Why you CAN leave your job without another one to go to – Part I

Post image for Why you CAN leave your job without another one to go to – Part I

21 December, 2012 · 144 comments

‘You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job, and not be paid for it.’ - Oprah Winfrey

A few weeks ago the first real signs of financial panic since I quit my office job 4 months ago started to set in.

The renewal notice for the TV License turned up.

The gas and electricity bills turned up.

I had to buy a hideously expensive train ticket to get home to see my family for Christmas.

My monthly travel card ran out.

Oh maaaan, it was totally time to start earning some mooooooo-lah!

My wish list for paid work was pretty basic…

-part time (so I’d still have time for all my other fun projects)

-NOT at a desk in an office which I knew would have me poking my eyes out within seconds

A friend suggested front of house work in a theatre, so I turned to the Archangel Google for help.

Archangel Google

I searched ‘Front of house theatre jobs London’ and up popped the Tricycle in Kilburn. They were recruiting. Yee-hah!

I emailed through my application.

A week and a 20 minute chat with manager Andy later, I had a job.

But WAIT!

Hang on just a lickety-split of a second…

How did that happen?

Isn’t it one of the greatest faux pas of all time to leave a job without another to go to? Won’t employers think you’re a totally unemployable loser who couldn’t stick you last job out? Won’t they think you’re uncommitted, unreliable and an all round waste of space?

Maybe. Or they might just love the fact that you’re taking control of your life.

The covering email I sent through with my theatre application actually said this…

‘A quick note on my application – I quit my corporate office job in August this year to pursue a life I was really excited about. Since then I have designed and developed a blog to track my adventures, done some travelling and volunteering and most recently did a short acting course. I loved it so much I signed up to a 16 week part time course starting in January 2013 and am currently looking for part time work in a fun and friendly environment which will fit in around my other commitments. I am a highly motivated, bright, positive and hard working individual and would love the opportunity to work with you.’

I’m not suggesting that everyone who is fed up to the back teeth of their current job should quit right now without a plan in place. BUT, if that’s what you’d actually love to do and the only thing stopping you is that myth about how no one will employ you ever again, I sincerely believe THIS

When you’re inspired, motivated and excited about what you’re doing with your life, the people you meet (including potential employers) can feel that too.

And they won’t care if you tell them you quit your job because it was making you miserable and now you’re diving head first into living a life  you want – they’ll wonder instead how on earth they can do the same thing!

6 months ago I believed that having a gap in your CV was the equivalent of committing career suicide. I believed that it would be difficult or impossible to find more work if I quit without another job already lined up.

Now the only thing I believe is that everything I believed before was a pile of doggy doo doo.

OF COURSE there are some employers out there who would look at my CV, shake their heads in disgust and never let me through the door for an interview. Then again, I doubt I would ever want to work with those people…

Have you ever quit a job without another one to go to? How did it work out? Are you contemplating it but worried it’ll all go pear-shaped? Looking forward to your thoughts and comments below!

Read parts II and III of this post.

 

 

 

{ 142 comments… read them below or add one }

Sanaz December 21, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I’ve done it.. on balance, for me, keeping my passion alive was worth more than not having a plan in place when I quit a job- the one and only ever time I’ve been employed (I lasted 2 whole weeks in an office).

Merry Christmas! Wishing you all good things in 2013 xx

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Leah December 23, 2012 at 12:08 am

Thank goodness you had the sense to listen to yourself and do what felt right. I know you love what you do and that’s a wonderful thing to be around – knowing people like you, who feel passionate about their work is what keeps me moving forward…we’re so much more valuable to the world when we’re doing something that excites us.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas. 2013 should be an exciting year! xx

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Erlend December 22, 2012 at 1:40 am

Did the same thing this summer. Although after two weeks looking for work I set up my own company instead. Even if I did want another full time or part time job I’d have the advantage of not having a notice period the new employer would have to wait through. Anyway, working less and earning more as a self-employed freelancer in my own company so I’m sticking to it!

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Leah December 22, 2012 at 11:48 pm

Brilliant!! Sounds like leaving was definitely the right decision for you! What were you doing before and what are you doing now? That’s the ultimate plan – no more working for anyone else, no more following other people’s rules – just creating a life that is exactly right for me. Wishing you lots of continued success with your freelance work!

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Jenny December 23, 2012 at 6:57 pm

I did it – two years ago in Feb. I had enough money to last me 4 months. I haven’t, as yet, had to eat Tesco value baked beans. And I don’t regret it for one single second! I’d far rather be here, even though I don’t have a regular income and at times things go close to the wire, than stuck back in the cage reviewing another technical spec and having to deal with egos.

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Leah December 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Jenny, thanks so much for your comment! Brilliant to hear another ‘escaped and survived’ story! Like you, even though I can’t yet see a day in the future when I will have an income anywhere near what I had before and am uncertain how I’ll be paying the bills in a few months’ time – I’d rather live with that uncertainty and feel as excited as I do now than go back to the life I had before.
Just checked out your website http://www.fuckthediets.com too – fantastic!!

Thanks for getting in touch!

Leah

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Sarah December 23, 2012 at 10:01 pm

Dear Leah and the survivors, well done. I also left my 9-5 in July and went to walk El Camino de Santiago in northern Spain in September and travelled a bit on the Continent as well. I will never regret it. 5 weeks and 800k on foot later, I still did not know what I was going to do. I have been back to London for 6 weeks now and my saving are coming to an end. Needless to say, extremely scary. I have been working on one of my play projects, it is going well, however it won’t bring any money soon as it needs more development at this stage. I have been sending job applications for admin positions and for part time missions. I am not surprised that I am getting no replies: simply because I don’t want to go back there and sell my soul again. What can I do now then? Oh la la, yikes, so scary. Last week, in my despair, a good friend of mine has suggested that I had a look at becoming a consultant for direct sales (at customer’s homes). I am not sure that this would be my dream job, but I signed up. I believe it will give me the freedom and the flexibility I so desperately need. I will still keep on working on my play projects on the side, which is important. I am taking another big risk: I am investing all the savings I have left in this, praying a lot and saying inchallah!
My moto is: we have only one life. Let’s do what we think is best for us in every moment. Because later will be too late. We have nothing to lose. Not even money. Because there is always a solution and help that will come if needed. I will go for it, because I don’t want to regret not to have tried at least.
So, please guys, if you are in London and want to support an independent beauty consultant, please let me know and have sessions together! And let’s prove that it is possible to do things differently. Thanks for reading such a long post. Sarah

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Leah December 24, 2012 at 9:59 pm

It seems like ditching the job and going to do some travelling is a recurring theme…whilst it might not give us an answer as to what we want to do with our lives, it certainly helps put things in perspective and reminds you that there are many, many ways to live.

My savings are dwindling quickly too and it’s definitely a scary prospect, especially when I can’t yet see an immediate way to earn money from the things I’ve really been enjoying since I quit my job. I know that is going to come in time and my solution for now has been to pick up some part time work (but in a much better environment for me than an office) and try and leave myself with enough time to continue ‘playing’ with all the other stuff. What is your play project? Maybe you’ll have to pick up some work in an area that isn’t your dream for now, but making sure it’s something flexible and that you have enough time to work on your other projects will mean that you’re still able to move forwards…it’s such a shame we have to earn money, it is really getting in my way!

Don’t let go of what you’re working for. Regret, as you say, is the hardest thing to live with and as someone once told me ‘there are no problems, only solutions’.

Thanks for your comment Sarah! Keep us updated with how it’s going!

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Chaz December 24, 2012 at 8:48 am

I quit my job working as a journalist on a local newspaper because I was just sick of it. I went traveling around Asia for 4 months and when I got back it took me less than a week to get another job as a journalist. I eventually found out I had chosen the wrong career path and now I’m a fire fighter and I LOVE it!

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Leah December 24, 2012 at 9:31 am

Ah, I LOVE these stories! I think it’s one of the hardest things to make a complete change of direction – we are forced to choose a path at such a young age and then somehow feel guilty when we realise it wasn’t right, making it difficult to make the changes we know we need to make. Sounds like you’ve now found your calling! Inspiring, thank you so much for sharing!

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Joyc October 8, 2013 at 2:42 am

Omg!! Chaz, Thanks for sharing your story! I absolutely need this inspiration. I am getting really sick of my Graphic Design job now and wanted to try a gaming company or go to study Psychology. I think I will realize that! Thank you!

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Leah October 8, 2013 at 5:45 am

Hi Joyc,
Glad you’re finding inspiration in the stories shared here…
Leah

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Joyc October 8, 2013 at 7:40 am

Hi Leah! Thank you for your awesome blog! Feeling really positive after reading it. I love to illustrate, sketch and doodle since I was a kid. And so, I go into design major naturally. It is like everyone expected that I will do something art or design related. Now when I am in a real job, it’s my first Graphic Design job in Branding. I started to feel like this is not what I want to do. I felt drained and I don’t feel like I am up to do the job well mainly because I have lost my passion although it’s only 9 months since I started this job. I start to think that I don’t want this as my main career. Doing it as a hobby does makes me happy but now I am really not that into it. This may sounds stupid, I feel like I killed lots of trees being a designer. (My family really into charity and my dad is into recycle job, I got affected by him in a good way)

My current company is a really awesome company, it has good environment, good work-life balance, good people and an absolutely great lady boss which I feel really guilty about having the thought of leaving. Also, I am getting an above average pay for an entry level job. Yet, I feel like I am dragging my feet to work. I am worry that I will regret if I ever quit this job and go for something else which I am not quite sure what it is; games and psychology is something that I am interested in.

Really lost now even as I am typing this in the office. People might think that I just didn’t hang on long enough on this current job. I understand that too much worry is useless especially given my age at 25 which is really still young and I know it. I just can’t help feeling worry that I cant cope with studies if I ever go into psychology major or other job. Meanwhile, I have an issue on work visa as well. I really want to stay in this country (I am a Malaysian working in Singapore) because It has better prospect than in Malaysia also my boyfriend is a Singaporean.

I am not sure what to do, even the action to hand in a resignation letter makes me feel like I can’t do it. I don’t know when I became like this; I used to be a very positive and strong-willed person. Now I am just a coward which I want to stopped being what I am now as it’s killing me! That’s why I came across your blog. I am grateful to see so many people are confused but moved on too. I think I will wait for another 2 weeks to see whether the gaming company will get back to me on my application for Associate Game Operation. In case if they do and if I got the job, it is easier for me to renew my visa; on the other hand if they don’t I will quit my current job and take a break to clear my mind.

Joyc

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Leah October 9, 2013 at 6:09 am

Hi Joyc,
Really glad to hear the blog has been helping you keep positive.
It definitely doesn’t sound stupid about killing trees :-) One of the things I really struggled with in my job was the complete waste of paper and total disrespect for the environment – it’s really important to me and I couldn’t understand why other people didn’t care. So no, it sounds totally normally to me that you would say that.

I think this is something many people struggle with. All of a sudden, something you’ve always loved doing doesn’t seem fun any more when we are forced to do it for a certain length of time each day and under certain conditions.

Do you have a clear idea of what exactly it is that is killing your enjoyment and making you feel drained? If the work was different in some way, would it help? It certainly sounds like your work environment isn’t the problem…

You’re most certainly not a coward. When we find ourselves in a secure job and especially one where there are many good things (great people, environment, salary etc.) it’s normal to feel apprehensive about leaving that behind and it’s always sensible to weigh up the options. It sounds like you’re already being really proactive in looking at other things you might want to do in other areas.

Whilst you’re trying to figure things out and understand what you really want, I’d try to get really clear on what’s making you unhappy about this job which should make it easier for you to see whether you need to try and make changes at your current job or whether doing this sort of work full time for a career just isn’t what you want.

I know these decisions can feel really tough and you want to get it figured out and sorted but try not to put too much pressure on yourself…

Take care,
Leah

George P.H. December 27, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Brilliant post. If you were out on the street with nothing to eat, you’d find a way to make money – so what makes quitting a job without another one lined up any different? There are ALWAYS ways to make money, I feel like the whole idea of always needing work is counterintuitive. I don’t make a very good hippie, but it’s almost like “the system” is trying to keep us in wage slave mode perpetually ;) .

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Leah December 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm

Hey George – thanks for your comment! I totally agree. The further I delve into this journey, the more I feel like we’ve all been put under some sort of spell, made to believe that awful things will happen unless we follow this weird system of earning money doing things that just don’t make the most of what we have to offer. The most annoying part is that as soon as you make a break from it you realise it’s not true, that, like you say, you can always find a way to earn money…it’s making that initial leap of faith that’s the hard part.

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Dusty in Colorado March 22, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Leah- I gave my 2 weeks notice this last Monday! Holy crap, I have been debating it for about nine months, with the nagging little voice becoming louder and louder each day. I just couldn’t get out of bed anymore. The thing that makes me feel guilty is my boss and coworkers kick ass and I am paid very descent money. But I don’t think I am very good at the work and have come to hate it. I just listened to my heart and (God)? I have some money saved but will need to find another job. I think I am going to start Illustrating on the side! Fug it, huh? Thanks for the blog, I needed a word of comfort. I am scared now but also happy! I was grinding my teeth to bone. No regrets! maybe small :)

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Leah March 22, 2013 at 9:47 pm

Hey Dusty! Welcome to the blog and thanks for your comment. Congratulations on taking the very brave step to leave something that wasn’t making you happy. It might seem a bit scary right now but you’ll soon know that you’ve made the right decision. Now is the time to start exploring all the possibilities that are out there for you. There are no limits to what you can do! I was scared for a long time when I first left my job, but now I realise that I’m going to be ok no matter what happens and I feel much more like life is one big journey and game which I’m finally able to enjoy. Best of luck and let me know how you get on!

