5 min read

Should You Quit After Being Disappointed at Work?

Apply for a promotion internally and didn't get it? It can be tempting to just quit, but should you? Here is what you need to know before making that big decision.
Should You Quit After Being Disappointed at Work?

So you applied for a job within your company and didn't get it. Or, you asked for a promotion and were passed over. You may be feeling disappointed and wondering if it's time to quit. Before making any rash decisions, take some time to evaluate the situation and see if there are other opportunities available to you. In this blog post, we will discuss how to handle disappointment in your career and turn it into an opportunity!

The How Matters

The disappointment at work can be devastating. But, how that disappointment can matter as much as why it happens. Before deciding how to proceed (or if at all) at the current company, you will want to make sure you are clear on exactly what happened and how that decision was made.

Taking stock of who made the decision that you don't like and how they acted to do it can be a huge indicator of how you are viewed at the organization. This can also give you important insight into how your career can progress (if at all) with the company for the future.

Understand the Why

The next step is to make sure that you know why the decision was made to not give you that promotion or raise. Sometimes, the answer really can be "not now" and it really isn't "not ever." This why matters a lot in terms of your future at the organization. If not ever, then you know for sure that the time has come to move on.

However, if the answer to the why the question is "Not now." Then you need to follow up with your supervisor or the leadership to understand the when. Find out what the barrier is to now and what you should do to get to the yes. This may be a matter of timing within the organization or you may need to show that you deserve it. Whatever the answer is, the importance of knowing why will lead to clarity on the when. And, these 2 points are key to really understand if you should stay or if you should go from the current company.

Make up Your Mind

After you know the answers to what happened, you need to make-up your mind to move forward. This can mean being ok with the decision that was made that you didn't agree with or deciding to move on. Whatever you decide, know that you need to stick with that intention through the next steps of the process. Sitting on the fence about what to do with your career next indefinitely will only leave you unhappy. So, commit to making up your mind about what you want and what you will do to get it.

Factors to Consider

In order to make up your mind about what to do next with your career, make sure that you are armed with all of the facts. This means understanding your options internally and externally. Important factors to consider are:

Other considerations when making the decision to leave your job may include:

- How long have you been at your current company?

- Are you feeling burnt out or just disappointed?

- Is there another opportunity available to you within your company that is a better fit?

- What are the market conditions like for jobs in your field?

-Do you know what makes you happy?

-Do you know what motivates you?

-What other options do you have?

-Can you afford to just quit?

These questions can help guide when it's the best time for you personally as well as professionally to make a move.

- Are there any other reasons why staying might be better than leaving?

At the end of the day, when deciding whether or not to quit your job it's important that we take an honest look at ourselves and our situation. If we're feeling disappointed, burnt out, or just not a good fit then it may be time to start looking for a new job.

However, if there are other opportunities available to us and the negatives don't outweigh the positives then staying put might be the better option. Whatever you decide, make sure that you take action and don't just sit and wait for things to happen. The ball is in your court when it comes to your career, so make the most of the opportunities that come your way!

When you find yourself feeling disappointed after applying for a job or being passed over for a promotion, remember that there are often other opportunities available to you. Take some time to reflect on the situation and see if there are any other factors that were at play when considering your candidacy. If you've done all of this and still feel like quitting, then it may be time to start looking for a new job. However, when making decisions about when the right time is, there are many factors that should come into play when deciding what's best for you personally as well as professionally.

Can You Explore Externally and Try to Progress Internally?

For some, the best option to explore what is next may be to explore both an external path and an internal one. You won't know what is out there unless you start to look. You have to be careful in looking for a job externally because you don't want to jeopardize the opportunities internally. At the same time, most people can safely apply for and pursue jobs externally without overtly jeopardizing their current jobs.

So, what if you land an external offer, but really want to stay at the current company? Then, think about why you want to stay. Is it because of the comfort? Or, is it because of something else?

Whatever it may be, try to avoid using that external offer to secure a better offer internally. Generally, people start looking externally for their next career move because of some serious concerns or limits at their current organization. These will not change with a new title or compensation. And, if you use that offer to secure a better offer internally, it can also backfire on you. In fact, you could lose both jobs. So, be careful in how you proceed if you are trying to use the external job as leverage for advancement internally.

The Great Resignation is as strong as ever because people are tired - of doing more for less. They want to find their passions and to work with people they like. Often, that means moving out of your comfort zone to see what else is out there. And, in doing so, you can find great new jobs and much higher compensation than ever before.

Don't hesitate to explore what options may be next for your career - internally or externally. It is your career and the only one that can make that happen is you. This means if you aren't happy with your current job, then you should take the steps towards what you want for your career.


Overwhelmed with the options? Work with a professional career coach to help you navigate the next steps to make the most of your career. Get your free consult.