Quitting your job doesn’t have to be the hardest decision you’ll ever make.
“I’m not in trouble, am I?”
My boss Allan asked this question as we walked to the conference room for the 10 AM meeting that I’d set up the previous day. It was out of character for me to schedule an impromptu meeting with my boss, let alone one that needed to be held in private. He probably wondered if I was going to complain about something he’d done. Little did he know that I was nervous too, but for a different reason.
Shaky hands, increased heart rate, the butterflies in the pit of my stomach that made me wonder if I was going to fart – it was becoming intense. Simply put, I was a nervous wreck and I sensed Allan knew it, too.
Damnit, I knew I should’ve taken a beta blocker 20 minutes earlier.
In a few short moments, I’d be resigning from my six-figure career without having another job lined up and no other backup plan other than catching up on episodes of the Real Housewives of Atlanta. Even though I’d been weighing this decision for months (often resulting in crying spells), I thought I’d finally come to peace my decision.
Here I was second guessing myself again.
Numerous thoughts began swirling inside my head:
“You are a complete idiot.” “Are you really going to give up $100k+ a year, a generous annual bonus and 5 weeks of vacation because you aren’t fulfilled? GIRL, BYE!”
Why did I make such a bold move? (You can replace “bold” with “idiotic”, I’m not offended.)
ALLOW ME TO PROVIDE SOME HISTORY
I’ve been in the Corporate Security/Risk Management field ever since I finished grad school in 2006. Like most college graduates, I was ready to start making money and begin my ascent up the corporate ladder. I was ready and willing to take on the world.
I spent my first 4 years of corporate life working at the Sprint headquarters in Kansas. I was then recruited by T-Mobile and relocated to the greater Seattle area a few years later.
My time at T-Mobile lasted almost 7 years, and it was probably the last 3 years of my 7-year stint when I noticed that my heart just wasn’t in it anymore. There was no way to make Corporate Security exciting or appealing to me. That ship had sailed.
I always talked about finding another job, but I never looked as diligently as someone who’s actually serious about their job search. I had a well-paying job and I wasn’t completely miserable, so my efforts were lame.
My inner dialogue often consisted of all the reasons I should stay, and so I did.
REASONS WHY I STAYED
- I made great money for a job that was not very difficult. (What I didn’t realize at the time was that even the easiest job can become difficult when you don’t want to do it anymore.)
- 5 weeks of vacation is generous PTO package for any job. This ample time off gave me the opportunity to feed my wanderlust and take several international trips a year.
- Most people don’t have their dream job, so why should I be any different? (In hindsight, I realize how ridiculous that sounds.) I again convinced myself that my job was just a means to an end because it gave me the financial resources to do the things I enjoyed. I needed to get back to reality and find a way for that to be enough.
- My boss was down to earth, and I had a close knit relationship with my co-workers. Where else was I going to find that? Nowhere, I told myself.
For 2 more years, I trudged on. But over the course of the entire year of 2016, it became apparent to me that something had to give. The money wasn’t enough to pacify me any longer. I still thoroughly enjoyed my co-workers and appreciated our daily joke telling, but I had to remind myself that I could always see them even if we no longer worked at the same company.
After all, I wasn’t dying even though it felt like I was.
WHY I LEFT
No longer just complacent, I had morphed into a shitty employee.
I was so tired of my current job that I would get irritated whenever someone asked me a work-related question. How dare you expect me to perform my core job duties!
Boredom became the norm while I was at work. Sure, I had plenty of work-related projects I could have (and should have) been working on, but I was trapped in a web of boredom that got more suffocating with each passing day.
Think of boredom as an internal alarm. When it goes off, it is telling us something. It signals the presence of an unfulfilling situation. –Andreas Elpidorou, Philosophy professor
I would see my colleagues get recognized for their efforts on various projects and I knew that wasn’t ever going to me. And honestly, I didn’t even care. I knew I could be a productive, dedicated employee when I felt engaged and passionate about my work. After all, I had been that way before.
This realization became a source of depression because I felt like a horrible employee (which was accurate), and I no longer felt like an asset (which I wasn’t).
That’s when I knew it was time to go.
AFTER PUTTING IN MY NOTICE
When you’re not performing your best or seem uninterested in your job, guess what? Everybody else notices it too.
Allan could tell that I hadn’t been happy in my job for a long time, and he had been preparing himself for the day I was finally going to do something about it.
The conversation went well, and he understood where I was coming in. Having a boss that you can confide in is always a bonus!
YOU ARE NOT ALONE
When I told my colleagues that I was going to leave the company, their natural response was always something to the effect of, “Did you get another job? Where are you going next?”
When I told them that I didn’t have another job lined up and that I was leaving because my heart wasn’t in it, I was surprised at how many people echoed my same situation.
Probably 85% of the colleagues I talked to confided that they were also unhappy and unfulfilled in their jobs. Instead of thinking that I was foolish for leaving without another job lined up, they were impressed by my bravery and wished they could also make such a bold move. (This was also the moment I realized that MissCorporateDropout.com needed to happen.)
If you’re in a unfulfilling job and it’s sucking the life out of you, just know that you are not alone!
LET IT GO
As corny as it may sound, I firmly believe that we have to let go of what’s no longer serving us in order to make room for something bigger and better to come into our lives.
You can’t expect to meet Prince Charming while you’re dating Mr. Loser who treats you like shit. It just doesn’t work that way. You’ve gotta kick that loser to the curb and groom yourself so that you’re ready to accept Prince Charming when he arrives.
That’s how I looked at my job situation.
And while other women might think my loser boyfriend (or in this case, my job) might be an awesome guy, that didn’t take away from the fact that he (or “it”) was no longer a good fit for me.
If your job is not a good fit for you, consider letting it go.
They say “leap and the net will appear.” Are you ready to leap?
This post was proofread by Grammarly
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