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John April 11, 2013 at 12:19 am

Hello! I just came across your blog by accident. I did the same thing today without giving any notice and upon leaving the office where I have felt like an unappreciated automaton slave for the past 3 years was immediately struck with dread and fear. I don’t have another job lined up, nor do I have the money to last until the end of next month. However, the feeling soon subsided and now I can’t wait to devote time to things I actually find enjoyable and rewarding. I will happily take excitement and adventure over boredom and predictability any day!

Thank you for your blog and good luck!

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Leah April 11, 2013 at 8:53 am

Hello John and thanks for getting in touch! Firstly, congratulations on your big leap! Doing what you’ve done is the hardest part. I can totally relate to what you’re saying. I found that it was the first few weeks/months of leaving my job that I had the most fear/worry about what I was going to do next and how I would earn money. But the longer you are out of that world, the easier it gets and you start to realise that there are lots of people out there doing things differently and leaving your job isn’t so crazy after all. You’re now part of a new team – people who believe that life can be more than going to a job day in, day out, that you don’t enjoy. And connecting and seeking out more people in that team is one of the most useful things you can do. Knowing that they are there will help you in your times of doubt – and there WILL be times of doubt. I still have them. Glad to welcome you to the Where Is Life? community and please keep in touch and let me know how your journey goes! Leah

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Sonali April 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Hey Leah:)
I am feeling good that there are survivors like me on this planet.I am unemployed from last 4 months and will never regret for it.I mean right now i am disparately searching a new job but i think everything happens for a reason :)
..well after so many rejections i was feeling little bit depressed and then i thought its just a part of life, i have to live for my passion and i started part time photography, made my website,business card and currently enjoying it to the fullest.Travelling,taking pictures and learning how to live when you don’t have enough money ;) Because i am not making money from my part time work but someday will find a way to make money and get a new job soon.

Thanks for the motivation :)
God bless you !

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Leah April 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Hi Sonali,
Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment and I’m glad you’re feeling good about leaving your job. I absolutely agree that everything happens for a reason. The key is to focus on the positive and what you want to happen in your life – if you can keep the right mindset, things will start to fall into place. I had a look at your website. It looks great! It must feel good to have that up and running. Follow your passion and don’t give up! Stay clear about what you want and keep working towards it!

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Franco April 30, 2013 at 6:50 am

I resigned from my first job at the end of last year, and found myself unemployed for three months. Instead of making the most out of my free time, I worried so much about finding a better job. By March, I was on the cusp of a new opportunity. I was offered a high-paying job at government. On my first day at the government office, I received a job offer from an IT company to work as a writer. I left the government post because the position at the IT company had better fringe benefits and paid just as well. And what a bad decision it was! Not only am I finding it difficult to cope with the large-scale working environment, people here work long hours. It’s made me depressed to see that my goal of finding work-life balance did not work out. People’s lives here seem to revolve around work and it really is overwhelming me, since I’m used to just work within the stated working hours. I’m contemplating on whether I should quit without a new job secured especially since I’m once again scared of waiting for another three months for a new post. At the same time, I don’t think I can stay for a long in a job that I dread going to every day, and leaves me miserable most of the time. One thing I learned: I should have enjoyed my three months of unemployment. One way or another, you will find and job, and wasting the wait worrying about whether you will find one was unproductive. Hopefully, I will resolve my situation soon enough and I find an organization which offers great work-life balance. I like to work but I also want to see through my passions, and nourish my other interests.

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Leah April 30, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Hi Franco,
I can definitely relate to that. It’s very difficult to enjoy the free time you have when you’re not sure where your next pay cheque will be coming from so you end up spending all your time worrying and before you know it you have another job and no free time to enjoy. It sounds like your current situation isn’t working very well for you. And I know what it’s like to be in an environment where there’s a pressure to work long hours. Somehow people think that putting in longer hours means you’re doing a better job. They system is messed up! It definitely sounds like you need to make some changes…I’m going to ping you a PM to discuss further…

Leah

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Carmen May 2, 2013 at 7:01 pm

Hi Leah, I love your post and all the replies! I resigned today with no job lined up…I have 2 kids and a mortgage and a very supportive husband who believes that I should follow my dreams. I’ve been in the corporate world for the past 9 years and work consumed most of my life. I plan to spend the next few months with my kids and then look for something that I’ll enjoy. I feel that I only have one life to live and want to live it happily without having o deals with all the office politics and stress. I am concerned about the financials but my husband and i are coming to realise that as long as we can cope with the basics and pay our bills, we have more than enough to be happy.

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Leah May 2, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Hi Carmen! Thanks for leaving a comment…it actually made me cry. An amazing, brave decision and so lucky to have a supportive family who recognise that money is not the most important part of the equation. And yes, all the research proves that so long as you have your basic needs met, anything above that doesn’t actually increase your happiness. But I’m sure you’ll find that the less you worry about money, the more easily it will come to you. I think your comment made me cry because I watched this amazing video yesterday and I thought, now you’re going to be one of the parents that he talks about who can say that they were brave enough to follow their dreams…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKHTawgyKWQ

Please keep me updated with how you’re getting on and thanks again for getting in touch!

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Cody Stevenson May 3, 2013 at 6:44 am

I quit my job once on a whim…

Many many moons ago I use to install Auto Glass.

Side note: DONT EVER INSTALL AUTO GLASS!

Anyway, as you can probably tell by now, I completely hated this job. It was good money though for how young I was so I worked on. Then one day I came to the point where I was just going to have a mental break down. I just finished up my last job and went and sat in my work truck. Hands all cut up from broken glass and covered in black tar nastiness. I glared at the cell phone telling myself to pick it up and make the phone call.

Then I kept getting those thoughts that have screwed me time and time again. For some reason I am too nice of a person. I hate letting people down or upsetting them. I use to be so bad, I have dated girls for several months because I didn’t have the heart to tell them I wasn’t in to them anymore. That is a whole other issue though lol…

Then I was like, you know what, Cody! Be a damn man and pick up the phone. So I did! I called my boss and said “I just finished my last job and I am quitting!” He was somewhat shocked and asked if this was my 2 weeks. I said nope, I am bringing the work truck back right now. I will leave the keys and my phone with the secretary, goodbye. I even gave them back a check they had wrote me 3 months prior to go buy a GPS.

Now here I am today many years later and I am planning an epic exit strategy from the corporate world. Chances are I will be black listed in the industry and never be able to get a job in my 9 to 5 field again. Either that, or they will praise me and offer CEO of the cubicle warriors to me. In which case I would decline and do a dramatic Jerry McGuire style exit.

Cody

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Leah May 3, 2013 at 8:42 am

It’s crazy, isn’t it, how long we’ll carry on doing something that we know really isn’t good for us? Finding the courage to do something about it and change our future isn’t easy when it seems like everyone around us is conforming to the norm. But once you’ve done it, there’s no turning back and you wonder why you didn’t do it before! I cannot wait for your epic exit from the corporate world – I very much doubt that you’ll have any regrets!

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Shaikh May 13, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I dont know what should i do… having serious issue to work for someone… own business have always been my passion… but because of family presure adopted a more risk averse salaried life but deep within I am not happy at all… having tasted some success and having achieved some standard of leaving for the family I am terribly scared of leaving my job and starting my own venture… thoughts like what if i fail, from well will i pay my monthl expenses during the gestation period of my business, what answer will i give to my parents for leaving my job and man more… pls guid me what shud i do, pls…

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Leah May 14, 2013 at 10:00 am

Hello Shaikh, Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

I too was never happy working for someone else. It suits a lot of people, but I always felt restricted by the rules imposed by someone else and I am much, much happier now that I have total freedom in my life.

The pressures from family when choosing to take a slightly lesson common route in your life can be extremely hard to deal with. Their opinion is probably important to you and maybe you don’t want to let them down or feel as though you’re failing them? Ultimately though, I believe it’s important to live in a way that is true to yourself. My parents do not understand what I am doing at the moment and I am sure they are worried about me. But, I also know that by following what is right for me, I am ultimately a much better person for my family and the people around me.

The worries that you have about failing are completely normal. The unknown is a terribly scary thing. But the problem is you can never know the outcome before you try. You may fail. But try asking yourself what the absolute worst case scenario is? Is the possibility of failing enough to stop you trying to find something in your life that will make you happy?

You have a whole life to live. You deserve to spend it doing something that brings you happiness. Is there a way that you can start testing your business idea on the side whilst still remaining in your current job?

Please feel free to drop me an email at contact@whereislife.com if you would like to talk about this more and I will help in any way I can.

Also, I watched this video recently and loved it. You may find it helpful.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKHTawgyKWQ

Take care,
Leah

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Helz belz May 20, 2013 at 9:36 pm

I left my job in jan 2013 to volunteer and travel in Ghana for two months – best thing/experience i have ever had in my life!!!! So enriching xx

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Leah May 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Wow! That’s really recent! Congratulations! What sort of volunteering were you doing in Ghana? And are you back now? What’s next for you? Yay! I love hearing success stories! What made you quit your job? xx

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peter May 27, 2013 at 7:44 pm

hi,

i have a big dilema, having graduated from uni last year, i finally landed a job. it’s a fix term contract. anyway, the contract is due to end really soon and they have offered me an extension to the contract for six more months, but i haven’t signed it yet.

the problem is i really really hate this job. it is way too much work for the salary and not enough time in the day to get it all done. therefore very stressful. the problem is, i don’t know if this normal for most jobs these days. therefore i am thinking of just leaving once my current fix term expires and the looking elsewhere. at the same time, i am dreading going unemployed again, as i want to be working, just not in such rubbish job which i hate.

i know logically people say it is easier finding a job if you are in one, and just take the extension and look elsewhere. but it is very difficult picking myself up each day to do this. but at the same time, i am not so confident about being able to find work if i go unemployed as there really ain’t much out there.

what are your suggestions?

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Leah May 27, 2013 at 10:47 pm

Hi Peter,

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
I hear what you’re saying. For me, too, I’d reached a point where I was so unhappy in my work that I wasn’t able to find the energy or motivation to look for something else. Especially because I knew that the ‘something else’ I was looking for wasn’t actually a new job at all, but a whole new lifestyle and perspective on living.

It would be great to know some more about your situation…like whether the job you’re doing feels like it’s in the right direction/sector for you and it’s just the conditions of the job you’re not enjoying too much? Or whether it feels like it’s the wrong sort of job for you all together?

As far as the hours are concerned, I’m not sure there’s any such thing as ‘normal’ these days, I think it all depends on the company and their attitude to working hours.

I know people say that it’s easier to find a job if you already have one but I’m not sure WHY people say that. I think it’s just something we’ve learned to say to each other and accept. Listen, I’m going to drop you an email so we can talk about this more….don’t worry, there’s always a solution!

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Laura July 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm

I’m suffering a very similar issue as Peter as well! I’d love to speak with you via e-mail as well!

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Leah July 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hey Laura! No worries will drop you an email and we can take it from there…

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Anand June 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm

Hi,

I’ve been working 6 years in the IT industry and have done very well till now. 6 years ago when I just stepped out of Engineering College for which I had no passion I was desperately looking for a job (well because everyone else was!). I got a job in IT and due to my diligence and hard work I have got many promotions in the past 6 years and my salary increased by 400% since I first joined.

I have been very good at what I do. The best I can say without being cocky about it.
I’ve been working witht the same people for past five and half years and they are absolutely gutted to see me leave.

I don’t have a job in hand. I thought initially that I would look for a job during my 3 months notice period but I didn’t. Initially it was procrastination but now it is clear that it is because I don’t want to sit in another cubicle doing a job that I don’t enjoy and that leaves me stressed.

My last working day is tomorrow and I haven’t even made my resume yet. That speaks a lot about how badly I don’t want another job that I would hate.

I love food and travelling and although I am not sure yet on what next I’ll do but I’m sure as hell not going to do what I don’t like.

It is scary because right now I am well paid and can afford most things/luxuries in life but what I am missing is the satisfaction, that feeling that you get when you love everything around you and feel you are blessed.

I have been very lucky to get the kind of recognition and position at such young age, but I feel that I can do so much better by doing something I love because I would give my 200% to that.

That’s not it. I have been in a relationship for past one year and although she is a great girl but we are just not compatible in so many ways. We both know it for long and have tried everything to make it work for past many months but in vain. We both care for each other a lot and can’t leave each other but we know that we are not happy with each other too. We have broken up many times only to re-unite but yesterday I broke up with her as I feel she and I both have a right to be happy. She understands but it is hard.

With two big changes in my life I feel so scared that my stomach churns thinking about what will happen next.

But there is excitement too and that is what I need to hold on to and do what only brave souls can do, Do what you love!

It’s a long post and I’m getting emotional writing this, Wish me luck as I walk on the unknown road “In Pursuit of Happyness”.

Cheers,

A

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Leah June 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm

A 400% salary increase! That’s pretty good going!
Ha ha, don’t worry about being cocky! I was good at what I did too, and also did pretty well – that doesn’t mean you like it though! It sounds as though you’ve been a real asset to the company you’ve been working for and I’m not surprised they’re sad to see you go.

