Find Your Quitting Point

Find Your Quitting Point

Check out this comment from a reader in Hong Kong:

Iíve been visiting your site on and off for quite a while now.

Iíve been miserable at work and, although it took me almost a year, I eventually built up the courage, and Iíve finally quit my job!!

I think itís one of the best decisions Iíve ever made!

Iím now working out my one-month notification periodÖthen hopefully go on a vacation to Europe with my familyÖthen travel to Beijing to visit my loveÖ.

And most of all, Iíve found a new job too! No one knows how itíll go, but a change is definitely due and Iím looking forward to a fresh start.

Your site has definitely pushed me on.

:) One happy Office Lady in Hong Kong

First of all: Wooo-hooooo! Good for you, Office Lady, and good luck in the new job!

This of course raises an interesting question: How do you know it’s time to quit a bad job?

Should you quit at the first sign of trouble? As in “The cafeteria doesn’t have Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and besides the boss gave me a funny look at the last staff meeting – I’m outta here!”

Or do you only quit when all hope is gone. “Yes, I know my boss is a total jerk, my salary is lousy and my co-workers just covered my cubicle in mayonnaise-smeared saran wrap for the third time this week. But you never know – things might get better tomorrow!”

When is it time to quit? It’s a question I keep getting – and no wonder. Leaving a job has become one of life’s biggest decisions. It’s something that may affect every aspect of your life including your finances, your work life, your identity, your family and possibly even your social status and friendships.

I’ve quit three different jobs in my career and in every single case my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. In two of those cases I quit without having the next job lined up – it was simply time for me to move on NOW!

It seems most of us tend to stay in bad jobs waaaaay too long. I have talked to any number of people who have told me some variation of “I quit my job last year and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner.” However, not a single person has ever told me that “I quit my job last year and it was a huge mistake. I should definitely have stayed on.”

This does not mean that it’s always the right decision to quit, but it does show that when in doubt, most of us stay on in bad jobs. Perhaps longer than is good for us.

We’ve been told that quitting your job is bad because:

  • It makes you look less dependable to your next employer.
  • It costs you money.
  • It reduces your status.
  • Quitting means giving up – and that’s bad. You should stay and slog it out.

And this may all be true or not, but here’s a question you must also ask yourself: What will staying in a bad job cost you? Because make no mistake: A bad work situation can cost you your energy, motivation, self-worth and even your health. Worst case, it can kill you.

Worst of all, staying in a bad job where you repeatedly feel demeaned or useless robs you of precisely those things you need to move on and find a new job. To actually get up and go out and find new work or finding the courage to quit without having the next job lined up takes energy, motivation, passion and confidence.

How do you know..?

Which brings us back to the original question: How do you know?

First of all: You will never know for sure. It’s not like you can calculate the exact optimal moment to quit your job. It will always be a judgment call, and like any other major decision in life, it’s not so much about making the right decision – it’s more about making a decision and then making it the right decision.

Secondly: You probably do know. Call it intuition, gut feeling, inner wisdom – if it’s time to quit, then somewhere inside of you a voice is probably going “I hate my job. It’s time to quit.” The trick is to listen to that voice.

That voice is often very quiet and very easy to quell. You’re maybe at work, in the middle of a meeting or an important task when suddenly you get the feeling that you really, really need to find a new job. That’s certainly not productive in the moment – right then you need to focus on whatever it is you’re doing. Also, as mentioned above, having to quit is a scary proposition. So you ignore that feeling and focus on work.

I firmly believe that you’re doing no one a favor by staying if you’re not happy at work. Not yourself, not your family and certainly not the company. The rare exception is the case where your or your families survival or fundamental welfare is at stake. If quitting a bad job means your family becomes homeless, the choice is clear – you stay until you have a better job lined up.

Barring this, it’s simple: If your job does not make you happy you should first try to fix it. If there’s no realistic hope that you ever will, it’s time to get out of Dodge.

The upshot

So here are my top six tips for finding your quitting point:

  1. Give up the idea that you can know for sure whether or not it’s time to quit. It’s always going to be a leap.
  2. Listen to your intuition. Your gut may know before your mind.
  3. Remember what quitting can cost you – but also remember what staying in a bad job can cost you!
  4. Remember that the longer you stay in a bad job, the harder it gets to leave.
  5. Most people stay too long in bad jobs – mostly because they fear the uncertainty that comes with quitting.
  6. Most people, once they’ve quit, find that their situation improves. Maybe not immediately, but certainly after a few months.

What about you? Have you tried quitting a job? What was your quitting point? What happened – did you end up regretting it or being happy that you finally quit? Write a comment – I’d really like to know!


104 thoughts on “Find Your Quitting Point”

  1. HI THERE!! Hope You’re having a great day!

    I almost wrote to you about this a day or so ago, your post has come along at just the right moment. I once stayed in a job WAAAYYY too long. I won’t go into the details, but when I sat my boss down and told him each of the ways in which he’d done me wrong, he started to cry… And then I still didn’t leave. (Because I was Promised More – Something to add to your post possibly is if it’s bad, it probably won’t get better so BEWARE of “Promises”)

    I now have a job that starts at 8am and finishes at 2pm, leaving me the rest of the day for FUN! – When a person leaves their job they should not go for a job that they’re merely good at, they should find a job that they enjoy and WANT to do.

    My Partener however has just got a new manager at her place of work and he’s left loads to be desired.

    1. Messed up the meeting between him and the staff, arranging it poorly so that only 3 people were able to be there. Then threatened those 3 members of staff saying he would sack them if they messed up his career.
    2. 1st day of work: intimidated 4 regular customers so that they walked out refusing to return.
    3. 2nd day. Informed members of staff that someone would have to quit because they were over staffed (After cutting down everyones hours)

    Result – HIS WISH HAS BEEN GRANTED!! On the 3rd day the entire team started searching for new employment.

    Work should be fun and a joy to go to. If it isn’t you’ve got to make the changes neccessary to improve it or YOU WILL REGRET IT!!

  2. Not sure if you know this, but Bloglines reads your images as if they were “stolen”. I had to come here to figure out what was wrong, and since the image on this page looks fine, I’m guessing the RSS feed sends out the other image?

    The feed I’m getting is

  3. My recommendation for finding out whether it’s time: start keeping a journal. I did that at my last job, for tangentially related reasons, and looking back after a few weeks realized that I needed to start looking for something new. Which I did, and now I’m at a new job where I am much happier!

  4. I left a job last summer that although I enjoyed the work, the main project had finished and the management had mucked me about so much,, ( lots of carrots, ooh this will happen and this etc but it didn’t) the money wasn’t brilliant and I had learnt a lot but felt it was time to move on.
    Got another job, full time so a bit more money but further away, much futher.
    I hate the new job, just hate it, there is not enough action nor contact with people or IT both of which i Love. Yes, it is in a team situation and that would give me experience that I lack but I just hate it, and sit at my desk trying not to cry. I don’t regret leaving the other job so you are right in one way but just now I am stuck as I just cannot see what sort of job I would like best or even find one. I got offered another job recently- I have lots of experience and good qualifications – but I just didn’t want to do it as I was scared that I would hate it as much as the current one. Just how you find a job that you Will be happy in, really is not as easy as you make out. I can’t quit for money reasons. perhaps sometimes sometimes you do have to stay and stick it out. perhaps wanting perfection and complete happiness is too high an ideal?

  5. I handed in my notice on Friday. I’ve been with the company for four years now, and stayed because I enjoy the work, which is challenging, although there is far too much of it and only one me. Most of the people are really nice, and the environment is OK. The only problem has been my boss and the CEO. The company, a small biotech startup, got a new CEO around the time I joined, and I naively assumed that he was doing a good job. His ideas, plans and methods apparently ran somewhat contrary to the founders’, and, in spite of the fact that the new CEO was appointed by the board, the founders managed to get him ousted. Both the CEO and I are English (it’s a Danish company), so we used to chat together – I wouldn’t say we were friends, but I certainly didn’t dislike him. This marked me out to the founders as someone who couldn’t be trusted to be involved with their plans, in spite of which one of them (my boss) used to constantly drop hints about what was going to happen and continually pointed out what a terrible human being the CEO was. Having only been with the company for three months, it was something of a shock to see all these knives being waved around with the CEO’s name written on them, metaphorically speaking. It made me very uncomfortable to be party to what basically amounted to an internal coup, so I let the CEO know that plans were afoot, but he didn’t take heed and was let go from the company. Unfortunately, and ironically, because of my attempt to appeal to what I saw was the broader cause of trying to be loyal to the guy running the company I was never hence regarded as being trustworthy by the current CEO or my boss (co-founders of the company). In retrospect, I don’t know if I would have behaved any differently – it certainly hasn’t been my experience of most of the other small companies I have worked in that the political infighting has reached such dangerous proportions, and my need to trust and be trusted, and for others to do the same, is not pathological, I believe. Perhaps if I’d have known at the time that it would lead to three years of gradual erosion of status within the company and corresponding reduction in my self-esteem and a bunch of health issues and the failure of my long-term relationship, then no, perhaps I would not have gotten involved.

    Anyway, I’m leaving, and I’m happy about it, and wish I’d done it sooner.

  6. When in doubt, pretend (for want of a better word). That’s what I do.

    I set a time period, three days, say, where I pretend that I’ve made the decision to leave my job (/apply for the new position/go back to school/change direction entirely/this is a multi-use tool). I don’t ponder the decision anymore. Instead I pretend that it’s done and dusted. During that time, I simply pay attention to how it feels. And also, but secondarily, to what new options and potential limitations that seem to arise from this, so far imaginary, decision. Then I switch and imagine status quo continuing for the following three days.

