Want to quit your job but can't right now? How to cope while you plan next steps

Rachel Schnalzer, Samantha Masunaga, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Business News

For workers who can’t quit their jobs, the so-called Great Resignation may feel like a farce.

There are myriad reasons that employees who might want to leave their jobs cannot do so — financial obligations, healthcare benefits or a fear of the unknown. But that doesn’t necessarily make the desire to leave any less acute.

Career transitions are rarely seamless, says Octavia Goredema, career coach and the founder of Twenty Ten Agency, a career coaching company. But what you do today won’t define you forever.

“Your current situation is a steppingstone to something better,” she said. “You might not be able to see or reach for it right now, but trust that it’s there.”

Read on for more tips on how to make your current working situation more bearable — maybe even more fruitful — and also to prepare for an eventual departure from your job.

Understand why you want to quit


Spend some time reflecting on what isn’t working for you in your current job, Goredema said. Is it the work environment or your role? Do you not feel valued at the organization?

It’s important to “understand what your triggers are,” said Denise Pinkett, head of people at HUM Nutrition, a vitamin and supplement company. For example, if you wake up dreading the workday, “dig into that feeling,” she said. Pinkett advises asking yourself whether it’s the work itself or the people you work with that are contributing to your unhappiness or frustration at work.

Then think about what attracted you to the job in the first place, and what could make your situation better in the short term. Taking initiative can help. Consider asking if you can attend a meeting that you usually wouldn’t, or helping out on a project that aligns more with your interests.

“If you don’t articulate some of the things that you’re motivated by in a positive way, people never know,” Goredema said. “Doors might start to open that you might have never known were there.”


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