Hell Yes You Should Quit Your Job

“Should I quit my job?”

That’s a question I hear a lot.

On one hand it’s a hard question to answer, especially when I don’t know you very well.

Do you have a good plan? Will you really be happier as an entrepreneur, artist, freelancer, filmmaker, wandering vagabond or whatever else you have in mind? Do you have some money saved to get you through the transition? Will operating without a safety net motivate you or paralyze you?

I can’t tell you specifically if you should quit your job without getting to know you better. There are lots of questions you need to seriously ask yourself.

On the other hand, I can tell you one thing emphatically.

If you’re asking yourself whether you should quit your job, or if you’ve been feeling the itch to go and try something you’ve always wanted to try…

Hell yes you should quit your job.

This isn’t a dress rehearsal and you aren’t getting any younger. If there’s something you feel deep down that you need to explore and chase, then in my book you need to do that thing.

If you’re having thoughts about wanting to quit your job, it tells me you’re not satisfied with the life your job is providing.

Will you ever be fully satisfied with your life if you keep working this job? Will you ever be satisfied if you don’t take a real shot at living your dreams?

Before I worked for myself, I had that nagging feeling deep down for years that my life wasn’t on the right track. I knew that working for someone else wasn’t going to satisfy me. I knew that when I got to the end of my life and looked back, I didn’t want to leave certain stones unturned.

If you have those feelings too, the real question for me isn’t if you should quit your job, but when.

I’m not saying that quitting your job will be easy or that you’ll succeed tomorrow on your new path. Making up your own rules is hard. That’s why most people operate under someone else’s rules.

And to be honest, you could fail. That’s part of the adventure.

Here’s a little secret: you can actually predetermine whether you’ll succeed or fail. If your goal is to follow the dream and experience the adventure, knowing that you’ll end up a more experienced, interesting and fulfilled person afterward, you’ll succeed no matter what.

We Americans and “Westerners” focus too much on outcomes and not enough on process. Make the process your goal and you’ll succeed no matter the ultimate outcome.

So go on, ask yourself the important questions.

If you keep coming back to feeling like your job is never going to satisfy you, then I think you know what you need to do.

That job or another one just like it will always be there if you change your mind, but I don’t think you will.

Following dreams isn’t something people tend to give up once they start.

Get the free guide to defining your audience
  • http://lilmanIT.com Greg Miller

    Hey Corbett,

    Thanks for this post today. I gave notice last week. I have been asking myself this question for quite a while, should I quit my job. Then last week I woke up to go to work and realized I couldn’t do it anymore. The job was so depressing. And the sad part is that after I gave notice even the HR lady came to me and said she thinks about quitting everyday along with more than half the people working here. I just could no longer settle for being unhappy. I was unhappy for more than a year being here. I started my biz and will be looking to grow it with my time off.

    The question of whether you should quit your job is a personal one. We all have different circumstances and I had to measure mine appropriately just as everyone else has to measure there’s. I’ve got a week left here and while they will likely keep me on as a consultant, it’s a chapter that i’m happy will soon be over with.

    • Corbett

      Ugh, so sorry about the workplace. I hear about places like that so often, what a damn shame. Who needs to work in a place like that?

      Congrats on coming to the right decision for you, Greg. Best of luck with the transition. It’s nice that you have a consulting option to keep some income coming in. Let me know how it goes.

    • http://endurancemktg.com gwen

      Greg, congratulations for following your dream. The time was right, and I wish you all the best in your new role as thriving entrepreneur!

      • http://lilmanIT.com Greg Miller

        Thanks Corbett & Gwen.

        I do think the time was right. Whether or not I had a side hustle going on my gut just tells me that this chapter needs to come to an end. I love the work that I do, I just could no longer do it here.

  • Jason Young

    Amazing post Corbett,

    After Sitting at my cubcile and finishing reading this post it really hit a nerve and I have to say I feel that the emotions and thoughts expressed in this post mirror my own. This is a excellent reminder to anyone who was feeling discouraged or burnt out.

