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I found the courage to leave a wonderful job, thrice. I also eventually quit a toxic job I necessarily tolerated because I required income. It’s not easy to decide, but there are indicators that can clarify your situation and give you confidence to make the leap.
Does your current job chafe at you? The original enthusiasm has worn thin? Your job description has morphed into an entirely different responsibility? New management has changed the tone? Every morning you dread facing the day? Co-workers show up in dreams as weights attached to your legs and your manager as Frankenstein lumbering after you down endless hallways
Consider these two points before quitting:
1. Don’t flee just because it’s uncomfortable. That very discomfort holds lessons for you to learn. Learn first, and then quit that job. If you don’t learn a life lesson where you are now, you will find the same lesson waiting at the next job. And the next. Life lessons continuously show up until you commit to learning them. Once learned, they cease to exist. Learn them and then new job options will show up.
2. Having considered that, if you have done all you can and your work situation hasn’t changed; if it remains a toxic situation – one that is disrespectful – it’s time to quit. Toxic work places exhaust life force, draining vitality from your system.
Why do you have your current job? Perhaps you took it for income. Or initially the position motivated you, but that has since worn off. Logic tells you to stay because your job offers income and security; yet your gut feels torn and knotted, or you are bored into depression. Quit that job. Shake up your life. Move in a new direction.
At the deepest level, employment isn’t about income; it’s about having a spiritually expanding experience. As a spiritual being, you are on a journey of discovery, experiencing fresh opportunities, learning, and increasing wisdom through life’s lessons. Each job experience is designed to offer new insights, and simultaneously for you to be of service to other spiritual beings you work alongside. When either, or both of these is complete, it is time to leave that job and move forward.
To find courage to make a job change, consider these questions:
1. Am I happy in this job?
I felt I “should” be happy but initial enthusiasm had dried up. Work hadn’t changed; everything hummed along nicely. I was safe and secure. I was respected. Yet the stimulation was gone and I felt stuck.
2. Can I still gain skill sets and grow with this job?
Initially I met constant challenges, groomed skills to handle them, expanded my abilities, and thrived. Now I repeated the same skills, learned nothing new, and became stagnant. I was uninspired.
3. Have I learned the life lessons this job can teach me?
Early on, that was clearly true. I had run into colleagues and clients who pushed every button on my emotional scale. Yet I realized that each challenging situation is the universe’s way of holding up a mirror to show me my own weaknesses. I had worked myself over on many levels in order to improve, each time gaining insights and becoming stronger. I couldn’t find anything I was running away from now; I simply felt – finished.
4. Is there anything more I can offer here?
I could, but I didn’t care to. I no longer felt connected with colleagues and clients as I once had. I felt as if I had completed my universal agreements there and new people were someone else’s responsibility now. New people needed enthused leadership. It didn’t feel authentic to help when it had become an obligation instead of the eager commitments I had made early on.
5. If I continue here, what will my life be like in a year?
Ouch! This one really hurt. I couldn’t fathom being there another year. I would be depressed, restless, and unfocused. I already felt as if I couldn’t breathe. My zest for work was withering away.
6. What do I want to do?
This was clear. I wanted my own business to totally customize training for clients. My husband would eventually join me and we would develop our company together. I would be free to accept keynote speaker invitations at conferences. I could write a newspaper column on self improvement. We would network with other independent trainers and combine resources. When I thought of this, the zest, juiciness, and enthusiasm of life – the joy – poured over me like liquid happiness. If I had to get a temporary part time job somewhere allowing me the freedom to start on even one of these visions, I would again feel enlivened.
Staying where I was felt contracting. Moving on to future possibilities felt expanding.
I gave notice, quit that job, and started action toward my new vision. It was scary, unpredictable, and called forth every bit of skill and knowledge I had accumulated in prior years. On the personal side, just before I gave notice, we got hit with a tax bill that gobbled up savings we had accumulated to cover my job transition, we were responsible for a daughter’s college tuition, and helping support a struggling family member. These were logical reasons to stay put. Yet my heart said to make the change, and it led to a successful company that helped thousands of people.
Ten years later I did it again. After building that successful human resource support company, my husband and I closed it down, sold the house we had built and lived in for 20 years, and moved to a new state to start fresh. Why? Because it was time, again, to quit our jobs. We had completed another cycle of learning and self-realization. It was time to breathe in fresh possibilities, to find what was next, and to clear a path for what was waiting to come into our lives. We didn’t know what it was this time, only that we needed to take the leap. We both worked temporary jobs, but within a year, found fulfilling work where we learned, offered, and thrived for a decade.
In time, that job also felt completed, so I again quit my job. My life has demonstrated that when a “job assignment” has reached its conclusion, it is best for all if we move on. I always prepare my vacated position so my replacement can step in fully supported, and I remain long enough to train them well. Each job we quit opens an opportunity for someone else. They move into our vacated position, learn and grow, and offer fresh skill sets.
Is this easy? No. Does it take courage? You’d better believe it!
In the interim between jobs I’ve sometimes worked temporary jobs and each one taught me skill sets that I could apply in my “right” job when it came along. At one time, we held garage sales and sold unnecessary furniture to add to our coffers. During one interim we offered our empty bedrooms to international adult students from a local school and developed friendships that deeply enriched our lives.
I’ve known a multitude of people who quit jobs and moved on. Some find a new position immediately. Others work an interim job to tide them over until the right one comes along. A few struggle to find a new job, yet that struggle holds life lessons; they tell me it shaped them into a better person, and prepared them for the right job when it finally arrived.
I’ve also known people who don’t quit and later wish they had. Their work position gets squeezed out, they develop an illness, they get laid off, or they unexpectedly get fired. Their intuition has been telling them to leave but they ignore it, so life eventually makes it happen for them. Don’t wait for that to happen to you. If you feel the persistent inner push, quit.
Considering all your options, perhaps it’s time to take the leap. Don’t wait for the perfect moment to quit your job, it will never come. Take your life in hand and make it happen. It’s your life. Lead it.