BUT…congratulations on taking the first step to doing something different. I feel your fear about the lifestyle shift. I was able to eat out, go to the theatre etc. basically do most things I wanted without thinking too much about it. But like you say, there was something massive missing. Something that money can’t buy. Job satisfaction. Meaning. Purpose. And now that I’ve found that through my blog, the fact that I’m living off next to nothing for now doesn’t seem important. And I love you phrase it…’loving everything around you and feeling blessed’. That is truly how I feel now. I see the world with different eyes.

Relationships are tough and it’s difficult to say goodbye to someone even when you know in your heart it’s not really right for either of you. Like you say, you both deserve to be happy. And ultimately I believe that if it’s meant to be, it will be, whether now or in the future. Well done for following your heart.

Wow – travelling and food! What a great combination of things to love! My advice…get out there, start a blog, write about it all and see where it takes you. Seriously, starting the blog really helped me figure out what was really important to me. When you have to write about something regularly, you soon find out whether you’re passionate about it or not. It has changed my life!

Totally normal that you’re feeling freaked out when you think about what’s ahead. But more importantly, you have that excitement there too. This is life as it was meant to be. Exciting and a little bit scary because you’re not quite sure where you’re going. You’re about to start a massive adventure and I’m so excited for you. Keep in touch and let me know how it goes!

Leah

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Leah June 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm

p.s. I just found this and it made me think of you…

To experience little miracles, get a little uncomfortable.

To experience huge miracles, get really uncomfortable.

The size of our miracles depends on what we’re willing to do to make them happen.

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Anand June 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm

Cheers for that! and thanks for the support via the blog.

I have been wanting to write my own Food blog for long but never been able to do it. I guess I will do that now and go from there.

I’ll be sure to share my stories as I progress.

Thanks again!

A

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Leah June 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Yes, now’s the time to start! Seriously, the blog changed everything for me…it’s taken me in directions I never would have dreamed of and connected me with so many brilliant people. I can’t wait to see it! Take care, Leah

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J June 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm

My story:

I’ve been working since I was 15. I will turn 30 in a few months. I’ve done the school and work thing several times in my life. Part time work and full time school wasn’t so bad. Full time school and full time work is HARD! I’ve done that twice. After officially finishing school the first time, the company I was currently working part time for while I was in school did not give me a position in another department that I had applied to related to what I had studied. So what was I supposed to do? Stay? I easily found another job and when I gave notice they were pissed! I had even given them an extra 2 weeks cause I felt bad, so a total of 4 weeks. After 1-2 weeks I ended up just quitting.

I lasted in my next job for 10-11 months before getting laid off. I was happy to be laid off because between my jerk of a boss who seemed not to like me from the start, even though he’s the one that interviewed me and ultimately decided to hire me, and my super annoying counter part he had hired not long after me, I was miserable. It’s too bad because everyone else was great and it was a fun job. That was sort of a specialized job that was also willing to allow me to learn and not require that I have the skills and experience up front, especially since I had just gotten my associate’s and finished my bachelor’s while working there.

So it was not so easy to find a job like that. I had to settle for less. I got many job offers, mostly all the same, and ultimately chose the highest paid one with the best benefits. So I was working in a call center doing tech support, what everyone pretty much has to do when entering the IT industry as an entry level. I wanted to quit almost immediately. I had interviewed with another company and made it to the 2nd tier interview level, but then decided not to continue because they came off really corporate and snobby. I lasted doing tech support for a little over 2 years. I wouldn’t take it back since that’s where I met my husband.

After 2 years I couldn’t do it anymore. Between the constantly irate customers, micromanaging, office politics, and constantly being thrown under the bus I had had enough. Also, I only went to computer school because I and many others felt I was decent at computers and I figured I could make good money if I did. I had recently returned after being out sick for a week. And immediately upon my return once again someone was trying to throw me under the bus. I was really upset and told my supervisor I couldn’t be there anymore. He was kind enough to get all of my vacation approved even though I’m sure he knew I planned to quit. After another 3 weeks off I had found a job through a temp agency and came in and gave my resignation. The company refused to give me my last paycheck and said I hadn’t accrued all the vacation I took. Whatever, I didn’t care. Though magically 2 weeks later on payday I got a direct deposit from them. :-)

The temp job I had chosen was data entry and it paid probably $5 less an hour than my previous job. However, that’s how miserable I was. There wasn’t much of a difference in my paychecks though. Maybe just $200-$300 less since the more you make the more taxes they take out. I specifically chose data entry because I was done being on the phones and dealing with people. I had done that for the past 4 years at 3 different jobs. And even before that had worked retail customer service as a teen and young adult. After 8 months I got hired on permanently. That’s when things started to go down hill (again!). More responsibilities and expectations, more micromanaging, etc.

I’ve had a sleep disorder pretty much my entire life, though I was only officially diagnosed 1-2 years ago. It’s made working jobs with morning hours a little difficult, but usually I could keep it under control and it would only flare up now and then. However, in 2012 it really started to get worse and worse and I was afraid I was going to get fired so I got diagnosed and applied for Intermittent FMLA. It just wasn’t getting better and then I was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety. It was so hard to go to work every day. I had zero motivation and I was tired all the time. My husband has been telling me all year to just quit. I said I would work until I felt I couldn’t anymore. A lot of people have said why don’t I just find another job. However, I just didn’t want to do that! I feel it will just be the same thing just somewhere else. I questioned what was wrong with me for awhile. The truth is I just don’t want to work anymore. But by society’s standards that’s considered lazy.

When it started getting to that point I devised a plan and a date. I wasn’t sure I wouldn’t change my mind, but as it got closer I told myself I just needed to do it! On Monday, June 17, 2013, as planned I sent a goodbye e-mail with my company e-mail remotely from home to my co-workers. I also sent an official resignation e-mail to my supervisor with a hard copy attached. Of course they took it dramatically. No one except management usually uses their company e-mail remotely but I had figured out how. So everyone was looking for me as if I were hiding in the building. (A co-worker of mine texted me a play by play) I had actually left my badge in my desk which was all cleaned out except for work stuff I didn’t need. Anyways, then my co-worker told me that people immediately started spreading rumors that they thought I was fired and did not resign. Even though I sent a goodbye e-mail! Who sends a goodbye e-mail if they are fired?! If you’re fired you don’t get that chance!

I felt myself getting angry about how it turned out but then I was able to let it go. I knew I had made the right decision and that their reaction proved why I needed to do this. It proved what horrible people I had truly been working with, with the exception of a select few.

My husband supports me and he continues to work at the same place I met him which is even worse now. I guess he has more mental stamina than me. I’m learning not to feel guilty and to just feel grateful for having a wonderful supporting husband. :-) Hopefully he’ll be able to quit his job soon too. Right now I’m still figuring things out, but in the meantime enjoying life and not having to be at work every day!

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Leah June 22, 2013 at 9:52 am

J – wow. It sounds as though you’ve been some pretty tough times as far as working is concerned. What really struck me about your story is when you talked about not wanting to work anymore but that society considers that to be ‘lazy’. I’ve been having some interesting conversations with people around this sort of thing recently and how we judge our success by the rules imposed on us by the society we live in. Somewhere else, in a different society and culture, taking time for yourself, just to live and to be is probably seen as extremely valuable. Who else should judge but you? You have to find a way of living that feels valuable and worthwhile to you, whatever that may be. And if at the moment, that just means taking time to enjoy life then that’s great. Like you say, I bet it’s been hard not to feel guilty. We often seem to feel that unless we’re working ourselves into the ground then we’re not as ‘hardworking’ or ‘good’ as the next person. It sounds as though you’re very lucky to have a supportive environment in which to take some time and figure things out. There will be a natural progression. The important thing is you’ve made a break from the thing which was making you miserable and that’s a brave move. I would love to hear how things develop for you…please keep in touch! Leah

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Amy June 23, 2013 at 8:22 pm

Hi there – just wanted to thank you for having this blog as it is helping me make a decision that I pretty-much-have-already-made about taking a leap of faith into the unknown…I am currently signed off work with stress, for the first time in my life (I’m 30), after spending the past decade doing jobs I (mainly) haven’t wanted to do. From childhood I have wanted to be someone who works for herself, but financial fears and lack of confidence re: my abilities/ideas have held me back. I now find myself in a situation where I am being bullied into doing a job that is not humanly possible, or (I believe) reasonable for one person. Other aspects of the role (including my lovely colleagues) have made it fun up to a point, but any time I have broached these new changes with my manager I am essentially shouted down. I find it unbearable not being able to express my view! She has taken against me despite the fact I have always been polite, worked hard, and double checked anything I am unsure of. Like others have posted here, I lack any motivation to find ‘another job’ which will still, at its core, be a total compromise of my spirit and talents.
I feel as well that most things I have to contribute career wise have come from life experiences gathered from outside the ‘workplace’; in other words, nothing I can list on a conventional CV. I wonder if anyone else feels that?
It is so fantastic to read about other people who have taken this leap into the unknown and trusted their gut feelings. I agree that we do seem to have been fed a big lie about how we are supposed to earn a living…
Many thanks again xx

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Leah June 23, 2013 at 9:12 pm

Hello Amy! Firstly, thank you for your comment. Secondly, I’m so pleased that this post and all the comments that have since been left have been a help to you.
It has surprised me since writing this back in December last year the number of people who take the time to read and comment. There’s clearly something very wrong out there if so many people are feeling this way and yet it’s also a massive source of comfort for us all that we’re not the only ones who’ve had it with the ‘normal’ way of doing things.

I, like you, had become extremely stressed out with work. It was only when I started doing a yoga class about a year before I eventually left that I began to realise that it just wasn’t normal or healthy for a job to be making me feel that way.

Having taken the ‘traditional’ route for work up until now, leaving must feel like a big step. But listen first to your body and what it needs. It sounds like you already have lots of your answers (you know that getting another similar job isn’t going to solve the problem) and now it’s just a question of finding the confidence to go out there and do what you need to do. Taking this first step is the hardest but once you’re out, you’ll wonder less and less what you were worried about.

I definitely, definitely always felt that the best things I was able to contribute weren’t things I was able to list on a CV. I just think it’s a massive sign that you’re made for something different Amy. Go out there and show the world what you have. xx

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Mark June 30, 2013 at 12:22 am

I think that I am going to resign from my 9-5 desk job next week. Sitting at a desk in front of a computer all day analysing data on spreadsheets/databases in an open plan office is awful. I’ve been miserable in the job almost since I started 18 months ago; but while I used to be happy in the evenings and weekends, the experientially unpleasant depressed mood I suffer from at work is no longer subsiding when I leave the office. On Friday I woke up feeling sick and anxious and just couldn’t face going in. It seems to me that if I continue in this role/career I will face serious mental health problems.

There are all sorts of other things I’d like to do for a living, but I feel that I need the breathing space to explore those options. Others seem to think that you should figure everything out before leaving a job… but how can that be done when you’re chained to a desk all week and are under the toxic influence of the job even when outside of the office? I think those people are controlled by fear and that’s why so many people who are “stuck in a rut” end up remaining there for life.

I like what Steve Jobs said on this matter:

“Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”

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Leah June 30, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Hi Matt! I was in a very similar position to you. The job and my emotions attached to it had reached such a point that I knew there was no way I could make any ‘good ‘ decisions whilst I was still there. I also knew that what I wanted in my future wasn’t more of the same and it was so important to have time and space to explore. Everything is screwed up when it comes to work. It’s scary that we’re all so fearful to give ourselves the opportunity to discover the things which really makes us tick. We’re so worried that we’ll never earn a penny again or things just won’t work out. Let me just tell you, it’s been around 10 months since I left my job and I’m currently sitting in a cafe in Southern Spain writing this reply to you. And being here, amongst people with a very different pace of life, reminds me even more that there is WAY more to life than being an office slave. I have never been so happy, never felt so much like myself and ever felt as though there is so much possibility in front of me. Life really is too short.

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czn8 July 1, 2013 at 7:00 am

That is very positive and lucky you being in spain. sounds lovely! Best of luck Matt. I know where you are coming from. I hope everything works out for you and keep us updated if you take the plunge.

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czn8 June 30, 2013 at 9:12 am

I’ve just found your blog and it’s already making me feel inspired and excited so I will definately be reading more once I’m chilling out tonight.

Basically I am planning to hand in my notice tomorrow with nothing to go to. I work o. the frontline in social housing and just can’t take it anymore. Nearly everyday I get verbally abused by tenants who swear at me, shout at me and tell me I’m rubbish at my job and don’t know how to do it. The management don’t support us when this abuse happens. I’m surrounded by problems, politics, dirt, dregs, and all sorts and it’s taken its toll. I’ve persevered for three years in this industry, worked hard to get promoted and improve the way we work to little availble and bad pay. If I don’t quit I am scared I will snap and tell a customer to ‘f’ off or just end up walking out which would suck as I would like to leave with my references in tact and get my last months pay which will include my bonus for the lasy years hard work I put in reaching company targets.

So tomorrow I take the plunge. I have some savings and loads of drive to get something else. I like the idea of getting some part time work in hospitality and maybe training to become a dog groomer or do some driving work. Who knows… But having worked in offices for the last 11 years I know I owe it to myself to try and escape this environment!

I will let you know how it all goes and best of luck to you and everyone else on here that has taken the plunge! :-)

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czn8 June 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

Oops i just realised it is only 7 years! Feels like a lifetime though!