    Mostly, after that short week, I have singled out the gut feeling. I know which decision is the best one for me. I also, as an added bonus, have come up with at least one, and usually loads of ideas for new exciting and challenging roads either decision could take me down because I’ve taken the time to think about it seriously. And I know the two or three good reasons for decisions I should definitely NOT make.

    Sometimes, the first thought that springs to mind, is not the best. Sometimes it is. But these things require a little time and effort. The trick is to go about it in an organized way once you’ve realized that simply entertaining the idea of change on and off does not lead to the heureka-moment that you were hoping for.

    Good luck, everyone! And remember, some decisions are bad and some are good. If you get one wrong, which we all do all the time, don’t let it stop you from making a new one.

  7. rednose: Please tell your partner he has my deepest sympathies – that does not sound like a good situation to be in. And congratulations on taking action and creating happiness at work for yourself!

    Elaine: A journal is a great idea. May I ask how you did it in practice – In a notebook or on a PC? Daily or weekly? Writing during the day or when you got home? What was it like?

    deb: Thanks for your story. I certainly didn’t mean to make it sound like every singe person who ever quit their jobs went on to become happy. Sometimes the next job is bad too.

    But your story also illustrates one point I forgot to make: That being in a bad job tends to erode your belief that the next job COULD be better – which makes you more likely to stay.

    I advice you to ask yourself what staying in this job is costing you…

    daen: Oh man! First of all: Congratulations on moving on! Secondly, it sounds to me like you did the right thing by bringing what was obviously going on out into the open. It sucks to be punished for that!

    Chris: Glad you liked it :o)

    Katrine: What a great idea. Pretending you’ve already made the decision gives you a risk-free way to try it on. Kinda like test-driving a new car :o)

  8. I used a Vox account, and wrote occasionally during the day and also after work. Two things about that were useful: one, it was private, and two, I had some friends who were reading it regularly who could see what was going on and let me know what they thought.

    It was a hard experience for me, because that job started out as my dream job, and I was very happy there for a long time. It wasn’t until I started writing down my day-to-day experience, in that semi-public space, that I realized that the environment had deteriorated and that I was seriously overworked. I needed to let go of the identity that I’d adopted (that I was in my dream job) and evaluate the situation exactly as it was.

  9. What was my quitting point?

    I’d probably been talking about quitting my job for almost a year…to friends, family, etc. Probably as long as I’ve visited this site!

    But as much as I was trying to stick to my job, I found that overtime, the stress of it was just getting to be too much. I also keep a journal and looking back, a whole lot of the entries is about how much I hate my job.
    And the stress was manifesting itself physically already, I can feel my heart rate go up whenever I have to do that thing I’ve always dreaded doing, I shake, I feel sick.

    But still I was trying to slog it out. Mainly because of the fear of the unknown. Will I be able to find another job? How long will I be jobless for? How will this look on my resume? etc etc.

    Then one day, I was sitting in on a meeting, listening to this rep. from another company do a presentaion. This person does the exact same thing as I do, only with more experience and is in a more senior position than I am. I looked at her, and I thought, “In 2 years time, I will be doing the exact same thing she is doing now. AND I DON’T WANT TO DO THAT!”

    And that was it, that was my decision to quit.

    But of course it took another long while for me to actually hand in my letter. I had a ton of excuses….the boss is having a bad day…I should wait until this project is over..etc etc. And eventually, all my family and friends just gave up on me and mocked that I’ll never quit.

    And that was that, so I handed in my letter.

    So yes, I think a way to figure out whether you want to stay at your job is to look at one of your seniors. Do you want to do what he/she is doing in a few years time? Can you see yourself doing it? Can you see yourself doing what you are doing now until then? And by all means, listen to your family and friends, without them pushing, I might still be here!

    But of course, this is coming from someone who can afford to quit her job without having another one lined up first. I consider myself lucky to have found a job right after. This is my last week here at this job. I’m starting my new one on July 3 and I’ll be on vacation for 2 weeks! :)

    Good luck everyone.

  10. how funny, i just put in my two weeks notice yesterday and then I came across this. My take was that despite several of us warning the execs that some decisions were going to cause problems they refused to listen instead replying with “you don’t know anything about business.”
    Zip forward a few months and everything is going downhill with layoffs and a dim future. Even though I was told the my job was safe I’m the IT guy) I couldn’t take a chance.. Funny thing is they asked for three weeks rather than two so I told them okay. I don’t want to screw them over out of spite but it’s just time to move on.

  11. This is an interesting post, Alexander. I’ve been following your blog for a while now, but never really felt I had to post a reply. However, I’d like to have your opinion on the following situation that I am in (perhaps it is some food for a new blog?). I graduated this January with my bachelor degree in IT (specialization: Software Engineering).

    All great and well, but there’s a catch; I started losing interest in the IT industry during the final year of my education. There were too many “educated” people (you know those types: stubborn, snobbish and narrow-minded) that started to drain my energy. This drove my interest in self-development (mentally and spiritually) to new heights. Ever since that period I’ve been reading books, using methods, watching video’s, etc. to gain more knowledge.

    During my graduation period (which involves working at a company and completing a project there) I got some interest back in the IT industry and I decided to stay working at the same company after I graduated in January 2007.

    However, I’m now at a point where I want to switch careers. We recently had a big project launch, and of course, some things went wrong. That’s normal. But my boss tried to do everything to make it his project; to get the project under his control. He doesn’t have the knowledge for that in the first place, but the second thing that started bothering me was his approach to work.
    He is very chaotic and cannot focus on one thing at a time. This really started to annoy me since he was working in the same room as I was.

    Then he started spamming us with mails and phone calls during the day, evening, night and yes, even in the weekends — when in fact there was nothing going wrong, only his perception was off. Eventually I just shut my phone off completely in the weekend, because this was getting out of hand.

    I can see this happening again at future projects. In fact, I can assure you that it will, and I’m not willing to pay that kind of price. The problem is, though, that I am currently their lead programmer; they don’t have anyone else with my qualifications. And they want to get some other projects on the move. But I really want to get out, and do something I’ve always loved to do: coaching. So what would you advise me to do if I wanted leave this current job and start my own company/started coaching people for a company?

    Thanks in advance and keep up the great blog!

    Tom :)

  12. I am older and have had several jobs. I had a job that I hated, I finally quit and the outcome was good. No, not in the short term but it lead me to a great job.

  13. I discovered this blog when I was working as a supervisor in an unhappy 911 center. I was trying to be the best supervisor I could be but the environment was miserable.

    I tried to bring some happiness to work, but it was a lost cause. I started getting migraine headaches and feeling physically sick whenever I pulled into the parking lot, I was so stressed out.

    I live in a small town where good jobs are few and far between, but eventually I knew I had to listen to myself and quit. It was hard to do for all kinds of wrong reasons (where would money come from? what would my boss think? how would they live without me?), but I did it anyway.

    And guess what? I don’t know why I waited so long.

  14. I loved the graph. I hope you don’t mind, I put it on my blog. I would just advise your readers to try their best to find their new job before quitting. As a recruiter, I can tell you that I am always concerned that the candidate was fired if they quit without another job. Most of us have bills and responsibilities that stop us from wanting to be without the biweekly check. Thanks for the great post.

  15. I fell on and found the site entertaining since so many people are experiencing the same things I am at my corporate job. In Bad really seems to bring the community together. Remember the job aint that bad it just seems sometimes the people are the problem.

  16. I’ve hit my quitting point at my place of employment as well. It is in the technology field and it is just an underpaid job for the expertise required to do it. It is extremely boring. The boss is disconnected from everything. The people I work with are the types that have never heard of a happy hour or know what it is to have fun. They all are geeks and nerds that like to write code on their computers all day long and then go home and do the same thing! Dorks! Although somewhat underpaid, even though the pay isn’t all that low, I still absolutely dread going into work every day and basically walk around all day wishing to get the hell out of that place. It’s just basically a matter of figuring out what new careerfield I want to go into that I can leverage my degree. Can’t wait to get the hell out of that place and leave the rest of the geeks and nerds behind that do nothing but bang the keys on their computer keyboards all day long non-stop and stay late for free. They do $2 of work for $1 basically. So if you feel the way I do in your job…..get a new one!!

  17. A few days after quitting my job, an academic postdoc at a well known laboratory, I found this site. It’s so validating. I didn’t have anohter job lined up before hitting my “quit point”. But after one year on that job, I knew I had to leave. I dreaded going to that job everyday. Many people told me that one should NEVER quit before finding a new job. I looked for a new position while I was employeed. It was so difficult to juggle the current job and family with the seach and interviews. I felt incredibly guilty too for taking the pay check and not being remotely committed to the job. So I left. Within 7 weeks of leaving the position, I found a new one. The new position is so much better, on multiple different levels. I left academia for industry. You just have to have the courage and know what you want. Focus on what you want in life, and fix or leave behind the things you don’t; inclulding a job that no longer fits. Good Luck to everyone.

  18. Hi everyone,

    I recently went through this struggle — and all of the stuff in this post is definitely true! And I’m happy that this post was here: it made me feel better.

