Your boss doesn’t appreciate you. Your coworkers are rude. You’re underpaid and you get no respect. The last thing you want to do is spend one more day at that awful place you call “work.”
You’ve had enough for too long, and you’re finally ready to make a decision. Quitting seems like a great option. It makes perfect sense.
Quitting will give you more time to look for a new job. Every future employer you interview with will understand. You were working for morons. Moving on is the only decision possible.
We’ve all been there. In the moment, this sounds right. But isn’t there something more you should consider? For example, how would a future employer know that you really quit, and weren’t actually fired? In reality, they probably wouldn’t know without a bit of investigation.
Think about it. What would you say if you were fired? You might say, “We both decided it would be best if we parted ways.” That’s the same type of language you might use if you quit. This means that a future employer may jump to incorrect conclusions about you. They could easily (and logically) assume you were terminated from your last job. This may cause them to overlook you for opportunities, scrutinize your background, and generally be hesitant to hire you.
Another downside to quitting with no job lined up is you never know how long it will take to find another job. Even if you’re a top performer with very rare skills, a job must be available in order for you to be hired. In some cases, it can take six months or more to find the right opportunity. This length of time can leave quite a dent in your emergency savings.
On top of this, your future employer may not buy your story about your current terrible work environment. Despite how crazy things really are, your future employer will be left guessing whether there was a problem, or whether you were the problem. By waiting to quit until you already have a job, you can avoid going into detail about your current negative situation.
If you did quit, you may be surprised at how hard is it to job search all day when you have lost all of your structure and the corporate identity you established for yourself. You would likely spend a good bit of time worrying about money and fielding questions from loved ones who don’t understand.
The saying “It’s easier to find a job when you have a job” is very true. If you can hold out until you find another job to quit, your path will be easier and less stressful. Don’t get me wrong: In a situation that is truly abusive, you shouldn’t stick around for any length of time. But, in every other case, whatever you do, don’t quit!
A version of this article originally appeared on The Memphis Daily News.
Angela Copeland is a career coach and CEO at her firm, Copeland Coaching.