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Leah June 30, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Hi Carrie!
So, there’s only an evening left before you take the plunge! How are you feeling? Nervous excitement? Dread? I had nothing more than you when I left. Some savings and a massive amount of determination that my life was going to be different. That I was going to find something that suited me. Every bit of me. And create something that fit around the lifestyle I wanted. 10 months on and it’s been a massive adventure. Not always easy, for sure, but one which I certainly don’t regret. All you need is the attitude that you can make it work. That’s it. If you just keep going, you cannot fail. Try things out, earn what you have to and give yourself the time to discover what you want from your life now. Oh my goodness, it’s the start of something exciting and PLEASE do keep in touch and let me know! It’s so incredible the number of people out there taking the steps to change their lives! xx

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czn8 July 1, 2013 at 6:57 am

Thanks for your kind words Leah! Its good to hear from people who did the same thing and it sounds to me that you wouldn’t change it!

I felt sick most of yesterday and still do now but I’m mot backing out now. So I’m going in to get it over and done with then ride out my notice period and start searching!

I will keep you updated and am considering writing my own blog about the journey… watch this space! Xx

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Leah July 1, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Most definitely recommend starting a blog. It has literally changed my life. Post on that coming soon….

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dogsled July 8, 2013 at 9:39 pm

Glad I found you.
43, no savings, four wonderful kids, a hard working wife and a job that is killing me. I think I’ve decided to quit this week. I don’t think I deserve to have been this unhappy for so long. It’s got to the point where I can’t enjoy anything – my job is poisoning my life.
Somebody give me the strength x

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Leah July 9, 2013 at 12:25 pm

Hello! I don’t think anyone deserves to be that unhappy with their job and like you say, sometimes it gets so bad that it affects every part of your life. I’m sure your wife and lovely children will be happier too for you to take action and start doing something that brings you more fulfilment and happiness. Money does tend to get in the way of otherwise such simple decisions, but I believe there’s always a way to make things work. There’s a solution for each person, or each situation. For me it took being out of an environment I hated to be able to think more clearly. Please let me know how you get on!

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Alan Thies July 20, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Nice blog. I recently quit my job on Tuesday- I had been at the company three years and at first it was very fun, but I just did not enjoy going to work at all anymore. I felt trapped and under appreciated. I have enough money for August’s rent and bills, but after that, if I don’t make some money, not sure what I will do. But I do agree with others on here- if you really want to and are up for the challenge, you will find a way to make money. I have had an interview already and hopefully that will pan out. What does bother me is I cannot use my immediate supervisor as a reference because I am sure she’s quite mad that I quit, and of course all new jobs ask for your supervisor’s number. Any thoughts on that? Thanks so much for your thoughts.

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Leah July 20, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Hi Alan! Congratulations on having the courage to leave something that wasn’t right. My ex-job was in Human Resources and I spent approximately 80% of my time writing reference letters. Not sure if you’re based in the UK but standard procedure for a reference these days is simply to state the facts – how long you were there, what position you held etc. It would be VERY unusual for your supervisor to say anything that could be potentially harmful to a future job opportunity for you. Especially if the only reason is that they’re unhappy you quit. People leave jobs all the time, that is just a fact of life and companies just have to deal with it. Sometimes it’s terribly inconvenient but that’s part of what you take on as an employer. I really, really wouldn’t worry.

Are you hoping to carry on in the same line of work in a different environment or start something totally new?

Leah

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Alan Thies July 20, 2013 at 6:39 pm

Thanks for the well wishes! I’m in Chicago, and to my knowledge, all companies are supposed to do, “legally” is call and verify employment, but they can also ask if I am re-hirable, to which, of course the answer would most certainly be no. It’s unfortunate, because I worked myself up in the company from basically security to the HR position, and I’m afraid to use my immediate supervisor as a contact, or the owner either because I know they are so bitter than I quit. I have other references from the job, so it’s not such a terrible thing, but I feel like the really good opportunities out there will be thorough in checking out my boss, why I left, etc., which makes it very difficult because I need something quickly! I’m trying to stay positive though, and I’m open to whatever possibilities come along. Technically I only worked in HR for about 5 months, so I’m open to staying along this route, but most places want more experience. Your blog was motivating and optimistic: it’s nice to see a different viewpoint other than the proverbial “you’re an idiot for not having a job lined up when you quit.” Sometimes, you just have to move on.

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Leah July 22, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Why should they tell anyone that you’re not re-hirable just because you quit? Is there any way you can have a chat to your supervisor and voice your concerns? You should absolutely be able to use them for a reference without having to worry like this. But if, at the end of the day, you really don’t feel like you can, you have got other options, like you say.
And you’re certainly not an idiot for having quit something without having anything else lined up. The idiots are the ones who stay half their lives in something they hate and never manage to do anything about it. What you’ve done is positive and you should use that to your advantage when looking for jobs. I always think, never be afraid to tell the truth. People respect and admire that. You left your job to search for something that feels better for you. There is no shame in that! Stay positive!

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Miserable July 28, 2013 at 6:24 pm

Dear Leah,
Thank you for your brilliant posting. I’ve had a job in the San Diego area for the past year in a very hostile environment. The worst part of it is that I am a wife and mother of a 3-1/2-year-old son with autism. I was using this job as an escape from reality, but then reality came to bite me right in the ass.
Things recently came to a terrible boiling point last week, and I soooo need to leave this job, but the misery impairs me to the point of not being fully able to find work elsewhere. I’m so disrespected and abused in this company even though I do all the damn work and am more competent than my colleagues.
I’ve told my husband that I want to give my 2 weeks on Monday, but he is freaked out about the money. We have employed a nanny for our son, and we would have to let her go if I quit my job. I love her, and she really keeps our sanity around here because she provides such positive support to us and our son.
A previous employer/friend of mine is willing to pay me to do his insurance collections (medical) for awhile to make up for the loss of money. I’ve already been doing his medical coding part-time for many years and still keep it on my resume.
Fear. How will I explain why I left my job to future prospective employers? I’m not averse to doing similar work because I enjoyed the work itself, but I just need to be in a positive and somewhat happy environment. I’m also thinking of starting my own consulting business in this field but have no idea how to really go about it. My energy and soul has been sucked away from me.
I feel so lost and confused. Should I go against what everyone tells me and just give my notice at this horrible job? Every cell in my body wants to leave this place.

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Leah July 31, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Hello Miserable (I really, really hope that isn’t your name),
Firstly, I’m really glad you enjoyed the post and secondly I’m sorry it’s taken me a while to respond to your comment. I’ve actually been having a think about your situation.
I know how it is to feel you’re at the end of your tether with work and that feeling too of being incapable of doing anything about it because you’re being dragged so far down about it. Sometimes I worry that now that I’ve been out of that situation for so long, it’s too easy for me to dish out the advice without really remembering how difficult it is to take action.
To address your fear about explaining to new employers about why you left your job…I genuinely (and I really mean this) think that there is no shame in leaving a job because it isn’t the right environment. There’s a a massive difference between giving up on something because it just doesn’t suit you quite as you’d like and walking away from something that is actually damaging to you. I think it takes strength and courage to walk away and find something that’s better for you. I also think that employers, at the end of the day, are human beings and they are not incapable of understanding that sometimes a person just needs to get out of a certain environment. Maybe they’ve even been there themselves. Be honest with anyone who asks, the right people will not accept it but will also give you credit for having done it.
For me, it always comes down to instinct and intuition and learning how to trust that part of yourself. It’s often difficult because in today’s world we’re taught that the head is more intelligent and how we ought to make our decisions. But for me, the heart is far more intelligent and we ought to pay it far more attention.
Jobs and money will always come and go, your health and happiness should be your primary focus. It sounds as though you have potential for other work through your friend which could tide you over and if you’ve got an interest in starting your own consulting business that’s great! I’d try by starting to speak to other people who have their own consulting business…use them for inspiration. I always find it really motivating talking to people who are living the sort of life I’d like to build for myself. It also reminds you that it’s not an impossible task. If they can, you can!

Everyone is different. For me, leaving and having time was the only way forward.
Find yourself some quiet time, put what everyone else is telling you out of your mind (their advice comes from a good place but they are not in your shoes and they are not feeling what you’re feeling) and ask yourself what you NEED to do. It’s nice to have a secure and stable job…but without your health and happiness it’s worthless.

I hope that’s of some help.
Leah

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Miserable August 2, 2013 at 4:52 am

Hi Leah,
That does help so much. I do have health problems so your comment, “but without your health and happiness it’s worthless” really struck a chord with me. I will be giving my two weeks notice the day after Labor Day (Sept 3rd) – score one for labor, however unorganized it may be!
The day I leave I plan to hit the ground running and start my new business. I have sketched out a business plan, and really think it will work! I like your advice to go find some people who have actually done something like this, and plan to check out a local Meetup group of small business owners in my area. To start my own business I have to starting trusting and believing in my heart again – it has been many years.
Thank you so much for your inspiration! I’m going to start working to benefit myself instead of working to take shit from others. My husband is now on board, and my friend is happy to have the help.
With all my heart,
Kim (the former Miserable)

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Leah August 2, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Hi Kim,
Wow, wow and wow again! You sound so upbeat, energetic and excited about your plans! And that’s absolutely amazing that you’re going ahead with starting your own business. If you believe it can work and you believe in what you’re doing, you can’t fail. Maybe it will take time, maybe it won’t, but so long as you love what you’re doing you will find a way to make it all happen. It’s also brilliant news about your husband and friend…when we make the decisions that are right for us, everything else has a tendency of falling into place.
Here’s to an exciting few months ahead and the start of something incredible! So pleased! Keep me up to date with how you’re getting on, I’d love to hear.
Take care,
Leah

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passion September 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Great blog Leah.

I recently handed in my resignation as I decided to “just let it go”. I had been with this company before and left due to leadership changes and felt I could use my talents better elsewhere than wasting time without adding to my resume. I found an opportunity which I was really excited about…but shortly found that I had challenges working with my functional team that has a strong inner circle club including my boss. Felt miserable, confused and demeaning somewhat when several occasions appeared being singled out by my boss in front of team for “constructive feedback” on my work but ended up as model template for them to follow. Did not feel the sense of cooperation from other team members which makes the environment very unbearable. During this period my manager from the previous company reached out asking me to go back which I declined citiing I had wanted to stay a while more to see what I can achieve as it had only been barely 6 months. Ironically I even referred someone else for the role and they decided otherwise after the interview. Still my

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Leah September 16, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Hello and thanks for your comment! I’m continually amazed that this post continues to receive comments. There are so many people out there breaking out or on the verge of…
You know, I’m sure a lot of people worry or wonder about what happens if they leave their job for something else but that ‘something else’ turns out to be worse than what they had before. But maybe it really doesn’t matter because it’s all just a step closer to where you need to be. You left one job to discover that your next also wasn’t what you wanted. But hopefully that’s got you closer to what IS the right thing for you. I’m not sure if you meant to add more to your comment at the end but I hope you’re feeling good about your decision not to take up your old job and to move onto something different and more in line with what you need.

Congratulations!

Leah

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Brad September 22, 2013 at 3:44 am

Fantastic blog. I’ve recently been thru massive life changing events and find my self no longer caring about the rate of pay,no longer interested in the trading of my life for money. I’ve realized we are dominated by our own creation and no longer can I stand to live this way.

I have not been to work in a week and I don’t really ever care to go back its a blue collar job and well let’s just say its full off ass’s and attitudes and I think that the 50% of time I spend there( 6 days 10 hours) of my own life is better spent on me and things that make me happy. I’m nervous but excited, major life events I think should be used to get some positive major life changes, and if waking up finally is one of them….sounds good to me.

I think that I’m finally ready for life, I realize what I’ve wasted(amongst some very good and very bad times) I’ve missed so much doing the drill the job the family the day to day and well sorry to say but that falls far short of what I see life being now.

So Monday in I go to turn in my keys and see what life has in store for me..i mean really what’s worse that could happen….nothing worse then rotting away at a job you fell into, a career that pays well and I do good at but can’t frigin stand, dragging myself outta of bed is like torture, now I just want enough income to shelter and feed me and time to do the thing’s I’ve always enjoyed or dreamed about.

Maybe I’m gonna become a hipster in the woods or something lol…..sounds nice.

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Leah September 22, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Hi Brad! What’s the worst that can happen? You asked the perfect question! What’s your answer? What’s really the worst that can happen now? And are you ok with that? And knowing that the worst is quit unlikely to happen you can go ahead and enjoy your journey! I often think I’m turning into some sort of hippy or something and will end up with a plot of land and some chickens and living the simple life…that’s part of my dream actually, eventually and if you end up being a hippy in the woods well, what’s wrong with that?

I think just realising that life is about so much more than a job and money will set you free. You will find a way to earn what you need to when you need to. Congratulations and may your journey be a happy and exciting one!

If you find a nice forest to live in, let me know, I’d like to visit!

Leah

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Lauren September 23, 2013 at 7:06 pm

Hi
Just came across this blog. Been in my career 6 years since qualifying in career area at uni. Loved my job, made redundant then moved to similar company. Constantly get told am going to be next promotion but instead sit there, bored whilst they employ people at higher level than me with no experience. 3-6 months notice period and I just don’t think someone will ask for interview knowing my noticd period. I do think of handing notice in before looking for job but I know my employer and they would use this against me! Stuck on what is best action.

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Leah September 26, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Hi Lauren,
Have you spoken to your managers about how you’re feeling? Apart from the fact that they’re not promoting you, do you like the company and the people and the work? I think you’re entitled to an honest answer from them. Either they want to and will promote you or they need to tell you it’s not going to happen for whatever reason. That is a long notice period, but other companies you look at should be used to that and if you’re the perfect candidate for the job, I don’t think it will matter. In my experience, companies want to hire the right people, not the person who can start at the most convenient time. As for your employer using it against you if you hand in your notice and then look for a job…I’m not sure where you’re based, but in the UK at least, references are standard…they simply confirm the facts, that’s all. They certainly shouldn’t be holding something like that against you. If you haven’t already, I’d advise trying to get a straight answer from your current employer on if and when you can expect to be promoted.

