If you’re reading this, you’re not alone. Overall, 32% of Americans are also looking to get out and away from their current job situations.
The strugglebus is at full capacity.
Being in a job situation that you hate is one of the most demoralizing situations to be in. That’s why this piece of content exists. To liberate your soul.
However, before we get started, keep in mind that quitting your job isn’t always the solution. Nor is it always the right time for you to be quitting, even if you really really really feel like it.
Some healthy alternatives to quitting are:
- Having a conversation with your supervisor or boss to work out the issue
- Considering if you’re actually working hard enough for the things you want
- Joining another department or asking for different responsibilities
Leaving your current company shouldn’t be a spur of the moment decision you have because one or two small and insignificant things happened that made you upset.
That being said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with leaving a toxic job situation. Being in a workplace or job position that is physically injuring, emotionally taxing, not paying you what you’re worth (merit based), or isn’t offering an opportunity for growth, is a losing game. Head for the hills.
“But how do I tell if I need a new job or not?”
It can be difficult to determine which signs point to quitting your job, especially if you are on the fence and this is your first time having to make a decision like this.
Here are some questions to help point you in the right direction:
- In 5 years, where do you see yourself within the company? Are you content with that thought?
- Do you get joy or fulfillment out of the results you produce?
- Do you partake in self-destructive behaviors (drinking, binge watching television, overeating, crying, etc) after or before work to mask or deal with the stress?
- Do you agree with the company’s values, ethics, and projections for the future?
- Are your bosses and supervisors encouraging, responsible, mentorship oriented, and invested in your success?
If you’re coming up with a bunch of no’s…then it might be time. Quitting your job isn’t always easy, but doing so can be liberating and help you find a healthier and professional path that will ultimately lead to a better life.
Here’s how to do it the right way.
How To Leave Your Current Job
Step 1. Realize It’s Time To Move On
The first and most important step to finally leaving your job is realizing that the job you currently have isn’t all that great.
You’ve got to come to the understanding that your potential isn’t being fostered, the future isn’t all that promising, and/or you have passions that lie elsewhere. These are all factors that your current situation isn’t providing for you.
This life is all about perspective. If you have the attitude that you’re lucky to be making $10.50 an hour at Taco Bell for the next 5 years then there’s really nothing anybody can do for you. If you’re content with that situation then great, that’s amazing. At the end of the day, you have to do you and know yourself.
I commend positivity and support making the most out of every situation.
BUT, if you’re not lying to yourself like the people who are pretending to be happy with that situation I just described, and you’re actually discontent and complaining about it all the time, then you’ve got to realize that part of the problem is the fact that you don’t understand why your job is so toxic.
If you aren’t convinced that your current position is wrong and that there are better opportunities out there, you will continue to rationalize and make reasons to stay.
Take a good hard look at yourself. Think about what you want out of your professional life and what kind of life you want your future self to have. Consider your work performance, skill sets, interests, and contributions to your company and the world.
If you know you’re worth more or feel like something’s missing, you’re definitely ready for the next step.
Step 2. Figure Out What You’re Supposed To Be Doing Instead
Thinking that you’re better than your current position or situation is all well and dandy, but there is a bigger picture to consider. You’ve got to realize what direction you want to head in if you’re unsatisfied with the current one.
Where are you going to go and what are you going to do after the breakup?
You’ve probably been working at dead end jobs that you hate or that don’t pay you well for a while now so you have probably forgotten (or never taken the time to understand) what you actually enjoy doing.
Your concept of who you are and what things matter the most are likely not that concrete in your mind because of a lack of will or opportunity to deeply consider them.
This is hugely problematic because if you don’t know what you want to do with yourself then you run the risk of getting stuck again when you move on to the next job. So it’s important to be self-aware and figure out exactly what you want.
Here’s how to do that:
- Think about what you do in your spare time. What do you do on the weekends? What do you do that gives you a sense of joy?
- Open your mind up to every possibility. If you could have an unlimited amount of time, no responsibilities, and money didn’t matter what you would be doing? Do not limit these thoughts.
