Quitting My Miserable Job
Everything about my last job was perfect… on paper.
I ran an office for a non-profit in sunny California. The work was extremely important, and therefore rewarding. I had outstanding benefits and got paid pretty well, as far as non-profits go. I was proud of my title and was routinely asked how I got in my position.
Lots of people in the organization were working there tirelessly for up to a decade before being offered that position. The managers of other offices tended to stay in that position for many years. The turnover rate, or lack of, showed it was highly desirable, but I couldn’t make it another day. I knew there were tons of people who would die for that job, so why did it feel like it was killing me?
Every rational part of my mind was telling me “NO,” it’s an awful time to quit. My upcoming wedding, major health concerns, and a ton of debt to pay off, all plagued me and made leaving seem impossible.
All of these concerns forced me to put off turning in my resignation, but I spent every waking moment daydreaming of not working there anymore.
I didn’t even get any relief on my days off because I felt so much anxiety about going back to work the next day.
How I got to this point of miserable existence, I’m honestly still not totally sure myself. If I had to summarize why I hated the job so much, it would be a combination of no work-life balance, the feeling of constantly babysitting (management at its finest), and overall STRESS.
I’m sorry to report I never found any magic cure to enjoy that job, or even a way to slightly hold on to my sanity while working there.
I tried several different ways of remotivating myself including setting new goals, starting new projects, practices of gratitude, making my office homey with a jungle of plants, and taking a vacation.
None of them worked; the only thing that woke up my soul was quitting.
So I finally did because I no longer had an option. I couldn’t stand the panic attacks while getting ready in the morning, or the constant state of anxiety. I anticipated that resigning would cause me a whole new kind of stress; the kind of stress where I can’t buy groceries, wouldn’t have health insurance and would wave good-bye to stability and security. Still, all of that couldn’t possibly be as heavy as the burden of giving them so many hours a week.
To my own surprise, my life didn’t fall apart after I quit my cushy job, but one thing really dramatic did happen…
My quality of life improved drastically.
I felt like I could breathe, and wasn’t so emotionally drained and overwhelmed that felt like I got my life back.
I found another job that doesn’t make me want to die and they gave me a raise before my 90-days probationary period was even over.
I only make just over minimum wage here in expensive California, but that’s okay. The bills roll in, and somehow they end up getting paid. Being more careful about just casually going out to a brewery and dropping $30 without thinking twice is a thing of the past, and I’m at peace with that. Buying things that are on sale at the grocery store is a small sacrifice to make in order to not wake up dreading going to a job that pays me double.
Honestly, I do wish my old job had worked out because it really was a pretty cool gig. Some days I think “Wow, I can’t believe I did that — how cool!” Other days I think, “Wow, how the hell did I do that, how miserable!” Whoever replaced me was probably just as excited as I was when offered the job, and hopefully, they will be better suited for it than I was.
Staying at a job with a certain goal in mind is one thing. For instance, if you are saving up money to be able to make a career move. Likewise, not walking out on a whim because you have a family to feed is honorable.
Not everyone is in the position to be able to chase an unknown dream when something just “doesn’t seem right.”
I weighed my options for a long time and decided to take a risk.
Only the person clocking in every day can tell if the rewards of sticking around are worth the stress. For me, they weren’t. Everyone tried to tell me I was crazy for wanting to quit, that I finally had “made it,” and shouldn’t give that up. They weren’t the ones dealing with the crippling anxiety though. And they weren’t the ones that would have had to deal with the consequences of quitting, had it been a huge mistake.
It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make because it was terrifying thinking that I could be making the biggest mistake of my life. It needed to be done though, and now I know it was the right decision. On my very last day there, I immediately felt like I could breathe. I have no regrets about quitting, and am so glad I took the risk.