4 Reasons To Quit Your Job

499056410..and 4 reasons why you shouldn’t

One of the key decisions we make in our lives is our career. The right or left turn we take can dramatically impact our lives long term. In general I believe that one should not make career decisions in haste. I believe in and respect longevity. But I also fully realize that in today’s business world that we are all free agents and need to proactively manage our own careers. Furthermore, the pace of change makes it critical that we all evaluate one’s current career path more frequently than one might have in yesteryear.

Every one of us at some point in our careers reaches a point where we say, “I need to leave this job” or have sung a bar of Johnny Paycheck’s hit tune. There may—or may not—be good and valid reasons for wanting to do so.

Here are 4 really good reasons to move on:

1. Your company is currently tanking.

This one is easy. You need to leave if your company is tanking—and the sooner, the better. There is no glory in being the “last man standing”. A company in trouble is no place to build one’s career even if you are safe for the moment. Dollars to donuts you’ll be part of the next wave of cuts even if the Turk passed over you this time. And do not be influenced by a “stay bonus”. Did the violinists on the Titanic get a stay bonus? Would it have mattered?

2. In a changing world, your company’s reason for being is eroding.

In this case your company may be a technological laggard or resistant to needed change. Or a major competitive breakthrough is making your company’s product or service less relevant. This is actually related to #1. If the company’s reason for being is eroding, no doubt it will soon sink into the tank mode without a dramatic evolution. Companies stuck in the past become yesterday’s news. Once again, beat a path out of the door.

3. You are dramatically unpaid

Dramatically is the key word. All of us at some point have found out in one way or another that another was paid more than us and were rightfully aggravated. Salaries or bonus at a point in time are not always just. That’s NOT the reason to leave. What is a good reason to leave is if your company is notoriously cheap and pays its employees FAR less than a comparable salary at a competitor. That speaks to the value they place on employees.

4. You sense that you will be laid off soon

This requires a truly objective self-evaluation that is hard for most of us to do. What is clear is that it is far better to seek a new opportunity while being employed than not. If you think you will be laid off in the near future, it is better to leave while employed than to launch a search while unemployed. You need to be brutally honest with yourself why you are at risk and whether your performance is one of the reasons. If so, don’t bring the same bad performance to your next position.

On the other hand, here are 4 reasons why you may not want to leave so fast. These are reasons to put your head down, shut up & do a great job for your current employer

1. Your boss is an a*&hole

What! This sounds like a reason to leave, and it clearly is a trigger for most of us to want to bolt. But I submit it’s important to look beyond your current boss if the company you are with is, on balance absent your current boss, an excellent place to work. First of all, if you feel he/she is an a*&hole, I suspect they feel the same way about you. Your attitude has to change. But even if you are 100% blameless and your boss truly is evil, I suggest you take a longer view. If you are at a larger company it’s not unlikely that within 12-18 months you will have a new boss. If you like your company, but hate your boss, stay with the company and just grin and bear it until you get out from underneath.

2. You got a harsh performance review

If your performance review was harsh, while it may mean it’s time to leave since your job may be in jeopardy, I suggest you honestly assess the criticisms and create a program to change perceptions. They may be doing you a favor and have given you a wake-up call. Perceptions can be changed. Start today.

3. Your raise was modest or non existent

We live in a low inflation economy and a “cost of living” raise of yesteryear is no longer relevant. So don’t let a more modest raise than you seek cause you to jump ship too hastily. Salary over time is important. I suspect any professional could get a 10% higher salary by moving to a new job. Don’t do it for money alone. The money will even out in the long run. Stay with the company where the chances of long term success are the greatest.

4. You have no landing strategy

Do not just quit because you’ve had it. Deciding to leave your current job is only 1/2 the decision—in fact, the easier half. The question you need to deeply consider is what the next step is. What happens too often is that when someone is truly is looking to bolt, that the next opportunity is viewed far too positively through rose colored glasses. Jumping to a new job without full consideration of all the aspects of the job is a prescription for disappointment and another job search a few months down the line.

So in summary, keep your head down and do a good job for your current employer. But if it’s truly the time to go, don’t be hasty, but make the decision and move forward with a plan.

More Strumings


  1. Lynn Hoban says:

    It is midnight and I just re-read your article on quitting. Wise counsel. I especially liked your line about the stay bonus for the Titanic violinists. Quite hysterical! I suggest you share this wisdom with a wider audience as we discussed today. Well done.

Leave a Reply