Quitting time

Find your quitting point

I got an email from Red in the Philippines, who took a major step towards happiness at work last week:

Red writes:

I have been your follower and i really admire your writing style. In fact, I have adapted your style in my report writing.

I just talked with my boss this morning (after reading your article on fear about being fired – now what vs. so what) and told him that I have reached my quitting point and I am resigning effective March 31, 2010. You know what, I felt a sense of relief deep inside and it was really great.

Though I dont have a job lined up, I believe that it is worth resigning from this suckie job. It has sucked my life out of me. I do not want corporate world anymore after March 31. I am pushing through with my passion: weight training, teaching wellness in High School, and blogging.

That’s fantastic and this is what more people need to do: Leave jobs that are slowly sucking the life out of them instead of making excuses for why quitting is impossible right now.

I’ve talked to many people who have quit bad jobs and almost all say “it was the right thing to do and I only wish I’d done it sooner.”

On the other hand, I’ve never heard a single solitary person say “I quit a bad job last year – I only wish I’d waited 6 more months to do it.”

Of course, the current state of the economy makes this choice more difficult. But no less necessary.

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8 thoughts on “Quitting time”

  1. I like the idea of inspiring people to be less afraid of quitting. Of course everyone’s circumstances are different, as the above comment points out, but there is a stigma to quitting one’s job in our society which ought not to be there.

    People of think of someone who quits their job as being lazy, uncooperative, irresponsible, or just a “loose canon” in general. I think this stigma is used as a means of control and it has no healthy place in society.

  2. Hi Alex, greetings from New York! I’ve been an entertained reader for quite some time and with this post, finally felt prompted to chime in, particularly because I can serve as that outlier example who rounds out your experience.

    Within the past year, I “reached my quitting point” and quit a job at a prestigious Wall Street bank amidst the financial crisis, multiple rounds of layoffs, and an increasingly loud public outcry against the entire industry. It just wasn’t working for me.

    In quitting, I found a job that much better met my long-term goals and I am much happier there. I also found a confidence deep within me by actually switching jobs during such a tumultuous time. However, this year I found out about bonus levels at my old employer and learned about what I would’ve received had I stayed put. I can honestly say that had I known about the extent of the financial reward that was awaiting me in the near future, I would have stayed. That money would’ve meant more to me given my life situation.

    I honestly believe that I made the best decision I could’ve made given the information present at the time. However, with my perfect vision in hindsight, I wish I would’ve waited a year.

  3. Dear Alex,

    Thank you for this chart and the text. I belong to the group of people who have resigned- various times. Not always because the job was terrible, mostly because it was not the right job for me and my talents. In December, I left a prestigious job in Dubai and moved to Spain to take a break. And here I am, enjoying life, speaking Spanish all day (and better every day) and looking forward to my work: finishing by business plan in order to start my own business later this year.

    I have realised that it is very hard to find the perfect job. You have the following options: accept that the job you are in is not perfect, make it as perfect as possible for yourself or create the “perfect” job yourself, outside of this company. Perfect is subbjective, btw.

    One thing I know for sure: It is never worth it to keep a bad job just for the money.

    Greetings from Valencia,


  4. Allowing life to be sucked out of us by a job will never create happiness. A major pivotal moment in my life towards happiness was being fired from a job in 1999. Greatest thing that could of ever happened to me…and on that note, I just want to say that I so applaud you Alex for helping people to see the light.

    Cheers to you!

  5. My last day at work was Dec. 26th. I quit with no job lined up. Since the day I gave my resignation, I have decided to sell my house and move my family to Calif. at the insistence of an old friend. Life is exciting again after 10 years at the crappiest job ever. After the worst Mangaer ever was transferred back to my department to be our Manager for the 3rd time in 10 years I decided i could not take it anymore. I am pretty muh done with the Corporate World in general. Put in my 20 years and not looking back.
    Yes, things are scary but fate works in mysterious ways. Since I resigned, I have collected my 401k and can live comfortably for a few months, we have had deaths in the family resulting in inheritence which will help us start fresh. Life is weird. Just quit these jobs slowly sucking the life out of you. These companies could care less if you drop dead at your desk, they will just replace you. Get out while you are young and still creative. Live life.

  6. Dear Alex,

    I’m new to your site but I have to say, I wish I would have found it years ago! This post (and so many of the others) really hit home. So many people, myself included, stay in jobs they shouldn’t because of the economy, because we think quiting is “wrong,” because we’re trained to think things will get better someday, and on and on and on . . .

    Long story short, your words are encouraging. I hope anyone who has ever had doubts about leaving a job gets a chance to read this post, and subsuquently uses it as a springboard to take that leap into the wild great unknown.

  7. A week ago I looked at this graph and realized I was at the “Foolish not to quit HERE” point. This is it, I thought, time to get outta dodge.
    This week, the decision was taken out of my hands as my new psychotic boss had me laid off.

    Onward and upward…

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