. Then she’d have the receptionist highlight certain sentences that made the careers sound amazing.

      For example, the BLS page might say something like “A chocolate teapot maker can make as much as $50,000 per year with a 4-year degree,” but our boss had the receptionist stop highlighting at “$50,000 per year.” When we showed prospective enrollees the BLS paperwork, we were only allowed to read the highlighted sentences, so it made it sound like you could make $50,000 with our one-year training program. Students graduating from our programs were lucky to make $9 an hour as entry-level teapot makers.

  27. Ellensue

    I just quit a job without another one in line. I was there a year but only a month or so into that year I knew something was seriously wrong. First, the job I was hired for never materialized. Actually NO job materialized. I spent 80% of the time doing nothing or minimal work that, because it was so poorly planed, wasn’t useful to the company. The other 20% was basically a waste because my supervisor was unable to figure out how to delegate, plan projects (or let me plan them), or balance work between me and an overworked colleague. Reportedly, the new president of the company (who hired me, my boss’s boss) had little idea what he was doing, acted out emotionally, alienated customers, and had panic attacks. The company had been recently purchased, so there was no on-site HR person. So, there I was — little to do, no one to talk to about it, everyone one-upping each other with their own stories of dissatisfaction and frustration. I feared the situation would permanently affect my health and self-esteem. When I left, I got a lot of high-fives, hugs, and congratulations.

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