Career Advice

Rage Quitting: What it is and Why You Shouldn’t Rush to Do

job rage quitting

Ever been tempted to stalk out of the office during a rage-inducing day at work? We’ve all been there! While so-called “rage quitting” remains a fantasy for most workers, reports suggest that more and more workers are leaving their jobs mid-shift because the physical and moral toll gets just too high.  

With recent stats from Gallup showing that 74% of actively disengaged workers are actively seeking new employment, we figured now would be the perfect time to address issues surrounding anger at work.  

What is a “Rage Quit”?

Job rage quitting means that you are so wound up and infuriated that you decide to walk out of the job with no prior warning. Some may make a dramatic exit like the notorious Jet Blue flight attendant did in 2010, earning himself a Wikipedia entry

The man grew so frustrated with the job that one day he announced that he’s tired from getting abused by passengers over the public plan speaker, grabbed two beers, and exited the plane via an emergency chute. 

Some rage quitters confront their bosses before throwing in the towel, while others leave without a trace (causing plenty of confusion and worry among colleagues). 

While rage quitting a job may seem spontaneous, most people who resort to leaving in this way experience dissatisfaction for weeks, months, or even years beforehand. In this way, exiting the office in a fit of haste can feel cathartic or freeing (at least for a few minutes!).

quitting job spontaneously

Is Rage Quitting Bad?

In short, yes. Although rage quitting may provide you with a spicy anecdote to tell strangers at parties, it’s unlikely to do you any favors in terms of careers prospects

There are exceptions, of course. In the unlikely event that you feel endangered or threatened at work, it is perfectly reasonable to remove yourself from the situation and seek legal help and advice. 

Generally speaking, however, rage quitters can expect to experience the following negative consequences: 

  • Loss of income: If you’ve been keeping an eye on the news in recent months, you’ll know that the economy is in serious turmoil. Shockingly, around half of Americans have less than $600 in savings. Unless you have more significant reserves in the bank, quitting your job could put you in a difficult financial situation.
  • Reputational damage: In today’s increasingly connected world, a rage quit is unlikely to slip under the radar. If potential employers know about your moment of madness, they may be reluctant to offer you a job. 
  • You may have to explain yourself: If you manage to secure an interview for a new job, the hiring manager will probably ask you about your reasons for leaving the previous job. This could make for a very uncomfortable conversation.
  • An extended job search: A damaged reputation and poor references could lead to a long and disheartening job search.  

What to Do Instead of Rage Quitting a Job

Okay, we’re more than willing to admit that your boss may be a difficult and (dare we say it) grating character. Hey, you may even spend your hours at work counting down the seconds until you can leave. However, you’re an amazing professional with so much to offer – you can do better than succumbing to your anger! 

If you feel like rage quitting a job, here’s what to do instead:

  1. Escalate your discontent to the management or HR
  2. Discuss the problem with your colleagues and team up 
  3. Start refreshing your resume and scheduling interviews on the side

1. Escalate your Discontent to the Management or HR

If your employer doesn’t respect you or puts too much pressure on you, you’re unlikely to be the only employee feeling angry and dissatisfied. By escalating your discontent to HR, you can benefit the lives of your colleagues and work toward finding a solution for everyone. Potential outcomes may include a pay rise, extended benefits, conflict resolution sessions, or even a transfer to another department. 

2. Discuss the Problem with Your Colleagues and Team Up

There’s power in numbers, so don’t be afraid to discuss your problems with colleagues if managers are unwilling to heed your complaints. Start by meeting with your workmates in a safe environment and ascertaining whether you’re all on the same page regarding the issues at work.

Next, work together to write a firm yet polite letter addressing your manager’s manager or a member of HR about your collective discontent. Such a document will ring alarm bells in any business and incentivize senior managers to act.  

3. Start Refreshing Your Resume and Scheduling Interviews 

There’s nothing wrong with job searching alongside your day job. In fact, browsing job boards, signing up to a staffing agency, or optimizing your LinkedIn profile can be a more productive funnel for your anger. 

Shift the focus from your discontent at work towards a zealous obsession with securing a job where you are treated better and compensated more! Specifically, try:

To Conclude

So, there you have it – a quick guide to rising above the rage quitting trend. If you decide to leave your job and manage to secure alternative work, remember to approach the quitting process in a calm and collected manner. You’ll thank yourself in the long run!


  • Elena Prokopets

    Elena runs content operations at Freesumes since 2017. She works closely with copywriters, designers, and invited career experts to ensure that all content meets our highest editorial standards. Up to date, she wrote over 200 career-related pieces around resume writing, career advice... more

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