Unhappy at work? Here’s what to do before you quit

August 5, 2022

You’re unhappy at work. I get it. We’ve all been there. Maybe you feel like you’re stuck in a dead-end job with no way out. Maybe your boss is a micromanaging nightmare who drives you crazy. Or maybe the workload is just too much and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Regardless of the state of the job market, how do you decide between taking the leap and trying out something new, or sticking with what you currently have?

Before you throw in the towel and quit your job, there are a few things you need to consider.

In this post, I’ll talk about the consequences of quitting your job without a plan, and I’ll give you some personal experience tips for how to make the most of your situation until you’re ready to leave.

Why Are You Unhappy at Work?

Let’s be honest—you’re unhappy at work for a reason. Maybe you don’t feel valued, or maybe you’re not given the opportunity to use your skills, or maybe you’re simply not in the right environment. There are so many reasons that people are unhappy at work, ranging from being underpaid based on the going market rate, to being bored with daily tasks, to being overworked, and the list goes on!

Whatever the reason, it’s important to take the time to identify what’s making you unhappy. Take some time to really ask yourself what is it that you dislike about your current role. Once you know that, you can evaluate whether it’s something you can work on and start to look for a solution.

What Will Happen if You Quit?

So, what will really happen if you quit?

For one, you’ll likely have to spend some time looking for a new job. And during that time, you’ll be living off of your savings or unemployment benefits. Not exactly an ideal situation.

Plus, there’s no guarantee that you’ll find something better. In fact, you might find yourself in the same situation—or even in a worse one—a few months down the road.

So before you quit your job, make sure you’ve explored all of your options and really thought through the consequences. It might not be an easy decision, but it’ll be worth it in the end.

What Are Your Alternatives to Quitting?

There are a couple of crucial steps you need to take before you decide that you’re in a dead-end job.

1. Try fixing the problem first

After you’ve identified what’s making you so unhappy, look at whether there is something you can do to make things better.

Talk to your boss. See if there’s a way you can work out a new set of duties or responsibilities. Maybe there’s a way to renegotiate your contract. There are always options, but you have to be willing to explore them.

If you’ve discovered that you could be making more elsewhere or that other people in the same role as you at your company are making more, you owe it to yourself to get that extra money. If you think earning more would make you excited about your role again, take some time to prepare and then go and ask for that raise! 

According to Forbes, job hoppers, in general, tend to make 9.7% more than people who stay in their current role (averaging raises of 4% per year). If you know you can make a lot more money by leaving than you ever could by staying and you’ve evaluated all the pros and cons, then maybe it is indeed time to leave.

2. Look to see if there is room for progression

Sometimes the pay is fair, and you like your role, however you know you need to keep challenging yourself or you’ll end up bored eventually. Career development is important for most and so, exploring opportunities within your company or what your next steps after your current role are, could be a good path to follow. It may be enough to re-ignite the excitement you once had for your job.

How Will You Know if It’s Time to Quit?

You know why you’re unhappy at work and you’ve tried fixing the problem and all possible alternatives. Nothing will budge. So how to you know if it’s the right time to make a move?

If your current role is toxic, then nothing is worth the deterioration of your mental health and you should leave as soon as possible once you’ve figured out your living situation. If there’s a chance you could be up for a promotion, and you’re looking for jobs at the same time, I would say stick it out and consider switching jobs with a new title in hand. Consider all angles before you pull the trigger.


If you remember anything from this post, remember not to make any rash decisions—give yourself time to think things through and make a well-informed decision.

And if you decide that quitting is still the best solution, don’t forget to have a plan B in place. Brush up your resume and get ready to network like crazy. Quitting your job can be scary, but if you’re prepared for it, you’ll be just fine.

The Rebel Chronicles is packed with advice on finding a job, succeeding in your career, and building a successful business. Take a look at our website and see how we can help you find the career happiness you deserve.

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