This one thing is the absolute hardest thing about working outside of the home: knowing when to quit. And of course that’s where you have to start when it comes to working at home. Most people are going to say you should only quit once you know you can make the money elsewhere, but that’s not how I feel. It’s more complex than that and it’s a personal choice that only you can figure out. However! I have compiled a list of tips for knowing when it might be time to move on– even if that’s just finding another place to work.
1. You’re going through a major personal change.
This is a big one. And when I say personal change I mean any change that isn’t at work. Are you getting married, entering into a new serious relationship, having a baby, buying a puppy, whatever. You need to consider your career with all of these things. Are you able to get the time off you would need for having a baby or, perhaps, would your office husband/wife make it awkward with your new partner? Do you eventually just want to move? For me, I’ve been trying to think and be a more positive person and ultimately my co-workers are very negative people, so much so that it takes true effort to go in and come out with the same positive outlook. I don’t want to compromise the mental change I am trying to facilitate and that means it might just be time for a change.
2. Your partner makes enough for you both to scrape by while you transition.
Crunch and recrunch the numbers on this one, but if your partner manages to pull in enough for rent, the basic bills, and a modest food schedule, then just go. You would be surprised how little you need to live off of if you really try, and it could be a nice challenge and break from our consumer driven lifestyle. If you really want to break up with your job, downsizing your lifestyle and your budget is an exciting challenge to embark on.
3. Your workplace environment is toxic
When you see the people you work with almost as much or in some cases more than your long term partner (or husband or wife), you do have to consider the relationship you have with your coworkers, your bosses, and your clients. Now I’m not saying split as soon as you disagree one time with one of your peers, but if it is a daily mental struggle to get to work, if you consider walking out more than a few times, or if going into work causes you to have anxiety, you need to get out of there. Think of yourself first in these situations — and I know that’s hard– but your mental health is worth so much more than a paycheck.
4. There is no upward mobility
Sometimes we have to get jobs out of necessity. I know, I’ve been there. Sometimes what you need is a check and that’s that. But once you’re out of that hole, once you can think clearly, you have to consider where you’re going with the job you have. Are you planning to be a manager, can you take on more projects, what’s the point of you being there? If you’re literally only there because you have to pay bills, you should reevaluate what your plans are for the future.
5. Because you want to
Last, just because you want to is more than enough of a reason. Change is good for the soul and things that get monotonous need to go. Are you just tired of doing the same thing? Then just make the leap and don’t look back. It could be the best step you’ve ever taken. In the words of Erin Hanson: “What if I fall? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?”
Really think about why you have your day job, too, and if any of these apply to you, really consider quitting. Don’t be afraid to quit, because if you have a job, remember you can always get another.