For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, the rate of workers quitting their jobs inched up in June, typically a sign of confidence in the job market. But leaving your job in current conditions may be a difficult decision to make.
While the quit rate increased by almost 2% in June compared with May, the level remains much lower than before the pandemic began, according to the Labor Department.
At the same time, job openings are also limited with three unemployed Americans for every job opening, according to the Labor Department.
If you’re making the decision to leave your job while having fewer options than before the pandemic, you have to ask yourself questions. Here’s what experts say you should consider.
Does staying at your job cost more than leaving it?
Before deciding whether you should quit your job, you should evaluate the personal price you’d pay for staying in your current role.
“If you’re unhappy in your job, but aren’t quite sure if it’s time to make a move, try conducting a career cost-benefit analysis,” Anne Genduso, a career coach said. “In other words, what is it costing you to stay?”
Think about how your job affects your mental and physical health, as well as the relationships with your friends and family. Try to evaluate whether you’re leaving money on the table by staying in a role where you are unhappy or underpaid.
What's your financial reality?
When weighing the price of staying or leaving, look at your current personal finances, and evaluate how they could change in the future, considering the uncertainty that the economic and public health crises bring.
Start with your savings. “If you've been saving for a rainy day, this is your storm,” Allison Task, a career coach said, and you should be prepared for it.
Can you learn more at your company?
Before making the decision to leave, look around one last time and see if there’s an option for you to grow within your current employer.
“Before deciding to call it quits, consider exploring professional development opportunities at your company, which can help give you a competitive edge in a future job search,” Genduso said. “By taking initiative and seeking out these types of opportunities, you may catch your boss’s attention and land a promotion or a more exciting role.”
Think about any projects you can volunteer for or sit in on meetings in other departments to gain insight. See if your company has a budget for professional development you can use to attend webinars, take classes, or participate in a mentor program.
“However, if you feel you’ve completely tapped out the professional development opportunities and growth potential at your company,” Genduso said, “it might be time to move on.”
Does someone need you?
Since the beginning of the pandemic, many parents and caregivers have taken on additional responsibilities at home, which may be one reason you’re thinking of quitting.
“If someone needs you, and you know your job is going somewhere,” like a layoff, Task said, “it might be time to leave.”
If your company is looking at layoffs in your departure, you could potentially save one of your colleagues’ jobs if you decide leaving is the right thing to do.
Do your company’s values match your own?
Maybe you didn’t entirely understand the company values before starting a job or maybe you understand better now what you’re looking for in a company. Either way, think about whether you share the same values with your current employer.
“If you determine that your company’s values don’t match with your personal career values, it’s worth starting to search for an opportunity that’s a better fit,” Genduso said.
Try to uncover what values are important to you by asking yourself what matters most in your career, what gives your career meaning, and what inspires you to keep moving forward, according to Genduso.
Can you use the time to skill up or network?
Think about how much time you’d spend out of the workforce if you quit now and whether you can use that time to get a better job in the future.
If you can use the time to build a skill you've been wanting to add for a long time this may be a good moment to do that, Task said.
“Some of my clients are taking this opportunity to go back to school, get certifications they've been putting off, and generally skill up,” Task said. “ It's also a great time to network because, at its essence, networking is really just reaching back to the people you love (and love you) as we ride the waves of change.”
Read more information and tips in our Career section