Are you planning on quitting an understaffed job but you feel guilty?
First of all, you shouldn’t feel guilty. It’s not your fault that your job is understaffed, neither is it your problem.
Secondly, thinking about your coworkers is great, but you have to think about what’s best for you and make the best decision for your future!
Here are some tips to help you quit a job where you’re understaffed and not feel bad about it:
Why You Shouldn’t Feel Guilty Quitting an Understaffed Job
The first and most important thing to remember is that it’s not your fault if you’re working in an organization that is understaffed or you are under too big of a workload.
The company is at fault for being understaffed, not you.
Quitting because of the bad working conditions is not something you should feel guilty about.
Secondly, you need to think about what’s best for you.
Yes, it’s great that you’re thinking about your coworkers and the burden they will have to carry when you leave.
But, you also need to think about yourself and your future. Quitting an understaffed job is not going to ruin your career – burning out because you’re too stretched might do.
Why Working in an Understaffed Role Is Bad for Your Mental Health
If you’re constantly worried about the amount of work you have to do and whether you can get it all done, it’s going to have an impact on your mental health.
It’s not sustainable to work in an environment where you’re always stressed and overworked – even if it doesn’t feel like it’s taking that big of a toll.
At some point, something will have to give – and it’s usually your mental health that suffers the most.
Quitting an understaffed job might be the best decision for your mental health in the long run.
There will always be other roles, and no doubt you’ll find a new job you’re happier in.
I know it doesn’t help to hear me say that when you don’t have another job to go to and you’ve got bills to pay, but it’s true.
Bad working conditions can lead to burnout, and once you’re burned out it’s hard to recover.
If you’re considering quitting an understaffed job, make sure you’ve thought about it carefully and you’re doing it for the right reasons.
It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, but if you feel like it’s the best thing for you then go for it!
How Do You Quit a Job Because of Workload?
If you’ve decided that quitting your understaffed job is the right decision, then there are a few things to bear in mind.
Firstly, if you can have another job lined up before you hand in your notice this is obviously going to lessen the pressure and anxiety you’re feeling.
You don’t want to be out of work and struggling to pay the bills because you’ve quit your job – but at the same time you don’t want to hold on indefinitely until you find a new job.
The key is to balance your mental health and how you’re feeling in your current role, with the other stressors in your life.
You want to leave on your own accord before you hit breaking point, but no one knows exactly when or where that’s going to be.
I know some people who set themselves a strict deadline of 3 months from today to find a new job, as they’re going to leave their job anyway.
It’s amazing what giving yourself a deadline like that can do.
It will push you to try your very hardest to find a new job, and it might also make your current role more tolerable knowing you’re leaving in three months.
How Do You Leave a Job Where You Are Needed?
Leaving a job where you are needed can be really tough, but you need to remember that it’s not your responsibility to solve the staffing problem.
The company needs to find a way to staff the role, not you.
It’s not fair to expect you to stay in a role that is making you unhappy and impacting your mental health, just because the company can’t find anyone to replace you.
You might feel like you’re letting your colleagues down by leaving, but they will understand.
If they care for you, they might even be relieved and a little envious that you’re moving on if they’re also in a similar situation at the company.
Of course, it’s always best to speak to your colleagues and explain your decision before you hand in your notice.
They might have some insight or advice that you haven’t considered, and it will help to ease the transition if they know what’s going on.
But at the end of the day, you need to do what’s best for you, your mental health, and your career.
Quitting an understaffed job can be a difficult decision to make (or an incredibly easy one!), but it’s important to remember that your mental health should always come first.
If you’re considering quitting, make sure you’ve thought about it carefully and you have a plan in place.
And if you do decide to quit, don’t forget to involve your colleagues if you care about them and they’re in a similar situation.
Image credits – Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash
Phil lives in England, UK, and has around 20 years experience as a professional life, career and executive coach. He started this blog to help others find and define their own self development journey. Blogging about a wide range of topics to help facilitate a better future.