    Anyway, so while I wasn’t “sure” when the right time to quit was, I did know these things:

    – I tend to stay in things until it’s patently obvious that it’s bad. This leads me to believe that I was waiting until I could feel relatively risk-free about quitting (I feel this was an important observation!).
    – My work didn’t really need what I wanted to offer; what they needed was someone who did a little of what I did, and a little of what another person did.
    – I didn’t feel that I was contributing fundamentally to the organization I was part of; I felt that if I didn’t show up anymore, it wouldn’t be a huge deal.
    – A lot of the things I had created or was responsible for were being phased out in favor of store-bought solutions.
    – There was no future for me in that job. My position was what it was, and it was tending downward, and with no chance for advancement.

    I think listening to your gut is wise advice.

    I hope my comments have helped! I also recommend a book called “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway!” There’s a chapter in there called “How to make a no-lose decision” that I think speaks to this struggle.

    Take care!

  19. I have just quit a job I did not like just now! I was there for only 2 months and I don’t have anything lined up yet. It was causing me stress and me to be distant from my husband. I had sour stomachs prior to coming to work and those stomach knots. That went on the WHOLE TIME and I even had a gut feeling before I even started the new job.

    On a happier note, I am into career counseling to take tests to figure out where my fit is. I have art classes lined up to bring back my old passion and I may take up temporary gigs for the time being. Take a simpler job so I can put my energy into my art work.

  20. I am at a job that is ok, but there is something that I found that I like more. I’ve been here for about 6 months. I got hired as an admin asst. and was given the opportunity to assist another dept. I liked what I did for the other dept more and they LOVED my work. A position came up in that dept. and I applied. I almost had it, but my boss is very territorial and when I told her that I wanted to go for the position, she told me to go for it. But later on got upset with me for applying, because she felt that I was leaving her in a bad situation.
    She had to have said something to the Supervisor in the other dept, because then I met with her and she tells me that the ‘ood news’ is that I will still be able to assist her dept but because of budget issues and the hiring freeze, I would not be allowed to transfer depts. I was devistated and feel that my boss sabotaged my opportunity.
    So now everyday, I look at her (my Boss) I don’t trust. She is overly nice now & that’s scary. She has a tendancy to be very snippy. Most of my work time is spent assisting the other dept.
    My job is boring and unfullfilling so now, I’m here working for someone I don’t trust. I’m in search of that job that I love and don’t mind the issues that come along with it (b/c I love it so much)

  21. I left my old job the pay was crap and I was getting upset over the way my supervisor treated my coworker.I would come home complaining to my husband about it.She always tried to drag me into bashing my co worker so I would try to steer clear of her.She was nice to me which made it a weird situation for me.I felt terrible like I should of beat the women down for my coworker or something.They also paid me less then a guy that started after me and we did the same work.When I asked for the same pay as him,oh we cant do that,the union will not allow it,ya right whatever.Plus every time I tried to contact someone in the main office about a raise in pay they ran and hid away.Anyways the supervisor would bad mouth him all night long.He even came to me telling me how it hurt his feelings,I mean this was a 40ish year old man coming to me,a young women telling me how hurt he was because of this mistreatment.He said our supervisor is treating him no better then a dog.I seen it she was real short with him and the gestures she made left no room for doubt about the way she felt about my co worker.I mentioned that I would talk to our supervisor but he insisted that I do not,that he would do it if the supervisor kept on treating him like that.The job I had before that was also terrible,I had worked for this company a few times before.Well this time when I went back to work after having my baby I felt that it would be a good work environment.Until I found out how fake my boss was.My supervisor did nothing but manipulate me,the manager of my shift sat in the office most the day while I prepared and did most of the work while she chatted away on her cell.The manager relayed false messages to my supervisor about me and my other co worker(can we say brown noser).I tried to move around in the company and tried to be polite about why I was seeking another position in the company.If you mention mistreatment it is like the plague.There is no confidentiality and what you say gets passed on to the person and 10 plus others.So it makes it 10 times harder on you to work the job you already have problems with working.I knew of an old colleague of mine she went to the office heads about how she was being mistreated.Well it just happened to be told to our supervisor,because the person she told in confidentiality at the head office was friends with our boss, and our supervisor passed it along to some other staff and well she struggled a bit more for awhile at work after that.I felt like I was in a relationship with the boss he got so offended if I went to someone else about a problem no matter how minor it was,I would have to tell him well I never see you so I pass my concerns on to the next in charge.I had to keep up on emails,phone calls,and communication letters with him it was annoying.I remember him calling me cussing at me because I missed a meeting at 10am.I didn’t get off work until 8:30 am and fell asleep.I apologized but it wasn’t enough for him.Needless to say I left that job I gave a 2 weeks notice called and left after one week instead.He gave me a horrible evaluation but I expected it.The way he treated me,already told me not to expect pretty little nice words for me haha.I also wrote the CEO a nice evaluation of my time spent working for him,I have yet to hear anything back.I am glad I left I just miss the pay.I am very outspoken I guess,when I spoke my mind to my boss I do not think he appreciated it,I remember his eyes bulging out.Sorry for the long story but I tried to shorten it for you all.If the job is making you doubt your abilities and causing problems in your life it is time to get out quick.Things will come together for you and you will find another job hopefully it will be a keeper.Take care

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  23. I’ve been in my new job for three months… in fact today is my first day off probation. I now have superior benefits to add to the superior pay, superior manager and superior working conditions to my last job.

    I first decided I needed to get out of my job a year ago after a personal near-tragedy followed by a horrible comment by my manager. Prior to my accident I was feeling less and less happy about my work and my manager. After the accident I returned to work following several weeks of medical leave. My manager asked me to come into his office and asked me how I was doing. After a while he said something that took me into a spin. I don’t remember the exact words, but they amounted to “leave your problems at home, and focus on your work while you’re here”. I left that afternoon and contemplated quitting then and there. But doing so would be a financial mistake, so I saw my doctor, and he put me back on stress leave for a “recurrence of symptoms”. Saved by the doc. :)

    I tried looking for a job during my weeks off, but nothing panned out. After I went back to work, I held on for a bit longer. I became too busy helping my wife plan our wedding, enjoy our honeymoon, and then basement crack repair work, then setting up a workshop. When I had time to look for a new job again, it was February, and in addition to having a terrible boss, I was also very bored due to a lack of work.

    I found my new job last April, started on April 23. I don’t have regrets on the time between actively searching. If I had found a job last summer, would I be in the sort of company that’s making me as happy as I am now? I don’t know. All I can say is I’m intensely happy about my job, partly because I have the best manager I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with. Karma led me to wait this long, so I can get the job that would be best for me. I wouldn’t have gotten this job if I hadn’t waited. I feel I made the right decisions at the right time.

  24. I’ve struggling to leave ever since I joined the company two and a half year ago, because my boss simply tricked me in by treating, so basically it was a bad company with a worst boss. However, I didn’t want to leave before I could may some change and achievements, so I stayed and worked hard (not as hard as I would have if I loved the company) and finally I was noticed and rewarded after 8 months hard working, my boss started to trust me and listen to me, and then she was fired, all of sudden. I was shocked but secretly felt lucky to have her out, especially when I heard that the new boss is quite an expert, she’s tough and determinded, maybe she would change the company, however, she failed within 5 months and was kicked out also. Then the real jerk came in, and he moved me from HR head to Business head, simply because he believe I’m too good to be an HR, it didn’t matter I like it or not, that what he want me to do and that was my only choice. I stayed again for combined reasons, such as I would move to another country within a year, it didn’t make sense to leave and find another job now; and he denied the raise that the previous boss promised three months ago unless I take the job, which is not a small sum, thirdly I have stock options that would due in a year. So I stayed, and struggled ever since in a field that I’d never liked or interested, realizing the boss is complete a selfish jerk that is destroying the whole company, he basically makes every decision by himself and for all GM level managers, never listen to us, never hold a meeting with managers, change the org chart constantly without talking to us, then in four months, 8 out 10 GM/directors left the company, I was among the only two left, because of the same reason. And now, I’m in depression, hate my job, myself, don’t want to go to work…, I made the decision to leave so many times, and started to look for other opportunities, but always without luck, maybe I was not 100% sure if I really should leave, until two weeks ago I made up my mind to leave no matter I have a new option or not, and I injured my back. I’ve never seriously injured or sick before, so I never thought about my need for the medical insurance, and now that I’m injured and starting to pay thousands on my medical bill, I felt somewhat lucky to have that medical insurance and didn’t leave before I injured. I’m still on sick leave, my medical bills are still waiting to be submitted to the company, I might be able to turn them in and get reimbursed or not, but I do worry that without a job I won’t have the medical insurance, this sounds really silly to a person like me, but it does make me hesitate again. I guess the really problem is that I’m not comfident enough to get another job soon, especially a job that pays as well as this one and the position is at least not too much lower than this one. See, I’m almost depressed now.

