On Quitting

I quit another job last week.

I’m a typical millennial in that aspect – I have quit a job every year since I graduated (2013, 2014 and 2015). People like to paint millennials as non-committal because of how often we quit, but we’re really just trying to speed up the process of finding our place in the world.

I love this piece in the Atlantic about how job-hopping in your 20s can lead to more fulfilling work in your 30s and 40s.

Take a risk, make a change.

Don’t call me a quitter

I’ve heard so often about how important it is to add years of experience to your resume before moving on to the next job. But what if it’s a job, like many millennials face, that’s not worth it?

My first job out of college was at the most soul-sucking company I can imagine. Everyone walked around in a daze and I was known for being the girl who actually laughed at work – it was so quiet, the whole floor could hear me laughing and telling stories. One day, a coworker literally threw his hands up in the air and yelled “THAT’S IT. I hate my job. I hate this. I hate this place. I hate my job.” (He’s still there after almost ten years).

My second job was a little better, but had massive layoffs before, during and after my time there. It became a place where you feared for your job on a daily basis.

My most recent work was tedious, remote work that mainly served as a filler for our move out west. No real complaints there. In this last case, it was just time to move on.

But what I’m saying is that my story is not unique – so many young people are facing underemployment or finding themselves in companies that don’t respect them. There’s such negativity about young people being flaky and quitting jobs after only a year or two, but since when did moving yourself forward become a bad thing?

Maybe you should quit too

Quitting is liberating.

Years ago, I read The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin and quit my first job just a few weeks later. His words about picking yourself and his cautions against flying too low stuck with me. It made me realize that I was in control.

Do you find yourself dreading each workday or stressing out on Sunday evenings because Monday is just around the corner? Is there more than just a paycheck waiting for you at the end of the day, or are you unfulfilled in your work?

I know quitting and changing is not easy. But would you rather dread your work or do put in the work of searching for another job? And what if that next job turns out to be no better? Take charge of your life and be fearless in your pursuit of a job you are excited about doing.

At times like these, I turn to Seth Godin for guidance on what to do – here are some quotes of his that might help you quit:

My next move

I’ve been pretty quiet here on the blog for the last couple of weeks and that’s because I’ve been working on transitioning more time to my other gig as a data management coordinator (a fancy name for “make sure the data is where it needs to be when it needs to be there”).

This means I have a few extra hours and a little more mental energy each week for blogging! But the best news? I get to enjoy work-free weekends with my husband and explore this cool city we’ve called home for almost ten months.

So if you’re feeling stuck, polish up your resume and send it out to a couple new jobs this week. What’s the worst that could happen?


12 thoughts on “On Quitting

  1. I really like your perspective on this. even those of us who are older should appreciate this way of looking at things. I hear so many people (especially older and my age, but also younger) expressing how much they hate their job and dread coming into work, but do nothing about it. sometimes, they mostly love their coworkers (or at least can cope pretty well with their quirks ;), and even the clients, but MANAGEMENT is the biggest complaint. i felt this at my previous job that I left back in Michigan.
    what’s the point in staying at a place where you’re miserable? you’re the only one who can change where you’re at (unless you really start sucking at your job, complain too loudly or to the wrong people, and get yourself fired… or maybe worse, get “talked to” because management doesn’t want to have to worry about finding another competent body). admittedly, the only job I truly happily left was a place where the doctor’s ethics and practice flew in the face of proper medicine, I was treated like crap, and paid less than a livable wage without benefits. I happily turned in my resignation on that job (after finding a better job, of course. until our move to Cali, I was too scared to “fly by the seat of my pants” without having a job lined up ahead of time).
    thank you again for sharing. I will be sending this to a friend who I think it might help 🙂
    and I might be looking into reading Seth’s book 🙂

    • So glad you enjoyed the post! I totally agree that it’s a problem across all generations. I looove The Icarus Deception, and it really lit a fire in me to make some big, positive changes. Hope you are doing well!

  2. I am so looking forward to quitting, I think there is going to be such a feeling of relief! I’m not quite to the point where I am counting down the days, but I am getting close to it!

  3. Yes I’m also a huge job jumper. I’ve tried to stick with most jobs at least a year but it can be hard to stick it out that long if its truly terrible.
    Great perspective!

  4. I’m in the same boat as you. I’ve quit just about every job I’ve had. The first was to move across the country to be with my husband. Then we both absolutely hated where he had been living and I hated my job, so off to Seattle we moved! I had work lined up but he didn’t at first. Then I was laid off from a job I loved. Found a new job in a slightly different field. It was nice at first because it was new but after three months I knew it wasn’t for me. I ended up getting dinner with an old supervisor one night who called a week later saying the company I was laid off from had been bought and was looking to hire again. I’ve been back 8 weeks now and am so glad I quit the last place. Everyone needs to find the right fit. Just because our parents hated their jobs and complained all the time about it doesn’t mean that we have to live the same.

    • That’s awesome Kirsten! I have heard so much complaining and I think actions speak so much louder than words – if you want your dream job, then take the steps necessary to make it happen. Congrats on being in a better position and thanks for sharing your story!

  5. Thank you for being so open about this. I graduated very close to when you did, and I too have had multiple jobs since then. I started out in publishing, and I loved it! Unfortunately, no one was hiring. I’m currently working as a copywriter and blogging, but it’s difficult to figure out what I want to do next and what I can realistically do next.

    • My pleasure, Mandy! I think it’s so important to have this conversation. I actually was trying to go in that direction, but my location and timing ended up setting me down the social media/marketing path. Best wishes for your next steps!!

  6. Hi Emily, You definitely live in different times than I grew up in where people were expected to keep one job and there was something wrong with you if you didn’t (and I didn’t). Today the workplace almost encourages you to try different things because there is no real expectation that you will stay or that they will keep you. You will never regret only staying in those jobs where you have something to gain and something to give. And be grateful that you have the luxury of quitting. 🙂 So many people don’t. Good luck in your next chapter!

    • My extended family is very set in their jobs, so my changes have thrown some people off for sure 🙂 I totally agree with you, if there’s some value to get from the job then remain there, but if there isn’t then seek another place that you can develop further skills at. I am certainly grateful for that, and hoping that broadening my skills will allow me to be more flexible in the future!

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