You’ll spend a significant portion of your life working a full-time job, so you might as well enjoy what you do, who you work with, and how much you get paid. When your job leaves you feeling unfulfilled, unappreciated, or just plain stressed, it’s time to think about getting a new job.
Leaving a job requires courage. It’s scary to move on to something new. Even though you don’t like aspects of your current job, at least you have the comfort of knowing what to expect each day.
Changing it up can seem daunting, but here’s one life lesson to embrace in your 20s: sometimes you just have to do things while scared. If you wait for everything to feel easy, you’ll be stuck in the same place your entire life.
Before you officially leave a job, it’s smart to have another position lined up so that you don’t experience a gap in income, or to have enough savings stashed away to pay the bills while you search (Note that you typically cannot collect unemployment benefits if you choose to quit your job.) Learn how to efficiently search for a job while you’re still employed.
Next, you need to fulfill the obligations of your current contract and give advance notice about your decision to leave. Most companies require either 2 weeks or 30 days notice so that they have time to train a new employee to cover your position.
You can submit a letter of resignation via email or deliver a typed letter in person. Consider asking the HR department about typical protocols and expectations.
Finally, be gracious. It’s a small world, and you should leave a good impression with your co-workers and boss just in case you need a recommendation or end up working together again. Don’t burn bridges! Organize your files so that they can find what they need after you’re gone. Create a file that has your login credentials for any tools or software that you used in case your coworkers need to access it. Be courteous if you’re asked to train a new hire to take over your position. And definitely don’t steal anything on your way out!
Take a deep breath and congratulate yourself on taking an important and bold step to further your career and your happiness. Good luck at the next job!