Should I Quit My Job?

Should I Quit My JobOver 2 years ago, I hit a tipping point where I could no longer handle working at an office job. I remember this experience like it was yesterday because I wrote a post about hitting my tipping point, where I wrote out my feelings and what was going through my head while I sat in my cubicle. Luckily I was able to make a change for the better and haven’t looked back since.

Since then, I’ve continued to work for myself and am soon going to be celebrating my 3 year anniversary of being self-employed. It’s been an interesting journey but I have enjoyed it and have learned more about business (and myself) than I ever would have anticipated.

However, the thing I find most interesting is that since writing that post, more than 230 people have stopped by and left comments (and stories) explaining how they no longer enjoy their jobs and are looking for a change in their life. It amazes me how many people feel the way I did and how the stories vary from person to person.

Besides getting a lot of feedback in the comments, I also get emails everyday from people who read that post and fill out my contact form looking for advice and information on what they should do regarding their job or career.

In almost every email I receive, the most common question I get is…

Should I Quit My Job?

This one question comes up so often that I thought it would be worth publishing a post addressing it. It can be a really difficult decision, especially if your situation makes it tough to live without that job.

I always struggle to answer this question for people who contact me because the answer can vary so much depending the person and situation. I remember when I asked myself this question it took almost 6 months before I actually got the balls to quit. It can be a really scary thing to consider, especially when money is tight and you have bills to pay.

Here are a few quick things to consider when asking yourself the question. I hope these tips will at least give you an idea of whether or not you should actually consider quitting your job.

1. Make Sure Your Job Is the Problem

Before you do anything crazy (like saying I quit this afternoon), I highly recommend taking a nice long look at your life. Make sure that the job you have is actually the problem and that it’s not something else outside of work that is causing you to hate your job or career.

If you’re like me, you might come to realize that your job is in fact the cause of your stress and the reason you feel like you need a change in life. Others might find that their job is not the reason for wanting a change.

2. Create A Game Plan For the Future

If you decide that quitting your job is the best solution, I highly recommend creating a game plan for the future. The biggest mistake you can make is quitting your job with no idea of what you are going to do next.

What should your game plan cover? For starters, it should address your living expenses and savings. Can you get by for awhile without a paycheck? If so, make note of that. If you find money is tight, you might have to make your first step saving up a nest egg so that you can quit your job without being stressed. You could also focus on ways of reducing your expenses, which can help you stretch your savings even further.

Another thing that is important to consider is your benefits. If you have health insurance (especially family coverage), you might need to look at alternative options to see what is available. The same goes for life insurance, retirement accounts, etc.

3. Figure Out What Career Is Next

Besides creating a game plan, you should also start looking into jobs and careers that you want to do. The last thing you want to do is quit your job and have absolutely no idea what you want to do next. If working for yourself is one of the things you are considering, I highly recommend starting on the side while still working your job (it worked for me). That way you can start to build up some momentum before you flip the switch and make it a full-time effort.

4. Say I Quit!

Last but not least, you eventually have to say I quit and take the leap. From my own experience, I can honestly say this was the hardest step for me to take. I got very nervous about quitting a job since I had never done it before. I had no idea how to write a letter of resignation, nor did I know what to do with it once I did type one up.

One thing I will highly recommend is giving a two week notice. Despite how much you might hate your job, the one thing you don’t want to do is burn bridges. You never know what life might have in store for you so it’s always best to do things correctly and professionally (I know, I sound like a career counselor).

And that’s it! While I know those are just basic steps, they should at least give you something to ponder instead of asking yourself “should I quit my job?” everyday. You can also read a more detailed version of these tips in my book Life After the Cubicle.

Best of luck!

And remember, this isn’t professional advice but simply my opinion. While I have done it myself, I can’t possibly know if quitting your job is the right thing for you are and your own situation.

Photo Credit: dplanet

9 thoughts on “Should I Quit My Job?