    Inspired,
    Jason

    • Corbett

      Happy to inspire, Jason. Just remember that not wanting to work your job is only half the equation. The other half is knowing what you want to do instead.

      Best of luck!

  • http://trafficcoleman.com/ TrafficColeman

    But I say quit when you have equal that income some were else..so you don’t get in a money pit.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Corbett

      That’s definitely a great approach for some people who can make it work. Thanks for sharing Coleman.

  • http://the9to5alternative.com Alan

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me, Corbett. Huzzah!

    • Corbett

      Big change on the horizon, Alan?

  • http://twitter.com/vivekmayasandra Vivek Mayasandra

    Corbett, as a frequent reader of both your blogs, this particular post’s message reverberates like crazy within me right now. Logistics are really all that’s remaining for me to take my own path. Thanks for the absurdly well-timed inspiration :D !

    • Corbett

      Awesome, Vivek! Getting to the planning/logistics phase means you’ve made some serious progress already. Congrats!

  • http://almostbohemian.com David William

    This is a gem!

    I will say though, I am quitting my job. I’ve been quitting for a few months now and I still have a few more months left of quitting. This is the reality. I can’t just drop out and not have income, so it’s hard. But I set a deadline and I will be gone by the end of the year. Nothing will stop me now.

    • Corbett

      Hey David, I love your approach. Like I mentioned in the post, people focus too much on events and not enough on process. Like anything, quitting your job is really a process, not just a single event. Thanks for putting it in perspective.

  • Big Dave

    Hey Corbett,

    You know they say things happen because they are meant to. Thanks for showing up when you were supposed to.

    • Corbett

      I love when that happens!

  • http://barroncuadro.com Barron

    You KNOW this resonates with me.

    I think another thing to add would be, if you prepare and plan for it well, it’s not as scary once you take the leap. It’s only scary when you’re thinking and clutching on to that job. Once I was on the other side, I found myself asking, “WTF was I worried about again?”

    It’s been exactly one week since I did this same thing, and I’m so happy I finally made that decision.

    • http://www.alifesetfree.com marianney | A Life Set Free

      Congrats Barron!!

    • Corbett

      Our conversations over the past couple of months definitely inspired this post. Congrats again on going solo full-time Barron. I know you’ll crush it.

  • http://sunni-day.blogspot.com/ Sunshine Conkey

    But how do you quit if your housing came along with the job? If you have $0.00 saved then there is no way to pay rent/utilities anywhere else. For some people quitting their job means instant homelessness.

    • Corbett

      Like I mentioned to David, quitting isn’t an event, it’s a process. You’ll need a plan to make it happen. That could involve savings or a second income to transition to.

  • http://www.alifesetfree.com marianney | A Life Set Free

    I don’t think that Corbett is telling us to go and quit our jobs tomorrow. I think that what Corbett is trying to say is that if we are feeling trapped in our jobs or are itching to quit, then we should start a plan TODAY (as in RIGHT NOW) to get out of it. Work nights and weekends on a new project (or two) and save, save, save your money until you have either a reserve to live off of or your secondary income is enough to allow you to quit and get by as you build your business(es) up more.

    I am so ready to quit myself, but I want to make sure I am ok financially before I take the leap and so that’s what I have been working on for the last few months. I can’t wait until I am ready to quit and join the ranks!

    • Corbett

      Perfectly put, Marianney, thanks for that. It sounds like you started planning quite a while ago. How is the progress coming along?

      • http://www.alifesetfree.com marianney | A Life Set Free

        Wish it was coming along better I’m afraid. After just reading your last post on Think Traffic, I might be farther behind than I thought, ack!

        Time to regroup! At least i have about another 4 irons in the fire, haha.

        • http://barroncuadro.com Barron

          Marianney,

          I always feel that way when I talk to this guy and read his monthly reports. I feel like I’m WAY behind. But I came to realize everyone’s situation is a little different and as long as we hustle, and our replacement income is sufficient for our specific needs at this point in our lives, we’re good.