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Sarah October 14, 2013 at 11:02 am

Hi Leah

Just came across your blog and this really inspiring post (plus I love how engaged you are with the comments – that’s awesome!)

I have been seriously overworking. I am now at the point where I feel burnt out, stressed and ready for a change. This pace is making me ill and I’ve toyed with going to the doctor and getting signed off. But I think I need some more fundamental change.

I have a young son (4) and live in an expensive part of the UK. I have no savings.
But… I do have to give three months notice and have some extra funds coming in over the next three months.

I’m thinking a crazy thought, about majorly downsizing and quitting my job. It fills me qith exhilaration.

I do have a big veg patch (which currently I don’t have time to work on)
We do love beans, lentils, rice and veggies. Simple food is yum.
We could get rid of Sky TV (which we use to relax after stupid long days working)
I wouldn’t need a fancy mobile to catch up on my emails
I would have time to use the library more
I wouldn’t need to travel so much
I would have time to hunt for bargains in charity shops instead of buying clothes new online because I had no time

But, could I really get bits of work here and there – cleaning, babysitting, gardening copywriting etc – without too much trouble? I did want to start a business (my website that I started was thewildcreative.com) but had to stop because I was working too much I didn’t have time to develop my business…

I feel a bit crazy for thinking like this – is it too much of a risk to just jump ship out of the rat race with no savings safety net?

Sarah

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Leah October 16, 2013 at 12:50 pm

Hi Sarah!

Thanks so much for leaving a comment and sharing your story.

It sounds like you’re having a tough time at work and I had a quick read of your blog over at The Wild Creative (thanks for the mention btw) and see that you’ve already been through the process of leaving your job without anything else in place once already. When you did it that time around, did you find it stressful trying to find an income? And were you trying to earn money from doing a particular thing (maybe something new that you really wanted to do) or were you just trying to earn it any way you could? It also looks as though you’ve done a tonne of work preparing a course through your blog that could earn you some money. How are you feeling about that?

Is there something you would really like to earn an income from? Would you like to be able to earn an income through your blog/website?

Ok, so you know you’re not happy where you are right now. It also seems to be making you ill. That’s not good. And it sounds as though long term bigger changes may be necessary. Could you go back to working fewer days in your job to enable you to plough more of your energy into alternatives and regaining your centre and health?

I definitely know it’s possible to cut down on outgoings significantly and to save lots of money that way. If you have any skills that are instantly sell-able (doing anything and everything) then you should definitely be able to find an income here and there.

I’d think about the ideal work scenario you’re trying to create for yourself and then take it from there…it’s all just small steps and you already seem super motivated and determined…it’s all possible. Just know that feeling the way you are at work at the moment isn’t normal and you shouldn’t need to be going through that.

Leah x

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Sarah October 16, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Thanks Leah – yeah, it’s not normal… and even if it were, I wouldn’t want it to be *my* normal.

I think previously, I didn’t really try hard enough – I didn’t really want it enough. I had some part-time teaching which got me through for a bit, but wasn’t enough to sustain me all the time. I think I was also still in the ‘long-term’ income mindset… rather than just doing what felt good, a bit at a time, and trusting that there’s always a way.

I would absolutely LOVE to make money through my blog/website. I also want to do music (I sing and play trumpet and just wrote my first song https://soundcloud.com/thepaths). I love to write and would like to write a novel. I’m an academic too (getting my PhD in pop music) and like to teach. So there’s lots of things I’m passionate about.

If all else fails, I can busk, right?!! ;)

Sarah xx

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Sarah October 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm

So, I DID IT! I quit my job!

And the very same afternoon, a dragonfly (the animal that came into my head first, remember?) flew down the road in front of me.

I am totally taking that as a sign from the universe!

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Leah October 18, 2013 at 9:23 am

Hi Sarah!

Wow, that didn’t take you long! How do you feel? You have a few months’ notice to work out now, right?
Maybe now that you’re doing this for the second time and really understand that being in a 9-5 situation isn’t right for you, it will give you the momentum and determination to make something else work. It certainly sounds like you have plenty of skills up your sleeve and oh my goodness, your singing is soooo beautiful. With all your skills and how passionate you seem to be, I don’t see how you can fail. Here’s a really quick article I came across the other day which might give you a few ideas just to get started…there are so many ways you can start earning, you just need to value what you have to offer. Love that a dragonfly flew across your path :-) Stay in touch xx

http://www.free-range-humans.com/ideas/moneyontheside/

Thinking October 18, 2013 at 7:57 am

Hi Leah,
Great blog…I have a question though

If someone did quit without another job lined up how should she/he plan to respond to the question on the topic from the next potential employer? I do find that other than the money factor, the difficulty in explaining the gap is forcing people to continue with the current situation.

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Leah October 18, 2013 at 9:17 am

Hi,
Thanks for the blog compliment!
This is the way I see it (and it’s certainly not a should/shouldn’t) scenario – everyone has their own answer…but for me, honesty always wins out. If I put myself in an employer’s shoes and imagine someone coming in for an interview and me getting to that question..’so, there seems to be gap in your cv here, what’s that all about?’ If the answer comes from a real place, explaining your real reasons for moving on without something else in place and how you’ve been spending that time since leaving your job, I truly believe that any decent human being will understand that. Of course, there will always be some employers, stuck in the way of thinking that anyone who quits their job without something else must have a screw loose, that won’t get it. That’s fine. Not everyone is going to understand. But this myth that says that it’s so important to have another job lined up before you leave your previous one, quit frankly, I just don’t get it. Does it make you better for the job? More intelligent? More reliable? More hardworking? Not as far as I can see. It’s just become an accepted truth that everyone loves to repeat to one another. If you have real reasons for quitting without anything else lined up and you’re comfortable doing that, I think most employers will understand those reasons when you give them to them. We’re all just human, after all.

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Sarah October 18, 2013 at 9:28 am

Thanks Leah :) Your words of encouragement are very much appreciated! xx

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Leah October 18, 2013 at 9:30 am

No problem – wishing you lots of luck and positive thoughts for the weeks and months ahead! xx

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Jerome October 22, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Your blog and all the stories from other readers has been incredibly inspiring for me. I have been working in social services since Jan 2013 after being made redundant in Dec 2012 ( I know lucky right?) and feel that after 10 months I am burned out. Each day I wake with the same dread that im going to have to spend another full day in such a hostile and chaotic environment. I am overworked and unsupported by colleagues and managers and feel that even after raising these issues I have been left to feel hopeless. I have had 4 interviews this year but have been unsuccessful. I have applied for 2 more jobs that I really want but if I do not get them then im contemplating quitting in the new year. The impact of being continuously unhappy in my job is having on me is profound to the point where ive both lost and gained drastic amounts of weight. Life is hard enough without the b.s of work. Im just not a quiter and by leaving my job before having another to step into I feel like this is what im doing…

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Leah October 23, 2013 at 8:50 am

Hi Jerome,

Thanks for your comment and I’m really pleased that this post and the comments and stories left by other readers has been an inspiration to you – just goes to show, you are never alone. I’m really sorry to hear that things are so difficult for you at work. Have you always worked in social services or is this something new for you since January? Are you looking to get similar work somewhere else or move to something different?
I think we are able to cope with and put up with lots of difficult situations but when it feels as though we’re totally unsupported it becomes extremely difficult. It’s sad that even after discussing your problems you still don’t feel as though you’re getting much support.
I don’t think any job is ever worth compromising your health over because, without that, you’re of no use to anyone. Do you have any tactics or techniques that you can use to help you feel less burnt out on a day to day basis? I’m not sure if this will be of help to you or not, but I’m certain that if I’d have started practising meditation before I quit my job, it would have allowed me to deal with it in an entirely different way. I still would have wanted to leave because it wasn’t right for me, but it would have allowed me to have a lot less stress and anxiety about it whilst I was still there. Not sure if that’s your thing, but I certainly recommend trying out anything which can help you face these problems more easily.
It sounds like you’re already being extremely proactive in looking for something else so I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before you find what you’re looking for. I know only too well that when you’re seriously unhappy with your day to day work life it affects every part of your life and makes it difficult to see a way out. But one thing you should definitely know is that if you do decide to leave, it doesn’t mean you’re a quitter. It means you’ve looked at the situation and decided it’s the best course of action for you. Sometimes, removing yourself from a bad situation is far braver than sticking it out – but I know our mind can play terrible games with us on this front, telling us we’re weak and we shouldn’t give up. I don’t see it that way, I think it’s a huge strength to be able to acknowledge when something isn’t good for us and take action to change it.

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Jackie November 9, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I quit my secretary job at a lawfirm w/o a job lined up two months ago. I have been looking for a job since. I did get an offer for another job in the same field, but OMG I just felt sick to my stomach thinking about how I would fail at it and just not be happy. Well regretting it a bit now b/c job prospects are quite sad around here. Funny though, I did discover what I really want to do as career in this time I’ve been unemployed… only to realise that it’s never gonna happen… double fail haha. At least I guess I adjusted my dreams to fit reality, went back to school and hunting for a job at the moment. Sometimes just gotta be realistic about stuff. One thing im never doing again, though, is quitting w/o a prospect or declining a job lol.

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Leah November 9, 2013 at 10:07 pm

Hi Jackie,

What did you discover you really want to do? And why is it not possible?
I’d have to argue that we can adjust reality to fit out dreams…hope you’re doing ok.

Leah

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Godiva ATL November 12, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Timing is everything right?! This blog was right on time as I, too have just submitted my resignation (I’m a VP in a financial institution, Project Management is my profession). THIS was not without much planning, strategizing, replanning etc. Being the Type-A, analytical person I am, I’ve really spent time looking at this decision from multiple perspectives for much of 2013 and once I felt with 100% confidence that this was the move for me, I made my decision.

I’ve had a career for more than 15 years so leaping without the next was a little scary but I have faith that my next – with networking, aggressive searching, and peace of mind as a result of lifting this weight – will be in my near future. I think it comes down to doing the work, staying the course, being positive and knowing ‘who you are’ helps to make the decision a little easier.

Onward I go and thanks for your blog to provide yet a different perspective from someone totally unrelated! :-)

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Leah November 12, 2013 at 4:33 pm

Hello and congratulations! It sounds like you’re properly prepared for your leap so you must be super excited for working your notice and getting started on what’s next…
With a positive mindset and ‘I can do this’ attitude, anything is possible so I have no doubt that you’re going to be a massive success in whatever you choose next.
Here’s to the start of yet another excited journey!

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Godiva ATL November 12, 2013 at 6:44 pm

Thank you Leah….yet another sign from the universe that THIS is the right thing, right now for me! Be well!!

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kathee November 20, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I am in a fixed term contract until march.My contract has been renewed for the past two years and I have reluctantly accepted.I have now reached the stage that I do not want to renew next march.I am really un happy in the role as given all the mundane work to go despite saying I would like to get more involved.The environment is full of back stabbers and office gossip and I do not fit in anymore.It is making me tearful and unhappy.Please can I ask your advice on what to tell my next employer why I left.

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Leah November 22, 2013 at 9:58 pm

Hi Kathee,

Thanks for stopping by and for your comment. Listen, my approach to everything in my life is honesty. Even if I wanted to…I’m a terrible liar. That doesn’t mean to say that you should tell your future employers that you were fed up to the back teeth with all the back-stabbing gossip..but perhaps something along the lines of wanting to find a company that was more in line with your values with a great team spirit and maybe that you’d just out-grown your role. Really, whatever is true for you, go with it. Trying to make up reasons that don’t exist just gets us into a tangled mess.

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Alison November 23, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Wow Leah what a blog!! You and everyone here has inspired me so much.
I’ve been through massive life change this year, it has actually been the worse year ever for loss, and the lead up to those losses I was ‘but I have work’ – work came first, family and loved ones second. That’s hit me so hard that now 6 months after the first/main loss happened (my mum, my last parent) I’m now signed off work.
I had resigned before I went off work but they kind of talked me round but now I’m having to talk to them and hear all the pressure i face when I go back, it seems that by being close to a breakdown doesn’t matter and when I go back I need to work three times harder to make up for the time I dared to take off.
And I’m sitting here, lucky enough to have some money behind me and getting so stressed out about staying and stressed out about leaving. What’s stopping me 1) that I will one day regret it 2) career suicide 3) its a well paid job (no work/life balance at all though) …so to read your post and others experience its inspired me so much, it certainly makes me think I’m not alone and know deep down I will never look back if I do resign.
I stumbled across this quote yesterday which sums it all up (for me anyway!):-
Your hands have not evolved over 3 million years to type out memos. Or put paper through fax machines. Or hold a phone up while you talk to people you dislike. 100 years from now, your hands will rot like dust in your grave. You have to make wonderful use of those hands now. Kiss your hands so they can make magic.

I really hope I find the strength to resign again and if I’m really honest it scares me more thinking I won’t resign and end back somewhere I’m unhappy, unmotivated, lost and watching the essence of me being zapped away from me.

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Leah November 24, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hi Alison and thanks for your comment!
I’m very sorry to hear about your mum. I think we often don’t realise the importance of family and loved ones until something big changes. The world we live in seems to be set up to make us feel as though work really is the most important thing in our lives. It’s not always easy for those who haven’t been through experiences similar to what you’re experiencing now to understand how your focus and priorities might have shifted – for them it’s business as usual and I guess that’s understandable.