  1. Peter

    Justin,

    Great site! I’ve only recently been stumbling my way across the minimalist blogosphere and got to here via (relation?) Colin Wright at Exile Lifestyle but I’ll definitely be hanging around. It’s absolutely eerie to read some of your articles, as I’m living that life now. Wanderlust, cube life, love of the ocean. Check, check, check. I’ve started the ball rolling though and am putting the pieces of the puzzle together now. When it’s done, I’m out, hopefully to better things. Blogs like yours provide some much needed validation and a face and story everyone can relate to. Keep it up man!

    Best regards,
    Peter

    Reply
  2. Jeff - Digital Nomad Journey

    Congratulations on your 3rd year of being self-employed Justin!

    Yes, there is a huge amount of people who are in this very predicament and want a way out.

    Personally, I started planning for this 7….., yes 7 years ago.

    My plan has evolved during the years, while always working full time.
    In fact, I was suddenly let go from a well paying job that had recently given me a raise and good review!

    It seems like there is never enough time to plan. However, I’ve been busting ass already on getting my freelane site up and my eCommerce shop sales have also picked up. A part of me wants to look for another job right away, yet another part wants to kill it for a few months and try to make something else happen. Time will tell.

    Reply
      1. Jeff - Digital Nomad Journey

        Thanks Justin. I hope so too!

        I’m putting up a site to utilize my industry experience in SEO, PPC, eCommerce stuff, etc as well…gotta get those multiple streams going lol.

        Your photos are inspiring…..just you in the middle of nowhere!! :)

        Reply
  3. Teena

    Really enjoyed your blog and can’t remember how I stumbled upon your site but I know I was looking for something else at the time…maybe P90x or photography. When I read about you I couldn’t believe it. I’ve done an office job for YEARS and it wasn’t bad but I’m nearing 50 and want to partly retire with a FUN part time job, not office work. So I’ve been taking a photography course, hoping to be a pet photographer for money and landscape photography for fun.

    Reply
  4. Natacha

    I cant take it anymore this inst even where i usually post about my hate for this job world but im so over it that i just needed to write it somewhere … I cannot work for some one else i just cant, I just want to get up and walk away and not care…. problem i never get fired because i cant do a bad job a on purpose and so im stuck…… Sorry i had to vent before some here got hurt…. my manager is like the happiest person ever and she juse loves getting shitted on its ridiculous

    Reply
  5. D

    Natacha, I just happened to stumble upon this site as a search. Sorry that you are so unhappy with your employment. Do you have a hobby that you can turn into a side job? I would suggest to write all of your interest down and build from your ideas. Good luck! :)

    Reply
  6. mmmm

    i need help
    i got a job that is 1000 km away from my home and my love and my parent and my city and every one that i love …
    and now i am working in a village where my sadness an despair is the only feeling that i have and all that is for 2300 usd ..
    i work as lab technician in a hospital ..
    its really boring there .. i met some friends but i dont like living here ..
    its agoverment job with stable salery ….BUT I HATE MY JOB
    every time that i cross the 1000 km i cry every single time …
    there is alot of chances in my city BUT the only thing that hold me down from quiting this job is :
    my parent the will think that i am crazy and the who people that i know
    i dont want to let my parent down but i dont know …
    i am workin in that stupid village for more than 6 monthes and i am 23 yo
    i love art and i am an artist i love to paint and i am good at it and i love to be with my family all the time and i say :
    IT IS NOT THE ONLY WAY TO LIVE …..
    i dont care about money and i can get a job in my city BUT i dont know …

    Reply
  7. Escape Hunter

    Quitting your job also depends on where you live… in some countries people are so close to the edge of poverty or, they even live deep in poverty. They can’t just “decide ‘n’ quit”, because they’ll either die of hunger, get thrown out to the street (can’t pay bills) or they can’t feed their families.
    The Western World is a lot more flexible. Incomes are higher (so, people can stack cash away), there are more possibilities for making money and the benefits for the unemployed (given by the state) are tremendous…

    Reply

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