  25. I quit my first job just shy of a year after I began. At the beginning, it was alright…the shifts were frequent and so were the raises. However, money was the only thing I enjoyed about that place. My co-workers weren’t bad, but I couldn’t really relate to any of them and I felt left out a lot of the time. After a few months of being there, the management changed from being friendly and accomodating to harsh and demanding.
    I began to get that little “gut feeling” you spoke of when my manager and I got into these little arguments about shifts. The rule was if you let the manager know what days you wanted off a week in advance, you would get it off. I had asked for a specific day off two weeks in advance, yet discovered that I was scheduled to work that day. I spoke to my manager and all I got in return was accusatory remarks about how I never asked for them off in the first place. I told her that I had, she checked her books, then said yes I had followed the rule, however, I was still stuck working the shift. If I hadn’t stood up to her and said I’m not working that shift I would’ve been stuck working that day. Then it got worse.
    One day I was physically assaulted at the workplace by a fellow employee. There were two witnesses…another employee in the break room, and the cameras. I wrote a note to the upper management and was assured the matter would be looked into. A week later, the “boss” of the company spoke to me and told me that no one saw what happened, and not one camera caught what happened. I have seen the cameras and where they point. Three different cameras would’ve seen the incident and the employee who I thought I could count on did not say anything. I decided to quit right then and there.
    It is difficult to know when to quit, that’s for sure. Thankfully I had a defining moment that influenced me to make the right choice. I am now in a wonderful job with amazing people. I have learned that if you can’t relate to your coworkers, and you’ve tried for a very long time, you have to get out of there. It is the people that make the work enjoyable, and if they don’t like you, or vise versa, then your work and your emotional well-being suffers.

  26. I never thought I would have quit two jobs in a single year (and probably three) but that’s what hapenned. I had stayed in my first job post graduation for about one year. The work itself was alright, the boss not so much. She was the type that blocked creative thought, and in a web-design job, that, in addition to the 1 1/2 hour car commute each way just pretty much ruined it.

    So I left for what I thought was a better – more open web-design environment. I found out that the new boss was a control freak, to the point that she had cameras in the office watching your every move, and would often spend too much time dabbling in your personal relationships. I left within three weeks (that one I did not even think too much about quitting). I then took a temp job, and within 2 months was offered a full time. I was excited, but it turns out that the job is a lot different than what I expected. I was happier as a temp than as a full timer. The result is that I hear that little voice again screaming out “time to go!”

    Do I regret any of my decisions? NO WAY. The second job with the control freak made me have nightmares every night. I developed an ulcer, and my sleep patterns and self-esteem were shot to hell. At that time I did not have any money saved up, and it took me two months to find the temporary position. It was a bad time, but even then…even then..I breathed fresh air.

    My advice – save as much money as you can through all your jobs, so you won’t have to put up with something because of money, and always have something else to carry your happiness (school, family, hobbies, goals, volunteering etc.) having a life outside of work makes you feel worthy of better things.


  27. Hi,

    Well here’s one guy who says “I should have stuck on to my earlier job”. I quit my job nearly two years back and at the moment (considering all the bad economy and side effects of the financial crisis) I do feel it was not such a great decision. The least I could have had was a relevant profile (unlike now where I feel underutilised)

  28. Pingback: Happiness at work
  29. I’ve been contemplating to quit my job since June 08 but was told by family & close friends to secure another job first before taking the plunge. I’ve not secured another job yet & i’m miserable at my current company. It’s been a year now & I’m getting more miserable than before. I’ve tried playing my favourite songs, reorganized my desk, put on an aromatherapy, but nothing works. I was thinking of quitting & trying temping first before committing to a permenant position. Anyone can advice?

  30. I’ve been working in my current company for 2.5 years. I’m working on a project, in which my team members are all busy doing their own routine jobs which have nothing to do with the project, and I’m the only concerned person in this company about it. I’ve communicated this to my boss, but there’s not much really that she can do as there are so many changes here at this moment. I’ve been thinking about quitting everyday for the last three months and I want to switch to a different career altogether. My family told me to finish this project first and maybe once I get a new project, my thoughts will change. I want to do just that, but I cannot foresee how I’m able to complete it as I’m the only person working on it. And I surely wish I do not have to be in this place in five years. I am confused and afraid to leave a job with good benefits and ok salary of which the only bad point is I don’t feel I contribute and belong, for a risky endeavor. Last night I’ve come to a decision to tender my resignation, provided I can secure a job first. I hope it will work for me!

  31. I worked as a waitress in a chain pizza restaurant for a year and a half. It was my first job, which allowed me to move out of my parents’ house. I was eager to work; I often did more work than the others and in more detail. Though I did on occasion make stupid mistakes, the assistant managers often praised me for my work, and in my time there, i think only three staff members were ahead of me in senority (there was a very high turnover rate — warning #1). I got along well with everyone and, except for my hours, which were absolutely pitiful for the majority of my employment, I was happy.

    As time went on, it became clearer and clearer that the owner (let’s call her Jennifer) hated me. In a sense, her harshness created a work ethic in me where I always work the hardest I can… but at the same time, it caused a huge amount of unneeded stress in my life. “If you have time to lean, you have time to clean” was the mantra. Every spare moment I had, I would search for something to do, particularly when Jennifer was on the clock. If I wasn’t busy at the precise moment Jennifer looked in my direction, I would be bombarded with a long lecture about how lazy I was, or i would have a new order barked in my face.

    I became so nervous during the first few months, that I would feel physically sick on the drive to work. I was nervous. I was afraid of Jennifer. I didn’t want to deal with her.

    But it was my first job, and I needed to make rent. Unfortunately, my rent was 250 dollars a month, and i wasn’t even making that pitiful amount. “Part time”, in Jennifer’s eyes, was 15 hours or less. If someone was working “full time”, they had 30 hours in a week. Only the managers had the benefit of 40-hour workweeks, effectively cutting everyone else out of any worthwhile health benefits and so forth.

    Jennifer’s husband had a heart attack. She left the job for nearly 6 months, putting temporary managers in her place. My nervous panic went away.

    Usually, I was scheduled for 2 or 3 four-hour shifts a week, answering phones and taking orders. I often asked for more hours, but it was never given when Jennifer was in control. One week, my hours were cut to the legal minimum, 3 for the week. I inquired about the abrupt change two weeks later, wanting to avoid a confrontation and thinking it’d been a minor fluke. The answer was “there are complaints about the quality of service”. I asked if they were about my service, directly — it was “everyone’s” fault.

    But I was several hundred dollars in debt to my forgiving landlady and no one else was hiring. So I stayed with the pizza restaurant, making poverty wage.

    When no one else was available to cover the shifts of the server who’d quit, I was immediately shuttled to 5 days a week because Jennifer had no other choice. I was finally making decent money and i was starting to pay off my rent. I started college and my hours were modified per my request.

    Later, I noticed that my hours were being cut again. I didn’t want to confront her, so I let them slide… after all, I did need some time to study. When summer break came — an entire 5 weeks of time I could devote to the job came around, I gave two weeks notice and informed Jennifer I could come in “whenever she needed me”. The request was never honored.

    Towards the end of my time at the restaurant, we got a call from someone wanting to know if we needed “counter help”. Knowing we’d just lost a few servers, I asked Jennifer to confirm. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “yes, we need counter help”. This was when I was working only one day a week.

    I quit two months later, when Jennifer took a week of vacation and an assistant manager who favored me did the schedule. I was assigned every day of the week, and because i was not used to the work load any more, by day four I found myself physically exhausted and worn down mentally and physically.

    In addition to the sudden overwork, I grew tired of the complaints of spoiled food, poor salad bar quality, and the slow service that comes from a crew of people that hates the store manager and just don’t care about their job. There was the bribery with coupons and free food that was the standard response to complaints (when there really should have been policy changes made). I was told not to tell people to call the hotline if they had a complaint about the service. The final straw was the milk carton in the refrigerator that should have been good for (if I remember right) a month more, but still “tasted funny”.

    Now the assistant manager is leaving and only four members of the staff I knew when I started remain. I am glad I left when I did, even though I was unemployed for three months. But I really should have left much, much sooner. I drive by the store every so often, and on a recent Friday night at 8 PM, when there should have been a good amount of leftover dinner rush, there were only one or two cars that didn’t belong to staff.

    I feel sorry for my friends.

  32. Good Day,

    I really need to resign from my present job and i need you to get me a polite resignation letter.



  33. After 5.5 years at my job, a economy in the toilet and no job lined up I decided to quit. Yea it’s nerve wracking at the thought of not lining up a job. But this year so many signs have shown and it’s not till now that I have the money saved that I can quit.
    Family and friends will tell me to stay, to that I say NO because they are not me and not working for my Boss after 5.5 years.

  34. Drew,

    I know how that feels. Good for you! And way to go saving yourself up a safety net (also called “fuck you money” ;). Best of luck!

  35. I have been bullied, manipulated and hassled at work by someone for years, I dread coming in, my time off is ruined and I feel I cannot enjoy life any more as I am always wondering what I will come to work to find. Hundreds of abusive e-mails a day, and he even knows my address and has tried to get my phone number. I actually believe that he is mentally unstable.
    I know I should leave, 100 % I know this, so why can’t I do it?! I think I am worried about money, I do have a lot of savings and my partner works, but I suppose I am just scared of the unknown. Especially in the current climate.
    What do people think I should do, go for it?? I do not know how I am not ill with the stress I go through, I am living off adrenaline!
    Can people give me some advice, maybe people who have been through the same? How much money should I have saved to be on the safe side? Help!

  36. Thankx, I think I give myself enough excuse of why NOT to quit. And yeah, I used up all the excuse. I tried all I can and all I can think of.

  37. I just quit my job, and this is why
    1. I asked for a better location to imrpove myself and the company, denied
    2. I asked to be included in company training not even a response
    3. I asked to be given a bigger budget to allow me to do more marketing events, not even responded
    4. The marketing events which I did, I wasnt even paid for
    5. I was in sales, the company would cancel a deal without me even knowing, then charge me for it on my next paycheck.

    I quit without a second back up plan, but that’s ok! I’m out of the toxic environment.

  38. I knew it was time to leave when…

    I caught the new manager of the operating room kissing one of the anesthesiologits at my patient’s bedside. I turned them into management and management blamed me for their behavior!