It’s been almost a year since I wrote this post and around 15 months since I left my job. The journey has been long and I’ve come a long way since then. I feel so much better equipped to deal with life now than I ever was before and looking back with my new perspective and tool kit at my disposal to help me deal with less than perfect circumstances, I wonder now what my response would be to being in a job that wasn’t right.

Ultimately, only you know what is right for you: whether that’s a a clean break with enough money behind you to know you can take the time to figure out your next move without giving yourself unnecessary money worries or whether it’s going back to that job to give you some security whilst you plan your next move but with a totally different mindset towards it that will enable you to be in that environment without it taking everything out of you…

I love the quote about hands. I truly believe we all have something great to give in some way…we just have to find the way that we make magic happen.

Take care,

Leah

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Laura December 18, 2013 at 3:56 am

Hi,

What a great blog! I’ve been with my company 9+ years as a Business Analyst. I’m very detail oriented, analytical, and hardworking. I make a really decent salary in the 6 figures. However, over the last year I’ve contemplated leaving my position without another job. I worked very hard paying off my house, car, and credit cards, and then put money away so that I can do this. The truth is I have become miserable at this job. I sit at a desk all day analyzing data on spreadsheets and in our databases. I work very long hours and have no life. The money is not important to me anymore. Back in February my company announced 2,000 employees were being let go. I wrote the Vice President a letter and volunteered! What happened? They laid off all my co-workers in my department (hired contractors instead), kept me and gave me a promotion. Sigh. So now I have survivors guilt as well. Then in July I became sick with an illness which I suspect was due to the stress of my job. My Dr. put me out on short term disability for four months. During that time I was able to reflect on my life, and it was the first time I felt at peace in a long time! Even with the very reduced paycheck on disability, I was at peace! I even started up my own side business making bath products during this time which so far I’ve made $700. Definitely a far cry to what I’m making at the job, but I enjoy making my products and it doesn’t feel like work to me at all. We’ll last month, November my Dr. sent me back to work. After 4 months of being out my company could have given my position away, but they didn’t. Sigh again. I’ve only been back 4 weeks, and they have piled so much work on me all of my symptoms are re-appearing. There’s no way to get this work done in 40 hours, just like it’s always been. I could easily go back on disability, but I don’t want to be tied to this company anymore! I’ve decided to start my new year off right by giving my notice Jan 2014 with no job. I need some more peace for a while before I even look for another job. I’ve realized mental stress can kill you. Who knows, maybe my side business will take off. I know one thing, I’m not looking back, and instead looking forward to my new adventure!

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Leah December 18, 2013 at 9:22 am

Hi Laura!
Wow, I love this story! You know, I think sometimes we spend so much time, working so hard, to arrive at the place we think we want to be, only to realise when we get there that it’s not really what we want anymore at all. So maybe 9 years ago this is what you wanted, and clearly you’ve been very successful in many ways, and it certainly sounds like your company want to hang on to you! But it sounds like you’re looking for something more now, something that’s going to fulfil you in new ways. I believe we all work too much, too hard, too fast – it’s killing us and we need to SLOW DOWN! It sounds as though you’re in a great position to be making the decision to leave your job and take some time for yourself. I also think it’s incredibly impressive that you already made $700 on a side project – if you already did that, I’m sure it can go further – it sounds like you have the drive and skills to do anything you want. Anyway, wishing you a really lovely Christmas and an exciting start to 2014 as you embark on your new adventure! Keep me posted, I’d love to hear…Leah

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Laura December 19, 2013 at 12:56 am

Thanks so much Leah. You are so inspiring! I thought about some things today and took action. I bought an old small truck today dirt cheap with a plow so I can make some money with snow removal. Imagine me, the girl with high heels all dressed up everyday for the office, plowing for people! Who hoo I’m feeling free just thinking about it. And selling scrap metal is good money as well, so my old small truck will come in handy. Plus I have my side business making soap and bath scrubs, and if all else fails I’ll just get a roommate. Never dreamed I could make soap until I was on disability for four months and did it! Never had the time to dream about anything before. My bills are only 739.00 a month, now that the house and car are paid. Who needs the big fat paychecks that come at the cost of no life, and affecting your health. I hope you have a really lovely Christmas as well, and I’ll definitely keep in touch. :)

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Leah December 19, 2013 at 1:09 am

Never mind about me being inspiring – I feel inspired reading that! You went out and bought a truck, with a plow? Now that is action if ever I saw it and I’ve never met you, have no idea what you look like, but have the most incredible image in my head right now – you’re going to be like Superwoman! It’s so amazing what can happen with a decision, some determination and action. It seems like there are nothing but possibilities in front of you – with that mindset I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that you’re going to go far with whatever you do next. Reading your story about the soap and the plow reminded of Chris Guillebeau’s The $100 Start Up book. You might like it – it’s full of stories of people who’ve started incredible businesses from nothing, just like your soap. I hope you manage to remove lots of snow this winter and please, please send me a photo – I would love to post that to the Where Is Life? facebook page as inspiration to the community! Hurray to living life!

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Nisha January 10, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Hi Leah, I have start a new job on 12/18/2013 as a Dietary Aide. The supervisor has told me when I was interview back in November the job is easy, I will be getting 30 hours a week, I will like the job, and the employees in that department in the kitchen was friendly. I knew when she told me that it sounds to good to be true. When I started working there I wish I have not work at that job. I learned from my own experience the person she had training me act like she did not want to half trained me for this job and I have to figure out on my own and did not know what to do. It was a lot of bad attitudes from these co-workers and I over heard one of the workers saying bad things about me and she did not know that I heard it. I did not get but 7 damn hours a week and that was a bull sh*t job. I only work there for 2 weeks in a half and I quit last Sunday without anyone knowing. I was tired of the bull sh*t there. I never in my life work no place of employment like that before dealing with difficult people. I tried my best to work with these people but it did not work out. So I feel I did the right thing to leave this job. I have already applied for different jobs and I am just waiting for someone to called me. It’s been a 5 days so I have faith that God will open up a better door for me very soon.

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Leah January 14, 2014 at 10:30 am

Hi Nisha,

I’m sorry to hear about your experience at your last job and hope you find something else soon. I’ve been lucky to always work alongside respectful people and can understand it must be hard to keep at it when the environment seems so negative. I hope your next experience will be much better!

Leah

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Nisha January 15, 2014 at 7:12 am

I hope so too Leah to find something much better and thank you for the advise.

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Charlie January 21, 2014 at 2:18 am

Hi Leah,

I began my job as a clinical therapist/case manager at a residential facility working with adolescent girls with mental health issues in September 2013. I have been here for a little over 4 months. This is my first job in my practicing career. I graduated with my Master’s in social work this past May. I have had a number of internships working with a variety of different populations and have yet to find my niche in the field of social work. With this demanding job, I have become extremely anxious and depressed. I am constantly unhappy and feeling anxious and it has started to negatively effect my personal life. I am starting to question if I chose the right profession. I haven’t been liked anything I have done in the field. I am torn between leaving or sticking it out because of how it may look on my resume with leaving my first job after 5 months with no legitimate reason other than the fact that it is causing me to be extremely unhappy. I also do not have another job lined up because I have no idea what I want to do with my life at this point and do not want to jump straight in to another career job and risk feeling this trapped unhappy feeling all over again. Help please :(

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Leah January 21, 2014 at 1:41 pm

Hi Charlie,

Thanks for your comment and for sharing your story. There are a few things that come to me when reading your comment…
Firstly – is there a support network in place at your place of work? Someone you can talk through these concerns and worries with? The area of work you’re in is highly demanding (and I take my hat off too you because I think mental health is such an important area) and if you’re still fairly new to it, it seems natural to me that it could feel overwhelming right now. So my first suggestion would definitely be to talk this through with someone.
Secondly – I would try to get clear on the reasons that this job is making you feel the way it is. If you can pinpoint what exactly it is that is making you feel this way, you can look at ways you might be able to change/improve the situation.
Thirdly – New situations and experiences can be overwhelming but that doesn’t mean they will be that way forever. I learned from my own experiences that sometimes we have to give something enough time to be able to judge whether it’s something we really need to move away from, or whether it’s something we need to continue to do for our personal growth.
I absolutely don’t think there’s anything wrong with leaving a job after 5 months if it’s simply not the right thing for you – but I would try to look more deeply first at everything that’s beneath your feelings so you can make a decision that feels right for you.

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Eugene January 31, 2014 at 1:50 am

Hi Leah,

I started working as an engineer with a construction company back in August 2010, straight out of university and in the field I studied for. I’m seriously considering leaving without another permanent job lined up after realizing that it was a poor fit with my personality and not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I was actually planning to leave by the end of the second year, but I followed everyone’s advice to try and secure a new job before leaving.

Fast forward to today, and I still haven’t a clue what I want to do once I quit. Meanwhile, I continue to do work that no longer engages me for 10 hours a day, 6 days a week. Recently my office was relocated and my daily commute of 30 minutes one way shot up to between an hour to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. When I get home, I’m just so exhausted that I don’t want to do anything else. I brought up my concerns about the commute to my supervisors but they basically brushed them aside.

I’ve turned from a playful, happy-go-lucky person who was always ready for a laugh into a quiet, withdrawn, and cynical individual. My friends say that they haven’t seen me smile or laugh out loud for a long, long time. I’ve put on 10 kilos since I started working, I have no friends at work, and my self-esteem is at rock bottom. I wake up several times during the night, and dread the upcoming week as soon as Saturday evening. I’m honestly terrified that I’ll be reaching a breaking point soon.

I want to quit and take a break to recharge, but the job market where I live isn’t so good and searching for a new job is tough since I don’t really know what I want out of life, except that I know it’s not this. I know I’ll be miserable if I continue to stay, and yet there is this inner fear of not being able to get another job if I quit, if there is one out there that fits me.

I feel so trapped and confused when my body is screaming at me to leave, but my head is telling me to stay. Even now, the people around me are still telling me to find that job before quitting. I have no idea how to move forward.

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Leah February 2, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Hi Eugene,
10 hours a day? 6 days a week? Who are you working for?
When I was in your position, in a job I no longer wanted to do, but not knowing what I did want to do, it was tough. The hardest part is not having somewhere to positively focus your energy. If, for example, you knew that you absolutely wanted to dedicate the rest of your life to protecting the endangered Black Rhino, you’d be able to focus on your plan for doing that and how to move away from your job and towards that. Immediately, you can find energy you didn’t know you have because you have something important you want to work towards. So, my question to you would be, what have you already tried, or are already doing, to help you find the thing that you would like to be spending your time doing? Playful, happy-go-lucky Eugene sounds awesome – don’t lose sight of him, he’ll be back!

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stephanie January 31, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Hi Leah,
I have read everyone’s stories and everyone has the same general feeling of being unable to “take it any longer”… I read their stories as an affirmation for my own strughles with shitty job s and have resorted to watching horrible bosses- as a form of temporary retribution lol.
I have worked in the logistics industry since I was 20…I’m 28 now and have decided from tuesday- I am quitting the industry all together, its horrible- I quit without any plan-but to finish my degree in may and apply to teachers college.
I will work a minimum paying job if it means I can get a career and have my sanity back.
I have put school off to save money. … I saved nothing…now I will start to volunteer, finish my education and find the person inside of me that was lost.

Thank you for your site- you have helped many and thank you to the posters (sorry about the jobs) but its nice to know- I’m not a lone.

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Leah February 2, 2014 at 2:00 pm

Hi Stephanie,
Thanks for leaving this comment. You’re right that a big part of the value of this post is all the conversation that follows it – we can learn a great deal from other people’s experience and like you say, it’s always nice to know you’re not alone. It sounds like you’re determined in the action you’re taking and committed to rediscovering the ‘real’ Stephanie. Love and courage for the journey you’re about to begin. Leah

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Jen February 3, 2014 at 9:55 pm

Hi Leah,

Just to thank you for setting up this blog. I have just handed in my notice in my first professional post after working there for only 6 months. My manager was nice about it, but that awful statement “I’d rather you had something to go to before you give up this job” came up when I first mentioned my intentions last week. Since that meeting I had been going back and forth over the pros and cons in my mind until finally, this morning, I decided that being so far away from loved ones, stuck in a very stressful job that was impacting on my health and happiness was too high a price to pay for a regular pay check. I’m now in the throes of anxiety about the future, but thankfully hearing from others is inspiring me to keep positive and search for a better option for me. Life is too short right?

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Leah February 3, 2014 at 11:30 pm

Hi Jen,
Congratulations on understanding that your health and happiness are too high a price to pay. We go round in circles, wondering whether it’s the right thing, to leave that job that’s making us sick. It’s why so many people have to wait until something serious happens before they ‘wake up’ and realise that money, actually, is nothing in comparison to being alive!
This may seem a little extreme but these days I tell myself this….seventeen months ago, if I’d have been told I was about to die, I’d have been pretty upset with how I spent the working years of my life. Today, I can honestly say that’s not the case. And if I can die tomorrow and be happy with the life I lived, for me, there’s really nothing left to worry about because even death would be ok. Life’s too short, it really is.

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Andrew February 9, 2014 at 1:57 pm

Hi Leah,

Stumbled on this website and reading posts really resonate with me.

