“The strong give up and move on … While the weak give up and stay” - Hall & Oates
A colleague of mine recently showed incredible bravery by quitting their job and doing a career rethink.
Is quitting being brave?
In this case the answer was yes. Because despite making a decent salary with benefits and working with great co-workers, they were in a company that was mired in mediocracy with weak leadership, and worse … no prospect for improvement regardless of time and energy being invested. My colleague had two options; either quit caring and stay or quit and move on.
I am sure you have heard people say “I’d hate my job/company but I have to stay because … (fill in the martyrdom of your choice). Frankly most of the reasons I have heard are just rationalizations to make themselves feel better and avoid admitting the fear they feel in thinking about a career change. Many have in fact given up, but stick around because it’s less scary than leaving.
How do I know this with such certainty?
Because I was that guy, and I owned my own company.
I was burned out and needed a change. I had no idea what that change would be, but I knew that my family, myself, and my company would be a lot better off if I left. After three years I can confirm that all are much healthier for the bravery of my decision to quit.
Was it easy? Hell no. It was the hardest career decision I have ever had to make. And it took way longer than it should have. I was fearful of the financial impact and the uncertainty of what was next. But, with support from family and friends, and the sound advice from a career coach, I was able to make the change. And suddenly the fear turned to energy and my brain opened to new ideas and opportunities. The process became exhilarating and I will never again give up and stay. Bravo to my friend for making the same decision.
I’m not advocating that you should march into your manager’s office tomorrow and quit. But, if you have been unhappy more than you’ve been happy in your job for the past twelve months then it might be time to evaluate your situation. And you may come to the realization that it’s better to quit and leave rather than quitting and staying.
Darrell Pardy, CPA CA