In 2010, I was lucky enough to get my first job after college. After several months of unemployment, I finally had a job with benefits like health insurance and a 401k.
I quit after 6 months.
You may be wondering why on Earth I would quit a job in the middle of a recession. Simply put, things just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t my boss or my co-workers—it was just a gut feeling that if I wanted to really advance in my career, I would have to leave sooner rather than later.
The decision was crystal clear for me, and it appears to be for others as well. However, I know that the decision to leave a job can be hard, which is why I’ve compiled a list of reasons that helped me take a leap.
I KNEW THERE WAS NO OPPORTUNITY FOR GROWTH
At a job, the last thing I want to feel is like I’ve plateaued—or like my skills are expendable.
But after 6 months, I knew the job like the back of my hand. I also knew there were no new opportunities there. That meant that I wouldn’t be making more money any time soon—or ever—if I stayed. It also meant that since the skills required weren’t that extensive, any of us could easily be replaced.
The mere idea of this left me with a perpetual knot in my stomach.
THE JOB LACKED STABILITY
The recession taught us that not even the most stable jobs are all that secure. This was certainly the case for me.
Because my number of clients decreased, I once got a $200 paycheck for 2 weeks’ work. In a city where rent can easily cost over a grand, I knew there was no way I’d be able to sustain myself on this kind of pay schedule.
Stability is important to people, and while I certainly don’t have fixed income with my freelance writing and coaching (not yet anyway), I at least know that I am covered with my current day job.
THE COMPANY’S VALUES WEREN’T IN LINE WITH MY OWN
I’m a small business girl at heart, and I loathe corporate culture. The meetings and the middle management never sat well with me.
I had the last straw when it took the company 4 months to decide if we could make an extra 25 cents an hour. All the middle management involved made it nearly impossible to make prompt decisions or get anything important done.
Most of all, it became very clear that I was at the very bottom of the corporate totem pole, and the mere thought of climbing it made me cringe.
I DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO CULTIVATE MY PASSIONS
Many argue that pursuing your passions outside of your job makes you a happier person, because you are doing something for yourself rather than revolving your life around your job.
My true loves lie in writing and life coaching, and quite frankly if I don’t have time to pursue them, I get rather upset because I feel unfulfilled.
At my old job, I didn’t know my schedule for any given day until 6 p.m. the day before. Furthermore, some days I’d be working 12 hours while other days I’d be working 6. This hectic and volatile schedule made it pretty difficult to manage my time and my life. Heck, I couldn’t even tell my dentist when I would be available for an appointment.
I believe we should work to live, not live to work. So I quit.
My decision to quit my first job turned out to be one of the best I’d ever made. Within 3 days, I had a job at a small employment agency where I’m learning something new every day. I’ve also had the opportunity to grow professionally, pursue my passions, and make more money all because I took a leap of faith.
If you feel like you’re getting nowhere at your current job, or like you need to take action in order to advance your career, quitting your job may be an option for you. Granted, this does not mean you should quit blindly and with no strategy, it simply means you may need to start making some moves for yourself.
Have you quit a job before? Tell us when you knew it was time to bail in the comments.
(Photo: Flickr/Sean Buchan)