Former vice-presidential candidate and current Alaska Governor Sarah Palin shocked everyone when she announced she was resigning from office at the end of the month. She didn't really give a reason as to why she made this sudden move, but speculation, of course, abounds.
This gives rise to the question of why anyone should leave their job, especially in this economic environment. There are some good reasons for doing so and a long list of very bad reasons. Here are the four good reasons to quit your job.
- You Don't Need the Money
This is usually called retirement. That's when you can stop working because the paycheck isn't needed to sustain your standard of living. This is the best reason to quit and as long as you are sure you really don't need the money, the benefits, or the camaraderie of the company. But before you do, add up the costs of the benefits that won't be covered. It's quite common for many people to be able to retire, if they just didn't have to pay for health insurance.
And don't forget the additional spending you'll be doing now that you have more time on your hands. Hobbies cost money and if you are going to increase your hobby time, you're going to increase your costs. Once you have a solid grasp on your financial situation, go ahead, take a bow, and bring down the curtain. (For tips on surviving with a decrease in income, read Consider The Outcomes When Cutting An Income.)
- You Have a Better Job Lined Up
The move to another company or even a different profession altogether is a great reason to leave a job. It's very difficult to move up the ladder in just one firm these days, so moving over and up is a faster ride to the top. And if you have found your ladder is leaning against the wrong wall, the move to another profession can have a profound positive impact. Just make sure that next job is already lined up.
One major reason to line up that next job is because there is nowhere for you to go in your current firm. That might be because of having more talent than the current job requires or that you have just done the current job so long that it has become too easy or too routine. Study after study shows the people that are the happiest are the ones that have a challenge in their lives, but not such a difficult one that can't achieve it. Having a job that is too easy is almost as bad as one that is too hard. When that happens, start looking for a new one. But don't quit until you actually have the next one ready to go. Once it's lined up, that's a good reason to quit. (For tips on finding that perfect job, read Business Grads, Land Your Dream Job.)
- Your Job Makes You Sick
We have all heard the stories of the stock traders with ulcers due to the stress of their job. If this happens to you, then that's a great reason to quit. A study in the European Heart Journal found after studying the lives of over 10,000 workers, those who are under the age of fifty who complained of being under too much stress at work, were 70% more likely to suffer heart disease at a later age than those who said that their jobs were relatively stress free. Even if the bills are going to be tight and the prospects aren't as good, better to have less of a lifestyle and not die in your youth, than to go out in a blaze of glory with your colleagues praise at your eulogy.
- Your Job Is Taking a Moral Toll
With Bernie Madoff going to jail for the rest of his life, can his accountant be far behind? There is never a reason to break the law, and you can't say you were just doing your job. So don't put yourself in that position and if you find yourself there already, get yourself out. Madoff's accountant didn't enjoy the billionaire lifestyle that his boss did, but if convicted on all charges, he faces 105 years in prison. No job is worth that risk.
No one really knows if Sarah Palin had a good reason to quit or not. But if she listed all of her reasons and her list doesn't have any of these four on it, then she didn't have a good reason. The same goes for you. If you don't have a good reason, don't quit. Just get a good reason. For most that is going to be when you have a new job lined up. Hey, maybe that's it. Is it possible Governor Palin thinks she has a new job lined up? At least that would be a good reason. (To learn more, read Planning For Unemployment.)