Career Advice

“I Quit My Job and Ruined My Life”: How to Avoid This Situation

In 2023, around 3,628 US employees quit their jobs. Many say it was the best decision they ever made. Some regret it and say, “I quit my job and ruined my life.”

Here’s someone’s take from Reddit. “Leaving my job was the best decision of my life. First came the health, both mental and physical. Fixing my sleep schedule, not living with the constant dread of having to go do the thing I hate in x amount of hours, getting fit. But the best thing was having time to find out that I can make money on my terms.” Another person from Quora had a very different experience. I quit my job today due to depression. Now I feel more depressed.”

The point is that there are two sides of the same coin. If you plan on quitting your job, you want to land on the positive side. I’m here to help you quit your job and not ruin your life. I’ll also provide some encouragement if you regret quitting your job. 

Reasons to Quit Your Job

Before you send in your resignation letter, it’s important to ask yourself, “Why am I quitting? And is it the best move?” Remember, you don’t want to say at the end of the day, “I quit my job and it was the biggest mistake ever.” Don’t make rash decisions like that. 

A lot of times people quit their jobs because it’s not their passion. Of course, that works for some. But Philip Brandner, Founder and CEO of Career BaseCamp, says:

I don’t necessarily think that you should always follow your passion and only accept a career if it’s your dream job. That can be great and extremely rewarding, but sometimes a job is just a job and that’s ok. You go to work, do your thing, and pay the bills to live your life. More power to you.

So what’s a good reason to quit your job? To help you out, I’ll give you 5 good reasons:

  • Low pay. In a survey by the Pew Research Center, it was discovered that 63% of US workers quit their jobs due to low pay. If you’re supporting your family, and your current job can’t pay the bills, then maybe it’s time to move. However, you have to keep in mind that quitting now will mean no salary security. So if this is the reason you quit your job, you need to plan it out very carefully. 
  • No opportunities to grow. If you are someone who wants to advance your professional life but finds yourself at a stalemate, it’s a good idea to follow a new career path. If you’re certain that there is no future where you are now, don’t waste your time there. Don’t undervalue your abilities just because you feel secure or comfortable.
  • Bad boss. Having a bad boss will cause all kinds of problems in the workplace. Maybe the workplace is extremely toxic you get depression and anxiety every time you think of entering the building. Maybe your boss is super incompetent and doesn’t value or appreciate your efforts. Maybe your boss just doesn’t like you and so won’t ever consider a promotion or salary raise. If that’s the case, then it’s time to get rid of the old employer and find a new and better one. 
  • Exhaustion. Regular burnout, working late hours, having no time for yourself or your family, facing difficult clients every single day… These are just some examples that lead to physical, mental, or emotional exhaustion. If your work doesn’t promote a healthy work-life balance and you’re at your breaking point, then you need to find a job to look after your physical or mental health. 
  • Lost connection. This happens when your job doesn’t hold much meaning for you anymore. You feel disconnected from your company and its values. You start feeling useless and worthless. You can’t find the motivation to even get out of bed. If you’re in this state, you need to spark the fire by doing else. 

How to Quit Your Job the Right Way

OK, so you decided that it’s best to quit your current job and get a new job. Now, you might be wondering, “How can I quit my job and not ruin my life?” Well, here are 5 things to consider if you don’t want to shout “I quit my job and ruined my life!”:

  1. Double-take your decision
  2. Create an exit plan
  3. Start saving
  4. Have another job lined up
  5. Don’t leave on bad terms

1. Double-take your decision

Yes, yes, you already made the decision to quit. But it’s always good to do a double-take. Is itthe best move for you and your family? Are you sure it’s not a decision you made because you were extremely emotional? Are you ready to take the leap from a secure future to one that’s new and uncertain?

If you ask yourself these questions regularly and always end up with the same answer, “Yes, it’s best to quit”, then go for it. This step is to just make sure that it’s what YOU REALLY want. 

Someone from Quora shared his experience:

I asked myself one question. “Tomorrow when I will be no longer part of this company, will I regret?” At that point, I answered myself – “No, never. I seriously want to go”. So after confirming this question twice-thrice, I made up my mind that I needed to resign. So, I went ahead and resigned.

2. Create an exit plan

Just because you decided to quit doesn’t mean you send in your 2-week notice the following day. No, if you don’t want to regret leaving and ruin your life, you must prepare. To do that, you need to have an exit plan. 

What are you planning to do when you quit? Are you looking for the same job but with a different company? Are you switching your old job to one in a different industry? 

If you’re pursuing a different sector, you need to gain the necessary skills for it. So while you’re still in your job, find ways to learn new skills. You can take an online course, read a book, do your research, and more. You can improve and learn the technical skills of the next job you have in mind. 

