You Aren’t A Quitter Just Because You Quit

If you have ever worked in an environment you felt was unhealthy for you — mentally or physically — then you are probably familiar with the cognitive dissonance that comes along with being unhappy but knowing you need income in a world where the prices of just about everything continues to rise. Sometimes, though, you just have to take a leap into the unknown and do what you feel is best.

I just quit my job, after only eight months.

When I initially got the offer, I was beyond excited. It had taken six months post-graduation for me to get a job offer, and it was the first real (and reasonable) opportunity I had. Unfortunately, it required a relocation. After weeks of discussion, arguments, and tears, the decision was made: I accepted the position and embarked on my journey cross country.

Photo Credit: Alexandria Pallat

I thought this was the job I wanted, the job I was designed for, that I had worked my entire graduate career for. Within a few months, though, I saw that wasn’t the case, and I began to reflect on the trepidation I felt when I accepted the position (that I, of course, buried).

I was no longer sure what I was doing there. There was a lack of direction. There wasn’t space for creativity, and, as a creative person, that was huge. I stopped trusting my instincts and my knowledge because no one was helping me to build confidence to do so. I felt disrespected and undervalued. I experienced fear every day.

I recently read a piece on opportunity — that we don’t have to take every opportunity that comes our way, especially if it doesn’t feel right. I will admit I allowed my desperation to push me to take something that, probably if I had taken the necessary time to examine it all, wasn’t the best fit for me or my family.

I struggled for the longest time — months, really — with if quitting would be the right decision. I got myself into this mess, so did I even have a right to try to get out of it? What would people think of me if I quit? Would I be able to get another job? What would my family think of me? Would people think I quit just because “it got hard”? Would people think I’m a “quitter”?

There are plenty of pieces out there on when and why you should or should not quit your job. Really, though, you’re the only person who can make the decision that will be best for you.

When I gave my resignation, I didn’t have another full-time offer. I didn’t know what was going to happen next. What I did know, though, was the sense of calm that came over me once I handed over that letter. In that moment, I knew I was making the right choice. Because I’m going to take this time to figure out what makes me tick, what my passions are, and if those passions are viable for careers. Quitting the job didn’t make me a quitter. I would only be a quitter if I stopped trying to find out more about myself, if I stopped trying altogether.

I still don’t have a full-time offer, but I am, for once, completely okay with that because I’m not going to waste this time — I’m going to figure out who I am.

I’m here to tell you it’s okay to leave, no matter how long you have been where you are. You have the power to make a change. If you don’t feel safe in your work environment, mentally or physically, if you don’t feel like you are using your skills the way they were designed to be used, if you at all don’t feel it’s the right place, then get out. You deserve to be somewhere you not only feel valued but that you also feel value in.

Maybe you’re struggling to find your purpose — you don’t know what it is, but you know where you’re at isn’t it. That’s okay! Take time for you, take time to figure it out, take time to find your worth in whatever it is that makes you feel alive. We are all designed to do something special, unique.

Maybe things aren’t turning out the way you thought they would. Maybe you have had a change of heart. Maybe what you’re doing just doesn’t strike your fancy, but you didn’t realize that when you started. That’s okay. You can always start something new. You always have the power to make a change.

Only you know when it’s time. Only you know what you can handle and what you refuse to handle. Only you know you.

But trust me: just because you quit doesn’t mean you’re a quitter.