Deciding whether to quit your job and focus fully on school is a big decision that requires careful thought. On one hand, quitting work frees up more time for studying and getting better grades. On the other, you may rely on the income and work experience.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Quitting your job to focus on school can be beneficial if you’re struggling academically or if your job is causing you significant stress.

But make sure you can afford to quit and have a plan for replacing income and gaining work experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through all the key factors to weigh as you consider quitting your job as a student. We’ll look at the pros and cons, how to assess your financial situation, strategies for replacing income, and tips for explaining the employment gap on your resume.

With some planning and self-reflection, you can make the best decision for your education and career.

Assess Your Academic Performance

One of the first steps in determining whether you should quit your job to focus on school is to assess your academic performance. This involves evaluating how your grades and coursework are affected by your current work commitments.

Are grades and coursework suffering?

Take a close look at your recent grades and coursework to determine if there has been a decline in your performance. Are you struggling to keep up with assignments, missing deadlines, or receiving lower grades than usual?

If so, it may be an indication that your job is negatively impacting your academic success.

According to a study conducted by the American Psychological Association, working more than 20 hours per week can have a detrimental effect on students’ academic performance. It can lead to increased stress levels, lack of focus, and limited time for studying and completing assignments.

Identify where you’re struggling

Another important aspect to consider is where you’re struggling academically. Are there specific subjects or areas of study that are more challenging for you? Identifying these areas can help you determine if quitting your job would provide you with the necessary time and focus to improve in those areas.

Additionally, consider seeking academic support such as tutoring or extra study resources to help you overcome these challenges. Many universities offer academic assistance programs that can provide guidance and support to students who are struggling in specific subjects.

Evaluate study habits and skills

Take a moment to reflect on your current study habits and skills. Are you able to dedicate enough time to studying? Do you have effective study techniques in place? Evaluating these factors can help you determine if you’re maximizing your academic potential while juggling work responsibilities.

If you find that your study habits and skills need improvement, consider seeking guidance from your professors or academic advisors. They can provide valuable advice and resources to help you develop effective study strategies.

Remember, quitting your job is a big decision that should be carefully considered. It’s important to gather all relevant information and assess your academic performance before making a final decision.

Consider the Job’s Impact

When contemplating whether to quit your job to focus on school, it’s important to consider the impact your job has on your overall well-being and academic success. Here are a few factors to consider:

Is work causing significant stress?

If your job is causing you significant stress, it may be affecting your ability to focus and perform well in school. Stress can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health, making it difficult to balance school and work responsibilities.

Take a moment to assess whether the stress from your job is impeding your academic progress and overall happiness.

Are hours flexible for school?

Flexibility is crucial when it comes to balancing work and school. If your job offers flexible hours that allow you to attend classes, study, and complete assignments without feeling overwhelmed, it may be worth considering keeping your job.

On the other hand, if your work schedule conflicts with your school schedule and makes it difficult for you to prioritize your education, quitting your job may be a necessary step.

Does the job align with your major/career goals?

Consider whether your current job aligns with your major or career goals. If your job is unrelated to your field of study and does not provide valuable experience or skills that can benefit your future career, quitting may be a viable option.

However, if your job is relevant to your desired career path and offers opportunities for growth and advancement, it may be worth finding a way to balance work and school.

Ultimately, the decision to quit your job to focus on school is a personal one that depends on various factors. It’s important to evaluate the impact your job has on your academic performance, assess the flexibility of your work schedule, and consider the alignment between your job and your long-term goals.

Remember to prioritize your overall well-being and academic success when making this decision.

Evaluate Finances

Before making the decision to quit your job and focus on school, it is crucial to evaluate your finances. This will help you determine if you can financially support yourself during your studies. Here are some important factors to consider:

Estimate tuition and living costs

Start by estimating the total cost of your tuition and living expenses. Research the tuition fees of the educational institution you plan to attend, and factor in other costs such as textbooks, transportation, housing, and meals.

It is important to have a clear understanding of how much money you will need to cover these expenses.

