by Matt Alderton | February 01, 2013
As children, we're taught that quitting is bad because "winners never quit and quitters never win." Anyone who's had a horrible job, however, knows that things aren't always so simple. In fact, sometimes winners do quit, and sometimes their quitting is a big, big win. Not when Scott wants to quit the soccer team, perhaps, or when Suzy wants to quit piano lessons — but certainly when you're stuck in a job you loathe doing.

"Quitting a job can negatively impact your career and disrupt your personal life. But staying in an undesirable situation can be worse," admits Harvard Business Review Contributing Editor Amy Gallo.

If it's time to quit your job — either because you hate it or because you're not succeeding at it — do it slowly, thoughtfully, professionally and with a clear plan for what comes next.

"People should quit to secure a positive role, not on an emotional whim to avoid a negative situation," Daniel Gulati, co-author of "Passion & Purpose: Stories from the Best and Brightest Young Business Leaders," tells Gallo. "If you truly hate what you're doing, you should absolutely leave but not before you identify something that you have a good chance of loving in the future."

Once you have a plan in place, exit gracefully, says Leonard Schlesinger, the president of Babson College and co-author of "Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future." "There's nothing worse than taking a bad situation and leaving it badly," he tells Gallo. "How you leave is as important as how you arrive."

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