Throwing in the towel, being a quitter, dropping out… there are few positive qualifications for quitting. In society, perseverance is much more valued. But sometimes, quitting is the best decision you can make. How do you do it? How do you leave a job that doesn’t make you happy?
If it’s Sunday night and your belly is aching, simply because the working week is starting tomorrow. If you find it hard to make it through the day. If you can’t remember what you liked about your job in the first place. If there’s no one at work you feel safe with. Then it’s probably time to call it a day. This is how you do that.
Quitting can be really scary. Especially if you have been working in the same place for a long time, because you’ve had all the time in the world to ask yourself difficult questions: are you even able to do anything else, will you settle there, will they like you there? And even more scary: how will you know if this other place is better than the one you’ve gotten used to?
Be inspired by the experiences of others who have made a change in their careers. Make a list with all the pros and cons regarding leaving and staying, and pay attention to the feeling that the lists invoke in you. The list of pros doesn’t have to be longer, but if the thought of staying makes you feel exhausted, that’s all you need to know.
Make a plan
The longer you wait, the bigger the chances that one day, you’ll be so frustrated that you’ll close the door behind you in an impulse. That’s one way of ending it, but even if the thought of doing so is extremely liberating, it’s not the sensible thing to do.
Make sure to prevent that overload from happening and make a plan. How can you make your departure as safe as possible? In the meantime, until you’ve figured out a plan, make sure you schedule half an hour each day to find some rest. That makes it easier to hang in there for a while. If you can, start working less hours in the meantime. That will save you time to focus on your future.
Ask for help
Let people who are close to you know that you’re looking for something new. At first, you tell a few people, only the ones you really trust. It will be a relief, and you’ll get a kick out of saying it out loud (yes, you’re really on your way to a new step!) and who knows what it might bring. Your friends and family may not immediately have a new job for you, but they might share some insight on who you are and what kind of job would suit you.
Take the step
There’s no such thing as 100 percent certainty. Don’t wait until you have researched, considered and doubted all 1320793520234 options, just make a solid plan and then, after carefully balancing the pros and cons, take the step. What’s the worst thing that could happen? Keep the following cliché in mind, because it’s true: it’s better to regret something you’ve done, than something you wanted to do but didn’t. You can do this.
Text: Dorien Vrieling - Photo: Christin Hume