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Is There Ever A “Right” Time Of Year To Quit Your Job?

Chances are, if you’re thinking about whether there’s ever a “right” time to quit your job... well, you’ve already made your decision to skedaddle out of there. It’s just a matter of time. You hate to admit it, but you’ve been counting down the time until you can say adios to the coworkers you’ve mindlessly chit-chatted with at the water cooler. It won’t be long, you tell yourself, till you can hit refresh on your career and start anew.

The problem is, you’re not exactly the kind of employee to just up and leave. And you don’t want to burn any bridges, do you? Which is why you’ve been wondering, what’sthe best time of year to quit your job? Does it matter what day of the week is your last day? Is it better to give notice before or afterthe holidays?

We reached out to career experts for their advice on how you can determine the best time of year to quit your job. The key takeaway? Take a look at the company culture and listen to your gut.

The following nuggets of wisdom should help you determine the best time of year to quit your job.

Do a gut check to see how you truly feel

“While there may be arguments to be made for certain times of the year to be better than others to leave a job, I really think you should feel empowered to leave whenever you feel is right for you. Listen to and place yourself first. Staying in a job that is making you unhappy can take a large toll on your mental and physical health, which should be your first priority over any job. What do we have if we don’t have our health?”

—Sara Young Wang, career coach

Ask yourself: Have you stopped learning?

“Ask yourself: did you learn everything you could from this company? Grab that added value by the horns and apply it to future career endeavors/goals. When you stop learning and stop growing, it’s time to get out.”

—Heather Bothwell, founder, Style Roster

Pay attention to the fiscal year and school calendar

“Employees who are planning to quit their jobs usually do so shortly after receiving a large bonus or profit-sharing payout. The majority of American companies distribute Christmas bonuses in late December, or profit-sharing payouts sometime in January, after the fiscal year ends.

As a result, a substantial number of employees quit their jobs in late January, February, and March of each year. More positions become available at this time of year as employers attempt to fill newly vacant positions. Alternatively, employees should not quit their jobs in June, July, or August due to the sudden influx of eager university graduates flooding the job market. ”

—Lauren McAdams, career adviser and hiring manager, Resume Companion

Turnover in the public sector usually happens in spring and summer

“The time frame for leaving your current job can be industry specific, although of more significance is *how* you leave your job. Leaving in the middle of a large project or prior to the fiscal year end can be problematic, and result not only in disruptions to your former workplace, but in not-so-favorable references down the line.

Many public sector lines of work, such as education and government, typically anticipate high turnover in the spring and summer each year, as people are promoted or move to another location. If you find that for whatever reason you cannot wait until the ideal time to make your exit, focus on making your departure as smooth and seamless as possible. This includes giving your boss as much advance notice as possible, as well as being available to train or consult with your predecessor—if the relationship with your employer remains functional.”

—Kenzie Bond, empowerment coach

Recognize that the ‘best’ time is deeply personal

“There is no definitive ‘best’ time of year to quit your job. Quitting your job should be based on a number of factors, including (but not limited to) whether you have another job lined up, if you need to relocate for a new job and what notice you are expected to give to your current employer.

For many people, there will never be a ‘good’ time to quit. There are always projects or expectations at work that will be difficult to leave incomplete. Deciding when to quit will need to be based on what is best for you and your career.”

—Robin Schwartz, HR director, Career Igniter


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