Make a budget without job income

Once you have estimated your expenses, create a budget that does not include income from your job. This will allow you to see how your finances will be affected without a regular source of income. Consider all your monthly expenses, such as rent, utilities, groceries, and transportation.

Calculate how much money you will need to cover these expenses and determine if you have enough savings or alternative sources of income to support yourself.

Explore savings, financial aid, loans

If you find that your savings alone may not be enough to sustain you during your studies, explore other financial options. Look into scholarships, grants, and financial aid programs that may be available to you.

Additionally, consider the possibility of taking out student loans to cover your expenses. However, it is important to carefully evaluate the terms and interest rates of any loans you may consider, as they will have long-term financial implications.

Remember to consult with a financial advisor or student counselor for personalized guidance on managing your finances while focusing on your education.

Find Ways to Replace Income

Deciding to quit your job to focus on school is a major decision that requires careful consideration. One of the key factors to consider is how you will replace your income during this period. While it may seem daunting at first, there are several viable options available to help you financially support yourself while pursuing your education.

Tutor, freelance in your field

If you have expertise in a particular subject or skill, consider offering tutoring services or freelancing in your field. Tutoring can be a flexible and lucrative option, allowing you to set your own rates and schedule.

Additionally, freelancing in your field can provide valuable work experience and networking opportunities. Websites like and Upwork can help you find clients and gigs that align with your skills and interests.

Work study, internship, temp gigs

Another option to replace your income is to explore work study programs, internships, or temporary gigs. Work study programs offer part-time employment opportunities on campus, allowing you to earn money while still being able to focus on your studies.

Internships can provide valuable hands-on experience in your chosen field while potentially offering financial compensation. Temporary gigs, such as event staffing or seasonal jobs, can also be a great way to earn income while maintaining flexibility in your schedule.

Cut expenses if needed

If you find that your current income or potential alternative sources are not sufficient, it may be necessary to cut expenses to make ends meet. Take a close look at your budget and identify areas where you can reduce spending.

This could include cutting back on dining out, entertainment expenses, or shopping for non-essential items. Consider creating a budgeting plan and exploring resources like Mint or You Need a Budget to help you track your expenses and make informed financial decisions.

Remember, replacing your income while focusing on school requires careful planning and a proactive approach. It’s important to explore multiple options and find a solution that works best for your unique situation.

By taking the time to evaluate your skills, consider alternative sources of income, and make necessary adjustments to your expenses, you can create a financial plan that supports your educational goals.

Include Experience on Your Resume

When considering whether to quit your job to focus on school, it’s important to think about how it will impact your resume. While leaving a job to pursue education may raise questions for potential employers, there are ways to position this decision in a positive light.

List reason for leaving as “Focus on Education”

On your resume, be sure to clearly state your reason for leaving your job as “Focus on Education.” This will indicate to employers that you made a deliberate decision to prioritize your studies and further your knowledge in a particular field.

By being transparent about your motives, you will demonstrate your commitment to personal and professional growth.

Highlight transferable skills gained

Even though you may not have been working in a field directly related to your future career, it’s essential to highlight the transferable skills you gained during your employment. These skills can include things like time management, teamwork, communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills.

Emphasizing these abilities will show potential employers that you possess valuable qualities that can be applied to various roles.

Include relevant class projects

In addition to showcasing your work experience, it’s important to include relevant class projects on your resume. This will demonstrate your ability to apply your knowledge and skills in a practical setting.

Whether it’s a research project, a group presentation, or a case study analysis, including these projects will give potential employers a better understanding of your capabilities and your dedication to your education.

Remember, your resume is a reflection of your qualifications, experiences, and goals. By including your decision to focus on education, highlighting transferable skills, and showcasing relevant class projects, you can present yourself as a well-rounded and determined candidate to future employers.


Deciding whether to leave your job and focus fully on school requires carefully weighing factors like finances, academic struggles, career goals, and work-life balance. With some planning around income replacement and resume building, quitting can be beneficial for many students feeling overwhelmed.

But assess the trade-offs fully – an ideal option may be cutting back work hours rather than quitting entirely. With a thoughtful approach, you can make the best choice for your education, health, and future career success.

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