February 19th, 2023

Breaking Up with Your Job: A Guide to Quitting with Dignity and Purpose

woman thinking about quitting her job

You’ve been working nonstop and have begun feeling neglected and undervalued at your workplace. You might’ve even started thinking if quitting is the solution to your problems. I’ve been there.

Story Time

Last year I took a job I thought would bring me great satisfaction. After many years and attempts, I had finally gotten the chance to work at a company that was doing amazing projects in Mexico. I knew the job would be challenging, but I also knew it would be filled with lots of satisfaction.

Even though I knew from the beginning that the job wouldn’t be easy, I wasn’t expecting that my boss would be such a difficult person. In the few months I spent working at this company I invested over 12 hours a day on average working on extremely demanding mental tasks. I’d spend 10 hours at my desk working only to go home and spend more time answering text messages and emails.

I began feeling mentally exhausted, but I kept going because I loved working with my team and enjoyed the content we produced. Unfortunately, my boss didn’t make things easier. No matter how hard I tried to give my all every day, he somehow found a way to make me feel the total oposite.

My boss would come up to me every day and ask me out of the blue things about one of the many projects we’d be working on that week. Naturally, It’d take me a couple of seconds to stop and remember the details of the project he’d be talking about without being specific. He’d say things like: “sometimes I feel like you’re not even paying attention” or even say something along the lines of: “sometimes I feel like you’re a little bit on the slow side,” referring to my mental agility. These sorts of events gave me PTSD. Every time my phone rang and saw my boss’s name on the screen, I panicked.

I know this might sound like one of the most Millenial or even Gen Z things to complain about, but I had never felt so disrespected in my life at a work place.

Then, one-day first thing in the morning, he started yelling at me for not quoting a project after he had sent me a text the night before at around 9 PM urging me to modify and send a quote to one of our clients.

That night, I had come home at around 7:30 PM after being in the office for over 10 hours, and so, I felt exhausted. I had trouble keeping my eyes open, and I decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to work on the quote first thing in the morning so I wouldn’t make any mistakes. I was wrong to think that because next thing in the morning I was indirectly told that my needs didn’t matter.

That morning I decided that quitting would be my best option. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately necessary for my personal growth and, more importantly, my happiness and peace of mind.

Here are some tips and things to look for if you find yourself thinking about quitting your job:

Signs it’s Time to Quit

Person looking at the time on their watch thinking if it's time for quitting their job.

Every single situation is different, and the signs that may be telling you it’s time to quit your job may differ from the signs someone else may be experiencing. Regardless, here are some of the most common signs it may be the time of breaking up with your boss:

  1. Lack of fulfillment: You may feel like your work is meaningless or that you are not contributing in a meaningful way.
  2. Lack of opportunities for growth or advancement: You may feel like you have hit a ceiling in terms of your skills or opportunities for advancement in your current job.
  3. Poor work-life balance: Your job may be taking up too much of your time and energy, leaving you little time for personal pursuits or relationships.
  4. Unfair compensation: You may feel like you are not being compensated fairly for the work you do, which can lead to resentment and a lack of motivation.
  5. Toxic work environment: You may be dealing with a toxic boss or colleagues, which can make going to work each day a stressful and unpleasant experience.
  6. Boredom: You may feel unchallenged or uninterested in the work you are doing, which can lead to apathy and a lack of motivation.
  7. Physical or emotional stress: You may be experiencing physical or emotional stress as a result of your job, such as long hours, high pressure, or a lack of support from your employer.

Experiencing job dissatisfaction and the associated signs can have negative impacts on mental health, productivity, and overall quality of life.

In short, job dissatisfaction can negatively impact both our professional and personal lives, making it important to recognize the signs and take action to improve our situation, such as seeking out new opportunities or making changes within our current job.

Preparing to Quit Your Job

Someone preparing for quitting their job

Preparing to quit a job can help make the transition smoother and ensure you are well-positioned to move on to your next opportunity. Here are some steps to take to prepare for quitting your job:

  1. Save money: Before quitting your job, it’s important to have a financial cushion in place. Aim to have at least three to six months’ worth of living expenses saved up.
  2. Update your resume and LinkedIn profile: Take some time to update your resume and LinkedIn profile to reflect your current skills and experience. This will make it easier to apply for jobs once you’re ready to start your job search.
  3. Network: Start networking with potential employers and others in your industry. Attend industry events, connect with people on LinkedIn, and reach out to former colleagues for advice and support.
  4. Identify a support system: Quitting a job can be stressful, so it’s important to have a support system in place. This might include friends, family members, or a therapist.
  5. Have a plan in place: Decide on a timeline for quitting your job, research job opportunities, and identify a plan for what you’ll do next. This might involve starting your own business, freelancing, or applying for new jobs.
  6. Consider the logistics: Think through the logistics of quitting your job, such as how much notice you need to give, what you’ll say to your employer, and how you’ll handle any unfinished work or projects.

By taking these steps to prepare for quitting your job, you can feel more confident and in control of the transition, and be better positioned for success in your next endeavor.

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    Quitting Your Job Gracefully

    Woman quitting gracefully and shaking hands with her boss.

