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This question can be asked for a whole bunch of reasons but I kind of narrowed it down to just a couple of different reasons that I’m going to address right now.
The first reason would be “Should I quit my job because it’s a horrible job?” Second one would be “Should I quit my job because I’ve been at the job a long time and it’s time for a career change?” And “Should I quit my job because I don’t make enough money?”
Now, if you work at a place where you hate your job and it’s a horrible place and you don’t make enough money, then yeah, it’s pretty easy. Quit your job. Go find a better job. That shouldn’t be that big of a question and I shouldn’t have to convince you that much. Go quit your job.
The second one, though, is a lot more complicated.
“I’ve been at my job a long time.”
“It’s a great job.”
“I make lots of money but I’ve been there a long time and it’s kind of run its course. I feel like I want to go do something else and maybe I know what I want to go do and maybe I don’t know what I want to go do but I know that I’m restless here.”
That’s really the topic that I want to address because this is a super difficult one, unlike the other situations where it’s no brainer. There’s a lot of caveats in this question.
Career change is a huge thing and the different perspectives that come in and the different responsibilities that you have are big, right? You’re probably further along in your life. You’ve probably put some time in at this company, so you don’t want to lose that seniority. You’ve got responsibilities, maybe a wife, maybe kids, that you are supporting. At this point, maybe you’re supporting parents and so quitting your job and going back to school and changing careers could be a really, really, really big deal and I understand that.
At the same time, I also understand that often times, jobs don’t change and people do change. A job’s function may very well stay the same and an industry may stay the same depending on what industry you’re in. Whereas, people grow and people shift and people morph and people change.
What used to be an awesome job doesn’t feel like an awesome job anymore but you have a hard time convincing yourself that it’s time to make that move.
I guess the best advice I could give is to share what experience I went through.
I had a wonderful corporate job, making a ton of money, living a very blessed and fruitful lifestyle and I got to the point where I had to ask myself, “Is being a semi-conductor sales executive what I want written on my gravestone?” “Is it what I want to do for the rest of my life or is there something I’m more passionate about?”
When I looked at it, I looked at all the positives of the job and there were tons of them. There were the finances. It was my dream job when I had got that job. It was something that I had strived for. It was something that I’d worked for.
But after six or seven years, I got to a point that I didn’t want to be there anymore but I couldn’t justify to myself, but most importantly at the time, I couldn’t justify it to others. I couldn’t justify it to my parents.
I remember telling my parents, “Hey, I’m going to quit my job and I’m not exactly sure what I’m going to do next.” And they were super pissed. They were mad because they said they had worked so hard to put me through school and I was throwing everything away after achieving what they deemed success.
I had to take a step back and really evaluate, what am I looking at here? If I switch careers, and I didn’t know what career I was going to switch to, If I switch careers, what are the downsides of it? When it came down to it, my stance ended up being that I made it here once. I went through school, I went through the training, I went through the interviews, I got the job, I excelled in the position. If I made it here once, from way further back than I am now, I’m pretty sure if I leave, if I wanted to I could make it back again. Maybe not at the same company, but in the same industry. I could do it again if I had to.
But the whole reason that I was leaving is because I didn’t want to be there anymore, so the chances of that happening, buyer’s remorse I suppose, could exist. But I was trying to get out. So, I said, “Yeah, that shouldn’t be a road block for me. I need to go ahead and check that one off the list because I know that I can make it back.”
So what are some of the other pieces? Well, the finances. If I quit this job, I’m going to have to go back to school and that could be an issue or I’m going to have to give up my salary and maybe start over or start at a lower salary for a while in a new industry that I would be entry-level in. That is super scary and at the same time, staying in a place where you’re not fulfilled and you’re not happy and you’re not being fruitful, is, to me, even more scary.
I’m at a point in my life where I’ve done a lot of different jobs and I’ve started over and I’ve quit and I’ve made it back and I made a lot of money and I made a little money and I make a lot of money. Things are cyclical. After quitting the first time, quitting is no longer scary to me anymore, to the extent that my wife and I have a rule: I am not allowed to work at a job that I don’t absolutely, positively love.
I can’t just like my job. I have to love my job. And the reason we have that rule is because I’ve worked at jobs where I wasn’t happy and I wasn’t fulfilled and I wasn’t contributing to the greater good of society and when I got home every day from work, I was drained.
I wasn’t passionate and my family felt the effects of that. They didn’t get as much attention. They didn’t get the energy. They didn’t get the motivation. They didn’t get all that I had to give when I was fulfilled and overflowing from the fulfillment that I achieved at work and so my wife made a rule. She’s like, “You are not allowed to not like your job. Either you love that job that you work at or you quit and you go get a new job and we suffer the consequences of making that transition but we can’t just sit here stagnant and suffer when you’re not in a great position at work.”
I’m coming from a very blessed perspective, I know. I’m not in any way, shape, or form oblivious that not everybody can just quit their job. You’re right. Not everybody can just quit their job, but we’re not talking about just everybody. We’re talking about you.
Can you quit your job?
I’m not saying, “Will it be easy?” or “Will the transition be smooth?” but literally, “Can you quit your job?”. Can you float yourself for a couple months and float your family for a couple months? Maybe, if you have to, can you take on some debt in order to make that transition? If it’s at all possible, then I encourage you to evaluate it.
I’m not saying it’s a no brainer. For me, it’s a no brainer but I understand that everybody’s situations in life are different. With that said, it’s possible.
I’ve seen so many people do it. Candidly, when somebody comes up to me and says, “Hey, should I quit my job?”, my answer immediately is “Yes”. The reason it’s yes is because the fact that you’re even thinking about it tells me that there’s so much more that you see in the future that is potential that you want to go after it. My absolute stance is absolutely, go after the potential.
Jobs tend to stay the same and people grow. When those jobs don’t grow with you, it doesn’t make sense to stay at the same place. I know that in the past, we might’ve come from a generation who stayed at the same company for years and retired and got a pension. That’s not where we’re at anymore. That’s not the place we live at anymore.
I think the statistic is that people have seven different major jobs or careers in their life now. You can switch and you can move and you can grow and you can morph and I don’t want you to think that whatever skills that you currently have are going to be a throwaway because you move to another industry. The skills you have are applicable in so many different routes.
Though you might be in engineering now, that doesn’t mean you can’t go into sales. That doesn’t mean that if you’re in business now, you can’t go into art or design or whatever it may be. If you’re in manufacturing, you could absolutely pivot to another place. Will it take work? Yes, absolutely but life’s a journey and that adventure of the change and the unknown is kind of why we get up in the morning. It’s what lights us on fire.
The biggest thing holding most people back when they’re afraid of that job change is just leaving their comfort zone. Yes, you’re comfortable. Yes, it’s a known place and leaving and going to a new job is an unknown, but that should be exciting because change is going to happen. Just because you decide, if you decided, “Hey, you know what? I’m going to stay here forever.” That doesn’t mean they’re going to keep you forever. Companies make decision based on P&Ls and as soon as it doesn’t make financial sense for the shareholders to have you in that position anymore, they’re going to let you go and you’re going to be in this situation regardless.
You’ve got a big decision to make and I am here to support you. What is the best decision for you? I don’t know. I encourage you to just know that lots and lots of people quit all the time and shift and change and morph and end up far better than they ever were before and you can do it too, if you so choose.
Until next time.