          Corb’s just a bit ahead of us both :)

  • http://sunni-day.blogspot.com/ Sunshine Conkey

    I live & work in the “Grand Canyon National Park. All the hotels, restaurants and gift shops are run by the same company…about 90 miles away from Flagstaff,AZ.

    The only way to live in a national park with its super cheap rent ($615 for the whole year of 2010) is to work for 1 of the companies here. We also have a school, post office, bank, small health clinic and general store…that are run by different companies.

    • http://www.alifesetfree.com marianney | A Life Set Free

      Hey Sunshine, wow that is super cheap rent! If you aren’t able to save money from your current job, have you considered starting an online business like the ones Corbett suggests?

  • morgan

    I quit my job last june at a corporate office. I saved for about 12 months not knowing what would happen afterwards putting away 6 months mortgage and living expenses. I spent a couple months in Asia getting rejuvenated (and coming across multiple job opps) and then I returned “home” to see my family.

    Within one day I was approached by a friend who heard I was unemployed with a work from home, telecommuting job that pays the same and leaves me time and flexibility to continue searching out my passions and hobbies. I had to earn some accredations and such, so it has been hard work to get there, but that is all in the past now.

    I came across a great opportunity but only because I took the leap and quit. And I turned down a half dozen other good ones that I never would have known about.

    My parting advice:

    1) Save up a some serious money 5k-10k, eat at home, learn great ways to cook with staple ingredients, don’t drink much. I eat caviar, poached eggs on toast every morning for under $2 a serving. Less than the cost of a fkn breakfast burrito
    .
    2) Get professional certs, licenses, and qualifications for your field or a new one you may be intereted in.

    3) Update all your social media, esp LinkIn with your “looking for new opps” status and use it to look for interesting things to do, paid or not.

    4) Do something out of the box – volunteer in Japan or Haiti with Hands.org, work on an organic farm in Wahington, take a contract job in Afghanistan, join the Peace Corp, teach Engrish in Shanghai etc…x10,000 there is no lack of amazing stuff out there that will bring you in contact with your future partner/coworker/boss/friend/roommate.

    5) #5 will come to you somehow in the course of the above.

    • Corbett

      Awesome suggestions, Morgan! Thanks for sharing and congrats on the big change. What’s the next step for you?

      • Morgan

        Passing my exams so that I can start my consultancy and actually getting paid!!

  • http://www.paolosambrano.com Paolo

    I’m leaving my job in two weeks with no back-up lined up, no prospects, no nothing.

    The only concrete thing I got going for me is that all I want to do with my life for the next couple of months is box, do yoga, and write.

    It was one of those, ‘If I don’t do it now, when will I ever’ do it moments.

    So hell yes.

    • Vishal

      Awesome Paolo. Very inspiring. I’m reaching the stage where I need to reach deep down inside myself to decide what I want to do with my life.

      Check out the comment I posted recently.

  • http://www.lifestyledesignunleashed.com Richard @ Lifestyle Design Unleashed

    One thing I found when I quit my job was how much more money I actually “needed”. I built up my online income to match my day job income in a predictable and safe way then took the plunge.

    However once I suddenly had so much free time available I wanted to do things with it – and that cost extra money. I hadn’t thought in advance that in many ways being tremendously busy with a job can inadvertantly save you money simply because you don’t have time to spend it.

    Done again I wouldn’t quit until I was earning considerably more from my business than my job.

    What were your experiences of this Corbett?

    • Corbett

      Interesting experience, Richard. I’ve found I’m able to live on less actually, not that I’m not surrounded by people buying expensive cars, going to expensive lunches, always having the newest gadgets, etc. In the corporate world, it seemed like I needed all of those things to help me forget about not being fulfilled by my job, or that I needed them to justify the 80 hour weeks I was working. Now I’m happy to just drink some tea and read free or inexpensive books. I also lower my cost of living by spending parts of the year in cheaper countries.

      Everyone is different though, and I can definitely see how free time could cost more, depending on your tastes.