    I opened the door to my fridge and pulled out a beer … it was 11:50 AM on my day off.

    A much younger, less educated, less tenured, less experienced co-worker was fast-tracked into a leadership role. Her primary strengths are partying, [arriving hung-over at team meetings (where she had to present) & submiting a $600 bar bill as work related], flirting with the Regional Manager (old enough to be her father), suggesting ways to ‘manipulate’ your expense account, and a deeply embedded talent for ‘kiss-ass’, otherwise known as ‘Bobble-Head Syndrome’ [frantically shaking head up & down while sputtering ‘yes,’ ‘I agree,’ ‘absolutely,’ ‘Ah, huh,’ and ‘You’re right’ while possessing no independent thoughts whatsoever.]


    hiring two part time managers to manage two full-time workers.

    I am currently in the ‘mucky-muck’ of deciding to leave my current job – it is described in one of the above true scenarios. The dilemma is that I know I need to leave; however, I really like what I do and I am very good at it. I am demoralized to the point that I do not know what makes me happy anymore. So, what type of new position do I apply? Anything just to get out? Figuring out the right direction to move is terribly frustrating – almost as stressful as performing in a role that no longer brings joy, even though I am successful in it.

    I think I just need to take that leap and pray for the best :)

  39. I’ve quit 3 jobs over a period of 20 years.

    The first was moving from college life to professional. So obviously was necessary. I was fortunate to have a job that popped up from a relative in a stable work environment.

    Second time I left because the etthics of the Manager I directly reported to was “say one thing, but do another”, and the other reason I was at a stand still in what I was learning, and I looked until I found a good opportunity.

    Third time was again a Manager whose work ethics were not in line with what I believed were “good”. I.e. wasting dollars, he would put me and a co-worker down in a group setting to make himself look better. I loved the corporation, the work and the people I worked with, but the Manager was just plain unethical! I reported to higher managerment the issues, but nothing was done, so I looked for another job until I found a right opportunity.

    In the 2 professional moves.. absolutely no regret! It was the right decision every time, and I was happier for making the move. In each case there was an event – “stick that broke the camels back” where I consiously made a decsion to move, and proceeded accordingly.

    The most important factors in work are (listed in priority) 1) The management I report to – do I trust and respect them 2) the people I work with 3) the work that I – continuous learning and passion for the work that I do All of are required for me to be fulfilled in the role that I have in an organization.

  40. Great post! I’ve left two jobs without another lined up, and have landed on my feet both times. My regret was also: what took me so long to make this decision!

    I think more people up and leave without a traditional “backup plan” than we realize. That’s why I’m trying to talk to people about their “quitting” experiences with my new blog Quitter to Winner. If you want to share your story, visit the blog or Facebook page and let’s get chatting. Thanks for posting this story, Alexander! I’ll add the link to my blog and Facebook page.

  41. My quitting point is one of two things, either my health or my ethics are compromised to a point that I cannot reconcile.

  42. I think when your manager has multiple opportunities to support you in public with senior managers but says absolutely nothing – even though he knows you did nothing wrong – is a BIG sign that it’s time to quit. He believes the customer is always right even when they are wrong. I’m just supposed to be ok that the shit gets piled on me. He’s clean of course. What’s really weird is he thinks he’s protecting his career when most of the senior management openly, yet behind his back, mocks him. Other employees who are familiar with the situation have also noted that they would never work with a manager that doesn’t support his employees. These employees who work for the senior management he’s brown nosing. And there’s the second big clue it’s time to leave when fellow employees won’t stand up for you either. Third, there just has to be something better. I believe, I believe, it’s silly but I believe. I guess that’s the fourth reason – I believe it is. Cheers

  43. I have been working at the same company for 13 years. First five – six years have been great, I learned the job, industry, worked a whole lot. And then all started to go down. I have been at a managerial position most of my career with them but I feel that I am stuck where I am and the management have no intention of giving me more responsibilities. I have been doing a lot of things that mostly I would not even be able to write on my resume. So I have been wanting to quit soo bad in the last few months and this past month I almost did. But I am very scared of leaving without another job and I am not sure who would hire someone with only one company experience.
    Lately I have had some stress related health issues and now I am having sleep problems, I am so confused and not sure what to do.

  44. Great points in the main article quiting point. I am in my current job since 5.5 yrs and not got a single promotion. i have have multiple boses around 10 atleast in this duration. lots of promises were made to me but none rendered. i am a better performer than most but i cant play flattery to my bosses. maybe that y i didnt get any growth? i have changed profiles and my work is ok. i can go on in same situation for 6 more months but its going to be status quo. im contempalting to quit but i dont have a job in hand thou i am trying. thinking what to tired of the unchanging situation im in and last 6months i have thought daily of quitting and keep pushing it. finally the deadline i had set for myself is here. but is this wise?

  45. ok its me again. I finally quit as i wrote above. but my boss is now ready to promote me. now is this a good sign? shud i stay back? i dont have another job at hand but my notice period is 2 months that gives me time to find a job or decide what i really want to do. promotion means a lot to me.. but not sure if its enough to to be happy here. i desprately wanted to get out of this super confused. any you help?? how do i decide.

  46. I stumbledupon this site and am so thankful. I have been out of college for 13 years and am in my second job. During my 4 1/2 years as an administrative assistant, I have had to deal with some turnover in the sales lender positions I support. The most recent change has resulted in some personality conflicts. Four months ago, my manager pulled me aside to say that there was a rumor going around that I said something negative about one of these lenders. I have no idea what was said and the fact that it went through 2 mouths (both people I hung out socially where venting by all three of us would occur) before getting to the manager makes me equally suspicious. My manager went at me guns blazing accusing and saying I should make it a priority to find a new job. The environment between me, the co-workers (former friends) and manager are strained. Two weeks ago, this same manager told me I was doing a great job and could do really well in this post, I am pretty confused. Regardless the Jekyll and Hyde approach has me uncomfortable.

    Lately I struggle with thinking “I don’t want to be here” while sitting at my desk at work. It doesn’t help that I have a lot of extra time because there isn’t a lot of work for me to do (whether because we are slow or because lenders aren’t handing it off to me). I enjoy customer service, research, problem solving but most of my time is spent shuffling papers.

    The thing holding me back is the fact that I have been searching for 4 months, have sent out over 200+ resumes and aside from an interview here or there, nothing. So now I am depressed because my 4 1/2 years of servitude have been invalidated, no one wants to hire me, I am not fulfilled with my job and I have constant questions on what I should do as my confidence is pretty shaky. I guess this is normal but it is a first for me.

    I do agree that staying in a bad job affects a person physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I see and can feel myself struggling with staying optimistic that things will change either in my current situation or with a new post. Although it has really fueled my love of writing: Finally started that blog!

  47. I quit my job just two weeks ago. I was the only female working in that kitchen with three other guys. I was the only cook not dependent on smoking, drinking or drugs. I worked there 11 months and was trying so hard to make it at least a year. I had never called in for a sick day for 11 months. I called in sick one morning and the boss was ok with it. I soon received text messages from on of my co-workers about how I screwed them over since I couldn’t make pasta that day (they had enough people). These guys have tempers and have even hit their girlfriends in the past. I knew that night that going back to work was not an option. I’m not a big girl and with three of these guys pissed off at me, I knew I couldn’t stand a chance. If you are scared for your safety that’s a sure bet it’s time to leave. I wrote a letter of resignation to the owners and left it in the mailbox. They never questioned me about it and mailed me my final checks. I was able to find a job with full time hours and a set monday-friday schedule, wish I had quit sooner.

  48. pls help me out,i’ve being at this work 4 four years….,in the early two year,my boss was very happy wit me cuz i worked lyk nobody nd he doesn’t pay me,nd does not appreciate me then i said to myself that i dont need to be a workaholic b/4 pple will knw dat am hardworking,..he’s always a suspicious type & whatever movement of urs is criminal,he does not follow weather,allways stuck to his own ideas.I started feeling bad & wit tym,my love nd joy started diminishig.Right now i want to leave but how 2 tell him is my problem…should i write 2 him or tell him orally???

  49. Been working at a for-profit technical college for 18 years, part of a larger (90 school) corporation. It was a lot of fun and my Ph.D. put me in a very good position since most people just had master’s. But for the last few years the company has seen enrollment plunge and is now so profit driven that they are cutting out virtually all vacation times (instead of 4 10 week terms a year we’ll have 10 5 week terms, with only a few days off twice a year). The school moved and we no longer have offices, with virtually every employee now in a single giant call-center type room. Across all schools there will be one standardized curricula so the classes we developed are being thrown out. Most of the faculty are now rapidly turning over adjuncts, so the teaching level is going by the boards, and the school took a lower minimal level of accreditation. The corporation has had endless lawsuits and the CEO was just kicked out when it turned out the books of many schools were faked to show higher placement rates than truly existed (yes, he’s the one who introduced our annual ethics classes). I hate to leave the modest pay and decent insurance, plus some people I like, but this is just getting ridiculous. Two other “real” accredited schools really want me, only part-time, but I’ve taught there on the side and their students are good and the faculty are well treated. Time to go.

