Taking a voluntary buyout package gives you much-needed "time to yourself," says Kane. This time can be spent pursuing further education or training, investigating entrepreneurial options, or even traveling and building your skills abroad on a volunteer-tourism project.
When you choose to leave, you're free to "pursue your dreams, rather than doing something you don't like just for the money and security," says Kane.
Is quitting right for you?
Should you give your notice and walk? Answer the questions below and think about the issues they raise.
1. Is your company offering voluntary buyout packages?
Yes: If your company is helping its workers transition via a generous buyout package – and you're restless anyway – what bigger "GO!" sign do you need? Package details vary, but if you're getting the equivalent of several months' salary, extra months of company healthcare benefits and tuition assistance, you're in a pretty good position to make a fresh start.
No: Leaving is riskier when you don't have a cushion. Are you willing to dip into your savings account? Or would you prefer to hedge your bets by staying for now?
2 Are you a self-starter?
Yes: "Self-starters" are highly motivated and display a high degree of initiative. They work hard, obsess over ways to improve and take pride in their work. They're not to be confused with the office "kiss-ass"; in fact, many dislike being closely managed by supervisors – especially when they feel office protocol is detracting from their ability to work effectively.
Self-starters fare well in an uncertain economy. Your get-up-and-go attitude will motivate you to work long hours growing your own business, or to devote yourself 110 per cent on new career training or a job search.
No: There's nothing wrong with having a less-than-driven workplace personality. But if you're content to competently carry out your job responsibilities – and nothing more – for eight hours a day (less your lunch hour and two 15-minute breaks), five days a week, you're probably not cut out for the entrepreneurial landscape – or a competitive job market. Stay put until you line up another paid position.
Page 1 of 2 - On Page 2: One more question you should ask yourself before quitting
3. What stage of your family life are you at?
No kids: Can we be blunt? You have a level of freedom most parents can only dream of. Don't like your job? Don't wait to be downsized: look for – or create – your dream job now.
Raising a family: Food costs. Mortgage payments. Daycare fees. Kids' clothing. Sports equipment and lessons. Family transportation. You've got a lot of financial responsibilities, so quitting before you have another gig lined up may not be wise unless you’re taking a buyout package or have another job offer in hand, or unless you have enough savings and/or a well-paid spouse who can carry family expenditures until you’re drawing a paycheck again.
Empty nester: Are you unhappily working to support your adult kids? Many former empty nesters are contending with adult children moving back home; if this is your case you may have to rethink what sacrifices you're willing to make.
But if your adult child has no dependents and is enjoying "fun-employment" on your couch, they need a reality check in the form of rent (or eviction!) so you can quit the job you dislike and start anew – whether that's in a different job, volunteer work or retirement.