Yes, you’ve thought about quitting your job. Maybe it’s just an occasional fantasy. It springs up when you’re stuck working a Saturday. Or maybe it’s become an obsession, complete with pros and cons lists.
Either way, before you hand over that resignation letter, answer this: Why do you want to quit?
Read more to find out whether your motivation is a clear sign it’s time for something new, or a sign of something much different.
1. My boss/peer/team sucks.
Think of that person who makes you want to leave. What is it about them that bothers you the most?
When you focus on other people’s behaviors, you become totally blinded to your own.
Instead, look for this drives-you-crazy attribute in yourself. Say you think your boss is too out of touch with the details of your team’s work. How might you be out of touch with the details of her work? Maybe you consider your company’s leadership to be sexist. Where can you find a genuine example of your own sexism at work?
Turn it around. Where am I acting this way?
This isn’t a comfortable process, but quitting a job only to recreate the same problems for yourself isn’t comfortable either.
If you want to really dive deep into this practice, check out Byron Katie’s Judge Your Neighbor worksheet. This shit is life-changing.
2. I don’t have a clear career path.
Frustrated because management hasn’t laid out a clear career ladder for you to climb? Wishing your boss would give you more direction about what you should learn next and what job you should be preparing for?
Your growth is one thing you cannot delegate.
Take ownership. What do you want?
With endless paths, no one can pick the right one for you but you. You know how to learn. Figure out what you want, and start learning. Or, if you don’t have a clear vision, accept that, and take action to help you figure it out.
(I’ve helped many clients figure out what kind of career they really want, and then make it theirs. If you’re feeling a bit stuck here, perhaps in analysis paralysis, we should talk.)
3. I work too many hours.
You’re working a lot of hours. More than feels healthy.
Let’s say, starting tomorrow, you stop working so much. You come in at 9 and focus on your work until it’s time for a leisurely lunch. You break up the afternoon with a quick walk outside. After more focused work, you head home just before 5.
If you do this, tomorrow and every work day, what’s the worst that can happen?
Stop it. What’s the worst that can happen?
Your boss does not want you to work yourself into a heart attack. Do you know what she wants? She wants results. And she most likely also cares about you personally. You know that continuing at this pace will not get you better results. So why do you do it? That’s the key to this question. Figure out what you’re afraid of so you can decide whether avoiding what you fear is worth the cost.
4. I hate my job.
I believe you. And I have a hunch that because of this, you spend a fair amount of time thinking about all the reasons you hate it so much. I’m going to push you (lovingly) in a different direction.
What do you love about your job? Where can you find gratitude for your work life, exactly as it is today?
Find gratitude. What do you love about your job?
I worked hard to make it to my envied leadership position at a respected, fast-growing tech startup. I was proud. Then after a friend’s innocent questions, I realized that while I loved the people, I didn’t like anything I was doing.
(How could that be, when I had worked so hard to get there?!)
Suddenly overwhelmed by the sense that I was wasting my life away, I turned to gratitude. When I shifted my focus in this way, I started noticing opportunities. Everything from an open seat near natural light, to an invitation to talk with coworkers about mental health.
Ultimately, I did leave that job. And I was able to feel good in the interim. Plus, I left with a more realistic view of what I was leaving, and what I was genuinely grateful for. The result? No bridges burned.
5. I’m so excited for what’s next!
You have a clear vision of what you want from your career. You know the next step to take towards that vision, and it’s a step you simply can’t take while working this job. You’re not resentful towards the people you work with; you’re too busy focused on the horizon. You can’t hardly wait to get moving on this next life chapter!
Congrats! Sounds like it might be time to move on. During this transition, be generous in your communications both at work and at home.
Be generous. How can you support the people around you?
Ask, how can I support you? Share your story authentically and with kindness. People will feel your genuine excitement. They’ll be happy for you, and admire your willingness to pursuit what lights you up, even when it’s scary! You may even inspire them to make a meaningful change in their own life.
The power of these tips
Before you call it quits, use these tips to shift from a victim mindset to a creator mindset. And remember that like everything else in life, you have the power to view your job dissatisfaction as something that is happening for you, not to you.
Not sure if you’re on the right path? Get your free workbook to clarify what you want and get back on track.