It’s OK to Leave a Job

Photo by whoislimos on Unsplash

Entering the post-COVID world, the job market looks completely different. Remote jobs are more prevalent, smaller companies are struggling to retain good employees, salaries are increasing, and what appears to be the biggest impact on large corporations was that they saw some of their largest profits ever. More and more companies are opening up their job pools nationally or internationally because they now realize that they don’t need everyone in an office five days a week. Sure, there are certain industries that will never be able to adapt to this new way, but for others, this is the way of the future.

As we move towards a more remote workplace for a better, more evenly weighted lifestyle, why does it seem like so many people are hesitant to make the change? Changing jobs is never fun, or easy, but when it comes down to leaving a job for a newer, hopefully better one, there is always hesitation and anxiety.

Anxiety stemming from the uncertainty of what your boss could say or how they’d take it, knowing you will no longer see or speak to your coworkers every day, moving on to a position and company that you hope is better than the last. As someone who has left a few jobs, I am also someone who has returned to the same companies I have left.

I once left a company because I thought that was the best pathway forward. Get in at the ground floor of a huge corporation and as the years passed, I would rise through the ranks. After thirty years, if not more, retire. However, I quickly realized that was no way to live. Working for the end is not anything that should ever be considered. How does that even make sense? Work thirty years without passion or exhilaration just because you know at the end, the payoff will be great. Do you know what the payoff will be? It will be misery, regret, and wondering “what if” for the rest of your life. Wondering what would’ve happened if you left for another opportunity that could have filled you with joy, completeness, fulfillment, and continual curiosity.

After months at the new company, I became depressed, the smallest things bothered me, and I lost all desire to do anything. I went to work, I put on a fake smile, and as soon as my day ended, I dreaded that within 18 hours, I would do it all over again. But rather than feeling sorry for myself, I found ways to break the cycle and get out.

I furthered my education, I used writing as an outlet, and I reached out to contacts of mine to see what types of opportunities were available. And I found that the company I originally left was interested in bringing me back.

Never burn a bridge!

Over the years, I have seen employees come and go, I have seen some flourish, and I have seen some in the same place I was. And every time I see someone in a similar place, I tell them that it might be time for them to find a new job. Unfortunately, companies never want to hear that from a current employee. However, to take a moment and think about the scenario, if the company realized how miserable the employee was and how they just go through the motions, they may come to find that there was someone out there who would fill the role better and flourish.

I have also come across coworkers who felt it was impossible to leave and that staying put was their best option. That is something I could never understand. They knew that their current situation was draining them and negatively impacting their mental health, but they carried on anyway because it was comfortable. It’s OK to leave a job!

There will always be a reason to not do something. Transferring health plans, switching benefits, a change in pay, meeting new coworkers, learning a new industry, the list is infinite. But continuing to find excuses only harms you at the end of the day. You know that the situation you are in is not a sustainable one for the rest of your life. Hell, you don’t even want to finish the week at your current company!

It’s ok to network on LinkedIn and talk with your connections. You can email, text, or call former coworkers and see if their company has an opening or if they know anyone who is. There ARE options available that will help you find a better situation. Most importantly, it’s OK to admit that your current situation is NOT OK.

Remote work is more available than ever because companies know that there is a wider talent pool compared to their local area. If you’ve never worked remotely, this might be the time to take the plunge. Even if you aren’t looking to work remotely, know that it is OK to leave your job. Your job is just that, it’s a job. It is not your life. It should not completely consume you and turn you into someone or something you don’t want to be.

There’s a reason they say “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life”. 

Get out and make something happen. You’ll be amazed at what you can do!

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