We have all had that one professional hell. I’m talking about the type of job that pays well but sends you home in tears every other night. I have already shared the brunt of this story, but what I didn’t share was the aftermath and I believe closure is important to fellow readers.
So, I quit my job.
By quit, I mean I gave them a generous three weeks notice and became the professional I wanted to be the whole time. Knowing my freedom waited on the other side of three weeks, I was more positive (if ever so slightly), thinking outside of the box, and taking more risks—what did I have to lose?
I confronted the manager; every time he started boiling and shouting like a witless imp-bot, I shouted back with, “Hey! You need to calm down right now,” and he would actually calm down. Whether he was counting the days until I left or not, this made the last few weeks so much better.
I felt in control, as if life was opening up for the first time since graduation.
Deciding my degree was worth something (I guess) and, paired with my sheer determination, I felt I could do and be whatever I wanted.
Naturally, as unemployment approached, I began questioning my decision.
I was fully prepared for this series of doubt; I had been through it before with my first failure. Additionally, the last three weeks went so well, I almost wondered if the events leading to my notice were imagined.
Spoiler Alert: the drama, lies and generally fucked-up instances were not imagined at all. So, here comes my advice, riding on a train of wisdom cats; “Choo-choo, meowthafuckas!!!”
Ask yourself these five questions before you put in your notice or burn your workplace to the ground:
#1: Are you miserable?
When you wake up in the morning, are you angry that you’re awake, knowing what awaits you at work even if it’s a normal workload? This is obviously not healthy and can ruin your day before it begins. Make sure you actively try to fix your attitude when answering this question. If the answer is still “yes,” then something’s gotta give.
#2: Do you feel like your life isn’t your own?
Are you worried about waking up in ten, twenty, thirty years and wondering if you did your best? We live in a world of speculation and judgement; but, if you are legitimately afraid, anxious even, about missing out on life, this is not good. If you have ever started thinking about future regret and physically began sweating, you know what I’m talking about.
#3: Is there anything you are doing to create the negative situation?
Self-evaluation is healthy and takes a lot of humility. If you quit a job simply because you are unhappy, it isn’t enough. You need to analyze and learn from every situation, ensure you did your best, and consider what could have been done better. Remember, the business is someone’s baby and you do not want to burn any useful, innocent bridges out of ego.
#4: Do you have any potential to grow in the business?
If a promotion for which you’re aiming is on the horizon, think about whether or not this will improve your state of being. For example, if obnoxious coworkers are ruining your job by chatting incessantly, the promotion might put you in your own office, solving that problem. However, if you have stopped gaining new skills and have no promotion opportunities, it’s time to move on. Plateaus are for landscapes, not careers.
#5: Is your job starting to affect your home or social life?
Obviously, every job affects your life outside of the office in some way. However, I recognized the severity of my situation when it began negatively affecting my marriage. I became a lump of anger and sadness. Husband had to scrape me out of bed every morning just to get me ready for work. It wasn’t fair to him or myself.
Once you ask yourself these questions, you will either A) have the confidence to move on or B) shed light on what’s really causing your situation.
Let me tell you this much: my choice in leaving was correct.
Growth is the most important trait you need to pinpoint in a career. I realize now, in my unqualified headspace, growth potential is key to success. A very successful, qualified CEO once told me (and I’m slightly paraphrasing here),
“You have no loyalties to a company when there are better opportunities out there.”
This really resonated with me for several reasons.
It means you do not need to be trapped in a job just because it is a job. It’s okay to struggle for a while before finding your niche. Until then, you should always keep your ear to the ground for new opportunities.
Through my self-analyzation, I realized the necessity of going back to school. Although financially this will be more difficult, I know to get where I’m going, I need the “MBA” stamp on my resume and in my brain.
So, if you ever needed something to convince you life is yours to control, let this be it.
Yeah, I know, nobody knows your struggle like you do. That is precisely why you need to be the one to analyze your situation and ask yourself those questions before selling yourself short or jumping off the cliff of questionable opportunity.
You got this. 😉