IAS Preparation: To Quit or Not to Quit Job

A lot of IAS hopefuls who are working professionals face this dilemma – whether to quit their job or not for IAS preparation. This is a dicey situation as there are inherent risks involved in both sides. This article hopes to enlighten you on the pros and cons of quitting your job for your IAS exam preparation.

Pros and Cons for quitting a job for UPSC Preparation

If you are not working, and are a fresh graduate, chances are you are firm on your IAS decision and have decided to spend your full time preparing for this demanding exam. You have age on your side. You are probably supported financially by your family and have no responsibilities other than studies. This is an ideal situation if you are a serious IAS aspirant. You should leave no stone unturned in your efforts and be able to crack the UPSC exam with the right guidance and motivation.

However, not everyone is this fortunate. Some may have to take up a job due to family obligations and some others would have chanced upon the IAS dream only well into their professions. If you are one among those, a constant nagging question on your minds would be – ‘Should I quit my salaried job or not?’

First of all, let us see the advantages that a person with professional experience will have in the UPSC IAS exam:

  • He/she will have a better world view. This would help in the IAS interview.
  • Generally, a job infuses a certain level of maturity and professionalism in a person.
  • With a job you can have some savings before you embark on your IAS journey. This way you have a backup plan if things don’t work out.

The cons of preparing for the IAS exam while working a full-time job:

  • The IAS exam requires intense studies for at least 10-12 months. Juggling a 9 – 5 job with it is no mean task and can be draining both physically and mentally.
  • You would be hard-pressed for the time all the while.
  • Your work can be affected because of your IAS preparation.
  • At times when your job gets demanding, you might not be able to focus on your IAS preparation.
  • The discipline and work ethics that you would have to inculcate while preparing for the IAS exam with a job will take you a long way in your life.

Pros of quitting your job for IAS preparation:

  • You will get more time to focus on your IAS preparation.
  • Your attention will not be diverted to other things on the job.
  • You can join a coaching class for your IAS preparation. Enroll for BYJU’S coaching classes for the best IAS coaching in the country.

Cons of quitting your job for UPSC preparation:

  • Your monthly salary will stop and this can affect your life unless you have a solid amount in your savings account.
  • Your responsibilities to your family can be affected.
  • You will regret your decision if you don’t make it through the IAS exams.
  • If you have been happy with your job, it will be an emotionally tough decision.

Things to do before you resign your job:

  • You must be absolutely certain that the IAS is what you want. Don’t do it for your family or friends.
  • Make sure you have a plan B in case you are not able to realise your IAS dream.
  • Ensure you have enough financial backing so that your life and your family’s life are unaffected by the loss of your monthly income.
  • Go through the UPSC syllabus and the basic books beforehand to get a feel of UPSC.
  • Talk to people who have previously cleared the IAS exams while on a full-time job. Get useful tips and suggestions from them.

Also, Read | Strategy for Working Professionals to crack UPSC


Assess your situation and make an informed decision on quitting your job or preparing while working. Whatever decision you take, you must stick with it. Don’t waste time pondering over quitting. Just take a stance and work around it.

How to ensure you stick to your decision?

  • Stick a poster on your study room wall or table with the words, ‘Just Do It!’ Read it every day and reiterate in your head why you are aiming at clearing the IAS exam.
  • Create a support system – a family member or a close friend whom you can seek counsel for emotional comfort in times of duress.
  • Remember that going back and forth will get you nowhere. Use the best resources available to you and work hard with dedication and perseverance.

Also, Read | How Discipline Can Help You Crack UPSC Civil Services Exam

Aspirants can check UPSC results to analyse past year trends and prepare accordingly.

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