How to Quit a Stressful Job & What to Do After

Quitting a job due to excessive stress is very common and easy to do. Yet, most people make a huge mistake when they go to quit. Here is how you quit a stressful job and make your life better as a result.

The key to quitting a stressful job is to have a better option available, or even just having a plan in place. Resigning from a stressful job on a whim often leads to even more stress to find and acclimate to a new position. To best option is to smoothly transition to a self-directed work at home career that you can start before quitting your current work.

So what kind of plan should you have. Read on to learn the right way to quit a stressful job and have a safety net already in place.

Quitting Your Stressful Job is Common

20% of employees have left a job due to mental health issues, which includes issues related to workplace stress. This figure increases to 50% when looking at just Millennials and 75% when looking Gen-Z despite their relatively short time in the job market.

One anonymous poster wrote:

Just last week, I quit my job due to stress and anxiety caused by the management in the company I worked for. I had been there only three months, and I am now unemployed and looking for a new position. I am now 100 times more happy.

I know I have felt the urge to quit an overly stressful job. However, I was smart and quit my job with a plan which avoided this huge mistake:

Why Quitting Your Stressful Job on a Whim Is a Mistake

The biggest mistake people make when quitting their stressful job is they have no plan and no backup position. This usually means:

  • You end up finding yourself desperate for a job when your savings runs low
  • You accept a position that is just as stressful as before, one that undervalues your time, or one that has no room for future growth
  • You may end up begging for your old job back

No matter the outcome, all of these possibilities fail to reduce your overall stress. Instead, you get short term relief in exchange for even more stress in the future.

The mistake that the anonymous poster made is that she equated work with stress. Stress has little to do with the demands of the job, and everything to do with your reaction to the demands. Usually stress actually comes from one of the following:

  • Your current job is not a good fit for you skills or professional ambitions
  • You are too desperate to do well or too afraid of being let go
  • Your temperament is not the right match for the team that you are in

The subjective nature of stress is a powerful realization because it means you can, have relief today, without quitting your job.

In some cases, just a mindset shift will get you out of stress and put you on the right track. But in most cases I’ve found most people need to use this powerful method to quit their stressful job the right way.

The Right Way to Quit Your Stressful Job

Start by making a plan and setting an end date when you will for sure quit. Often, just the relief knowing that you are on your way out is enough to cut out your stress and allow you to think clearly. I recommend you choose a date about 6 months from now.

Next, start working your plan. Many people will immediately assume that they need to find another job in their field. However I’ve found this to be a mistake in many cases. Instead, take the time to do a little reflection and figure out exactly where you want to be in life. And, determine if your current career path truly aligns with your intentions and capabilities.

One option that most people overlook is the possibility of starting an online business in as little as 1 hour a day. I have personally coached numerous people through this process. And it is something almost anyone can do. In most cases, you can do what you love, what you are doing now, or something you’ve always wanted to do for pay online.

It still amazes me how many capable people choose to work in the rat race, and slave under the excess stress of the corporate structure, when they could work for themselves and have the flexibility to live on their terms.

Lastly, quit your job on your own terms, using the easy techniques in the linked article.

Related Questions

Can you resign with immediate effect due to stress?

Generally yes. In the US  giving two-weeks notice is customary, but is not a legal requirement for “at-will” employment which is by far the most common scenario. The only exception would be if you have a specific employment contract, in which case you would need to consult a lawyer for advice on your particular requirements.

Can you quit a job due to mental health?

You can quit a job for mental health reasons, and you don’t need to specify what those reasons are to your employer. However, in order to claim unemployment insurance you may need to have some evidence that your mental health condition prevented you from working.

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