A bit about my experiences, I have quit 3 jobs without anything lined up, quit on the spot without giving notice and am on the brink of quitting this one. Every time I’m about to quit I am always fearful, the fear just never goes away and right now I’m scared to just leave this current job even though I’ve done it three times already. Reason why I am more fearful now is because back then I had savings to last me a year but now I have hardly any. I am still planning how I am going to do this but it’s hard when your sanity and energy is drained by the job.

Already took two weeks off work for stress/anxiety which the manager approved but upon my return was recently taken into a meeting the other day as I have called in sick way too much and also day after my return and was given the spiel “why should we keep you with the company”. I told them outright I have no good reason why they should keep me but I am willing to take whatever comes my way.

I’ve experimented with many different jobs even starting my own business. I found that I function better with my own business even though I worked harder on it and most of the time had only 2-5hours sleep, I would have more energy than I did walking into the jobs that I’ve had before. Even with 2-5 hours sleep after I finished with my business I still had enough energy to go out dancing and visit friends and work on my business at night. I was told that was passion but to be honest I didn’t feel passionate so I don’t know what it was that was giving me this extra energy. Unfortunately I had to close the business due to a few unforeseen circumstances but have come out with more knowledge from it.

I consider myself lucky as I have no responsibilities like mortgage or family and I feel for the people who do.

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Leah February 13, 2014 at 1:42 pm

Hi Andrew,

Thanks for sharing a bit about your story here. So many people talk about that feeling of total exhaustion and being drained by a job they dislike so that it’s very difficult to work on other things whilst still in that environment. That was certainly my experience, and eventually why I left. Without savings I think it definitely makes things harder and I’m not sure myself what I’d have done in that situation since I wouldn’t have had the freedom and flexibility to explore different avenues.

It sounds like working for yourself could be a way forward for you, but perhaps doing something different. If you were to attend your own funeral, what would you want to hear people saying about you and what you did in this world? I find that’s always a great starting point to think about something you could feel passionate about doing.

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James February 19, 2014 at 7:40 pm

I have a unique situation.

I have been working as a federal consultant for a small company for 3 years now.

This was my first “real” job out of college. The thing is, I have a felony record (drug related). I got the job through one of my good friend’s father who knew higher management. I was working as a contractor/intern (not full time) for a couple months before getting a full time offer. I was convicted (no jail time, but they gave me the felony) a few weeks they gave me the offer. I was honest and open about it and they still gave me the job.

3 years later here I am. I am miserable. My company is dysfunctional. There is a high turnover rate and I feel burnt out.

However, at the same time I feel so lucky and blessed to have a job in my situation. I know it’s because of my work ethic and dedication because they still have me here.

In my heart, I want to do what you and others have done in this blog, and just leave and live! However, my criminal record is holding me back. I have attempted to find other opportunities, but I get struck down everytime my felony comes up.

I have money saved up, I still live with my parents (no rent), and I have some passions that I want to pursue.

What should I do.. ah. what a dilemma.

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Leah February 20, 2014 at 3:48 pm

Hi James!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this comment! Thank you so much for taking the time to share you story.

So once upon a time, you did something or made some decisions that today might feel like the wrong thing and now it seems they’re preventing you from living the life you want to live. I totally understand why you would feel lucky or blessed to have a job in your ‘situation’ but here’s what passed through my head when I read your comment….

- Your heart is telling you to do something, but you feel as though your record is holding you back. James, I’ve done so much soul-searching these past 18 months and I’ve come to the conclusion that the ONLY thing that ever (and I really do mean ever) holds us back is ourselves. Could it be that it’s not your criminal record that’s holding you back, but the way you view your criminal record? When you go for other jobs, are you feeling worried or ashamed about your record? Could that be affecting the energy you’re giving off and the way you behave? How do you define yourself? Is James just someone with a criminal record? What about James the committed, dedicated person with an extremely strong work ethic that I can feel coming through your comment? Isn’t that who you are, now, more than someone with a record? Your record is not who you are.

If other people will not accept you or give you the opportunity for another job – give yourself that opportunity. I see you experience not as a limitation but as a gift. How many people know what it feels like to have a record, but to have worked hard to be a different person, only to have doors shut in their face because of something they once did. Does it feel unjust? Unfair? It feels that way to me. Could you use your knowledge and experience to help others going through something similar? What is your heart telling you to do? What are the passions you talk about?

As long as you continue to define and identify yourself by and with your criminal record, it will have a hold over you. That experience is a part of you, yes, but you are so much MORE than that!

I’m so sorry, I hope I haven’t said too much, or overstepped the mark, or got it wrong entirely – your comment really got me thinking. Thank you so much for commenting!

Leah

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James February 20, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Leah,

Thanks for your response and your sincere interest and fascination about my situation.

I have built some mentors at my current work (which all have left – surprise, surprise.. terrible company) and they all agree with you 100% that I am holding myself back. Honestly, I haven’t even tried to update my resume and put it out there because I am a very realistic person and realize it’s going to be a struggle.

To be honest, I don’t even want to find another job. I am sick of this corporate grind period.

The whole reason why I got in trouble in the first place was that I had my business operation (illegal) and I just LOVED it. I had my own business, set my own hours, and I didn’t have no boss. I was very successful until I got caught.

However, I have NO regrets. Only regret I had was getting caught.

Weird right?

As you can tell I am a person who does have dreams and aspirations to chase what my heart wants. I am a risk taker and I love it. Unfortunately, that “rational/logical” part of my brain is telling me to keep the job and just ride it out as long as possible since I am so fortunate to even have a job! There are tons of people out there with no record and are good people who are struggling to have a job, and to me I feel like it would be a spit in their face if I just quit mine. Then there’s the other part of me that’s saying “go chase your dreams.. life is too short”.

To be honest, I am very close to quitting. Just want to take my time with this huge decision.

Appreciate the concern and thoughts! Wish me luck.

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Leah February 23, 2014 at 6:32 pm

Hi James,

So, did you love what you were doing before because it was illegal, or because it allowed you the freedom of setting your own hours and being your own boss?

I think it’s great that you know what you want. You’re certain you don’t want more of the same corporate life. You know you want to build your own life. And so your resume really doesn’t even matter, right? From now on, you build your own resume.

Does this make any sense to you?…

“I’m really really miserable, but instead of doing something that would make me happier, I’ll just stay being miserable so that I don’t feel bad about the other people who’d like to be in my situation.”

I just don’t see how that helps anyone. If you quit, you’re not only stop doing something you hate, but you make space for the ‘good’ people (as you call them) who’d actually enjoy that opportunity right now. It’s a win win situation!

I have no doubt you’ll do what’s right for you, when the timing is right. Although I’d rather you spent your energy and enthusiasm on something legit! :-)

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James April 4, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Leah,

Thanks again for the response. To answer your first question (So, did you love what you were doing before because it was illegal, or because it allowed you the freedom of setting your own hours and being your own boss?):

Kind of both.. I can’t explain it. I just chose the path that I took. I am definitely not justifying what I did and saying it was okay, but it was definitely wrong.

I love your perspective on my situation and you present good questions that I need to ask myself.

I am still here and still deciding. I will let you know as soon as I quit. It’s gonna feel great, but I feel I am not ready yet. I am going to save some more money. It’s definitely happening within the next year.

Keep in touch.

-James.

Leah April 4, 2014 at 9:17 pm

Hi James,

That’s ok, some things aren’t easy to explain. I like the way you put it, ‘I chose the path I took.’ That’s exactly it. You chose. Things happen because of the choices we make. And then we choose again in response to that. We’re all choosing, all of the time. Who do I want to be now, today, in this moment, in relationship to the choices I’ve made. Does this help me be the person I want to be, or do I need to change something? There’s no real good or bad, just who we want to be next.

If you don’t feel ready, that’s cool. It sounds like you’ll know when the time has come. Definitely keep me up to date!

Leah

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james May 1, 2014 at 6:47 am

Leah,

It’s me again… ex criminal :)

Wow.. it’s already been 2 months since I read up post and responded.

Well just to give an update..

After much thinking and more suffering at work, I had it and ready to take the leap of faith.

Putting in my 2 weeks notice later today.

I’m nervous yet excited and I feel a lot of weight coming off my shoulders already.

I’ll keep u posted when it’s official.

-James

Gary February 26, 2014 at 12:03 am

Hi Leah,
I am a 26 year old guy suffering from depression due to loneliness (another story completely) and a lack of drive and ambition in life.

I am currently off work sick for the third time in just over12 months with symptoms of stress and depression. I suffer from IBS, which flares up when I find myself stressed out.

Whats causing my stress you may ask? Well I am fed up with working at my job and just cannot face going in anymore. The thought of walking in and handing my notice in makes me happy. I am currently applying for new jobs but am terrified of leaving this job without anything solid lined up.

Dont get the wrong impression of my attitude towards work though, when I am at work nobody works harder or to as high a standard as I do. I have been meritied with Top Performer status and have been recognised for my hard work which I do appreciate. This is just part of who I am and I dont have it in me to give less than 100% in a professional environment.

It is so frustrating but I have no burning desire or motivation to work towards something I want to be. I have never looked at a job role and thought that is what I want to be one day. I applyed for college and University and the last moment possible as I did not know what I wanted to do in life. Although I did achieve a First Class Degree in Psychology which I loved studying, since Uni I have found it difficult to pursue a job in this area or find a job in the area that appeals to me.

I wish I could go back and tell myself to pick a subject at college/ Uni with good employmemt prospects. I would like to start studying again but since I have already had funding before I cannot get it again and cannot afford to fund University myself.

I really dont know what to do with my life and just fear this becoming a persisitant issue of Unhappiness and suffering with stress and depression if instay in this role or get another job one day.

Any advice would be appreciated, I dont know where else to turn. I am just fed up of cryimg myself to sleep because of feeling so unhappy.
Gary

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Leah February 26, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Hi Gary,

Thank for you sharing your story so openly here.

I like this…”I have never looked at a job role and thought that is what I want to be one day.” because that is precisely part of the problem – we hate our jobs and yet there is NOTHING out there that sounds appealing…because it’s all just versions of the same thing. And that’s exactly why in the end I knew I had to find my own path – no employer was ever going to be able to give me what I wanted for a job.

As for being able to go back and pick a subject at uni with good employment prospects – these days I earn a little money from running play workshops (which I’m hoping will expand over time) and coach people to face their fears, cultivate courage and create the lives they want for themselves – I’m pretty sure that wasn’t a subject option at uni and yet here I am with that as my reality. So maybe you don’t need to go back to uni to learn anything else, maybe you need to go back to yourself and rediscover the things you love? You have a First Class degree in Psychology so you’re clearly a sharp chappy!

It sounds like loneliness is also a big part of your story and something I can deeply relate to. I’m assuming, and hoping, that you’re already seeking help for your symptoms of stress, depression and IBS? No one should have suffer through that, and especially not alone.

Ultimately I think the solving of problems comes down to taking action, even if the steps are extremely small. It’s when our problems are stuck in our heads that we suffer so much. So whether that’s talking to someone about your problems, joining groups to help your feelings of loneliness, reading around things you might enjoy, starting a sport you think you’d like, writing about your experiences or whatever – I think taking small steps can be incredibly powerful.

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emily March 12, 2014 at 7:05 pm

I’m in a job I hate so much I lost my dad in December and took two weeks off… Since returning I have suffered with panic attacks I work on the telephones 8 hours a day trying to sell to customers I’m that annoying cold caller! I’ve had a lot of sickness recently a lot of the time such as today because I don’t want to be there I want to quit but I’m just scared I know I am a strong person. But this job is bringing me and my self esteem down I’m starting to hate tomorrow knowing I’m back

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Leah April 4, 2014 at 9:19 pm

Hi Emily,

I’m really sorry, it look as though I didn’t reply to your comment? I’m sorry, the comments on this post just go on and on, and sometimes I miss things. How are things for you at the moment?

Leah

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Emily April 4, 2014 at 9:55 pm

No worrys lol I’m on the sick at the moment mangers were lovely at first now not so much I know I’m not going back just that whole what do I do now feeling I’ve applied for new jobs and I’m applying for uni next year I feel a little more positive just the usual worry over money that’s messing with my head I don’t feel as trapped with the job And know that’s it’s my choice to leave at any time

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Misty March 16, 2014 at 4:26 am

Not sure how I stumbled on to this blog. I think I searched ‘quit my desk job best thing ever’ and Archangel Google led me here.

A year ago I had a really shitty desk job. I took it out of desperation to get out of my previous desk job, which in all honesty was really great until the company got acquired and my awesome team got dissolved. I didn’t want to work with corporates anymore so I took a job at a small non profit. I knew it wasn’t for me, but that’s what I wanted – I wanted to work with a bunch of old people who knew nothing about technology so that I could secretly work on my business plan – at work. And it worked. I still did my actual work though, although the lady that had hired me died three months after I started and the office became less of a mindless job and more of a mouse infested depression chamber. My business plans didn’t work out despite me winning several business planning competitions. My dad was in an accident and became paralyzed for several months (he DID learn to walk again, though!). Being that he is now somewhat disabled and can’t work, taking a huge amount of risk wasn’t right for me, and honestly I realized the business I was planning was not one I wanted… retail of all things – I hate retail. WTF was I doing.

However, after a year and a half longer of being there than I had planned, lady luck had bestowed upon me and I got a job with creative folks my own age like I had wanted in the film industry. I work in film and tv – what an ego boost! For the first six months I loved it, and I got to do use my talent – creativity and writing. All……. day……. long.

