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Should You Quit Your Job in a Bad Economy?

Updated on March 3, 2016
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C. E. Clark has managed employees as well as been an employee herself for nearly 50 years.

Should a Person Quit a Job Because He or She Is Unhappy or Hates Their Job?

This article is inspired by a question asked by fellow hubber Sarah Anderson. Her specific question was: “How do I know when a job is bad and I should quit vs life is tough and I should just knuckle under? Like many college grads I can't get a job in my field so I'm stuck doing jobs that don't exactly suit my abilities. And people are mean to me.”


Current Job Statistics

Between 60 and 70 percent of college graduates never get a job in their field (Forbes). Only 27% of college grads get jobs that are even related to their college majors (Washington Post). The New York Daily News reports that more than 40% of recent college grads are underemployed, taking part-time jobs, and jobs that do not require a college degree at all.

Huffington Post reports that at least 7.9% of recent college grads (not all college grads but only recent ones) are jobless. I personally know many college graduates who are doing minimum pay jobs (often more than one minimum pay job) just to scrape by because that is all they can find in the current job climate.

The current job market is very tough no matter how some people want to paint the economic picture in rosy shades of pink. There are also those people who believe anyone who truly wants a job can find a job – but they did not say you would find a job in your field; just a job.

People who are generally settled in their jobs and have not ever had to find a job in an economic climate such as we are experiencing right now have no clue about what it is like to try and find a job when there are none to be found. Some of these people have been lucky and assume everyone has their good luck, which is far from reality.

Currently, it is not only lazy slothful people who are finding it hard to get a job in this job climate, but even ambitious pure God-fearing people are having a hard time getting a job too.

So think hard about what you will do if you quit your current job and cannot find another one within a month, or even 6 months. Sometimes being homeless, not just living with relatives or friends and mooching off them, but being truly homeless, living in your car or under a bridge with other homeless people, can be harder on a day to day basis than working with surly coworkers and/or difficult bosses.

The New York Daily News reports that 70% of U.S. workers hate their jobs. A lot of the people included in those statistics have been doing the same job for 10 to 20 years or more. Both Huffington Post and USA Today also report the same thing as the New York Daily News -- that most people hate their jobs. This has been so for a long time. Anyone lucky enough to find a job they really love is a very lucky person indeed.

Given the current economic situation here in the United States and around the world, what do you think your chances are of moving from the job you now have (presumably in that 70% group of job haters) into the 30% group that find their jobs somewhere between tolerable and fabulous? You do not have to share your answer with anyone else, but at least be honest with yourself.

Finding a new job may not be so easy in our current economy.
Finding a new job may not be so easy in our current economy. | Source

Should You Quit Your Job Before Getting A New Job?


Just Common Sense

Most people agree that if at all possible a person should have their next job lined up before they quit the one they have. The rent does not stop coming due because you have quit your job and have no paycheck, so try to limit the time you are without income as much as possible.

Always be looking for your next job, especially if you are not satisfied with the job you have or know when you take a job that you expect to do it only as long as it takes to get a better or more desirable job.

Possible Solutions Leading to Freedom From the Workforce

Think about self-employment possibilities. Could you make and market a needed and uniquely designed product? Sell it online, door-to-door, or at parties?

Could you offer a specialty service like art classes, computer classes, or individual tutoring to children or adults, or both? Tutors get pretty good hourly rates, and there are businesses that do nothing else.

Determine your strengths, skills, and talents. Could you create a self-employment situation out of one or more of them? Do you have a hobby that could make you money through giving lessons, putting craft kits together, or by selling finished handcrafted items?

Do you have special knowledge of business practices? Could you market a resumé kit, for example, or a kit for people who want to start a new business but do not know where to begin? What marketable skills and talents might you have that are unrelated to your college degree?

Sometimes working at something you love that you have been doing as a hobby is better than working in an area where you have a college degree. I was told 20 years ago that 80 some percent of college graduates never get a job in their field. Today’s statistics seem to be better, but not by much. A lot of degrees are earned in fields where there really is not a lot of demand.

Just the same, most universities and colleges have a lot o requirements in order to earn a degree so that your education will be “well rounded.” What have you learned at college that will help you find a job more to your liking even if it does not seem to relate directly to your field of major?

Searching for a New Job


Your Employer's Responsibility

Keep in mind that it is an employer’s responsibility to maintain a good work environment. It is not only sexual harassment that can cost an employer big. Allowing a hostile work environment to exist is against the law too.

It is the responsibility of employers to know what kind of environment they have in their workplace, and it is their responsibility to make changes when it is not a healthy environment for everyone to do their jobs without fear of ridicule or bullying of any kind. If they fire someone in a hostile situation they want to be sure they did not fire the victim(s) of that situation lest it come back to bite them you know where.

If you are experiencing a hostile work environment, I recommend that you keep a journal of everything negative that happens, and that you inform your employer that people are nasty and making it difficult for you to do your job. You should not dread going to work from the moment you leave your workplace until you arrive again the next day.

My husband, an employment attorney, handled a case where a person was experiencing both a hostile work environment and sexual harassment as part of that hostility. He won.

Keep a record of the names of people who do or say nasty things as well as exactly what they did or said, the circumstances under which each incident occurred, and be sure to include the date and time. Your journal, ideally hand written, will stand up in court just like a first hand witness account.

Lawsuits are lengthy and should always be seen as retirement funds, not money that will pay the bills right now. Lawsuits take time, but if you think you will need the money 10 years from now just as you do today, then teach them how to run their business better by making sure their work environment encourages a pleasant atmosphere for all workers.

Lawsuits should be a last resort when employers refuse to make necessary changes for the benefit of all of their employees. A good employment attorney will first attempt to come to a solution that satisfies all parties before filing a complaint with the courts.

You have 2 years from the time of the first incident to file a complaint, so be sure to contact an employment lawyer at least 6 months prior to the end of that 2 year period. Keep in mind that even if you do quit because coworkers, a supervisor, or a manager is making it difficult to do your job, you can often still sue. Bullying and demeaning you need not include sexual innuendo or worse.

There are instances where an employer can be sued even when an employee brought no complaint to their attention, but generally your chances of a win are much better if you did inform your employer so that they have a reasonable opportunity to correct the situation before proceeding to legal solutions. Depending on the nature of the complaint, it is often best to seek a solution outside of court because it avoids bad publicity and less expense.

Hopefully both you and your employer want the same thing – a pleasant work environment for everyone. That should be attainable without legal action, but if an employer is unreasonable or unwilling to work for that end, there are other solutions.

Reader's Opinion

What would you advise someone to do if they hated their job and the work environment was hostile?

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