When to quit your job and walk away

Today I met with a former colleague who had been my intern back in 2011. She had recently left her ad agency job after a few years and moved to a new agency. After 4 days of working there, she sent me a message:

“I don’t like it here and don’t want to stay. Is it bad to quit within a week?”

Realising it was a crisis situation, I asked her to grab lunch at Citizen Cafe, one of my favourite Parisian style cafes in Shanghai.

Over lunch she explained that she had no chemistry with her new boss (who is a foreigner) and that he was planning to go on holiday in a week for a month and wanted her to take over all his projects without actually even briefing her on them.

She also said that on her first day, the CEO and a bunch of male senior managers took her out for a three-hour boozy lunch where she was plied with alcohol, even though she is not a drinker. She felt uncomfortable and light-headed and then was expected to attend meetings all afternoon .

“Can you manage to stay a month?” I asked her, “Maybe it will get better.” She said no, her heart (or inner voice, gut, etc) told her to leave.

Considering she had three other agencies who had offered her jobs at the same time as she had taken this one, she has lots of options.

“Well, why don’t you resign today, quit and don’t look back. Your job is not supposed to be a prison and a place that makes you feel terribly uncomfortable and where you have a boss that takes no time to speak with you.”

Walking away IS hard. But like any relationship, you need to know when to call it quits.

Yes, you may feel bad for a few days, like you have somehow failed, but a lot of it is chemistry.

If the chemistry is off, its unlikely to change and listening to your heart and your inner voice will keep you out of a relationship that was not meant to be, allowing for you to find THE RIGHT ONE.

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