How to Know When to Quit
Quitting a job is something we don’t usually view as a good thing. It is viewed as giving up, not trying hard enough, or sometimes not trying at all. However there are times when quitting might be the best way to launch yourself into your dreams. It was for me. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t terrifying but it was well worth the investment of faith into myself and taking the plunge. For that reason I wanted to write a post on when and why it’s okay to quit and when to take a hard right turn on the path of life.
It’s okay to quit a job when your job isn’t what you thought it would be. Of course, you have to give every job you undertake, whether that is in your career or just trying to earn some extra money, a good honest try. But if you find that your job is different than what you originally thought it would be or was told it would be—then it’s okay to quit. Depending on many different things that happen during your job search, your interview, to you getting the job, sometimes key details or red flags can be misinterpreted. Ideally it would be best to figure these key factors out before you start a job, but life is a busy, rushed place and sometimes in that hurry we skim the facts or miss parts of our job description. Worst yet, is when you find yourself in a job where you aren’t doing ANYTHING related to what you originally thought you would. If you find yourself in this situation, take a deep breath, look at where the problem is and move on to a new job or opportunity. (Side tip—talk to whoever hired you and see if some things about your job can be changed.)
It’s okay to quite a job when honestly dread it. We all (ALL) have “Monday Blues” every once in a while, but if you are finding yourself constantly dreading going to work you have a serious problem on your hands. Two thirds of your day (aka your life) is spend at work and one of those thirds is spent sleeping. If you are hating the majority of your time spent at work, something has to give. You need to either change your circumstances at work, switch positions, change departments, or find a new company to work for. Heck, go with a whole new career field if you really want! Nothing is holding you back. Okay, okay maybe YOU are holding yourself back. It can be terrifying to quit a job—believe me I quit my job when I was the breadwinner for my family not because it made sense but because I hated it. I get that you might have a specialized degree or 10+ years of experience in that field but does any of that matter if your life is spent counting down the days to retirement? There is a simpler way but it does require an investment of faith in yourself. That better way is to quit and look for a job better suited to your dreams and your ambitions. However no jump of faith sound be without careful consideration. That is why the next reason it’s okay to quit your job is critical:
It’s okay to quit your job if you have a plan. I never advocate quitting your job on a whim, or because the boss looked at your cross. Quitting a job, walking away from your income, and closing a chapter of your life requires serious consideration. It requires a plan. Have you thought about what you would like to do instead? Do you know how much money you need to survive and pay all of your bills? Have you applied elsewhere? Who is counting on you to provide for them? While it is important to consider big picture questions, don’t get caught up in your plan with little details such as, "will this look bad on my resume?" "Will I be wasting my degree/experience?" Or the worst one yet, that you are holding yourself back because of the unknown.
When I realized that I hated my last job I started forming a plan. I knew how much money I needed to make a month for my family to pay the bills. I seriously (spending days and weeks on end) contemplated why I hated this job, how I could avoid that in the future, and what would be a job I would love. Then when I had my dream job in mind, which involved starting my own business, I figured out what that would take and what that would mean for my future. Then I gave it over into the Lord’s hands. When I did all those things, life happened fast and I quit rather quickly. While it might have looked like I had no plan, I did. It was a plan that had a lot of faith and hope and questions in it, but it was a plan.
So what is your plan? Are you dreading one more day at your current job? Then take a serious look inward and ask yourself if quitting is right for you. When you feel trapped inside a career or profession that is not fulfilling, doesn’t bring you happiness, and is draining you of excitement, then never be afraid to quit. The right job will come your way if you are actively seeking it. Don’t be afraid of your resume, and don’t be afraid of your amazing future—even if you can’t see that far ahead just yet.