  • http://terrellhappy.blogspot.com Terrell

    I quit my job about 7 months ago after being at my company for nearly 8 years. I had been thinking of quitting for 2 years before I finally did, shortly after I turned 35. I didn’t have another year in me, I was so burned out.

    I thought I’d be fine on my own and that I’d be super productive and creative, but it turns out I do need structure and I miss the social aspects of working in an office. It’s been a hard adjustment. Financially, I set aside about a year’s salary, but I found I spend way less money now, so it can be stretched longer (not that I want it to).

    I’m much happier now — no regrets — but I’m still finding my way. I have lived my live predictably from the beginning so I have NO CLUE how to be an entrepreneur or run my own biz. This is not something I’ve ever been taught, so I’m trying to learn now. Trying to figure out if I’m even cut out for it.

    If I was offered my old position back tomorrow, I’d still say No. HELL, NO.

    • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

      Terrell brings up a good point about lack of structure after quitting your job. I wanted to expand on that. I’ve been a freelancer for several stretches in recent years and the problem I’ve had is the lack of socialization with other professionals, especially *male* professionals. I like the exchange of ideas and sharing of knowledge that goes on in a good company environment. You can replace this by building a network of freelancers that you talk to over the phone or IM, but it’s not as good. To put it bluntly, if you’re single and at home working on projects all day, it gets lonely.

      Another issue is that living the entrepreneur lifestyle makes it much harder to build a network in whatever your niche is, you’re basically building from scratch, and that takes a long time. When you work at a company, you automatically have access to a big network of people, for better or worse.

      One solution I tried is being employed and working from home most of the week, with meetings and stuff at the office. That seemed to satisfy the socialization need pretty well and I felt like I was controlling my professional life more. Just some thoughts. Great comments on this post.

  • http://wilsonusman.com wilson

    I don’t think the problem is the job for everyone, it’s themselves. I’ve realize that if you get a job you like and do the online thing on the side you can be happy. I realized that I didn’t really want to live the whole Tim Ferris deal. Yea having FREE time is cool and all, but too much free time sucks.

    If you know what you’re going to do with all that freedom yea quit your job, but have a plan to use that freedom wisely or you’ll go crazy like I did. There’s nothing wrong with having a job you like and coming home to work a few hours on your online biz.

    • http://barroncuadro.com Barron

      Wilson, you made a good point. This is assuming the person likes his or her job. If you want to gouge your eyeballs out with a rusty butter knife every night because you know you have to go to the office the next day, then something’s not right.

      I found that I can work on my business and freelancing from 8am till 3am (and I often do) just because I’m having a great time and I actually enjoy it.

      Ultimately, a person should really love what they’re doing, considering they’re spending a significant part of their lives doing it.

  • http://www.giftcertificatefactory.com Tommy

    I replied ‘yes’ to that question 2 months ago and created my own company. I can’t imagine going back to a job at the moment!

  • http://www.bigcatadvertising.com/pp/ American Canyon search engine optimization consulting

    It isn’t easy specially if you have a family to support and your are their only support. I wish I could say yes as easily but it involves a lot of weighing the options and seeing the pros and cons.

  • Pingback: Friday’s Links — A Meaningful Existence

  • Pingback: Link Love 4/1/11 | Cordelia Calls It Quits

  • Anonymous for now

    I am in my early 50s. I have been at my current job for 14 years with a large retailer. I have been lucky to work in the web world for most of those so the job is not mind numbing but I am under appreciated and frankly tired of trying to convince the old boys that the channel is so much more important to the business than they realize or respect.

    I have two children who are at the age where they are going or about to go to university ($$$). My wife went back to school in her mid forties and became a Nurse full-time. We were very proud of her but she is finding that at her age it is physically demanding and mentally stressful. We are dealing with parents that are at the age where their health is poor and now need a considerable amount of our time and attention. Because I was the sole bread winner for most of our lives we don’t have any savings, we still have a mortgage and we have virtually nothing set aside for “retirement”.

    I am not telling you this story looking for sympathy. I am attempting to shed a light on a challenge that I hope will inspire you young single people who are seeking to re-design their lifestyles, quit their jobs and become free to pursue their passions. I have visited Corbett’s blog before but and for the first time ever on any blog, I have decided to post a comment in response to this particular topic. So here is some advice from and old dog.

