40% of Americans plan to quit their job soon. Should you?

A smiling man carrying a cardboard box and walking out of an office building.

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Read this before quitting your job.


Key points

  • A McKinsey study shows that 40% of Americans want to leave their jobs before the end of the year.
  • Try to figure out exactly why you want to quit. It can boost your job search and may even help you resolve issues with your current employer.
  • Start creating a new employment fund in addition to your emergency fund to cover your living expenses while you search for a new position.

Fears of an impending recession have not dampened the number of Americans who want to quit their jobs and move on to greener pastures. According to a recent McKinsey poll, two out of five Americans want to leave their jobs in the near future. It seems like a lot of people are reassessing how they view work, how they want to work, and the role they want it to play in their lives.

The McKinsey study showed that nearly half of people who want to quit smoking plan to change industries altogether. Others want to switch to part-time or on-demand work, or start their own business. The third group plans to stop working to care for elderly parents, children or themselves.

Should you quit your job?

Everyone’s situation is different and the decision to leave your job depends on your own situation. It’s important to be clear about why you’re quitting, what you plan to do next, and how you’ll support yourself in the meantime. It’s all too easy to throw an “I’m quitting” email in the heat of the moment, but there are better ways to handle your departure. Here are some questions to consider.

1. Why are you stopping?

There are many different reasons for quitting your job, from a toxic work environment to wanting to make more money. Being clear about the “why” can help you avoid similar situations in future jobs. It may even mean that you are trying to resolve issues with your current employer.

For example, let’s say you don’t feel motivated and want new opportunities. A new job may be the answer. But if you haven’t talked to your boss about what you want yet, maybe try it first. You may find other positions within your current company or be able to fit into your current role. If you’re struggling with an unhealthy work environment or a culture that’s not right for you, it can motivate your job search. You can focus on businesses that have similar values ​​to yours and hopefully find an environment where you can excel.

2. What do you plan to do next?

People used to say that you shouldn’t quit a job until you found another one. This advice does not necessarily apply to today’s world. However, that doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind and hand over your review without having a clue what’s next.

If you don’t have a new job lined up, here are some questions to consider:

  • Do you have a precise idea of ​​what you are looking for? If you plan to work part-time rather than full-time, how will this affect your finances? What are your career goals for the coming years?
  • If you are considering changing industries, will you need additional training? What skills can you transfer to the new role?
  • Is your resume up to date? If it’s been a while since you’ve dusted it off, could you send it to some friends to check it out?
  • How will you find new opportunities? What are the best job sites for the position you are applying for? Are there people in your network who can help you? If you go freelance, do you have potential customers lined up?

It’s always difficult to find time for job hunting when the majority of your energy goes into your current role. Try to devote some time each week to your escape plan.

3. Do you have any spare cash?

Before quitting your job, make sure you have a new employment fund. If you know you’re going to quit, the ideal scenario would be that you don’t have to fall back on your emergency fund. Strictly speaking, a planned loss of income is not an emergency. However, if you want to use your emergency savings, try to make sure it contains six to 12 months or more of living expenses.

The labor market is strong at the moment, but we don’t know if the United States is about to enter a recession and what impact this could have on employment. It can take a while to find a new position, and the more money you have in your bank account, the more flexibility you will have when looking for a job.

Calculate how much you spend each month on essentials such as rent or mortgage, utilities, food, and insurance. A budgeting app could help here. Plan how you might manage for an extended period without income. If you don’t have enough money aside, what costs can you cut for a while so you can save more money?

Leaving on good terms

No matter how tempting it is to air out all your grievances before you walk out the door, these things can come back to bite you. You may cross paths with your current colleagues in the future and you may need your current employer to provide a reference.

It should be noted that a UKG study showed that 43% of people who quit during the pandemic now believe they were better at their old job. Some have even returned to the work they left. If you quit your job, be professional. Work out your notice and work out as many details as possible. Take an active role in handing over your responsibilities, including training others to perform particular tasks.

Changing jobs can be rejuvenating, help you earn a higher salary and allow you to develop new skills. Give yourself the best chance of success by showing up with a plan and putting enough money aside to cover your costs.

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