Is It Time to Break up With Your Toxic Job?

I never thought my job would be my toxic relationship.

Photo: Luis Villasmil/Unsplash

When I walked into my workplace to give my notice of one-month stress leave, I thought I was about to live my best life. I was going to find a way to get myself mentally healthy again. Experience at the end of the four weeks would be amazing.

I was proud that I was taking the first steps to better myself. When I gave my doctor’s note to my boss, she looked me dead in the eyes and said: “okay, well, you’re interrupting my days off.” I thought for a moment about how I no longer cared. I could not care less. Her days off meant nothing to me. The only thing I wanted was to make myself feel better.

After two weeks of my stress leave, my boss had called me three times to find out if I was extending my sick leave or coming back to work. I thought about how much stress I had and the fear I felt thinking about going back to my workplace. Don’t get me wrong I loved my job. I just had been burnt one too many times.

I looked at my partner after a phone call with my boss asking again: “when will you be coming back.” and said: “I think I am done.”

He looked back at me and said the only thing I needed to hear about finalizing my decision.

“I think that’s a great idea; you don’t deserve the abuse.”

I won’t go into detail about the hundreds of times I felt abused by my job, all I can say is the freedom I felt when I walked away after giving my notice was all I needed to feel to know this job was no longer for me.

How do you know when it is time to leave?

Because I suffer from anxiety, it was easy for me to go into detail in my mind as to why I left my job and why I wanted to leave. The only thing holding me back was my anxious thought of hurting someone’s feelings by leaving.

For months before my sick leave, I knew I couldn’t do my job anymore. I walked in every day, counting the hours till I would get to leave. I stopped caring, I wasn’t helpful with customers, and I hardly sold anything. I did my job and went home.

I worked the entire COVID-19 lockdown, as I was an “essential service.” Even though I didn’t see myself as an essential service, I felt betrayed by the company. As if they cared more about sales than my wellbeing and my mental health. That’s when I started to know it was time for me to leave.

Here are a few things that will help you know when it’s time to part ways with your job.

  1. You spend your days off dreading going back to work.
  2. You can’t stand the thought of doing your job anymore.
  3. You feel unfulfilled by the job.
  4. You feel undervalued.
  5. People recognize your lazy habits.

There are so many other factors that come into play before you know you’re ready to go, but these are just a few.

Knowing it’s time to pack up your desk and leave can be daunting, especially if you don’t have another job lined up. Luckily for me, I had been cultivating my side hustle for about six months. Knowing I had a small back up plan was helpful.

If you have been thinking about leaving your job, now is the time to start your side hustle. Sign up for Upwork or Fiverr, and start your freelancing career. There is something for everyone on either of the freelancing websites.

Find something that fulfills you in the meantime. Volunteering can be helpful as it gives you a bit of meaning and purpose. If your job cannot fill the void, and you have to stay for financial circumstances looking into volunteering can help give you joy while giving back to your community.

If and when you leave your job, don’t be spiteful. You never know when you may need to go back. I was kind, gave two weeks’ notice, and air hugged everyone goodbye. I spoke with my district manager and told her it was a hard choice, but something had to happen so I could better myself.

I want to take my freelancing to the next level, and I want to quit my job.

I wanted to take my freelancing to the next level. I thought to myself, when do I make my side hustle my full-time hustle. I wouldn’t say my freelancing is enough to make ends meet, but luckily I have a lot of savings and will be taking my pension out from my three years with the company.

I love the feeling of desperation — the pressure of needing to make money. I suffer from ADHD. I work best under pressure. If I know I need to hustle hard to make money; I will do it. I just need a push. Having my regular 9–5 didn’t allow for me to feel the desperation for freelancing to work.

If you’re ready to take your freelancing to your next level, I am so proud of you. It’s a hard decision to make. Do it if it’s going to make you happy.

I haven’t relied heavily on Upwork for all of my contracts, but I have made enough money to be satisfied with what I have done.

Screenshot via Author

Here is a screenshot of what I have done since quitting my job and joining Upwork. I have freelancing clients that pay me via Paypal that I had before joining Upwork. I think it’s possible to have a good income with Upwork without being a top freelancer. It takes time to get there and many 5 star reviews.

I still get people that inquire about my services even though I have only made a little over $700 with Upwork. Freelancing could be an entire post in and of itself, but just so you can see it’s possible to make money on freelancing websites, you just have to hustle!

Freelancing isn’t always “fun,” and it’s still a job. It’s just now I can travel with my partner while working. I can do things I usually wouldn’t have been able to due to my working conditions.

Life is better now that I am happier.

Start living your life by saying goodbye.

If your job is emotionally draining you, it’s time to say goodbye. You deserve more emotional energy and engaging moments in your daily life. You are better than the job that sucks the life out of you. You are worth more.

Are you feeling undervalued, upset all the time, is your job the leading cause of your mental health issues. Write down how many times in the last six months, your job made you question your sanity. If it’s more than five times, it’s time to go.

Go live your life, start a new career, go back to school, find your passion for life again. We are only on this planet for such a short period; I’d hate for you to waste it by working a 9–5 that doesn’t fulfill you.

Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. — Mark Twain

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I am an anxious 20-something-year old writing about all things sales, finance, love, sex, and mental illness.

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