    “Get out before you are in too deep – a passionate life is all that matters”

    In addition to the challenges above, I have recently discovered that I am a Scanner or more importantly found and applied that label to myself. This means that I have multiple passions and continually try to follow all of them at the same time and. My huge mission this year is to become free as well so I can get a grip on this scanner thing, lead by example and show others at my age and in my position how to “do it”. I am not completely ready to go public with all this yet but if you are at all interested in seeing how the story continues you will eventually hear from me again. I apologize in advance Corbett if I committed a newbie mistake by posting such a long comment.

    • Corbett

      Hey “anonymous,” the comment is fantastic. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective (and for honoring us with your first comment ever ;)

      I’ve heard what you’re saying here many times over from people in similar situations. As life moves along, it can become harder and harder to break free from a career and obligations. The life you once dreamed about in your 20s can seem further and further away.

      Just remember that your 70-year-old self would probably have the same advice for you now, as an early 50-something. It’s always a balance, no matter what your age, between living in the moment while working for your future.

  • http://positiveworldtravel.com Anthony

    i couldn’t agree with this post more! Quit your job and follow your dreams!

  • http://master-dayton.blogspot.com Master Dayton

    Great post, and I agree. While there are definitely major downsides to being self-employed and making the big jump, I remember one of the best pieces of advice a friend gave me: “If you’re asking the question, you probably already have the answer.” This can go for dating, working, school, whatever the case – if you even have to ask if it’s worth it then often times there’s a good chance it’s not.

  • Christina

    I quit my job last June. I had been there for 15 years. The strong urge to quit had been with me for at least five years prior to my making the leap. I have to agree with Terrell’s point. I have zillions of ideas, but the follow through is tougher than I thought it would be. I have finally gotten into the groove of dedicating time to creative output, still the truth is after being someone I wasn’t for fifteen years I needed nine months to debrief and become me. I wouldn’t change my process. It hasn’t been perfect, but as Corbett reminds us the process is where the growing takes place. I took a part time job briefly in the fall. I all of the sudden freaked out about not working. The job lasted a month and a half. I felt like a prisoner. I felt like I wasn’t real. I felt trapped. Essentially I was at my old job. So I quit. I couldn’t even take it part time. I have since trusted my heart instinct on what is right. My mind must still be partially wired to pursue the American Dream via the traditional path.

  • mia

    This post struck a nerve in me. But the thing is, I’m not completely unhappy in my job. I’m not “hoo haa I love it here!!!” either. You know what I mean. I don’t feel like tearing my hair out, but there are days it’s very hard to go to the office. I’m SEMI fulfilled, if there’s such a thing. I suppose that sounds mediocre, but I’m really scared of jumping into the void. I’m still figuring things out and I hope I figure things out soon. Time’s a wasting.

  • Dave

    I had started plotting my departure from my previous job for just a few months when I accepted an offer that is follows: one full year, stationed in a foreign country, twelve hours per day, seven days per week, waiting for something to break. A forced exile from civilization, being paid well, and no active tasks to perform. A dream job, in a dream world, with nothing to do but prepare for my real life when I return. Needless to say, I do not plan on going back to work for a corporation, I will have my business on-line and generating income before leaving here, and want to thank you for the crazy ideas that help inspire people to be true to themselves.

    • Corbett

      Wow, cool Dave, what an interesting opportunity. Sounds like you’ll have lots of time to think and contemplate and plan.

  • http://upcycledlove.com Lynn Fang

    Hi Corbett,
    I’ve been thinking about this a little while now too. My greatest concern about leaving my day job is health benefits. I went to check the rates for individual plans, and they are extremely high. Unless I make an incredible income, it seems risky to leave behind group health benefits. What are your thoughts? Thanks so much!

    • Corbett

      My wife and I pay about $200 a month for a basic plan with a high deductible. Issues like that are pretty insignificant to me in the bigger scheme of things. Definitely something to consider though, especially if you have health concerns.