You’ll also need some experience. Now, you can acquire that by joining volunteer work. You can also do a side hustle or freelance work on the side. This will provide you with good experience, and even some skills, that you’ll need. 

If you have an exit plan, quitting your job won’t feel like taking a leap of faith. Instead, you’re taking a secure footstep to a brighter future. 

3. Start saving

Remember, quitting a job means you’ll cut off your income. This is one of the main reasons why people regret their decisions and say that it ruined their lives. Well, that doesn’t have to be your case. 

If you started setting aside an emergency fund long ago, that’s great! You can leave your job sooner than you might think. If not, then you can start saving now

I’d say save for living expenses up to a good 1 to 3 months. This is how long it can take to find new opportunities. When you know you have the money to support unemployment for a bit, you’ll not worry too much about it. In turn, you won’t regret your decision as much as if you find yourself with no money and no source of income. 

4. Have another job lined up

While you improve your skills, gain experience, and save up, you can also start looking for a new job. OK, I know it can be tiring to do a full-time job while trying to find work in the job market on the side – but this is the wisest choice. 

Philip Brander gives us one brilliant reason why it’s best to find a job while still working: 

For most people, under most circumstances, you want to start looking for a new job while you still have your old one. For one thing, it allows you to say no. Your current job allows you to decline job opportunities that are not right for you. Maybe you got some red flags during the interview, or the future supervisor is giving you bad vibes, whatever the reason, it’s great to have the freedom to say no.

Without a backup plan, you might find yourself in a worse situation than your previous job. You’ll soon wish to go back to your old job. That’s a big NO-NO. So even if it’s tiring and will take up some of your free time, it will be worth it in the end. 

5. Don’t leave on bad terms

No matter how much you hate your job or your boss, it’s never good to leave on bad terms. Hey, you might just need that reference in the future. OK, there are unique situations where leaving on good terms is not possible. If so, at least make sure you quit professionally. 

To do that, you should:

  • Provide ample notice. The common notice is 2 weeks. This means you’ll have to work for those 2 weeks while your employer makes arrangements before your departure. 
  • Talk to your supervisor. You want to tell them about your decision face-to-face. This shows them respect and will allow you to tell your reasons for leaving. 
  • Write a resignation letter. Even if you talk about it face-to-face, you’ll need to provide written documentation. Now, this can be as short as giving your last date of employment Or, you can quickly explain why you’re leaving and extend your gratitude to the company. 
  • Offer assistance. I know you want to leave your job as soon as possible, but it’s good to offer any assistance before you go. This might mean training a replacement, documenting your tasks, or providing guidance to colleagues.
  • Maintain professionalism. You might want to burn bridges before you leave. Don’t do that. You never know when you’ll cross paths with your employer or colleagues again. So always be professional, even if you want to burn the whole place down. 
  • Express gratitude. When it’s time to officially say goodbye, don’t forget to thank your employer for the opportunity, as well as your colleagues for the time spent together or the help you gave to each other. It’s always nice to end on a good note. 

What to Do if You Regret Quitting Your Job?

Let’s say you did everything right. You made sure about your decision, you prepared an exit plan, you saved up, you found another job, and you ended on good terms. However, you still end up regretting your decision. You still end up saying, “Why did I quit my job and ruined my life?”

If you’re in this situation, you might want to reach out to your old employer and ask for your old job back (this is also why it’s best to end on good terms). However, here are some real-world experiences and advice given by people on Quora and Reddit. 

“What’s done is DONE. I am sure you have spent a massive amount of time thinking about it.
You made a decision & executed it. It’s pretty brave I would say. We spend years struggling in a depressing job, & do nothing about it. That’s killing. Now, time to move on.”

“Past is over. Learn from it and look ahead. I created my CV and started uploading it to different job portals. Visited different organizations’ sites, going to their career page and adding my profile details. That was a struggle phase. But finally, things turned in the right direction and I landed up in an MNC.”

“Rather than repenting, go ahead. Life has more to offer. Go out, struggle, and create nice life stories something that you will always be proud of.”

“You are FAR more important than ANY job will ever be! If the job is filling you with dread, then unless improvements are made ASAP I’d leave. I did exactly that. I was lucky that I had a new job within a month. Admittedly it was less pay, but the relief I felt was unimaginable. Be proactive. Keep your CV updated. Apply for numerous jobs as a safety net. But personally, I would quit the job, and ride the wave towards better things, even if I regret it later on.”

Final Words

“I quit my job and ruined my life!” If you don’t want to be the one complaining about this, then you need to be extra sure that quitting is the best decision. If yes, then you should also quit properly. All this will make the transition so much easier for you – and it won’t ruin your life. 

About Author

Founder of With over 20 years of experience in HR and various roles in corporate world, Jenny shares tips and advice to help professionals advance in their careers. Her blog is a go-to resource for anyone looking to improve their skills, land their dream job, or make a career change.

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