Click here to read Part I about recognizing toxic work environments.
CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve decided to leave your terrible job! Now all you need is a Quittin’ Plan! Read on for the 6 things that will help you get your plan together.
ONE: If you have someone with whom you are making joint life/financial decisions, you probably should have already talked to that person about the fact that your job is trash and you want to quit. If you haven’t, do it now. I’ll wait.
TWO: Do a deep dive into your employee handbook and find out:
· Whether your job has certain requirements for getting your full pay out of accrued PTO/sick leave
· Whether your job has a notice requirement (this only matters if you’re trying not to burn bridges)
· How much COBRA will cost and whether you feel like being bothered with all that
THREE: Decide if you want to have a job lined up or if you want to take some time off to find yourself. Or both. Regardless of what you decide, before you start looking for a new job, it is necessary to reflect. Think about EVERY. SINGLE. JOB. you have ever had. This includes your current, awful job. This includes that job you had when you were 16. This includes that time you worked at that restaurant for two months with that manager who made a lot of questionable life decisions. And told you about them while you were just trying to mind the business that God gave you. For each job, ask yourself the following:
- What did you like/love about it? (e.g. good candy at the front desk, a boss that supported you, opportunities to challenge yourself, close proximity to great lunch spots, exciting work)
- What did you dislike/hate about it? (e.g. ugly uniform, ridiculous hours, terrible people, constantly broken staplers)
Then, take that information and make a list (or whatever) of what you want in your next job. The list can include anything, small (good candy) or large (great benefits), that is important to you.
FOUR: Put money in your Quittin’ Fund! If you are someone who is generally willy-nilly with your finances, now is the time to get that together. How much does it ACTUALLY cost for you to live? Make a budget. What can you live without for a while? What expenses are non-negotiable? My non-negotiables are good snacks, rent, phone, streaming services, student loan payments, piano lessons, and library fines. That’s just me though. You do you. Regardless, you need to stockpile as much money as you can so you can depend on something other than credit cards and prayers to pay your bills.
FIVE: HEALTH INSURANCE! If you’re anything like me, you’re always at the doctor trying to figure out what is wrong with your joints. You need health coverage for that! So, based on how much COBRA will cost (see Step 2), you need to decide if you’re going to keep that good insurance from your terrible (soon to be former) employer, or if you’re going to switch. If you decide to switch, figure out what (if any) pricey medical procedures you will need, and then get those done and paid for with your steady paycheck and good insurance. PLUS, if you’re at the doctor all of the time, that is less time you have to spend at your terrible job. #winning
SIX: Pick a date. Your date may change. I had to push my quit date back two or three times. However, make sure that you are not just postponing out of fear. Stay true to your decision to get out of there! Hopefully you have supportive people around you. However, if you don’t, you may want to get some new friends at the same time you get a new job.
It can be hard to leave a secure situation and take that leap into the unknown. That’s why thinking about/doing each of these things is so important. Your plan will help you to create some stability in an unstable situation. You can absolutely do this. You owe it to yourself to find a place where you are supported, appreciated, and can thrive.