I have been under a lot of stress at my job - hundreds of hours of overtime in the past year, vacation and sick time tacitly discouraged. It's not that I can't take a day or a few hours of time off, but I know if I do I'll have to make it up in overtime later with almost absolute certainty. There was recently a (customary - not legally mandated) national holiday, which I got off, and then was asked to make that up on another day.
I'm tired, I'm getting stress-related nervous tics (chewing my mouth), which I never had before, and now insomnia.
I have no predictability on when I'll be assigned overtime. I am exempt, so I get nothing extra for it.
I have been trying to conduct a job search like this, but I'm always exhausted on the little time I have off, and I don't have any predictability on when I'll be available for a call or meeting with a new potential employer.
I have been thinking of quitting my job - I have a decent amount of savings and could sustain myself through a job loss, and even most reasonable emergencies if one happened for probably 6 months without trouble. The unemployment rate in my country is less than 5% right now and I am in a very high demand profession (I am also underpaid relative to the mean, so if I got a job I would get a raise).
I'm asking mostly if it is ever acceptable or smart to leave a job to look for another one? I don't feel I can give my job search the attention it needs at this point - especially because for the positions I want at companies, all day interviews are likely required and pretty standard across the industry - at least for top quality employers.
I hate to take this step, but I see little other recourse. I don't really have the time to reasonably look otherwise, and I am incredibly burnt out besides.
Are there any negatives? Any positives?