Scared to Leave A Comfortable Job: What to Do

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scared to leave a comfortable job

Being in a job that you enjoy and that feels safe and comfortable is a great thing. Honestly, if you’ve found that, you should feel lucky.

That said, after a while in a comfortable job, there are times when we feel the itch to go do something more. Maybe to go increase your salary, get yourself a promotion, or just get experience a new environment.

Change is scary though. And it’s normal to be scared to leave a comfortable job. I actually recently changed jobs myself and experienced that exact thing.

To that end, this article is going to you unpack what to do when you feel scared to leave a comfortable job.

How Do You Know When It’s Time to Leave a Job?

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The first thing to do if you’re starting to feel like you have the itch to leave your comfortable job is to assess if it really is a smart move for you to begin a search and make the leap.

And as far as how to know when it’s time to leave a job, I could provide a list of common reasons like lack of growth, feeling stagnant, etc. but to me I think it’s actually pretty simple to assess when it’s time to leave a job.

The time to leave a job is when your work isn’t serving the life that you want for yourself.

A job may feel safe, comfortable, and stable, but if it isn’t helping you to build the life that you want for yourself and your family, it’s time to find a situation that does.

Maybe your job isn’t giving you the flexibility to spend time with your kids. Or maybe it isn’t providing the income that you need to achieve those travel dreams that you’ve always had. Whatever the reason, if your job isn’t helping you to live the life that you want, it’s time to find work that does (as long as you do it in a responsible manner…don’t just quit on a whim without a solid plan professionally and financially).

Why Am I Afraid Of Leaving My Job?

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There are a variety of reasons that people could be afraid of leaving a job. However, to boil it down to the simple, most common reason, it is a fear that their new job is going to be worse than their current one.

In fact, in a recent informal survey of people that were unhappy at their jobs, it was found that #1 reason preventing people from leaving their current job is a fear that their new boss would be even worse than their current one. And that’s a survey of people that were unhappy at their jobs!

So what that survey indicates to me is that change is risky and that change is scary. And if change is so scary that it even prevents those that are unhappy in their current work environment from moving, it will definitely be a deterrent to those that are comfortable in their current job.

How Do You Quit a Job When You’re Scared

how to tell your manager that you're quitting

At the highest level, the best way to quit a job when you’re scared is to think about the life that you want for yourself and assess if your current job is serving that goal.

Being intentional about what we want and looking critically at if we’re pursuing that is a great way to move us to action.

The best tool that I can offer to help you do that is our what to do with your life article. It walks through a step by step process to help you evaluate what you want in life and offers resources like journaling techniques to help you process how you’re feeling as you pursue alternate opportunities.

If you come to find that your current job isn’t serving the life that you want to build for yourself, it will be much easier to overcome your fear and take the leap towards what you want.

More practically, if you’ve decided to make the change, and have a job offer that you’re ready to accept, here is a guide to how to resign professionally and put in your two weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I Leave a Comfortable Job For More Money?

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Maybe. It depends on your motivations and what additional money will do for your life.

If you’re already making hundreds of thousands of dollars, you’re in a good work situation, and additional money isn’t going to impact your life that much, then you may not want to leave just for money. You would be taking a risk to jump to a new situation without that much material impact to your life.

However, if additional money is going to significantly impact your life in positive ways (i.e., help send your kids to college, move into a better neighborhood, travel more, etc.) then it may make more sense to take the risk and go get the bag.

Comfortable Job or Challenging Job?

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Whether or not you should want a comfortable job or challenging job depends on what you want and how different job situations fit into the life that you’re trying to build for yourself.

Recently, I had a decision between two job offers. One of them was definitely the better option if I was looking at things strictly from a career advancement perspective. It offered more financial upside and a quicker path to promotion if I was successful. However, it was clear that I would be entering a fast-paced work environment and the role was going to be quite challenging.

However, I went with my other offer. It was still a strong financial offer and a step up for me in my career but it felt safer to me. And that was important as my wife was also starting a demanding new job and we have a new baby on the way.

So, ultimately, it depends upon what’s important to you and what fits best into the life that you’re wanting to build for yourself.

Conclusion

Change is scary. And that’s particularly true when it comes to big life events like switching jobs.

So it’s understandable to feel scared to leave a comfortable job. But, it helps to evaluate your job situation through the life that you’re working to build for yourself. 

And if your work is not serving the life that you want, then it’s time to take a risk and make the change.

About the author

Dan Slocum

Dan is the founder of Best Fit Work and is a business professional with over 10 years of experience. He has been a hiring and people manager on multiple occasions, and has also gone through the hiring process himself at a variety of different companies. Dan serves as a career counselor on the side. He writes to share content, tools, and resources to help people discover and thrive in their own best fit work.

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