    Quitting your job can be a difficult decision, but it’s important to do so in a professional and respectful manner. Here are some steps to take:

    1. Schedule a meeting: Arrange a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your decision to resign. This should be done in person, if possible.
    2. Be clear and concise: When resigning, be clear and concise about your decision to leave. Explain that you have accepted another job offer, or that you are ready to move on to new opportunities.
    3. Show appreciation: Express gratitude for the opportunities you have had while working for the company. Highlight some of the positive experiences you have had and what you have learned.
    4. Give adequate notice: Unless your employment contract specifies otherwise, it’s customary to give two weeks’ notice before leaving a job. This gives your employer time to plan for your departure and make arrangements to fill your position.
    5. Offer to help with the transition: Be willing to help with the transition process by training your replacement, completing any outstanding projects, and tying up loose ends.
    6. Leave on good terms: Keep your tone positive and professional throughout the conversation. Remain respectful and courteous.
    7. Follow up with a written resignation letter: After the meeting, follow up with a written resignation letter. Keep it brief and professional, thanking your employer for the opportunity to work there and reiterating your decision to resign.

    It’s possible that your supervisor or employer may have a negative reaction to your decision to resign. Here are some tips for handling potential pushback or negative reactions:

    1. Remain calm and professional: Stay calm and professional throughout the conversation, even if your supervisor becomes upset or angry. Remember that your goal is to leave on good terms and maintain a positive relationship.
    2. Listen to their concerns: If your supervisor expresses concerns about your decision to resign, listen to what they have to say. Be open to feedback and constructive criticism, and try to address any concerns they may have.
    3. Offer to help with the transition: If your employer is concerned about how your departure will impact the company, offer to help with the transition process. This might include training your replacement, completing outstanding projects, or documenting your work processes.
    4. Stay positive: Keep your tone positive and professional throughout the conversation. Avoid getting defensive or engaging in arguments.
    5. Stick to your decision: If you’ve made the decision to resign, stick to it. Don’t let your employer’s negative reaction or pushback sway your decision.

    Remember that leaving a job is a normal part of career development, and it’s important to prioritize your own career goals and well-being. By handling pushback or negative reactions in a professional and respectful manner, you can maintain positive relationships and leave the door open for potential future opportunities.

    Moving On After Quitting

    Person moving on and walking away after quitting.

    Quitting a job can be a difficult decision and may come with a range of negative emotions, such as guilt, anxiety, or uncertainty about the future. Here are some strategies for coping with these negative feelings and moving forward:

    1. Practice self-care: Prioritize self-care activities, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones. Taking care of yourself can help alleviate stress and improve your mood.
    2. Stay focused on your goals: Remind yourself of the reasons why you decided to quit your job and the goals you hope to achieve in the future. This can help you stay motivated and focused on the bigger picture.
    3. Seek support: Lean on friends, family members, or a therapist for emotional support. Having a supportive network can help you cope with negative feelings and provide encouragement as you move forward.
    4. Reflect on your experiences: Take time to reflect on your experiences at your previous job. What did you learn? What skills did you develop? Reflecting on these experiences can help you identify what you want in your next job and what you hope to avoid.
    5. Network and explore new opportunities: Start networking with potential employers and explore new job opportunities. This can help you stay motivated and excited about the future.
    6. Stay positive and resilient: Stay positive and resilient in the face of challenges. Remember that setbacks are a natural part of the career development process, and that you have the skills and resources to overcome them.

    By practicing self-care, staying focused on your goals, seeking support, reflecting on your experiences, exploring new opportunities, and staying positive and resilient, you can cope with negative feelings and move forward with confidence and purpose.

    How Quitting is a Good Thing

    Recognizing when it’s time to quit a job is important for several reasons:

    1. Career development: Quitting a job can be an important step in career development. If you feel like you have hit a dead end in your current job, quitting and pursuing new opportunities can help you achieve your career goals.
    2. Personal growth: Quitting a job can also be a catalyst for personal growth. It can help you identify your strengths, weaknesses, and values, and give you the opportunity to pursue work that aligns with these qualities.
    3. Mental health: Staying in a job that you dislike or find unfulfilling can have negative effects on your mental health, including increased stress and anxiety. Recognizing when it’s time to quit can help you prioritize your well-being and reduce stress.
    4. Job satisfaction: Quitting a job that doesn’t align with your interests or values can help you find work that you enjoy and find fulfilling. This can lead to increased job satisfaction and overall life satisfaction.
    5. Company performance: If you are unhappy in your job, it can also negatively impact your performance and the performance of the company as a whole. Recognizing when it’s time to quit can help you avoid burnout and contribute to a positive work environment.

    Overall, recognizing when it’s time to quit a job is important for your personal and professional development, as well as your mental health and job satisfaction. It’s important to regularly assess your career goals and values, and to make changes when necessary to ensure that you are on the path to success and fulfillment.

    Remember, nothing comes before your well-being. I know quitting can be a hard decision to make, but if you’re confident in yourself and are determined to move on and make something good out of a bad situation, I’m sure you’ll end up in a better place than the one you found yourself in just a few weeks prior.

    Like always, until next time,
    Danny Bribiesca

    P.S. (02/27/2023) If you’ve concluded that your current job is not for you, you may want to dig deeper and find out what it is really that you don’t like/love about your job. A week after quitting I realized that the things I described in this blog post were only the straw that broke the camel’s back. I liked my job, but I didn’t love it.

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