Back in July, when I announced to colleagues my decision to quit my full-time office job with nothing lined up, I was met with the same question “Where are you going to work next?” People were shocked. Some people were maybe envious because they too wanted to escape. I was often met with the same response “Nice for some, wish I could do that” *eye roll* Others couldn’t fathom how anyone can leave without having another job to walk straight into.
You may be underpaid, underappreciated, bored out of your mind, sick of the stress or tired of dealing with catty co-workers. When your job goes from normal work stress to pure dread of going in the next day, It’s time to bite the bullet and leave.
This is how I recently felt. I usually try not to let these things bring me down but a mixture of upped targets, being spoken to like trash over the phone, and my work environment as a whole really made me sad. I would struggle to get to sleep because I knew when I wake up, I’d need to drag myself back into an environment that made me feel anxious. My day was very repetitive and counter-productive. I would often fantasize about taking up a simple cleaning job (not knocking that in any way). The idea of working hard in an active job doing something straightforward seemed quite appealing to me.
For many people, the thought of not having it “all planned out” seems like a nightmare. But for me, having it all planned out is my idea of hell. Being in a corporate environment, chasing unreachable targets and possibly changing the way you are as a person to fit in… is not something I would ever want to do. Of course, not everyone is like that and I’m not bashing anyone who enjoys working in a corporate environment, I met some lovely, friendly angels at my last job who genuinely enjoyed chasing targets and were really brilliant at their job. It just wasn’t for me though and will never be.
Leaving had been on my mind for a good 6 months. The reason I waited so long was that I thought it might just be a phase, I mean most people don’t actually enjoy getting up at 6 am and dragging themselves to work right? So I pushed on until one day I couldn’t take it anymore. I was at work, something tipped me over the edge and I decided enough was enough. I made the decision to leave. Was I scared? Not at all! I’d already saved some money for a winter 2018 trip away but I thought f**k it! I’d rather have my freedom for a bit while I explore my options. I handed in my notice and felt INSTANT relief, happiness, excitement for the future. Even to this day, I wake up early feeling elated and motivated like never before 🙂
I was chatting to one of my close friends who did the same back last year. She really hated the confinements of her job, not to mention dealing with power-hungry managers and gossiping colleagues. She quit and has now started her own creative business, which only requires her to work a few days a week. Now, she’s happier than ever and the more people I see break away from the ball and chain, the happier it makes me!
If you are really unhappy with a job, Don’t stay there just because the guaranteed pay is appealing. I actually spent a lot of cash on unnecessary crap purely because I was unhappy, buying sugar-loaded coffee’s with flavoured syrup daily, convinced they helped me to stay awake and do a better job (lol). I would overindulge and comfort eat at lunchtime because it was the highlight of my day. Now, however, I make all my own food, I have a much more balanced diet. My creativity has come back with a vengeance! and I am so happy with my part-time job.
If you have a talent, if you are good with numbers, if you are a creative, an entertainer, an animal person – if you have some wacky idea then I’m sure you can use it to your advantage. Give it a go because life is too short to spend most of your waking life at a workplace you don’t enjoy.
Hold on! before you go skipping off to your manager’s office with your working notice in hand, It’s worth asking yourself these questions before quitting:
Is it just that Sunday doom feeling – We all get it no matter how much we enjoy our jobs because it means Monday is coming and saying goodbye to our freedom for another week. I noticed there was a problem when my Monday anxiety started setting in at 3 pm on a Sunday. It was a feeling in the pit of my stomach that I just couldn’t shake off. I was grumpy, irritable and a depressing person to be around. My poor boyfriend took the brunt of this, he has the patience of a saint.
Has your mindset changed? So my previous job actually changed my mindset even when I wasn’t at work. I wasn’t the happiest. The slightest thing seemed to annoy me, I became so precious about my free time that I stopped doing activities after work. If your loved ones are sick of hearing you moan about your job, if you make kop out excuses instead of attending things you enjoyed previously, then it’s time to go.
Are you constantly tired? – This can mean a number of things but for me, my job was making me mentally exhausted. No matter how much sleep I got or how much vitamin B12 I had, It was never enough. If you are in a constant state of exhaustion then you need to get out of there.
Are you lacking inspiration? – This for me was a biggie. I’m the type of person who finds inspiration in everything, I like to look beyond the surface. I was no longer inspired by ANYTHING. My job was so monotonous that everything became black and white. I stopped painting, attending classes/workshops, even exercise went straight out of the window.
Do you want to progress within the company? If you really have no interest in moving up in the company, if you don’t see yourself with the company next year – it’s time to start updating that CV.
Are you able to support yourself financially? Now this the most important and boring question. My saving habits used to be atrocious! If it wasn’t for the promise of a 2018 snowboarding adventure, I would never have saved a penny. In the end, I decided to quit a job I hate and sacrifice my adventure, for a period of freedom, health, and happiness.
Let me just add something. If you don’t regularly save and you’ve grown accustomed to having a swanky car on the drive, nice holidays and all of the extras in life that you don’t want to let go of, then no, you probably shouldn’t just up and quit.
I couldn’t be happier with my decision to leave. I’m working in a fun part-time job that I really enjoy at the mo. It’s within walking distance from my home and the environment is positive. In my spare time, I’m making an extra income from doing something I LOVE. (Spoiler alert! It’s not a pyramid scheme, Avon, juice plus or aloe living). You can read about how I make my extra income here.
If you are truly unhappy in a job, don’t let fear of the unknown hold you back. Money is renewable, time isn’t.
Good luck guys!