  • http://eveningrevolution.com/ Jonathan Manor

    Making the journey the goal is absolutely right on. But what determines failure? How long should stay to finally move on and forward onto their next idea? These are things that people think about and need comfort going through with a journey.

  • Hooley Dooley

    Hey Corbett,

    Don’t know if this will help some folk…but I quit my job because it was exruciatingly painful for my soul to bear, it was as if I was asleep for awhile and woke up and actually noticed the delusion..of group think. Conformity speak, and in the end I worked out how much harm it was doing me…well you all know the rest instinctively.
    I get what you all are saying about a plan…before you kick it…but the reality is…the anxiety of not doing it really ain’t about the plan, it is the anxiety you have with yourself if the plan will work. Years of working for the “man” or “woman” (gotta be politically correct right..) have certainly made us all think in this way… Ditch the insecurity first. Sometimes the plan will work.. and sometimes not (I gotta be honest here) it was the “safest” path that got us into this crappy job in the first place… yeh..by all means have a “kindof plan” but first have the undeniable resource of absolute inner strength that YOU CAN DO IT! Remember, the longer you are there…your soul is crying out for release…. only just a lobotomy away…

    Trust in the process… but don’t forget to trust yourself…the universe will give you what you ask for…(sometimes with a plan…and many times not…cause it responds to the honesty of your soul) You get the picture. Switch the paradigm..geez that are some great great pictures on this channel…

  • http://www.annieandre.com Annie Andre

    Hey Corbet,

    I just wanted to say, that if you have a family with kids, it’s especially hard to quit your job. The fear itself of losing 2 six figure incomes and the life that goes along with it seems to risky.
    We have 3 kids and kept telling ourselves it was too risky. It’s a horrible situation. You want to live your life, but you can’t there’s no time to do it because you are always working or taking care of the kids.

    It was only after both my husband and i were laid off on the same day and after a very very long bout of unemployment i(silicon valley bubble busted wide open for us in 2007), that we were able to say “what have we got to lose”. Let’s NOT look for jobs anymore.

    Now, we have a modest lifestyle trying our own thing and barely making it, but, we’re so much happier. the kids are just fine and everyday is an adventure.

    So yeah, If you have the aching feeling to quit, don’t let fear get in the way. If you wait till your ready, it will never happen. THANK GOD WE GOT LAID OFF.

    :)

    • Corbett

      Wow, what a story. Congrats for taking the layoffs as an opportunity to live the life you want. I think a lot of people would have spent the past few years looking for jobs without using the time to build something independently.

      Thanks so much for sharing, Annie! This sounds like the kind of story you could write a book about eventually.

  • http://sunni-day.blogspot.com/ sunshine conkey

    Yes Annie, that would sure be a book I would love to read. You could even give it the title “THANK GOD WE GOT LAID OFF”

  • http://shynn-dogoodfeelgood.blogspot.com shynn

    Had the same problem before. I was too afraid to quit my job because I got 2 kids and I was a single mom. I got hospitalized due to stress I got from that job but still didn’t quit. Until I met somebody special who wanted to marry me. I was worried then if the relationship won’t last and I will be left hanging… without a job… but God is good… I decided to quit my job for that man and had my dream of having a complete family fulfilled without any regrets at all. Sometimes you really have to give up something to gain something. If I chose my job and live with the fear of not getting another one and gave up the man who promised me everything, I may have regretted it.my whole life. The important thing is that I’m happy now with my husband and with my kids. I made the right decision and I’m proud of it!

  • http://www.felicia-shelton.com Felicia S.

    Hello,

    I will finish my contract here in Seoul (one week left and counting!) but nowadays I am really ready to do something new. I’m a photographer and freelance writer and have nabbed some pretty great jobs in this industry.. Problem is that I can’t focus more energy on obtaining these gigs because I’m working a job that I’m no longer enchanted with. Don’t get me wrong, I travel the world by teaching but I know that I can contribute more to this world and I really want to start my own business as a photographer. I really like this post and appreciate your insight. I actually happened upon it when I was searching for information for a student of mine who was talking about Smart work. You now have two more fans here in Seoul.