- Literally, sit down with a piece of paper and a pencil in your hand and write down 25 dream jobs. I’m serious. 25 things that you could be doing with your life that would make you wildly happy and fulfilled. It doesn’t matter how outlandish or ridiculous they seem.
- Jump on Linkedin and map out real world jobs that correspond to your dream job(s). Put these in a column to the right of your dream jobs or on a separate piece of paper. Each “real” job should correspond to one of your dream jobs. When doing this exercise, look out for job environments, role descriptions, and company mission statements that align with your values.
Now you’ve got a picture of what kind of alternatives are possible and how close those opportunities are to your dreams. Those are the kind of jobs you should be going after.
Step 3. Seek Out Other Opportunities (In Real Life)
No, this is not the point where you quit your job…
Take a deep breath.
However, this is the point where you start doing this thing called putting in effort and actually applying for different new job positions. Remember all of those jobs you found on LinkedIn and Indeed?
Start applying for them.
As long as they fulfill the requirements you decided would inspire, energize and fulfill you, put in an application. Don’t apply for anything just to get slightly higher pay or some other incremental improvement over your last job.
If you do, you run the risk of backtracking and winding up in the same situation you’ve just worked hard to get out of. If you’ve found jobs that match up with your interests, apply.
When going through this application process, do yourself a favor and apply to 20 of those jobs. That’s right, 20. Just because you’ve reached enlightenment and decided which direction to take your life, doesn’t mean you’ll have a straight shot to your dreams. You have a much better chance of succeeding when you cast a wide net.
Also, the regular rules of job searching still apply. So be sure to cover the basics like representing yourself correctly and having a standout resume. You will give yourself the best chance to win.
“Awesome. Thanks, Ken. I’m totally gonna get the job now on my first try!”
Not so fast.
It is very much within the realm of possibility that you will apply and not get any of the jobs. DO NOT let this discourage you. Pursuing your passions and making your dreams happen takes time and dedication. Be willing to suffer through the temporary discomfort because it will be worth it in the end.
Simply going through the process of searching is giving yourself hope for a better future and your painting a better picture of what’s possible for yourself. Every experience going forward will be a learning one.
Part of getting a job your dream job is actually putting in the work and not giving up until you get there. If it was supposed to be easy…. well you know the rest. That’s why it’s not necessarily good for everyone to quit right away before they find the new better position.
Some of you will quit, be super inspired for a week, not find the new better job for a while, get discouraged, and then go right back to the old or bad job simply because you need a way to make ends meet. Or because you’re unwilling to give up temporary luxuries for the future good.
That’s a one-way ticket right back into the situation you tried to escape from and you’ll be just as disappointed as you were before.
Those of you who stick it out, you get it. Proceed.
Step 4. Be Confident In Yourself & Your Decision
It’s important to know exactly who you are. In fact, self – esteem is the most important aspect of this whole process.
You need to become a straight up sage guru of internal peace and confidence.
This is a huge decision, and if you’ve been more or less following the status quo your entire life, it’s going to come with a good amount of stress and indecision. That’s where your trust in yourself and knowing that you have more to offer the world comes in. You owe it to yourself to make sure that you’re fulfilled and content with your life.
If at any point during the decision-making process you start to develop doubt or talk down to yourself, stop and take a deep breath. Look yourself in the nearest mirror and remind yourself how capable you are and everything you have to offer. Then moonwalk back to reality.
Realize your passion. Believe in it. Trust your abilities. Have faith in the journey.
For some of you, it’s going to be very hard to make the decision to leave. Either you think that you and your coworkers are family, that your job needs you and in like 60 years everything will be alright once you get that assistant manager position.
But the truth is if you’re miserable, they’re not treating you properly, and you don’t have a promising future there, it’s not the right place for you.
Also, this is going to be hard to hear, but you’re most likely replaceable.
At the end of the day, they are a business so understand that you leaving is alright as long as you do it properly. When you leave, make sure that you have a sincere conversation with your boss or supervisor. Keep it classy.
Never burn bridges if you can help it.
But that’s about it. You’ve done it. You’re free from your job (or at least you just got really pumped walking through all of the steps and know how to do it properly). Congratulations!