  50. This blog is awesome I should say, everyone says that quitters are losers, I said na’ah, there are 2 kinds of quitters. 1. A quitter which reason is it’s the fault of he company. 2. Quitters who just wants to quit just because they want to. I am on category number 1. I do a good job, I do over time without pay, 13 hours a day 6 days a week and a take home job on top of that. That’s fine with me, no problem with a very unreasonable salary in addition to that. I never ever complained. I say it’s coll, bring it on. Until one day. They gave me 2 big fat assistants whose salary is 2x bigger than me. You know what I did? I said its fine, let’s move on. If that wasn’t enough. Here’s what triggers me to quit. With a consistent delay of the salary, 1 month delay, 2 months delay, i said that’s it. Ill break the chain from this cell. Instead of me having benefits, it’s creating more problems for me. When where having the meeting. I look on my boss and say I’m resigning with a 30 days notice. Now he went mad. He don’t want to agree, I file a case against him. And now we are on verge of Court proceedings. See little ideas comes to big decisions. You know it’s time to go when you can say ” this company can kiss my @ss” and would still smile about it. It’s like whatever happens to you outside. Without a back up plan. Your goal is to get out of the hole. You have to draw a line for your self when your working, like a danger sign that says ” do not cross the patience line of fire”. If the company plays fair to you. You should stay no matter how shitty the job is. After all, all job is hard and unwanted until you embrace it and then you will start to love it. But when the company plays you around, you can say ” let’s dance, I’m ready to clown”.

  51. My quitting point came when I realized that my employer was misrepresenting financial and investment information to me. I work for a large rural midwestern grocery chain and haven’t dealt with such a screwy company in a long time. To be honest, I should have left a long time ago but was still nervous of leaving. Don’t stay simply because family or society pressures you to; no sane person would want you to stay in such a toxic environment. Putting aside the constant no-shows from co-workers and the stupid hours and wages, I put up with more from this ’employee owned’ company than I did from the big bad corporations that I worked for in the past. It got to the point to where I ended up shopping at Walmart and Target just to spite my employer (both of them are cheaper and better anyways). Finally, I just couldn’t take it anymore and gave my notice a couple of days ago. I know they’ll be upset since they didn’t hire enough people to replace everyone that leaves, but that’s fine. I don’t think I’ll get a good reference from them no matter what I do so worrying about them is a moot point.

  52. My quitting point? Soon.
    The promised bodyguard training has never happened, any time I mention it the boss always says “we’ll look into it and get back to you”
    I’m very much a night person and suddenly I’m working the day shift so that “we can all cover for each other if something happens” Really because the senior officer can screw with us.

    This guy is extremely bad. Every second word is a swear word, he disguises his rudeness and mean comments as humour and when you don’t laugh, as I’ve stopped doing, he complains that YOU are the one with no sense of humour! I could go on but its just easier to say that he’s mean and rude.

    I’ll be giving my two weeks notice sometime this week and, not wanting to burn any bridges here, am going to talk with the boss about casual shifts. If the subject comes up naturally in the conversation I’ll tell him about the senior officer but I’m not going to volunteer anything since I know that what I say will invariably get back to him.

  53. I quit my profession after years of being very unhappy. For me here really was a defining moment —-somebody said something that was not only nasty but questioned my professional judgement. In that moment I received awesome clarity and I realised that I was worthy of so much more than I was receiving (AND accepting). In my case, and I suspect in many others, my self esteem had been systematically eroded away by others which made them feel better about themselves and as an eternal ‘people pleaser’ I had allowed this and eventually, subconsciously, had actually sought it to validate my feeling of unworthiness.
    I thought my unhappiness originated in an individual workplace and so changed this a couple of times and finally I realized the profession I loved 30years ago was now not providing any fulfillment whatsoever and as a believer in the power of attraction it became clear that my feelings of dissatisfaction constantly came straight back to me. Therefore, there was only one person who could change this and that was me.
    I also had developed a few health issues that I suspected were stress induced and these quickly resolved after leaving the source of stress—work.
    Why did I not leave sooner? I think mainly because of parental conditioning of being a ‘responsible’ adult that works hard for the family and feelings of work satisfaction do not factor—a good steady wage coming in every month is all that matters. However, I firmly believe had I not quit my health issues would have escalated until I was forced on health grounds to quit! And as a single parent what example was I setting my 13 year old daughter? I’m sure she would much rather have a mother who was earning less but well and happy than an unhappy, stressed mother with some potentially fatal health issues.
    In the end it all boiled down to looking into the mirror and questioning my self worth—I owed it to daughter and myself to be healthy and happy. And yes it is scary-very scary- especially financially, but the loss of my health is more frightening.
    It is now New Years Day and I am unemployed but I KNOW without any doubt it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.!!

  54. Well said, Sheryl. It can be very hard to go, but I think you’re right about leaving when your body tells you it’s time. One thing that can help staying in a bad situation is getting in shape–over the last few years my wife and I went from sedentary to triathletes and that certainly eased our stresses. Still, for reasons given in my November post, last month I quit. (This was shortly after a friend and long-time colleague finally retired and promptly died of ALS, and another suddenly developed major brain cancer. Maybe neither got these from stress, but the environment couldn’t have helped and both showed life is too short for work that never gets better.) Two colleagues who left–still healthy–said I’d lose weight afterwards. Since making the decision to go I’ve dropped 10 pounds. What does that say?

  55. I’d probably be one of the few that will say, i regretted leaving my old job. I left that one because my career was at a dead end because of my position ( no oppurtunity for promotion ) . I went to another country, got ” the title” i wanted but ended up being tied to a facility which is hostile and stress level is so high, let alone that Im a foreigner .. I feel it’s time ti quit but as the practical side of life must not be ignored, rent, food , debts , Im making a very concerted effort to go about my job but doing it in a way that’s less my personal standard..I just sail along. At the moment , I’ve made plans to deal with the practical issues and gave myself a time frame. This makes the effort in coming in for work less painful.

  56. Follow up on my comment, there will come a time that title, salary level and company prestige won’t matter that much.. Money and title will not buy the satisfaction we derive from the work we love in a work place that is friendly!

  57. For whatever it’s worth, one of the last things my mother said to me before dying at age 98 was, “If you still feel good after quitting then you probably made the right decision.” Good advice, that. Macky, I’m sorry you’re going through a tough period now, but with a time frame you have built a structure that will allow an exit. Maybe the title and work can be parlayed back into something better in your old country, at least in one (I presume in the EU?) where you’re treated better. Anyway, ask yourself if you’d really be happy sitting indefinitely in the dead end job. If not, then my mom’s advice might be useful. Good luck.

  58. Although I know it is time for me to leave my present job, I am very concerned about what to say in an interview if they ask me why I left before I had another job. My present boss is demeaning and unfair, and I know I can’t say that in an interview. How many managers-I am an RN-are concerned about something like that?

  59. I am at the verge of quitting my 2 years and 10 months job. There are so many reasons to quit (unhappy with management, feeling mundane with work, looking for a career change etc.) but the reason why I am still hanging on is the fear of a long term unemployment. If I quit without a new job in hand, I am not sure how long it takes to get into another job, not just any job but one that is suitable for me. I did some calculation and figures I have savings that can last me for 9 months, but is that good enough to take this risk?

  60. I left a public sector civil engineering job 3 yrs ago today. My boss was a micromanaging control freak who treated me like s**t, and was using my previous history of depression and my sexual orientation to shaft me. Issues at the job ruined my health, I had a nervous breakdown and had to seek psych help due to issues with self harm. 2 months after THAT weekend I quit with 5 days notice; I decided to embark on a career as a primary/elementary school teacher. I did that degree for 2.5 yrs but decided that past difficulties had made me a jaded, cynical person, unsuitable for primary teaching. Was also tired of precious little young lady kindy teachers telling me what a crap job I was doing. switched to high school maths teaching degree – seems a much better fit.

  61. I put my notice in yesterday. How do I feel? Well, I have mixed emotions. The current job was, well…..OK. The money was good, the hours were very good, and my manager was great. But, I became bored. Before this manager, my other manager was mean, nasty, demeaning, etc. You get the picture. He is gone now. But, I did not allow him to push me around, so we always locked horns. I decided on this new position because it was a step up in position, more responsibility, and some decent perks. Of course I am nervous about it, but wouldn’t anyone be nervous about the unknown? But, I am also excited, too. I will be leading a large group of people, creating an atmosphere of camaraderie, and realigning a place to work into a great place to work. I am looking forward to the new future. I will also have the opportunity to pursue my PhD. What could be better?

  62. Hi Alexander! I hope you can still read this and give me advice. I have been working for my aunt for 6 years now. Monday to Saturday, 12 hours a day. I live with my aunt so my Sunday mornings is still devoted to work for her and the remaining time of the Sunday is when I can rest and do what I want. I have been at the same position for 6 years doing basically the same thing everyday. There is no career growth where I am right now. At first I tried to resign but she calls me ungrateful for the help she gave to my father so I feel like not having a choice so I stay. I have let pass many opportunities and at present I have friends who offer me jobs with bigger incomes and very good career paths. I just don’t know how to quit again as I think she might again tell me about being ungrateful. What do you think should I do?

  63. Hi,
    I know this post is quite old now, but the content is a-temporal I think.

    I remember reading this post a while ago and felt like I was long past the quitting point, my not-so-freshly-promoted boss wasn’t psychotic but had absolutely no tact and was just plain bad at handling people (both customers and coworkers) and I will always remember what he told me when I announced him that I was quitting “You should have told us before the annual raise, we wouldn’t have given you any”.
    That was just perfect, no regret and the confirmation I had finally taken the right decision.

    So I quit my job almost two years ago. Married right after and did some personal stuff. And since then I found a new job, I am back in the ups and downs part of the graph, but with many more ups than downs at the moment.

