Quitting your job might be the best, worst decision you’ll ever make.
Truth is, there’s never going to be the ‘right’ time to quit your job. However, the fact you are even contemplating it, usually means it’s time to move on. For me, quitting my full-time corporate job to freelance and pursue my dreams was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, but it has also been one of the best.
While it took a lot of guts (and sleepless nights) to do so, the desire to quit my desk job became so much more profound than the desire to continue working, so I knew I’d be doing myself a disservice if I didn’t commit to a change.
If you too feel like you’re no longer satisfied with your work, but don’t quite have the courage to move on, here are 13 reasons you should consider taking the plunge and never looking back.
1. Your work no longer challenges you.
Did you know that we spend a third of lives working? One. Third. That’s a heck of a lot of time to waste on something that doesn’t serve you a purpose. If you’re not waking up most mornings with a sense of enthusiasm towards your job, it’s time to reassess. You’ll be amazed at how much the quality of your life improves when you’re inspired by what you do. Instead of rolling out of bed, you’ll be bouncing.
2. Your heart longs to see the world
“I regret that time I quit my job and went travelling,” said no person ever. Countless studies have shown people who take time out to travel are more productive in their jobs, less prone to stress and burnout and all round happier people. You only live once, so don’t spend it all sitting in front of a computer if your heart is pulling you elsewhere.
3. To do what you love
Your job should be just as much about personal fulfilment and growth as it is money. Studies also indicate that if you’re engaged in the work you do, you’re more productive on the job. Being in an industry that sucks the life out of you is soul destroying. Let me ask you this: do you think that in five years time you’ll be more focused on how much money you’ve earned, or how miserable you were while earning it?
4. To focus on yourself
One of the reasons I quit full-time work was to focus on myself. Instinctively, I knew working in an office environment wasn’t for me, and the more I continued to force myself to accept otherwise, the more I started to resent the job, and myself. Sometimes, we all just need a little time out to reassess and recharge. Chances are when you finally get some breathing space, you’ll better be able to recognise what you do and don’t want.
5. To gain work/life balance
Some say you can have it all, but in my experience, you can’t. Before quitting my day job, I was working a 40+ hour week, doing an 8-hour acting course every Saturday, trying to keep up social appearances with friends, all the while aiming to lead a healthy lifestyle that consisted of regular gym sessions and home-cooked meals. Let’s just say the only thing I managed to keep up with was the Kardashians every Tuesday night because I was too exhausted to do anything else.
6. To sleep in on Monday
A wise person once said, “Monday’s aren’t so bad, it’s your job that sucks.” If you’re thinking about quitting your job to work freelance, sleeping in on a Monday is one of the most pleasurable perks. While everyone else is snoozing the dreaded 6am alarm, you’re still fast asleep, blissfully unaware that Monday has even started.
7. Because your job no longer supports your life needs
Life changes constantly. Maybe you’ve just had a baby, your partner has taken a pay cut, or you’re contemplating an interstate move. Whatever the reason, you’re under no obligation to stay in a position that no longer serves you. Recognise where the change needs to take place, then seek out something that is better suited to your new lifestyle.
8. To be able to choose your own hours
Not everyone is productive between the hours of 9am-5pm. In fact, according to a 1994 study by Loughborough University in the UK, people were able to be just as alert well outside these hours provided the tasks they performed were ones they were actually interested in. What’s more, our energy and motivation fluctuates in peaks and troughs throughout the day, meaning that we’re more productive when we get to choose when we work.
9. To escape a toxic work environment
If your workplace is costing you your self-esteem and self-worth, don’t wait until you’re at breaking point to call it quits. Author of Rising Above A Toxic Workplace, Gary D Chapman recommends using the ‘energy vampire test’ to tell if you’re working among toxic colleagues or an overpowering boss.
“You should assess how you’re being affected…Do I feel sucked dry after an interaction with this person? Do I feel victimized?” Maybe you have ethical or moral differences with the company, there’s a lack of respect between employers and employees, or you just don’t feel like you’re a cultural fit. Whatever the reason, if you’re unhappy or in any way uncomfortable in your job, it might be a sign that it’s the wrong job for you.
10. To get your mojo back
If your work life is affecting your sex life, it’s time to get out. According to a study by the University of Colorado, having regular sex is critical to our overall wellbeing, and as anyone who’s worked a horrible job will attest, nothing sucks your urge to fornicate faster than hating your working life. Creating a better work/life balance will do wonders for you libido, and your relationships.
11. To study, again
Deciding to leave behind a stable job that delivers a substantial amount of cash at the end of each week seems crazy. But investing in your education and your future can make you just as ‘rich’ in the long-term. If you know the career path you’re on isn’t for you, don’t be ashamed or frightened to hit the textbooks again. I am – and I couldn’t be more excited. Why? Because I’ll finally be doing the thing that I’m most passionate and fulfilled by.
Images via Buzzfeed