Reasons Not to Quit Your Job Right Away

When it's not a good idea to leave your job right away

Business woman looking at computer screen.
Photo: Tempura / Getty Images

There are many good reasons to quit your job. There are also times when it makes sense to keep it, even if it’s not on a long-term basis. If you can leave your current position on your terms, when you’re ready, the transition to new employment will be much smoother.

Waiting also gives you the opportunity to think it through to be sure that the decision you’re making to resign is the right one.


Sometimes, quitting isn’t the best thing to do. It can cost you money, and even make it harder to get hired if you don’t have another job lined up. Or, the timing may not be right.

Before you say “I quit,” review these reasons why you may not want to resign right away. Also, determine if there's any way you could change things up and learn to love your job.

Reasons Not to Resign Right Away

You’re Angry

You’ve had a terrible day at work, you’re mad at the boss, and nothing is going right. Quitting may seem like the best solution, but decisions made in haste aren’t always the best ones. Go home, calm down, think it through, and wait at least 24 hours to be sure you really want to quit right now.

Consider if there is anything that could be done to fix the situation and make staying a viable option. Are there things that you or the company could do to resolve the problem? If the problem could be resolved, would you want to stay?

You Hate Your Job

Hating your job is a legitimate reason for quitting, but is there a way to make your role more palatable or are there other positions at the company that could be a better fit? If you like your company, your manager, and your co-workers, perhaps staying in a different position is an option.


Check out internal job postings to see if there's a role that might be a better option before you make a final decision on resigning.

You Need a Break

Have you been working almost around the clock without a vacation or any time off? If you’re burned out from doing too much, taking some time away from the office could be a quick fix. A vacation, even a short one, can give you clarity and will help you decide what the next phase of your career should be.

If you have time off coming, don't hesitate to use it. If you don't have time off available, unpaid leave may be an option. Talk to your boss to see if you can request a leave of absence from work.

You Can’t Afford to Quit

Do you have enough money in the bank to fund a job search without a paycheck coming in? Finding a new job isn’t always as quick or as easy as you might think. Even if you have a strong skill set and work in an in-demand career field, the interview process can be lengthy, and you will need to replace your lost earnings until you start a new position.

You never know how long a job search will take—even in a good job market. It can make more sense to start applying for jobs before you turn in your resignation. If you get a job offer, you'll be able to make a smooth transition to your next role without worrying about how to pay the bills.

You Need the Benefits

If you have a decent benefits package, it’s important to know what will happen to your employee benefits after you leave your job. You don’t want to raise red flags with your boss or human resources department by asking too many questions about what happens after you terminate employment, but the information may be available online or in your employee handbook.


Carefully review your options for continuing coverage, and for what happens to the benefits you currently have in place when you leave.

You’ll Be Considered a Job Hopper

In today’s job market, job hopping isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many companies hire contract workers and short-term employees, and there are ways to tweak your resume to mitigate the impact. However, you will still need to be prepared to answer interview questions about why you left your job, especially if you have had a lot of them.

You Don’t Have a Departure Plan in Place

Quitting without a plan in place can be scary because there are too many unknowns. You don’t know how long it will take to get hired, you may spend down your bank account faster than expected, and you don’t know where you’re going to find your next job.

It’s better to explore the job market, to know which jobs you’re qualified for, how much you can expect to earn, and which organizations are hiring, in advance. A smooth departure plan will ensure a successful transition to new employment.

You Don’t Have a New Job Waiting

Of course, making the decision to quit when you have a new job to go to is easy. If you don’t, and the circumstances at work aren’t so ​difficult that you can’t stay, it makes more sense to start a careful and confidential job search while you’re still employed.

It’s easy to job search online from your phone, as well as on a computer. Many employers ​conduct phone or video interviews and you can juggle taking time off from work for in-person interviews. Fast track your job search to get hired quickly, then turn in your notice.

When You’re Not Sure About Quitting

What should you do if you want to quit, but aren’t sure if you should? The best way to start the decision-making process is to make a list of the pros and cons of your current job, including job responsibilities, salary, benefits, schedule, opportunities for growth, company culture, and what ​your career path looks like with your present employer. If you have another job offer, ​compare your current compensation package with the one offered by the new company.


When your decision is to stay, these ​tips will help you keep your job, and even be happy that you did.

When You’re Ready to Quit

Once you have decided to resign, it’s important to leave your job as gracefully as possible. Here’s what to do before you quit, how to tell your boss that you’re quitting, and ​examples of resignation letters to formalize your departure.

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