We are now a month past the new year, and I can bet very few people have a resolution to quit their jobs. After all, quitting is hard. The majority of us will want to continue working at something - even when it's barely functional - because who knows what is out there?
Well, quitting your job doesn’t have to feel like Armageddon. In fact, there are many good reasons to quit your job - some of which we will discuss in this article for your consideration.
Mental health is now acknowledged as one of the major health concerns around the world. According to the World Health Organization, depression is one of the leading causes of disability, while suicide is the fourth-leading cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.
It is important to give your mental health the same priority as your physical health. If you have to choose between being healthy and having a job - it is always advisable to choose your health.
Holding on to a job that adversely affects your mental health is counterproductive because, in the end, the job will be gone when your health turns for the worst.
If you are in a situation where your job is a source of anxiety, makes you sad, or just draws negative energy - it may be time to take a break so you can live to work another day.
Your Job is Compromising Your Overall Health
The same logic on mental health applies to a job position that affects your physical health. Our bodies are prone to certain conditions that may put a limit on the utilization of our talents and passion.
You probably have heard of a sportsman who had to retire ahead of time due to a physical health condition that would likely progress if they continued playing.
Before making the decision, ensure you talk to your employer to inform them about your health condition and see if an alternative job can be arranged.
You could also talk to a lawyer since some of the health conditions are protected under the Employment Act - and you could be on medical leave without losing your job.
If you are a trade union member, make sure to involve your labour representative when engaging your employer.
Another important arrangement is making plans for your medical coverage, especially if your employer offers medical cover and you are quitting due to an illness - or the possibility of an illness.
Read Also: Me and My Money: Should I quit My Job Now?
Side hustles are a common phenomenon in the Kenyan job sector. Formally employed Kenyans use them to create extra income, create jobs, and even retirement plans. While some side hustles, by their very nature, remain side hustles in the long term - some outgrow the main job to require the entrepreneur’s full-time attention.
If a side hustle is growing and your attention and leadership are constantly needed at a level that may compromise your main job, it may be time to quit your job.
It is important to note that just because a side hustle is doing well does not automatically mean you have to quit your job. Some main jobs offer the exposure and connections that help your side hustle thrive.
It is a natural human desire to want to grow; there is nothing wrong with expecting growth in the workplace. You may desire to grow your intellectual or technical skills, salary, and personal development through such things as mortgages, car loans, etc, or even grow your family.
However, some jobs, by their very nature, offer little growth in the areas you care about. For example, your current position may not allow you to acquire any new knowledge because it involves a routine that you have long mastered.
For others, the job may hinder personal development because they are always working - not even having time to have a work-life balance. Or it could be that the salary has been stagnant for years even though you are always taking in new responsibilities.
If your job is not allowing you to grow in the way you would want to, considering an exit is advisable. You should introspect on the things that really matter to you and seek alternative jobs or solutions before deciding to quit. This ensures that you do not keep hopping from a job like the rolling stone that gathers no moss.
Toxic workplaces have existed for as long as human beings have worked. Indeed, slavery was considered work for many centuries.
However, in the 21st century, there is an awakening on the perils of toxic workplace culture and its adverse effects on employees.
Toxic workplaces and bosses are real in Kenya. Some withhold salaries for months, others insult and demean your self-esteem, while some overwork you and pay peanuts.
I have heard stories of employees being asked to report to the office to prove they are acutely sick - and other horror stories. If this is your concern, then it is time to plan your exit.
It makes sense that one of the most apparent reasons for quitting a job is if you have a better offer. However, to get them, you must be aware of these opportunities and actively pursue them.
Businesses around the world are going through a disruption caused by the digitization and automation of many processes that have introduced new business models.
As many of the traditional jobs are shrinking, many more jobs are being created and some offer competitive packages because of their innovative business models.
A competitive package does not necessarily offer you more money, although sometimes it does. It could be that it is more sustainable than your current job, if, for instance, your employer has been laying off people every quarter.
It could also be that it offers you more career growth prospects without necessarily increasing your pay, say a leadership role. In other cases, the new job offers non-monetary terms such as medical cover, pension, car loans, and mortgages - even with a similar or lower salary.
The bottom line is that in 2023, know the worth of your skills and look out for opportunities that better harness them.
Read Also: Competitive Pay: What Does It Mean?
If and when you decide to quit your job, it is advisable to go about it diplomatically to ensure your professional relationships are not compromised. Go through your current contract, understand the exit clauses, and make plans to abide by them as you transition to a new job.
For example, if the current employer requires a month’s notice, make sure you inform the potential employers that you would need at least a month before starting in the new role.
When you eventually land the new job, make sure you write a formal notice of resignation as per your contract. Remember not to change your attitude or your work performance during your notice period. Regardless of how you feel about your employer, extend them the professional courtesy to fulfill your responsibilities without ill will.
Remember, a reputation can follow you around. Your present boss may still be required to give you a recommendation in the future. Or they could be your future colleague or bosses in the course of your professional career,
If the present job allows for immediate termination without notice, it is still advisable to have a conversation with your boss or employer and inform them verbally about your decision to quit.
For those who quit while not transitioning to another role, informing your friends and professional contacts that you plan to join the job search market is a great starting point. This increases the number of opportunities coming to you and can go a long way in ensuring a soft landing. At the same time, it is advisable to actively apply for jobs -immediately after you make a decision that you are going to quit.