"Just like with any big topic in a relationship, it helps immensely if your partner feels heard and understood. Something as simple as mirroring back what they’re saying can go a long way towards easing some of the tension and concern.” – Julie Houghton, Après
“Quitters never win. Winners never quit.”
Whoever mouthed that phrase clearly never had a misogynistic a**hole of a boss or was stuck in “cubeland“ when they “had always wanted to be a painter.” Let’s start with this: quitting your job is okay. You tried it. You hated it. It’s okay to move on. It’s okay to leave that $200k salary in your finance job for a huge pay cut as a teacher simply because you’ve always wanted to work with children. It’s okay to leave your cushy job with benefits because your boss has sent you straight to therapy for countless years of emotional damage. The average American spends 90,000 hours of their lives at work. The kicker? Deloitte University found that only 13% of Americans are passionate about what they do. WTF?
It is okay to quit your job. Period.
Now obviously it’s not that simple. Unless you’re in your early twenties with no responsibilities to anyone or anything except the open road of possibilities that is life, you’re probably cringing while reading this. You may have a partner to think about or children or parents you’re taking care of financially. Perhaps you have a job you’re contracted into that you have to stick out. Or maybe you just need the money, and there are no job openings in your field. We’re here to tell you we hear you, and we’re here to help. Have you heard of our parent company Talentedly yet? Career coaching for the cost of a gym membership. Yes, it is that simple. #ShamelessPlug.
Find Your Why
Before you go all Bridget Jones (although we know that would feel ah-mazing), figure out why you want to quit your job. Sounds easy enough, right? Maybe not. Once you really delve into why you want to quit, you might find that it’s not the job you hate, it’s the people you hate. You might find that it’s a particular person that just gets under your skin day after day. If you do love your job, is there a way to make work more enjoyable with said person there? I once had a roommate who worked as an architect, and she told me that whenever people at the office were driving her batty, she would just pretend they were interns and didn’t know any better. She said it gave her all the patience she needed to get through the day with them without any of the added stress of taking on their workload or picking up their slack.
If it’s not the people, is it the job itself? Could you find another role in the same company that reignites your passion? Would a promotion help? Did you get a promotion and now feel overwhelmed with the stress of your new role? Asking the tough questions helps when on the search for finding career fulfillment. Use your Why Exercise (and ask your career coach *wink, wink*) to see if quitting is right for you because it sure does come with side effects.
Telling Those You Love (Like?)
You’ve now decided that quitting is the absolute best decision for you, what next? Know that “it can take roughly one month to find a job for every $10,000 of the paycheck you would like to earn.” Once you’ve understood the core issue of why you want to find a new job, you can take it to the table with your partner.
Use the above salary estimate to give yourself a definitive and binding timeline for finding a new job. This is important because you and your partner need to be able to plan accordingly, especially if it’s a situation where you feel you have to quit immediately before locking into another job. It will take time. A killer job opportunity most likely won’t appear out of thin air (although we are definitely manifesting that for you). So be patient – with yourself and with your partner. Know that this is a big stressor on them as well, and be gentle.
Explain your “why.” You’ve spent so much time defining why you want this change for yourself. Share this information with your partner openly and honestly. It’s important to let them know that you value their opinion as well, but be firm in your decision, so they know this is the best choice for you and your future.
Keep open lines of communication throughout your hunt. Let them know when you have interviews lined up and which jobs you’ve applied to. Let them know when you need a mental health day to detox from the stress of the job hunt. If things get too difficult financially, find a side hustle to help pay the bills.
Find your person. If your partner is feeling the stress of your decision, venting to them about your frustrations in job hunting is only going to add to the heat. Communicating with your partner is important, but be mindful that your decision to leave affects the both of you. Try finding a friend you can confide in when you’re feeling discouraged or a career coach that can help get you back on the right track.
If you find that you can’t quit immediately and need to wait for another contract first, try to make the best of the situation. Having a tough day at the office and coming home with that same energy can put a strain on your relationship, especially if you find this to be recurring. Find things about your job that you still love, even if it’s packing a creative lunch for the office that you can look forward to or finding a coworker you enjoy being around. Perhaps you can lift the spirits of the office by bringing in a cup of coffee for your cubicle neighbor or praising an associate for a job well done and finding little ways to make the office a brighter place during the job hunt can make all the difference.