The best time to quit is always going to be subjective. Most people wait until their work situation has stalled or their trajectory has plateaued. Perhaps you’re quitting because you’re unhappy with your boss, the lack of career progression or the company culture. Alternatively, you may be compelled to find another job because you’re not meeting performance targets or you’re feeling under pressure.
There are a multitude of reasons to quit and many of them are negative, but there is something empowering about quitting when you’re on the top of your game.
Here are four reasons to consider:
1. You will be remembered favourably. It’s preferable, although arguably harder, to resign from a role you are happy with and a company that values you. However, it’s important to note that the good will you build up when you’re achieving in your job can extend beyond the position. Take the example of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian who resigned last Friday. Despite the fact that Berejiklian quit because she is facing serious allegations of corruption, there was widespread public upset at her resignation and this was due to her popularity. Her reputation has not been tarnished to the extent that one might expect. Even in less visible careers than politics, everyone builds a reputation. If you only ever quit when things are turning sour then you’re less likely to maintain a positive reputation.
2. The confidence to try something new. When you’re excelling in your field, it hugely benefits your confidence. It’s empowering to know you’re achieving at a high level. It makes you feel like you can go out and attain other things you desire. So, it’s also a good time to check in with yourself and ask – am I satisfied and happy with my current situation? Just because you’re high achieving doesn’t necessarily mean that your overall job satisfaction is high too. If it is, that’s great.
However, if you’re getting itchy feet to try something new, now might just be the time. One of the most fascinating examples of someone taking the leap and trying something new is Michael Jordan. Often cited as the greatest basketball player of all time, Jordan quit the Chicago Bulls at the top of his game to pursue a career in baseball, purely because he wanted to and in spite of enormous pressure to reconsider.
3. There’s nowhere left to go. Is there any further career development and progression within your current role? If the answer is no, you need to decide if this matters to you. If you’re satisfied and don’t want to continually strive for growth, then staying makes sense. However, if you want to keep building your career, it might be a good idea to consider moving to a company that offers options for further career growth and development.
4. Work life balance. Being at the top of your game at work is a great achievement. However, it’s important to ask yourself what the costs of this achievement have been? Are you completely burnt out and neglecting other areas of your life? Does your work align with your values? The greatest reason to quit is if you’re not living a life that’s true to your values. If your life isn’t in balance, you need to reclaim it.