Don’t Quit Your Job (Before You Quit Your Job)

You’ve decided it’s time to move on from your current job.

Maybe you are looking for a new challenge or to expand your experience? Perhaps you don’t really like the work and need a change? Or taking a break to travel. (Lucky you!)

Whatever the reason, deciding to quit can be difficult. And it can often be a long time coming. Sometimes it’s just easier to stay put.

But when you finally decide…whew!…it feels great. After all it’s empowering to take control of your future.

Whether you like your current job and it’s just time to move on or you really aren’t happy and can’t wait to get out of there, it can be tempting to “quit” before you quit.

Here’s what I mean…

Many employees decide it’s time to find a new job long before they actually start looking. Until then it’s really just a thought or hope or idea.

However, once their mind is made up, they quickly begin to move on…mentally.

Their focus moves away from their current role to thoughts of what’s next. Attention turns to job hunting, networking and eventually interviews.

It’s exciting! And there is nothing wrong with that. Looking ahead is great!

Just not at the peril of your current role.

Don’t quit your job mentally, before you actually leave.

Quitting your job mentally before you actually depart physically can hurt both you and your career in ways you may not realize.

Here’s what can happen:

  • You begin to have less interest or commitment to your work. After all you won’t be here to see it through so why bother now?
  • You stop pulling your weight. You let your colleagues and teammates down. They become frustrated or upset with you.
  • You are less committed to customer service. You are slower to return calls and impatient with client requests.
  • You pull back from offering to take on additional work.
  • You become overly critical of your workplace and are prone to voice this criticism.
  • Days at work seem longer.
  • You tend to arrive later, leave earlier and take longer for lunch. You think nothing of skipping out to take care of chores.
  • You look down on others around you for not being as forward thinking as you are and not moving on. You get impatient with teammates.
  • You are less pleasant to be around. Or withdrawn.
  • If the time between making your decision to quit and actually leaving stretches on, you begin to enjoy functioning in “cruise” mode.
  • You lose your edge. And ambition.
  • Your behavior and engagement in your work are different.
  • Your colleagues notice. Your boss notices.
  • You notice.

It doesn’t take long to damage your reputation.

You could tarnish your reputation and years of your own hard work very quickly.

Don’t let this happen to you!

Consciously make an effort to keep your head in the game where you are right now. After all:

  • You may soon need a reference from your current employer.
  • Your colleagues don’t deserve to have their jobs made more difficult. (And you never know when you will run into them again in business.)
  • It’s your latest behavior that everyone will remember.
  • You don’t want to lose your edge just as you are about to take on a new opportunity.
  • Pride in yourself and your work are far too valuable.

It’s natural and perfectly understandable to be excited about your next steps.

Just make sure you finish strong where you are.

You owe it to yourself!



Post by Margaret Johnston,

As a career event professional, Margaret brings valuable insight and knowledge to the recruitment, management and development of high-performance teams for the event industry. A strategic and inspiring leader, Margaret has held executive roles for several global event management companies and key roles in the start up and orchestration of many high profile and international events.


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