Should You Stay or Should You Go?

Clinically Reviewed by Steven Melendy, PsyD. on January 18, 2011

You hate your job. You look forward to days off with the enthusiasm of a child looking forward to Christmas. When it's time to go back to work, your stomach knots like a pile of spaghetti. You would love to quit your job, but given the current economic climate, you might have difficulty finding another job. So you've got to ask yourself one question: Should you stay or should you go?

Consider Your Health

The stress of working at a job you hate can take a heavy toll. Consider your health. Perhaps you're suffering from chronic headaches or stomach aches. Other complaints related to on-the-job stress include insomnia and depression. If you're beset by onerous ailments as a result of hating your job, then it's probably time to make the break. No job is worth the sacrifice of your health and well-being.

Think About Your Family

In deciding whether or not to quit your job, think about your family. Do you have dependents who rely on your job’s benefits? If so, you might want to stick things out, at least until the employment outlook improves to where you can find a job with comparable benefits. On the other hand, if you have young children who have, say, special needs, they might need you at home. Family obligations need not be incompatible with work. More telecommuting opportunities have become available, whether you work from home as an employee or as an independent contractor.

Examine Your Financial Obligations

Can you afford to quit your job right now? Examine your financial obligations. If you're snowed under by bills and debt, you might want to hang in there at your job for as long as it takes to whittle down some of what you owe. If you're in a relatively good financial position, however, you might find it worth the risk to leave. Before you quit, save as much extra money as you can to provide a safety cushion while you're looking for another job.

List the Pros and Cons

Evaluate your working conditions and list the pros and cons of your current job. Are you fed up with tiresome office politics? Put that in your “con” column. Do you have responsibilities that are equal to your skills? Put that in your “pro” column. Have your skills outpaced your job responsibilities so that you're bored at work? That goes in your “con” column. Step back and be as objective about your job as you can. Ascertain whether the pros outweigh the cons or vice versa, and factor that into your decision.

Make a Graceful Exit

If you decide to cut your losses and leave your job, then make a graceful exit. By all means, be upfront with your boss and coworkers. Don't just sneak out the back door, resolving never to come back. Give your boss advance notice of your resignation. Talk to him or her and your colleagues about why you're leaving. Don't throw blame around. Make your reasons about you. It is, after all, you who are making the decision based on your particular situation. Should you stay or should you go? Consider what you need from a job, not only in the short term, but over the long haul. If you're considering a career change, you might be wondering what kind of job would be a great fit for you. Go ahead and take our online career assessment. In only a few hours, you'll discover what your ideal career might be.


Truity was founded in 2012 to bring you helpful information and assessments to help you understand yourself and use your strengths. We are based in San Francisco, CA.

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About the Clinical Reviewer

Steven Melendy, PsyD., is a Clinical Psychologist who received his doctorate from The Wright Institute in Berkeley, California. He specializes in using evidence-based approaches in his work with individuals and groups. Steve has worked with diverse populations and in variety of a settings, from community clinics to SF General Hospital. He believes strongly in the importance of self-care, good friendships, and humor whenever possible.

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