    I am basically doing the same thing as before, but in a better environment, with better income, more interesting coworkers and infinitely less pressure.

    One of the best decision I ever took and I think this post helped me take it. So… Thanks !

  64. What to do? I LOVE my job, I have an amazing team of volunteers and co-workers. My new boss is a fool, he fits with the management but is totally out of his depth he’s a bully and won’t listen to advice, he’s just making life miserable. I feel sick every morning. I know I can’t carry on but i’ll be letting so many people down. is it worth tying to wait him out?

  65. I reached the “stick a fork in me, I’m done” point yesterday. I’ve been in a situation where my boss was okay, and I really liked the people I worked with, but the job was just not a good fit for my skill set, and I hadn’t been happy for months.

    The final straw came when a manager asked me to do something I hadn’t received any prior training on (and frankly wouldn’t have done well, even under the best of circumstances). That’s when I knew my work situation would never improve, no matter how hard I tried. I felt like I was being set up to fail–and after that was over, I shut the door to my office, cried, and then typed up my resignation letter.

  66. I work for the US federal government and absolutely hate it. Poor managers, lack of leadership, mindless co-workers just keeping their heads down and slog through every day. Nothing about it feeds the soul. You keep hoping the next job is better, but with all the asinine bureaucracy, it never is. I’m pretty sure it’s caused my fibromyalgia. The potential for happiness swings back and forth. For example, if I leave a bad job, there’s a 50-50% I’ll end up in another crappy situation. No job is perfect with the feds. I’m in management, and even if you do your job very well, it either gets boring fast, or you’re unappreciated (or worse, harassed) due to the high % of poor managers – lots of really poor managers in the government because people generally get promoted for technical expertise and have no management skills). I end up having to move for my jobs, so it’s pretty traumatic when you realize you made a horrible mistake, especially if your spouse was happy in their job and you upended them for this new “opportunity”. If I could figure out what field I could make a decent living in, have FUN every day, and be surrounded by creative and happy people, I’d jettison in a heartbeat!!

  67. Well Lets Start off with I Took and Kept my job because i was on the verge of going broke and homeless not only that i was working 2 Jobs and No days off for nearly 2yrs between both getting 80-90 hours a week and at just minimum wage and 5hrs of sleep per knight and a 30-40 minute nap between the two.
    So THE JOB both are customer service related one is a bar other is a convenience store (CS) The bar is fine its my Fun at work kinda thing love it’s the CS that is the problem i was hired part-time. But Quickly(45 days) after hire was made not only full-time, but assistant manager in training 90th day hit and was a full lead assistant only answerable to store manager and higher. This is where it went Down hill, Simple Version i always wanted to be in management So that’s why i pushed so hard to climb so fast and of course at the time needed the money. Kept Both running Ragged and tired but pleased then the worst, 30 days later my Store Manager Goes To jail I am stuck picking up the slack and now run a store without any perks or long enough to run by myself getting constant heat from DM but somehow with just enough common sense and training to keep it afloat, also no raise or time off.
    For the next 1 2/3 year rinse and repeat daily routine finally i had had enough i asked for a raise and promotion was denied due to i was basically great at my job by now and could run everything near perfect and at 1/3 of the salary. Clearly i was being used, so i called my D.M. For a meeting I made up an excuse so he would show in person and Flat out handed him my keys saying: “Thank you for the opportunity to work for your company but i feel like i am worn to the bone and without a future here please take these keys as a sign of my resignation the store is now yours. Best of Luck.” i left Debt Free Saved over 10K in may savings took a week from my other job as well and just ate pizza and slept best week of my life ever, i still work the bar job but keep my hours just a tad over whats needed for bills and really am free of the overworked nightmare.

    Final Verdict: Stay in your jobs do whats needed but don’t continue if you cant see a path beyond an endless road.

  68. Hi there, not sure how current this page is.

    But i m considering quitting my job. However, i’m so unsure whether to really do it or not. I have only been working for the company for 5 months. It’s a small company, and there is no other H.R. that I can talk to or a Supervisor whom I can try to speak with about my situation. It’s directly to my boss who owns the company. I have actually been involved into the training which I was added onto as a sit-in guest by my boss. I know that I like the idea of being able to get through the hardships right now, but i also know that my gut says leave. I have posted a job opening on a site to let people know we are hiring, and he currently hired someone to take over part of my job so that I can focus on the more important ones he wants me to do. But right now, i feel like I have other priorities I need to take care of.
    First of all, I amba full-time student online, and recently, i havent been able to do any of my school works because i’ve been coming home so late. Secondly, I have an obligations to 2 churches in which I both play an instrument to lead each congregation. Sadly, staying my job this long has actually caused my role to spiral down, and I just feel so horrible every single day. Those 2 churches mean a lot to me, but I seem so unsure about everything now. Thirdly, I have a friend that I’m currently taking care of because she is struggling with bipolar disorder.

    I’m trying to see when and how I can know it’s the right time. My boss is possibly leaving next week after the trainings this weekend. I just feel so involved that whenever we have conversations about the company and its growth, my mouth seems to talk before me and instead of saying signs that I want to quit, i say the exact opppsite.

    Right now, as I’ve gone through all the applicants resume and read the emails they’ve sent me, there are some people whom I feel can perform my job so much better than me. But I still don’t know whether this is the time to quit or not. I feel so unsure about my situation, and I was wondering if anyone here can help me set my choices straight by being able to look my situation from the outside.


  69. Mine is rapidly approaching. After nearly 6 years of being overlooked and given ‘token’ promotions, then having the ‘psychotic’ boss brought in, I am done. Thanks for the reminders that I am not alone out there in this

  70. An update: My boss manipulated me into staying until I had another job lined up… but I ended up having to quit anyway in November, for health reasons.

    I suffered a crisis with my mental health (requiring an after-hours call to a consulting nurse, and a call on the Veterans’ Day holiday to my psychiatrist) after being verbally abused by my boss one last time.

    I went into the office on the holiday, turned in my keys and a letter confirming my end date, and walked out for the last time.

    In an email to me right after the quit, my psychiatrist told me “I think your work situation would be unhealthy for anyone.” My family and my psychiatrist are behind my decision to quit that crappy job all the way, and I know I made the right choice for my physical and mental health.

    Now, 46 days after I quit, I have found a temporary job, and have had no contact with my now-ex-boss since.

  71. I work at a bakery with only one co-worker, who thinks she is the boss. She commands me to do stuff while she’s busy with her phone, and when I’m done I will hear what I didn’t do good. She acts like she is the best there is and when I try to talk to her about it she ignores me and starts talking about something else. If I go to my actual boss he will send me back to her. I feel so stressed out and I hate it here. I can’t quit because I can’t find another job, they know that. Sometimes it feels like I’m cursed or something…. What do I do know?

  72. I am one of those who is regretting quitting my job. I quit my previous job because I was looking for a more challenging job. I got one in an organization I have always wanted to work in. However the first day I reported for duty at my new job everything looked wrong. I did not feel welcome and the colleague I was to be working with did not look happy at my coming. It was very difficult for me to settle in because no one cared and everyone appeared to mind their own business. The content of the job did not turn out to be what I was expecting. My role is far below what I was doing in previous job and less challenging. I am feeling overqualified for the post and wasting. I think that the job I left was by far exciting and challenging. I made a decision to quit, two months into post and started looking for another job. I have found three new jobs but I have been very afraid to move for fear that I might just get into a job that does not meet my expectation.

    On many occasions I have entertained the thought of returning to my previous employer justifying it with the thinking that at least I was happy with what I was doing and I know what to expect. My previous employer who insisted I stay on when I signaled my intention to leave appears to have changed. At first they were happy to have me back but now that they know I really want to go back. They have changed.

    What would you advise I should do? Should I return to my former employer or not. Should I quit this job.

  73. Thank you, this is what I needed to hear. I am quitting today and not giving a two weeks notice. It dies no good they walk you out if you do. This advice is amazing. I feel so much better about quitting. I’m miserable and feel worthless. I can’t, eat or sleep and I’m losing weight. This job is no longer healthy for me. At first I felt bad about no notice but the woman in charge is a bully so I no longer care. The coworkers and I get in trouble for the dumbest things. I cry more then ever and my stomach is in knots everyday. I know I can find another job. I found this one. I will go through my options next time and not accept the first thing that comes along.

  74. Hi I worked for 13 long years with every moment wanting to quit my job but due to many obligations I had to stay there even though I wanted to quit everyday. I developed diabetics , High Blood Pressure at the age of 33 and I was always tensed and never a happy person.
    Finally I quit and then joined a new company where I have been working only for one and half year now and am feeling same @ first my boss was very impressed of my work but then his demands are growing never ending which I am not being able to meet them cause nobody can be creative 365 days a year ..and he expects something creative every day and even if I fill that he will expect maybe 2 innovative ideas per day like I said Demand are growing…again the same feeling started coming over me to quit and I am not waiting 13 long years again ..I decided yesterday I am quitting and then I felt so happy and relieved although small insecurity is there but I am feeling good cause I am finally deciding something for myself.

  75. Hi everyone. I have been reading countless forums in search of advices and to see if anyone is in a similar situation as me.

    I am currently in my first job after university graduation and I’m reaching my 7th month. Things were alright in the beginning as managers, directors and other colleagues were very supportive in training me and my other colleague (both of us were fresh grads). Few months ago, things started to pick up as my company is a startup and our workload started to get out of proportion.

