How to not quit your job

Don’t make the mistake I made, don’t #justdoit™

Okay, you been at your job for a while and you’re ready to move on. Ready to work on something new, ready to learn new things, meet new people, sharpen up your skills. Perhaps you feel stale at work, or maybe too comfortable. Maybe someone at work you just can no longer stand, that’s fine, or perhaps you just want a bigger opportunity. Whatever it is that motivates you to move on, you will have to come to the point where you say ‘I quit’ and while it’s easier said than done, I had to go through this experience recently and learned a lot… I am here to share.

Drop the mic

Okay, don’t do that. At times I really wanted to do that - wouldn’t it be a good story to tell? Just all of a sudden, pack my shit and disappear. Recently at my new job, someone actually did that and it only left them looking bad and immature afterwards. We are all adults here. If you had things that are due, finish them before you leave. It only leaves a great impression on you in the long-run. You never know, your peers could hire you one day or can recommend you or even hurt you (bad mouthing), so pay your due and you’re good to go. For me, that meant working a long weekend while I spent vacationing in East Coast Canada with my wife’s family. It was terrible but till today, they thanked me for my work.

Don’t say anything (who needs over communication?)

Imagine for a while you thought you are doing a great job at work then your manager one day all of a sudden says ‘you’re fired! Get out!’ and leaves you wondering either ‘but but but, why?’ or ‘WTF?!’ That’s because your manager was a bad communicator and didn’t tell you what problems surfaced and how to solve them. Likewise, flip the table, you need to over communicate with your managers when problems arise that make you unhappy or unproductive and could eventually result to your departure. Under-communicating problems only leads you to more frustration, anger and anxiety bottled up — it only helps you and helps them improve on this experience.

Don’t tell them when you’re interviewing elsewhere

Oh man. I made this mistake and it only led to a number of excuses and putting on my lawyer hat with random excuses and a load of awkwardness. If I told my employer that I was starting to look for other work, I wouldn’t a) had more work load put on my shoulders which I wouldn’t be able to finish by the time I leave, b) have to be awkward by telling them I need to leave ‘just because’ but in reality I had an offer in hand I am about to accept but didn’t want to tell them that I have been interviewing for the past 2 weeks. It was really awkward. I was met with ‘why?’ and ‘when?’ and all I can say is ‘ASAP! Just because!’. Terrible.

Go into depression

I did this. Please don’t do this. I was sad for two reasons: 1) I felt I was a bad bad person for leaving my old company, 2) because of #1, was I making the best choice?! What if I wasn’t?! It drove me nuts. I was excited to join a new company but sad to join a new company. I felt like I had put some glue between the team and was seeing great progress that I will now leave. Perhaps in the future I will look back and say I made a dumb decision or perhaps the best decision in my life but one thing I should have done better is celebrate. I should have celebrated that it was my first time ever quitting my job and I had learnt a lot more about myself, about human interaction and about the people that really care about me, but in addition, I should have celebrated my move, my thinking, my mission, and so on. For example, at my new company (and apparently my wife’s consulting company does this too) we celebrate people moving on to other things. It’s part of the circle of life. People leave other places to come to us, they bring new experiences and ambition to us and in exchange, we have to let people fly to do the same to others. I should have realized that. I would have probably been singing ‘I’m like a bird’ by Nelly Furtado.

Not know why you want to quit

Why do you want to leave? To some, I made a huge mistake (especially given my recent track record of changing jobs often) but to me, it was part of my journey and calling. To me, I want to experience different things as a way to build myself (Ironman!) for doing my own startup one day. Part of that, I believe, is experiencing different companies and industries. At the same time, I believe that at my age, work is like school 2.0. In your first semister, should you find your class not challenging enough, won’t help you succeed, doesn’t fit with your major, not interesting or too advanced, you’d change right away! You want to position yourself for a 4.0 GPA. By the time you get to your last year, that’s harder to do. Similarly, I am in my freshman year of life and want to experience/learn as much as I can.

Hope you found this useful! Let me know how I could improve this or what I should write about next.


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