When to quit your job | Resigning | Youth Central

There are many reasons why people resign or quit their job. They may have found another job or want to take a break from working to focus on study, travel, family or any other reasons.

However, there are times when people feel they need to quit their jobs because they are having problems at work that aren't improving.

Quitting your job because of work problems

When you have problems at work, you should always try to sort them out with your boss or co-workers first. Sometimes, though, this doesn’t solve the problem.

If you’re unhappy at work, resigning might be the best option. Resigning is when you choose to leave a job.

Some reasons for resigning, or quitting, can include:

  • if you’re unhappy at work
  • if you’re being bullied or harassed
  • if your boss isn’t paying you minimum wages
  • if you’re staying in the job for the wrong reasons.

If any of these are happening to you, resigning by writing a resignation letter might be the right thing to do.

Signs you might be unhappy at work

It’s normal to have times when you’re not as happy as you could be at work. However, if you’re unhappy for weeks at a time, you may need to think about quitting your job.

Some signs that you’re unhappy at work include:

  • you get anxious, scared or worried about going to work
  • you take days off when you’re not really sick, or just because you’re anxious or scared about work
  • you get angry for no reason at work
  • you get sad and stop talking to people at work
  • you stop enjoying parts of the job that you used to like doing.

Bullying might be a reason to quit your job

Bullying is when someone:

  • is aggressive towards you
  • teases or plays practical jokes on you
  • pressures you to do things that are inappropriate
  • excludes you from work-related events
  • makes unreasonable demands of you.

Bullying can make you feel sad, anxious and unsafe. You don’t have to put up with bullying at work, but sometimes quitting might be the best option.

Our bullying and violence at work has information on what you can do if you’re being bullied.

Quitting your job because of harassment

Harassment is when someone gives you unwanted attention due to a personal characteristic. This can be because of your:

  • gender
  • sexuality
  • physical appearance
  • ethnicity or race.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behaviour. It can be physical, verbal or written. Harassment and sexual harassment at work make you feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.

Our discrimination and harassment page has information on what to do if you’re being harassed at work.

Not being paid what you’re entitled to

Sometimes employers will try to illegally underpay you. You should always know what your minimum wage is, and make sure your boss is paying you what you’re entitled to.

Another reason to quit might be if you try and ask or negotiate with your employer for a raise and they say no. A raise is when you get an increase in your pay.

If you hadn’t had a raise in a while, and believe you are entitled to a raise, it might be time to start applying for other jobs with higher pay.

Bad reasons to stay in a job that makes you unhappy

Sometimes you might decide to stay in a job even though you’re unhappy. This is okay if it’s what you want to do. Just make sure that you’re staying for the right reasons.

Here are some of the wrong reasons you might stay in a job when you’re unhappy.

Loyalty to your boss and co-workers

Loyalty is a positive thing. But don’t let it hold you back from doing other things that might make you happier.

Remember that as much as you like your boss or co-workers, you need to look after yourself. Loyalty not a good reason to stay in a job you don’t like.

Thinking you can’t be replaced

Thinking you’re irreplaceable is another form of loyalty. You might think that if you left the whole place would fall apart.

Anyone in a workplace can be replaced, and that’s actually a good thing. It means you can hand in your resignation knowing your boss will be able to find someone else to do your job.

You’re afraid you won’t be able to find another job

Finding a job is hard. But don’t let fear hold you back from looking around to see what other jobs are out there. You might be able to find a better job that pays more.

It’s okay to look at job listings and apply for other jobs while you’re still working in a job. In fact, it can be a good idea to have a new job lined up before you resign.


For more information about problems at work, contact:

JobWatch Victoria

JobWatchis a Victorian community legal centre that helps workers in Victoria by offering free and confidential advice.

Fair Work Ombudsman

The Fair Work Ombudsman gives advice and helps you understand your rights and responsibilities at work.


If you're feeling stressed, Headspace has drop-in centres where you can go in and chat to someone. They also offer free and confidential chats with a professional both online and over the phone.