Should I Quit My Job

“Should I quit my job?”  It’s a common question that bounces around in our heads from time to time (for some, more than others).  Step one is to make sure you know how to quit your job.

Whether personal or professional, break-ups of any kind create a myriad of emotions and mental “wear and tear.”  Still, they are inevitable in the normal course of life; as many of us come to the painful realization that we’ve outgrown a relationship, or either paradoxically, have not been allowed to grow while involved in one.

The uncertainty and fear of leaving something that we know for something that we don’t know, (no matter how bad), keeps most of us mired in relationships way beyond the many red flags and warning signs along the way.

But there’s a price to pay. You begin to feel bitter, not better.

Such was the case some years ago, when I worked as an analyst at a prestigious financial institution that I started at while in college. By “traditional” standards, it was indeed a “good job.”  The pay was competitive, the perks were impressive, and it looked awfully good on a resume.

The problem?

I hated it. Though it allowed me to be blessed to buy a home and have other material trappings, (and I was grateful), the trade-off was my peace of mind and sense of purpose. I knew deep down that it was not the line of work that spoke to my strengths, lifestyle, or value system. And to make matters worse, my boss was oppressive with the sensitivity of Howard Stern!

The everyday stress caused me to have frequent migraines and other “aches,” and my soul felt like it was dying a little each and every day.  It even spilled over into my personal life as well.  Back then I must admit, I definitely wouldn’t win any Ms. Congeniality contests.

Then, years later, came “D” day. After some soul searching and a chain of events, I decided to step out on faith and gave my 2-weeks resignation, after years of turmoil.  I ignored the nay-sayers and folks who thought it was a pretty radical move for a pretty rational by-the-book type of woman.

Enter 2010. I’m healthier, spiritually “wealthier” and most days, I can’t wait to get out of bed and start my day! And it can be the same for you too.

Life is short and uncertain. And contrary to popular opinion, it’s not totally unrealistic to expect to find job satisfaction as part of the benefits package of one’s career. Even in today’s economy.

But, it’s important to recognize that each situation is different. Choose wisely.
What I can tell you for certain is that “job security” is by and large becoming extinct. But keep the faith, knowing that you are ultimately responsible for your own happiness.

Here’s how to know when it’s time to go!

1.    The thought of Monday morning and starting a week of work makes you anxious and or depressed. (See: Sunday Night Blues)

2.    You’ve secretly thought of ways to kill your boss, either in the plot to a short fictional story or in real life.

3.    You’ve started to steal things at work just to get even—whether it’s time, money, or supplies.

4.    You sleep, drink, or eat in excess.

5.    You work everyday on a job you hate and you’re still way over your head in debt. In fact, the shopping is to compensate for the grief and feelings of emptiness. The sadder you become, the more you shop. The more you shop, the more you need to keep your job to pay the bills. It’s a vicious cycle.

If you could answer yes to at least 4 out of five of the above criteria, it may be time to write your boss a “Dear John” letter and get out of that joint.

Here are a few things to remember about planning your work exit strategy if you quit your job without having another one lined up:

- Save for that rainy day now; a Tsunami is a comin’!

- Cultivate a side hustle that you can do from home until times get better. For me it was writing. For you it could be web design, basket making, babysitting, blogging, or baking cakes.

- Join an organization devoted to your industry or hobby. Many times they offer health insurance, a job bank, consulting services, and ongoing support.

- Pray. Trust me prayer really can change things for the better.

- Start living below your means, or at least within them. Remember for every gain there’s a sacrifice.

Though your departure may be met with some uneasiness and self-doubt, it’s a small price to pay for happiness on the other side. Remember, “no pain no gain.”

This is a post by Jennifer Brown Banks, a veteran freelance writer and pro blogger. She holds a B.A. in Business Management. Visit her site @

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