by Roberta Balagopal, Career Consultant
As you can probably guess, the answer is “it depends.”
In part, it depends on your circumstances, particularly whether it is actually possible for you to quit and be without an income for a while. If you have rent, debts or dependents to support, that doesn’t mean you can’t quit, but you will need to consider carefully whether your quitting will cause hardship for you and your family.
This is obvious stuff.
The very fact that you are questioning whether it’s ok to quit is probably an indication that you are experiencing some distress or discomfort in your current job, and that it’s bad enough to want to leave NOW.
Maybe you should, and maybe it will be the best thing for your health, mental state and career if you do. But before you make any big decisions, think about one thing: Feeling discomfort (emotional pain, depression or anger) tends to block your capacity to think clearly about your situation, and to decide what’s in your best interests.
No one can answer this question for you, but in order for you to answer the question for yourself, you’ll need clarity. You can try to achieve clarity in a few ways:
1. You can take a break, long or short. You can ask for a sabbatical or to reduce your hours to part time. This will give you some space to think and consider your next step.
2. You can talk it over with your family, so you know their perspectives, and to explain your own. If you’re unhappy in your job, you can be sure your family senses it too.
3. You can see a career counsellor to help you get a clearer idea of whether it’s your job, your chosen profession or other factors which are nudging you to quit.
One final point: You may be wondering what future employers will think if you quit your job and have a gap in your resume. Because gaps are bad, right?
Yes, and no. Gaps are only of great concern to employers if you have done absolutely nothing in them. If you want to take a few months (or a few years) off between jobs, do it, but do something during that time that you can mention in your resume, such as studying, travelling (with an educational purpose), volunteering, or some other activity which demonstrates that you were growing and learning, and getting better at what you want to do.
Still not sure? You’re welcome to contact us for more information.