The Do's & Don'ts Of Quitting A Job You Hate Without An Exit Strategy

Your return to work may not be the experience you thought it would be.

working woman looking tired Getty

If you're physically going back to work after working from home over the last year and you've realized that you hate your job enough to quit, you’re not alone. 

But, finding your next job isn’t a prerequisite to saying "sayonara" to your current employer. 

Many believe that in order to quit a job, you must have some sort of exit strategy. This typically includes a job search, submitting applications, and then once accepted, putting in your two weeks notice to your current employer.


Low risk and practical.

RELATED: How To Tactfully Tell Your Boss You're Quitting (Even If It's A Job You Deeply Loathe)

Searching for a job while employed at one you hate isn’t always the best game plan. Sometimes, ripping off the stress-inducing band-aid is the best course of action.

But there are certain things you must do — and not do — to make this successful.

Here are the do's and don'ts of how to quit a job you hate without an exit strategy.

Do: View quitting as a stepping stone to success.

In an interview with the late Nora Ephron in Mika Brzezinski’s book, "Know Your Value," she says, "[W]omen have a constitutional resistance to quitting. We like to be good. We like to be loyal. We like to be good girls."


This job isn’t your life but a resource to heighten your experience. It can also help you decide what you want (or don’t want) in a career, and move you up to the next rung on the ladder to success.

Don’t: Express your frustration on social media.

One of the first places employers look when considering a job applicant is online and on social media platforms. You want to be seen as professional, confident, and in control of your emotions.

Resist every attempt to post anything about your employer, good or bad, since anything you post welcomes comments, and you don’t have control over what others post.

You don’t want this to be the reason a potential employer doesn’t call you.


Do: Take time to reflect before giving your notice.

By writing down your positive and negative experiences at work, you’re able to view the situation more objectively.

Even though this is only on paper, you feel heard. You’re not looking for the silver lining but removing the dark cloud so you can reduce your emotional attachment to this job.

Don’t: React to your boss’s response when delivering your resignation.

During the meeting with your boss, you want to be able to communicate calmly and look like you’re in control of the conversation when delivering your resignation.

This will keep you from reacting to your employer’s negative responses.


If they didn’t see the value you brought to the company, they probably didn’t see your resignation coming either. Don’t be surprised that they’re surprised.

Do: Turn to potential sources of support.

The negative emotions and feelings that you experienced at your job can be managed better with the support of family and friends.

The idea is to not revisit the bad experiences but to reinforce the good qualities and the value that you’ll bring to the next employer.

You’ll be much stronger with the support of others behind you, who will also hold you to a higher standard. There’s nothing you can do about the past but learn from it.

Don’t: Fear the uncertainty of finding a job.

As Tony Robbins says in his book "Awaken the Giant Within," "We all have a need for a sense of certainty. Most people have a tremendous fear of the unknown… [W]e’d rather deal with the pain we already know about than deal with the pain of the unknown."


But who says the unknown will be painful? Consider that the current job you work at may be the worst it will ever be. There’s most likely an opportunity right around the corner.

RELATED: 10 Clear Signs It’s Time To Break Up With Your Employer

Do: Define what you want in your next job.

Getting clear on what you want in your next job can easily be determined by thinking of why you hate your current job.

As you consider how you’d rather be treated and what conditions of employment you desire, this creates a set of standards for your employment going forward.

If you don’t have standards you risk taking whatever is given to you.

Don’t: Underestimate the value you bring to your employer.

Many employers lack soft skills and, unfortunately, don’t take the time to show their appreciation or acknowledge the contribution their employees being to the company.


So, you can’t be dependant on external recognition to confirm the value you provide.

Keep a record of your achievements and this will remind you of the significance of your contributions in your personal and professional life.

"Why do I hate my job more now?"

Going back to your workplace not only reunites you with co-workers and all the duties and activities associated with it, but it also reconnects you to the emotions and feelings attached to that environment.

This is something that you weren’t directly exposed to when you worked from home.

When you’ve experienced negative emotions and uncomfortable situations on the job, working from home separated you from this environment and provided respite.


Although, having a taste of what life is like without that environment has given you a heightened awareness of this pain, and less tolerance to put up with it.

Walking off the job without an exit strategy is your best option.

For many, having a plan to move swimmingly from one job to the next, without an income interruption, is ideal.

But, when the job you’re at creates much stress in your life, affecting your physical health and mental health, your current mindset can be the biggest obstacle to finding your next source of income.


The worst time to make a decision about your next job is when you’re under this stress.

If you don’t do the work to change your mindset, the likelihood that you’ll end up in a similar job experience, as you are now, is strong. This is because you’re in survival mode, and not in a resourceful state of mind.

Anne Grady wrote an article, "Resilience Reset" in Success Magazine, and said, "A resilient mindset is a set of conscious and unconscious beliefs that impact how you see yourself, how you interact with others, and how you respond in times of uncertainty."

The key to successfully leave a job you hate is to shift your mindset to one that’s more supportive.


Low risk and practical decisions aren’t always an option.

Sometimes, you have to step outside your comfort zone and trust that there’s an opportunity waiting for you on the other side of uncertainty.

Quitting a job you hate isn’t giving up. It’s shifting to another job that will add to a healthy and happy lifestyle.

RELATED: Thinking About Quitting Your Job? 10 Ways To Know It’s Time To Leave

Christine Hourd is a certified success and leadership coach located in Calgary, Alberta. She works with professionals, online and in-person, to remove the obstacles that keep them from experiencing the success they want. Find out how success coaching can help you.