    I am grateful for all of the wonderful learning opportunities I get here but recently I’ve realized that this is not what I’m looking to do in the future. I don’t desire to do the things that my manager and director are doing now. Besides that, the workload is so crazy that I’m doing 2 persons’ work and they expect me to still perform as well. The thing is, the more I do, the less motivated I am and I know I’m just a misfit. My confidence level went downhill as I’m doing worse and worse in my everyday tasks. I can’t see myself staying in this company for even 2 more months.

    I can see that my director and manager are not pleased with my recent performance and I want to leave as soon as possible. However, like many of you, I try to drag it out as much as I can. People around me asked me to stay for at least a year as it is my first job. I know it will look bad on my resume and I will have a hard time explaining to employers why I left within a year. I am so tempted to tell my manager about my thoughts but at the same time I still do not have the courage to resign as I do not have anything planned ahead. I also do not want to portray myself as a quitter to my colleagues and bosses but I know I’m just not happy here. I have a lot of projects that are nearly due and I don’t know what will happen if I resign just like that. I don’t want to be an irresponsible person to quit in the midst of projects but I feel like I will faint anytime at work due to the panic attacks I have these few months.

    The thought of quitting is so endearing as I have enough savings to survive a few months even though i only started out for 7 months (I am rather thrifty). Family and boyfriend are very supportive of me quitting as they see my job is sucking happiness and life out of me.

    But as mentioned, I have so many things stopping me from just walking out of the door. I want to be a responsible in my work but i know it will hurt the company and myself if I allow this to drag even longer. My poor job performance will definitely impact the growing company and my health will deteriorate even further. But when is actually the ‘right’ time for me to resign? I am so stressed out by all of this and I don’t really have anyone who can advise me.

  76. I’m currently in a not-so-great-but-not-so-bad situation, am looking for real work (that pays a living wage, provides health care, and preferably uses my skills & challenges me; 3 degrees and I’m working as a seamstress).
    I’m staying for now because I need what little money is coming in, and because it’s better than what I had before, which is really sad.

    My workshop is in the basement, so no sunlight, little contact with other people, cold, poor radio reception.
    It’s retail, so sometimes we’re swamped and sometimes it’s dead.
    No opportunity for advancement. If I’m there 6 years, like the gal I work with, I’ll still be doing the same thing. I have asked the VP of our location how I can do more, made suggestions that would help some of the sales guys as well as getting me more hours, but not much has changed.
    The gal I work with is a goldbricker / eye-servant. And she lies to me. Last Friday I caught her lie before it caused a huge embarrassment for the company. For an hour + before she left Friday (still on the clock) she did _no_ work, despite there being plenty on the to-do shelf.

    I get to sew a lot, and I like sewing.
    Most of the work is fairly simple, though I like the challenge of the complex things once in a while.
    I can bring a book, or my own project, or browse the internet in the down times.
    Only 5 miles from home, so I can ride my bicycle (or spend little fuel).
    It’s an FFL, so many of the staff are armed, and nobody cares that I am.
    When my “co-worker” isn’t there, I can listen to the radio or my songs.
    Casual dress.
    Decent working hours.
    More hours & pay than I had before.

  77. Long story short. I got a job when I was 13. Figured it would get me through highschool til college. After graduating I knew college wasn’t for me because the job I had was great and figured I would be there forever because the environment was great. The people were amazing and I was treated very well. Money was always a plus. A few yrs later I wanted to move up the ladder a bit and wanted more responsibility. That’s when it all changed. That year I met my wife. My personal life changed and so did my priorities. I realized I wanted more with my career. Regretting not going to school when I had the chance and not pursuing anything that would help my career. I started becomming u happy at my job. As my duties changed, my excitement for work slowly diminished. The first year was great but it was a little more than what I wanted to deal with.
    Eventually when I was 25 26 yrd old I threw in the towel because I was mentally and physically burned out. I got to a point after a winter break where I only went back cause it was the only thing I knew. I had some excitement about going back but I was exausted from all the extra details I won’t explain. Memorial day came and that’s when I knew I was done and I had given up. I had a feeling for two years that I wanted something more but I never did anything about it. It took a couple months to find a job but it wasn’t satisfying. I was mentally drained because I put In. So much energy to looking for a job and worrying how I was going to support my newly wife and pay our mortgage. When I started that job I was still burnt out and had no motivation. I eventually quit for another job closer to home but that job was just as mentally frustrating as the last. I then got a job at a country club and needless to say after 3 years I have learned a lot and climbed the ladder so fast.
    I guess my input would be that if you are second guessing your job. Do a little research before it gets to where you are at a breaking point. It is so easy to dig a hole to jump in to but if you don’t have a rope or ladder in place, it will take you a long time to have someone hear your voice to help you out. I can say I never want to be that deep where I can actually say I was rock bottom. The feeling is the worst and if you ever feel any slight was like that better change something quick

  78. Q: How do you know when it’s time to leave (a bad job, a bad relationship, etc.) ?

    A: When you leave.

    Simple, really.

  79. For those who read through all the comments and came to mine :)

    In the last 15 years or so, I’ve done quite a bit of job-hopping. I think I’ve quit jobs more than I can count. There are other factors as to why I quit those jobs, such as being offered a scholarship to study overseas, and coming down with a medical condition (which shall not be mentioned here). I’ve had long periods of joblessness, and yes, I was pretty scared for my future during these periods.

    However, I prevailed. With the passing of time, I’ve began to see what sort of a person I am when it comes to kind of job that I like. For one, I have to be in a job that I’m passionate about. Two, I have to be surrounded by people who would continue to motivate me to do my job, because any job will have its ups and downs. Three and the most important, I think, I have to do be in that particular job for the RIGHT reasons.

    Now, I am in a job that I am not passionate about, surrounded by people who don’t motivate me, and instead will criticize my work if some aspect of it “supposedly” will offend my company’s clients, and I’m only doing this job because I have a huge government debt I have to pay (Let’s not get into that because it’s a LONG story).

    Bottom line: I don’t hate my current job, but I don’t like it, either. The same way I feel about the people I work with. But, do you want to know why I stay on with this job? It’s because I feel I’m too old to look for a new one. In the country I live, most prospective employers look for younger people. Fresh graduates are always the best picks.

    I’m staying with my current job all for the wrong reasons, but I’m not going to complain about it. I just simply want to share this story so that others who are thinking of looking for a new job can have some sort of perspective.

    Lastly, thank you for reading. Hope you find the job that makes you happy :)

  80. Sometimes, however, the only way to deal with a situation that’s not good is to simply take oneself out of the situation once and for all. I worked for sixteen years as a data process entry person in the Customer Service Department of a small local publishing company that’s affiliated with a renowned large university, which had a reputation for being a big union buster.

    Most of my years there were good ones, and my boss, despite running a very tight ship, was fair to all of us. (There were about 15 to 20 some-odd people in our Customer service department when I first came to work there. ) By the time I left, 16 years later, there were only six people in that department, including myself.

    The last few years, however, were much rougher, because the new supervisor that was brought into our department to reflect certain changes that were going on in the company became very overzealous. At first, thought, the new supervisor came on being very bubbly, friendly and complimentary with everybody, and would ingratiate herself with people. She’d affectively break down people’s defenses, and get them to confide in her about whatever, if one gets the drift. Little did any of us know, however, that her bubbliness and friendliness was a thin veneer; she was, in reality, collecting as much information about us as possible, so as to build a case against us, so that we’d be let go.

    In reality, she was a very rough and tough person, extremely difficult to work with. Often enough, she’d wait at the foot of the stairs for people to come in, she’d look around to see what people were doing even while on the telephone, she’d sometimes crack her chewing gum, really loudly if somebody was doing something she didn’t approve of, and generally made life miserable for everyone in our department.

    Three out of the six people that were left in my department, including myself, ended up filing grievances against her. One of the women, a light-skinned African-American woman, did an MCAD (MA Commission Against Discrimination) case, which got denied. Another woman with ADD and a seizure disorder, who was also a lesbian, was harassed and abused to the point, where she and her partner finally left to go to California. As for myself, I confided in the new supervisor about a certain issue of my past, and refused to become her stooge when she suggested that I tell her if anything said by co-workers of mine did or said anything that made me the least bit uncomfortable.

    The new supervisor made an about-face in her attitude towards me. She’d pepper my desk with petty little notes, monitor my every move, and, in general, simper at me and harass me in every way imaginable. Things became unbearable enough so that I eventually told her off, and that’s when things came to a head. I ultimately filed a grievance against her, and received a severance package, complete with retraining money (which I used for piano tuning school and afew other things) and a letter of reference from another supervisor who’d been there longer than the newer, nastier supervisor.

    I was not to talk to the newspapers or anything like that, or to repeat this to anybody, and I had to sign something promising me not to. So, because we had a union (which had gotten voted in by the skin of its teeth, due to the University’s making it extremely difficult for unions), some justice was done, although not as much as could’ve been, if one gets the drift.

    Despite advice from my co-workers to accept the situation and go along with it, I refused to do so, since I had to engage in self-preservation at this point to save my health, and my sanity.

  81. I am at that tipping point. In a job with no growth, no excitement, am needed for my knowledge. My recent project got messed up due to moving goal posts, politics. Add a boss who wants to save the world and refuses to listen to reality and is under the influence on someone who is in cuckoland.

    I now have the option of sticking on ina dead end job under negative circumstances (risky) or quitting with a years salary (risky but more exciting!), am debt free, and my gut feel says go ahead. MY wife is having kittens about this tough1

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