I have had to provide for myself for longer then most ever have to experience. Working is a necessity for me. Without work, I feel like a failure. I know that's not true, but I've always had some type of job. I can't sit still knowing I could be contributing to something. Quitting is never an option for me - with anything. Always only having myself has made me naturally come up with back up plans as well, with every single aspect of my life - because you never know what life can throw at you. Today's post is for those of us who are working at job that is killing them a little bit everyday on the inside and when it's okay to throw in the towel.
A little over two months ago, I was at a company that allowed me to pay my bills on time and have a steady measure of income. I hated it though. I made some great friends, yes - but I was miserable. My manager was a condescending, sexist and rude man. One of the people I was responsible to manage was a privileged, spoiled brat who did not take their job or me seriously. I was in an industry that I have zero passion for. The list goes on. I would come home tearing up daily about how stressed this job made me and how unhappy I was. All I did with my spare time was emit negative feelings because of this job. I was pissed to be at work for fifty hours or more a week, and then I would be pissed at home from all the various things that happened at work that day. It was a nightmare. I had been trying to get a replacement job for months, but nothing was working out. I couldn't quit though, because I had to pay my rent. My boyfriend and friends told me I should, but I just couldn't. How logical would that be? I had to have something lined up. Even if I did, I'm not a quitter. But who was I trying to prove something to anyway? Nobody was judging me, nobody cared where I worked or what industry I stuck with for "x" amount of years - except for me. I weighed the option of leaving for a long time. Then, I discovered Uber. Uber was a temporary blanket to cover my bills and still allow me to leave. So, I did. I woke up one morning after having worked for Uber for about a month part time. I walked into work and sat at my desk. All of the typical things that made work unbearable started almost immediately upon my arrival. I lasted about half the day, told off a handful of people and stormed out. I didn't look back. It was one of the best feelings of my life and I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Unfortunately, Uber kind of fell through in the beginning of July. I was left jobless and freaked out. It was the first time in my life that my backup plan did not work. I was scrambling to find a job - anything - because I not only have to provide for me but also my boyfriend whom I live with. What turned into one of the most liberating times in my life morphed into a terrible nightmare. My boyfriend and friends reassured me that I made the right decision though. Another first for me was really relying on the words my friends were giving me for comfort and trusting that something would come up. Well, to keep a long story short, a job did come up for me the other day. It took about a month, but I found a job that I will actually be happy at and that'll take care of me. Even with the horrible month of July and all of the black cloud feelings I had, I wouldn't have taken back quitting that job. It was SITLL worth it.
I wanted to share some tips with you all if you're struggling with happiness at a job but aren't sure if it's the right move for you to part ways. You don't want to quit a job if you can fix the problem, right? So - follow these steps and if you have taken all of them but still absolutely dread going to work with every fiber of your being, maybe it's time to start looking elsewhere and cut those ties.
If you're issue is with a coworker, try to work out your differences. Even if you're working your dream job, there WILL be people that suck to deal with. Whether it be the customers you have to interact with, coworkers, managers..what have you - there will always be a handful of people that make it difficult. If it's a coworker - you need to try to resolve your issues. Confrontation is best, but in a nice and polite way. Speak to your Human Resources Department if it's really that bad, and they can set up some type of mediation for the two of you. If you lay everything out on the table and still can't agree to disagree and be respectful to each other on the clock - this is a huge red flag. I had this problem at the company I left. There were two people in particular that made it horrendous clocking in each morning. I confronted both of them multiple times, sat down and talked to them civilly, went to other managers about them, talked to HR, and a whole slew of other steps - but nothing worked. This was a the red flag for me but I still toughed it out.
Next, if you're working in an industry that you are unable to find any passion in whatsoever - this is a red flag. If you can't muster the energy to even pretend to be excited about what you're doing - this can develop into bitterness. You're not going to land your dream job, usually, within your first couple of jobs. But, typically, you CAN make the most of it and be somewhat happy. If you find you cannot do this, that's a pretty big sign you may need to switch up what you're doing. Your job transitions into your second home. You usually are going to spend 40+ hours there each week and be forced to make relationships with your coworkers. If you can't find the passion you need to sell those items, call those clients, or whatever it is - then it's not worth it. It'll eventually make you a bitter, lifeless shell. You'll lose focus on what's important to you and your priorities will disintegrate. It may not happen for twenty or more years, but it will. I was in a field that I had zero passion for. I didn't actually care about the work I was doing - it made no difference to me if it got done or not. So, I had to ask myself if this is what I wanted to do for the next decade or even the next six months.
Third, and last - is the company treating you right anyway? If you magically landed a job that you actually enjoy but are very much struggling to keep your lights on in your apartment, is it worth it? If you can't afford to go to the doctor when you're sick, is that worth it? If you are forced to pick up a second job and lose sights on your friends and family, is that worth it? Not at all. You need to be happy. Your happiness is most important, it's what you have your entire life. I was at a job that I was still living paycheck to paycheck. I couldn't even start saving for my future and there was no advancement for me. It was terrible. I was miserable. It was affecting my personal life because I couldn't really go out and have fun. Ever. I couldn't afford to. If you're really that dissatisfied at a job that doesn't even care if you are there or not because you're so "replaceable" - LEAVE! I never felt needed at my job or rewarded for all the hard work I did. You need to feel that way in anything you're doing because you're not replaceable and nobody should ever make you feel that way.
So - those are my top three red flags for those of you who may be wondering if quitting is the right way to go. Obviously - you need to make sure you have some income if you make this leap. That can be a savings that you've been keeping, a friend or family member giving you a loan, or having a temporary job lined up. I worked as an Uber driver for crazy amounts of hours to ensure my bills were paid. I also relied on friends to help me in my time of need too. Those who care about you should want you to be happy too - so if you open up about our unhappiness at a job, you'll see who is a really true friend. They may offer to help you search for a job, lend you some money, or just listen to you vent. It's OKAY to have it all - and you will someday. Don't waste your short life working a full time job you end up loathing. Maybe it's time to start a new chapter. If not, hopefully my three steps will help you actually ENJOY where you're at. Let me know when you've quit a job because of how crappy it was and how you handled it. Remember to #staynerdy and thank you for reading!