You know you’ve thought about it. The idea of leaving your job may be on the tip of your tongue or in the far-out recesses of your brain, but it’s always there.
That’s both the beauty and the beast of at-will employment: you can leave whenever you decide to.
So which type of quit are you considering? Which might you accidentally act on? Check out these dozen ways to quit your job:
1. The Heat of the Moment Quit
Your frustration level reaches a boiling point. Papers are slammed on desks. Harsh words are exchanged. “I quit” is left ringing in the air as you gather your things. There’s no backup plan, and you’ve just blown any goodwill you may have had with your employer.
2. The Awkward Holiday Party Quit
You’ve done something at your company holiday party that you’re infinitely embarrassed by. You would rather leave your job than face the music on Monday. Your quit is akin to running into a bathroom stall and covering your head in your hands.
3. The Too-Challenging Quit
The work is too hard. You feel like you’re making a ton of mistakes. Your boss’s expectations seem to be sky high. You quit because your brain hurts.
4. The Naïve Quit
It’s your first job out of college. You’d rather be back in your old routine with classes, free time, friends and the decided lack of an eight-hour workday spent in a cubicle. You quit after two months, not realizing that the lifestyle you enjoyed and became accustomed to in college is gone forever.
5. The Dream Quit
You leave your day job to pursue a dream that until this moment has existed solely in your imagination. Only as your savings dwindle do you realize that your dream is more difficult to attain than you thought, and you don’t really know how to make it viable. You crawl back to the 9-to-5 world with your tail between your legs.
6. The “Heads Up, You’re About to Be Fired” Quit
Your boss kindly gave you notice that in the next few months you are going to be fired. With that motivation in mind, you send your resume out into your network and, hopefully, leave on your own terms.
7. The Personal Life Quit
Your significant other is heading to grad school in a new city, and you’ve decided to tag along. Or a family issue comes up that requires your full attention. You may have a new job lined up or not, but you’ve decided to put those you care about first.
8. The Ethical Pangs Quit
A situation at your job becomes so out of sync with your sense of right and wrong that you quit, both for your conscience and to send a message that the situation is not okay.
9. The Side Hustle Quit
You’ve been working on your dream project on the side for awhile. It’s now a viable, or very nearly viable, option. You jump from corporate and land on the foundation you’ve already built for yourself.
10. The “I Could Do Better” Quit
Your boss, your pay grade or the backstabbing culture at your office are getting old. While your current job is familiar, and it’s easy to assume everywhere else will be the same, you decide to take a chance that a new job could be better for you.
11. The Bad Fit Quit
You’re coming to the realization that you don’t particularly care about your current profession or enjoy any aspect of the work you do. Perhaps you’d rather be a (fill in the blank). You leave your job to take the first step onto a new career path.
12. The Unicorns and Rainbows Quit
You’ve got a decent thing going at your current job. You’re happy and productive, yet your goals for yourself are bigger. You’ve got your next job lined up and are leaving your current company on good terms.
I pass zero judgment on these quits, having experienced a few of the more cringe-worthy ones myself. Live and learn, baby.
Have a good quitting tale? Leave a comment about your experience quitting below.
Alison Elissa Horner specializes in helping adults in their 20s and 30s figure out what the hell they’re doing with their lives. You can sign up to receive her free Career Unstuckinator at www.alisonelissa.com.