Cut your losses and leave the job you don't like?

If you don't like your job, should you quit or stay? Here are some things to consider before quitting your job.

What do you do when you realise that you don’t like your job? Is it better to quit straight away and sever your ties with an unenjoyable experience, or to use the situation as an opportunity for personal and professional growth? While you’re not likely to stay in a job you don’t enjoy for an eternity, you should probably re-consider any snap decisions to up-and-leave. 

Here’s how you can make the most of a job you have had enough of, and take some extra bonuses away with you (and no, we’re not talking about raiding the stationery cabinet!)

Wondering if you should stay in your current job or find a different job to do:

1. Make a list of pros and cons 

It’s an oldie but a goodie. If you’re still unsure of what you do and don’t like about the position, writing it down will certainly clear things up for you. First, list all the positive aspects of your role and then when you’ve exhausted all of those, list the areas you aren’t as happy with. Knowing what aspect you don’t like about the job will help you define whether or not to leave. 

2. Discover how you can grow from the experience 

Now that you’ve identified the reasons why you want to leave, take a minute to expand on the pros list and try to focus on any additional areas that may benefit you in the future. What are you learning in the role? What can you take to your next role? How will this experience make you a better employee? 

3. Deal with negative issues head on

If you find yourself in a negative situation, deal with this head on. It’s always better to resolve any conflict in the workplace before you move on. If you don’t learn the lesson from this, you may find that the same situation keeps presenting itself throughout your career. Remember it’s important to own your own happiness and accept responsibility for some of the things you don’t like. You’re the only one who can make a change.

4. Find the value in staying

Dealing with a disappointing job, rather than quitting because you don’t like it, could be valuable when it comes to looking for that next job. Unless you can use the experience in a positive way on your resume and in future interviews, the time you’ve invested in it so far is just one big waste of time.

5. Phone a friend 

This may seem insignificant to you, but your friends and family know you best and will usually be able to offer a fresh perspective on your situation. You’re more likely to listen and hear reason in the unbiased opinions of those that you trust. They may be able to offer insight gained from a similar experience that could help you in your current situation. 

6. Think about your next interview 

Picture yourself sitting in your next interview and the employer asks you why you are leaving your current job. Do you have a reasonable explanation about why you’re quitting to share with future employers? Blaming others or simply saying ‘I didn’t like it’ doesn’t build much confidence and won’t be a good sign of your character.   

7. Plan for the future career moves

Of course before you leave you need to consider the practicalities and be prepared well in advance for all that comes with leaving a job. Ask yourself, do I have a realistic plan for getting my next job? Do I have living expenses covered if I quit or if my new job falls through? It’s always better to expect the unexpected and plan for every possible outcome, because you could potentially be left with no job. 

The moment you know you should quit is when you’ve realised that you’ve taken absolutely everything you can from the role. That means that you feel you have nothing left to learn or offer the organisation and you’ve learned to love the job and everything that comes with it. The best time to quit a job is always when you’ve made the most of the experience. And it helps if a better opportunity has already presented itself!

Don’t forget these things when deciding if you should quit:

  • It’s important to own your own happiness and accept responsibility for some of the things you don’t like. You’re the only one who can make a change.
  • Deal with as many negative issues as you can before ‘pulling the plug’ on the role.
  • Ask others for advice on how you can improve the experience.
  • Find ways that you can learn from the things you don’t like.

Ask yourself this if you are unsure if you should quit your job or stay:

Before you up and leave, ask yourself, “Why am I unhappy? Is it something I could work on?” Taking responsibility for your own happiness is very liberating. 



CPA Career Mentor


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