The main reason tech pros quit their job is income: Our latest salary survey shows 68 percent of those ready to jump ship will do so for more money. But how can you tell when it’s actually time to quit?
More to the point, how can you quit a job you enjoy without making the wrong move in the process? Here are some things to consider before emailing your boss to tell them you’re ready to leave.
You want more money? We all do. Are you worth it, though?
Do your homework. Are you making a competitive salary for your skillset and location? We suggest using the Dice Salary Calculator (which accounts for your job title, skills, and location) to give you a good idea of your ideal salary range.
If you have the time and ability, interview for other jobs and see what those roles offer. If you think you’re ready to leave, interviewing with other companies for a similar role is probably something you’re doing already (or considering). And we say go for it. See if the proverbial grass really is greener on the other side of the fence.
There’s a Culture Problem
The term ‘company culture’ can mean many things. It’s also personal, so you have to decide if your values still align with the company you work for.
A culture clash could be as simple as your employer’s refusal to offer the same perks as other tech companies in the area; maybe your enjoyment of your office space hinges in part on what distractions you have available to you.
‘Culture’ can also be how management is allowed (or encouraged) to treat people reporting to them. Whatever might be rubbing you wrong about your workplace, it’s a consideration to make before deciding to quit.
Your Career Has Stalled
Maybe you make great money, and you’ve got an excellent perks package with respectable stock options. You’re vested, and cruising… but something’s missing.
You may be ready for a step up, and your company isn’t giving you the opportunity. Perhaps the work you’re doing bores you. It could be a feeling you can’t quite identify, aside from a restlessness inside that is urging you to do something new. Going into the office every morning is wearing you down, and it’s not clear why.
If you’re just ‘over it’ in your current role, think about moving on, even if it sounds crazy. This is a good indicator your career is stalled in your existing role with your current company.
Work Affects Life
Stress is unavoidable, but work stress shouldn’t affect other parts of your life to the point it’s noticeable.
Every job requires some compromises, but when work is routinely eating into your personal time, it’s unhealthy. You need time to yourself. If you have a family of your own, time away from the desk becomes far more important.
But even if your time isn’t being compromised, work may be affecting who you are and how you treat others. If you (or someone close to you) has recognized this, it may be time to step away from your current role to re-assess how work affects you and those around you.
It’s Out of Your Control
It’s true: Sometimes you should quit to avoid being fired.
This advice isn’t always applicable. Bluntly, quitting might impact your stock vesting. Before you go this route, understand how it affects stock options or continued benefits.
But quitting is a good way to save face, and leaving on your terms is easier to explain to your next employer. You could have an issue with management, or how a restructuring has left you with nothing to do. Whatever the case, walking away on your own accord is sometimes a better option than waiting for the axe to fall.
Curveball: Don’t Quit Your Job – Talk to Your Boss
A common thread here is your happiness. Regardless of why you may want to quit, it boils down to you not being happy at work.
If quitting is daunting, speak to your manager. Tell them your issues, concerns, or problems with how things are going. There’s a good chance you can spark change.
Even if you decide to walk, there’s an equally good chance that talking to your manager can help you earn a good reference. Being up-front about your concerns, and that you’re considering leaving, can help you exit on the right note. Instead of feeling abandoned when you leave, your manager will (hopefully) appreciate you being forward and honest about your concerns and intentions.