I LOVE the people I work with. But, I took a HUGE pay cut and was told that I will basically never make decent money there. Money isn’t everything to me – but when you only get enough to go to work and back and nothing else – it’s no fun. Here I am creatively exhausting myself day in and day out – while people are waiting for me to finish my own book, but I hate sitting at a computer writing for myself after I’ve done it ALL day for minimal pay.

So – I’M QUITTING.

I’m going to do some physical labor for a while and ditch the sedentary. I can’t handle it. In my spare time after NOT sitting at a desk all day, I am going to write on my OWN time, what I want, when I want and do a little freelancing as well.

All I know is 8-5 ain’t working for me anymore.

Hopefully I don’t chicken out!

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Leah March 24, 2014 at 10:16 am

Hey Misty! Thanks for sharing your story!
You sound like one determined lady. And really, I think that’s all that’s necessary – massive amounts of determination and a pull so strong towards something else that there’s no chance of you giving up. Sitting at a desk all day is a killer – quite literally! Good for you for taking the leap – let us know how it goes…

Much love,
Leah

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Maria March 22, 2014 at 9:48 am

Thank you! Here I am in the wee hours of the morning trying to find the comfort and strength to leave my job. I have worked for the same company for nearly 8 years and I have finally reached a breaking point. My job is in no way shape or form a prestigious job its pt, 2 staff 1 manager and it is not related to the education I have attained throughout the years I have worked there. I just never got around to quitting after I graduated from grad. school a year ago out of fear of not finding another job. See I have a criminal record; incident that occurred 5 years ago (expunged since then, but still pulls up a red flag especially in my particular area of interest). So I never quit and never applied out of fear of being rejected on all ends. See I know I have to quit, and I hate the idea of it. I enjoy my job, the customers I help, pt and well pay is not bad, but through the years I have experienced smart remarks, no pay raises, being kept out of the loop. I normally ride out the waves, which is what they are manager goes on a good one I let her say and do her thing she gets over it and back to “normal” we go. This time I just dont think I can do it anymore. I have wept my sorrows once too many. I fear not being employable, but if I dont leave now I will never leave.

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Leah March 24, 2014 at 10:21 am

Hi Maria,

Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I have just one question for you…what do you want?

Much love,

Leah

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sara March 29, 2014 at 8:56 am

Dear Leah, Please advise me. I am 40 years old, single female. I have MBA and i was really appreciated by my ex- managers and respected, but for personal reasons i quitt and relocate to anotehr country to find a job to make a living and to financially support my parent. It wasnt easy to find the right job but after a while i accept the offer of registry administrative just to have a point to continue my career in this country. and i witnesses many corruptions and lies from my manager regarding students grades and from my colleage who got gifts from students to change their grade from F to pass! when i complained about this to my manager, she didnt respond, then i complained to the rector. Then my manager start to give me a hard time and she shout at my face, no matter i say no matter what hard work i do , no matter how many days i stay late at work , she never appreciate me. and when it comes to tell me in a meeting that i failed in my job, i reached a point where i became depressed and heavy smoker and when i wake up to go to work, my tears fall all the way to work and i wish i get sick so i will stay home . despite that i am alone here in this country , and the only reason of continuing working there is salary. I hate this job i hate to be with liers who can put me in trouble anytime because of their dishonesty with the students. I dont have any other job offer, but i am fed up and i want to rebuill on this situation by resgining. I dont have any other job offer. do you advise me to keep this job or to just quitt and relax ? to be honest with you i want to resign, and to be under God mercy rather than my manager mercy,i want to take the risk and my heart says” LEAVE this job”.

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Angela June 24, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Before I read this article, I had already decided I am going to quit my soul sucking job. Been here for almost 17 years and each day is like total torture, watching the clock all day, totally disengaged from the work I do. Only problem is I gave myself til October, and now I don’t know if I can make it. Sure it’s not that long but it still seems like endless days until I can actually walk in to my boss’s office and “JUST QUIT”. Why October, really it’s just about saving a little more money before I say goodbye to my paycheck for good. I am 50 years old and I would like to become a Travel Agent, course is already started but I am finding it difficult to find the time and energy to study, so I intend to throw myself into the course fully once I no longer have to face this office duldrum anymore. With the money I have saved and the support of my other half, this is it. Revisiting my numbers and may just have to quit sooner, I mean it is summertime after all, wouldn’t it be nice to have a leisurely one instead of having to cut our weekends short in order to return to the city and go to “WORK”..

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Leah June 24, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Hi Angela,
When I first knew I probably wanted to leave my job, I thought of December as a good time to do it because then I would have ‘enough’ money. In then end, I just walked in one day in in June and decided I could do it any more, handed in my notice and left in August with what I had already saved. Looking back, I don’t think having the extra money would have made the slightest difference. In fact, what I experienced, was an increasing sense of freedom the less money I had – because hanging on to it no longer consumed my energy! Is what you have already enough? What other changes would you be need to make if you leave sooner? Thanks for your comment!

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Harry July 1, 2014 at 10:00 am

I’m glad I’ve come across this page and that I’m not the only one who wants to, or has quit their job without having another lined up. My situation is that after 12 years of working for the same company, seeing so many people get made redundant and seeing the atmosphere of the place change, I’ve decided enough is enough and I’m quitting. I currently work in quality control and it has to be one of the most thankless jobs around.

The good news is that I’m already half way through a life-coaching course and I’m getting to grips with internet marketing. I’ve decided that this is my future now and it needs my full attention if I’m going to make a success of being a life-coach and an online entrepreneur.

Just making the decision to quit is itself a very liberating experience and when I do hand my notice in I’m sure the feeling will only get better.

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Leah July 1, 2014 at 10:45 am

Hi Harry! No, you are by no means the only one! The ever growing number of comments on this post are definite proof of that. Good for you for taking matters in to your own hands and deciding to do something different! That’s awesome that you’re now training to be a coach! What first got you interested? Wishing you lots of luck with the second half of your course and everything that’s to come!

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Harry July 1, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Hi Leah,

I first became interested in life-coaching through the hypnotherapist Steve G Jones, who is also a life-coach and has online courses on the subject which I completed and now I’m progressing through another, more advanced life-coaching course which includes NLP and a week long “boot camp”. Defintely more more interesting than what I’m doing now.

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Leah July 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm

Hi Harry,
Week long ‘boot camp’ sounds like good fun! I love a bit of intense training. I hope it’s as good as it sounds!

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Jackie August 2, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Hi there Leah!

I just came across this discussion and I’m glad I did as I’m currently in a difficult situation. Here’s my story/dilemma: I am 28 and currently live right outside of NYC and have an office job working in television and advertising. Very demanding at times and the paying isn’t great and kind of hate my bosses so I would not be leaving my dream job. My boyfriend who is a physical therapist is looking to become a travel PT in California for a little while which will help save money for our future. I want to go with him but that would mean quitting a steady job and having to find short term jobs across the country. Housing, utilities, and insurance are all covered for the both of us so no major bills (part of the appeal and what makes it easy to save more money) i guess while im there i would prob look to hostess or maybe work a fun retail store .. We would return to NY after a year or so but I’m afraid I won’t be able to find a full time job again. Of course my parents have voiced their concerns about this as well.

Any advice on whether not my chances of finding another job will be shot or not?

Thanks!! :)

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Leah August 2, 2014 at 8:24 pm

Are you ready, Jackie….?

At aged 28 you’re scared you’ll NEVER get a full time job again? Tell me, do you REALLY think that’s true?

I don’t like giving people advice, Jackie, as I think everyone already has the answers they need. So instead, here’s a question that might help:

When you’re lying on your death bed, looking back over everything you’ve done or not done in your life…what advice would YOU give to your younger self in this situation?

Much love,
Leah

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George August 14, 2014 at 9:54 am

Hi,
Back in 2004, after my second redundancy, I started a job in the November, and found myself in the office late new years eve in a shirt and tie, shuffling computer printouts.
I saw the writing on the wall of the truck hurtling towards me.
I quit.
It was scary for a few months, but eventually I found another F/T job.
Now trapped there with two-months notice, I’m tempted to do the same again.
This time though we have no debts, no mortgage, no rent to pay, but to quit seems if anything even more frightening.

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Leah August 17, 2014 at 9:35 am

Hi George,

Just one question for you…

What do you want to CREATE in this world?

Much love,

Leah

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George August 18, 2014 at 11:09 am

Hi Leah,

To create: A spacious, rewarding, uncomplicated and quiet life for me and my wife.

Thank you.

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Leah August 20, 2014 at 1:01 pm

I feel peaceful just reading about it, George.

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Mara B August 30, 2014 at 5:56 pm

Hello!
Firstly, I need to say that I am grateful that your blog was brought into the world.
When I was at my lowest the past months, well since the beginning of 2014, I desperately searched for my way out of the day-to-day job, like the others here.
I think I surfed the net daily for a solution online or a glint of hope that I can do it because others have done it before.
Therefore, after a lot of inner struggle, depression and anxiety, I finally took the decision to quit and made it officially this Friday, 29th of August.
My mind was messed up, I even contemplated self-harm to not be able to go to work anymore, that’s how miserable I was.
By the way, my job is in nursing, thus, you can imagine the amount of stress, slavery and long hours that one has to put in. It is a difficult profession and even when you do it flawlessly, people are still going to criticize your ways, you don’t get breaks and nobody cares even if you slept enough or eaten. You are a slave and treated like an object to satisfy the basic needs of the sick and the disabled. I was recently told that it is unacceptable for a nurse to show any emotion or feeling and do what they are told without questioning (like robots). The only joy in nursing for me were the patients. I connected with them and made each others’ life better. Anyway, it’s all over now, I just have to wait for the notice period to end and engage in my writing life 100%. (I’m a part-time writer)
Thank you, Leah for this great blog and for the hope you have given to me!

Mara

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Leah September 3, 2014 at 4:32 pm

Hi Mara,

Thanks for your comment and I’m really pleased that this post has helped in some way.

“The only joy in nursing for me were the patients. I connected with them and made each others’ life better.”

No matter what else you experienced in your job, Mara, you made a difference to these people. And I’m sure they’re grateful for the care they received from you.

Congratulations on your decision to follow your heart and spend time with your writing. What do you write about?

Much love,

Leah

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Jackie F September 24, 2014 at 6:05 am

Hello!
So glad to have stumbled upon this blog. I have been wanting to quit my job for a while now. I have been saving enough money to take some time off and explore what I want to do next. My job pays well with good benefits but has become unbearable and it just doesn’t suit me anymore. I’m 36 years old and have spent 16 years there and don’t want to waste anymore time. I don’t own a home or have children yet, so I think this is the time to make a run for it. I keep letting fear of the unknown get in the way of listening to my gut. Reading other people’s stories is very encouraging. I just need to say the words already.. I QUIT!! Thank You for sharing your experience
Jackie

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Leah September 26, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Hi Jackie,
Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m excited for your decision and what will come next for you. One thing I will say, which is from my own experience and so may not be yours…but as it turns out, nothing is ever really a waste. Even when it feels like you’ve wasted some years doing something that wasn’t right for you any more, all of that has led you here, to where you are now. Happy exploring! Much love, Leah.

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Ivy October 23, 2014 at 2:43 am

Hihi!

Just happened to stumbled here, when I was searching for an answer to leave my current job without a new one. I am 23 this year, not sure too old or young. Had a diploma in tourism and travel (but never work in that field because I only found out I was keen on the jobs available when I graduated). Been working as an administrative staff since I was 18. Currently this is my 3rd job. Never knew what I wanted to do or could do. Administrative is really dry but everyone say I am good at it. Which slowly made me believe that this is a job for me! I left my previous company where the co-workers are great, comfortable office and high salary because I thought this current one is a new light(even took a pay cut for this job). However, it’s only been a little more than a month and I felt that I am not learning anything at all and I am just not happy. I just want to leave. However, the financial aspect is stopping me. Very lost on what I should do. Been thinking really hard on what I REALLY want to do in life. I wanted to work in the publishing industry as I love travelling (main reason I chose to study tourism). Not sure how I will get there or will I ever get there. But as of now, I think I will quit this job. Do a serious reflection and get my life going!

Very inspired by all the stories here! Thank you everyone for sharing.

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Leah October 31, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Hi Ivy,
Welcome to the website. Really glad to here that stories shared here have been inspiring for you. It certainly shows that we’re never alone. Don’t think about what you want to do for too long. Answers come through action and real world experience. So follow your desire and try out whatever you think might be fun! Happy exploring. Much love, Leah.

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Wes Singleton October 26, 2014 at 5:07 am

Hello, I have been encouraged by some of the stories here. My story is different and unique like everyone else’s. I am putting in my two week notice this coming Monday. I have worked for a non profit financial services company for 7 years now (really almost 17 years I worked here for 10 years and came back, more on that in a moment), and while it’s a good company, I have been miserably unhappy in my dead-end for a few years now to the point it’s making me physically ill and I’m a healthy, active person. I’ve looked inside and outside the company and applied for various positions, to no avail. I don’t have a mortgage, family and very little debt to speak of and have a decent savings that’ll last me awhile. The fear and uncertainty of the unknown are almost crippling at times but I know I’ve been unhappy for so long now. Another big deterrent is 8 years ago I left this same company after having worked there nearly 10 years to do some consulting and it didn’t work out and ended up going back. But my circumstances this time are far different. My finances are far better, I have a clearer plan to get a couple of certifications, look for employment and reenter the work force stronger than before. Yes, I’m scared to death because of the uncertainty of it all, but I’ve been so miserably unhappy so long I’ve got to do something. Scared but also excited for what will come.

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