Jobs and the Future of Work

This woman who's spent a decade in HR, shares when to quit your job

A worker sits in the garden room in the Jellyfish office space in London, Britain December 19, 2016. Picture taken December 19, 2016. REUTERS/Neil Hall  - RTX2W5CM

According to Toni Thompson, head of HR for The Muse, quitting your job on a high note is the best way to leave. Image: REUTERS/Neil Hall

Shana Lebowitz
Strategy Reporter, Business Insider
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Quitting your job — especially if you don't have another full-time gig lined up — can be terrifying.

But there are tons of solid reasons to do it anyway: You feel sick to your stomach every Sunday evening. You don't think there's room to grow. Your personal values don't match up with your company's.

Yet there's another, more practical reason to free yourself from the drudgery of showing up at a job you hate: You want to leave on a high note. If it's gotten to the point where you've started doing bad work, it's almost certainly time to go.

That's according to Toni Thompson, the head of talent and human resources for The Muse, a popular job-search and career-advice site. Thompson has spent 11 years working in human resources.

When she visited the Business Insider office in June for a Facebook Live interview, Thompson explained what often happens: "You start doing bad work because you are so angry about your situation or frustrated."

Here's why that behavior should concern you. Thompson said you definitely shouldn't stick around in a job "where you are fully capable, and in the right role, and you were really doing great work" or "you're suddenly not doing a good job, and you've become a bad teammate and a bad employee because you're so frustrated."

"At that point," Thompson said, "it's probably best to just move on without a job so that they actually have a good memory of you."

You never know when you'll need to tap an old boss or coworker for a reference or some career advice. Quitting might seem like burning your bridges to cinders — but in reality, getting to the point where your employer wishes you would quit is a lot worse.

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