    Thanks!

    Felicia S.
    http://www.nearandfar.wordpress.com
    Ciao!

  • amber

    What a great site! I just gave my two weeks after 14 years as eye care professional. I’m nervous n so happy already! I now I am meant to do more than be with a not so nice company! Thanks

  • http://www.webdesignability.com Terry

    Corbett,

    I just love this…”make the process your goal and you’ll succeed no matter the ultimate outcome”. Terrific advice!

  • http://DefyStats.com Melodee Forbes

    Inspirational! Very thankful for the blogger and the commentators! I especially appreciate the 70 year old person that shared their story… definitely add fuel to my fire for business/entrepreneurship motivation!

  • kate

    Hi, thanks for all the inspiration. I always associate ‘quitting’ with failure which has led to me to stay in jobs and turn down other opportunities. I have been lucky to always live my dream career though. Im currently living in Brazil on a year contract, but the management are now being so difficult. they are not processing my visa, so im currently without a work visa and whenever i ask about it, they become very rude! They have given me permission to return to the UK to visit a family member having a operation, but now it turns out, they are questioning whther this is true of whether I am planning to just leave and not come back!- possibly why they are not wishing to invest in a work visa for me. In the meantime, my fantasy of a ‘perfect job’ was offered to me, which involves moving toa quaint village in France. It would involve a very different life from the beaches and travel I do in Brazil, but also would be stability for me. I just feel obliged to see out my year in Brazil, but Im slightly resentful of the company. I feel I made some huge errors in my career previously (getting fired is an embarrassing example), so feel this personal need to ‘complete’ my contract and walk away with head held high. is that a sad case of pride getting in the way of good opportunity? I love your comment about not placing so much emphasis on the ‘outcome’. I guess i am scared to take the new job in case I fail…. its hard, but I admire those of you that have quit your job and not looked back. i fear regret and the idea of failure would always eat away at me.

  • Eric

    Thanx for the inspiration & encouragement. I nearly walked out yesterday, even though the plan already in place is to stick it out for another year-and-a-half, when we will be debt-free & our son will be 18 & out of school, then find something less intrusive, but also to relax for a few weeks & consider what I can do with self-employment.

  • Pingback: New Year, New Writing: Introducing Really Enjoyed | Really Enjoyed

  • Pingback: Your Job: Why You Can’t Bring Yourself to Quit | Passing Thru

  • Phillip

    I wish I’d have read this when you posted it. I was so unhappy at my last job, that I seriously hated Mondays and couldn’t wait for EOD on Friday. Though I did my hobby for a living, had a private office, and was making over $120k/yr not withstanding. I just wanted to cry whenever I got in the car every morning to go in.

    I should have quit my job long before it got to that point. Instead, my attitude got bad, and I wasn’t doing the quality of work that I pride myself on. Eventually the job quit me.

    I had never been fired before, but on a beautiful, sunny, summer day in July, I was called into the HR manager’s office unexpectedly. When I went in there, they closed the door behind me and four guys took turns yelling at me for twenty minutes. I left the office with my last paycheck in hand, and two security guards following me to my office in order to help me clean it out.

    I was devastated. It was completely humiliating and came as a total surprise. Luckily I had enough savings to weather the storm. Though I was out of work for three months, I ended up getting a MUCH better job for a very well respected consulting company, which included a $32k/yr pay increase, and a much more engaging and entertaining environment.

    I could have easily quit the bad job when I started to hate it, and gone out and secured this new job on my own terms. It would have empowered me and prevented a two to three month depression.

    So… I WHOLE HEARTEDLY agree with Corbett… If you are asking yourself if you should quit your job, then HELL YES YOU SHOULD QUIT YOUR JOB!!!

    Before it quits you. Seriously. That sucks and is easily avoided.

  • Pingback: Time Freedom: How to Get a Life (That’s Worth Living) | A Life of Blue

  • http://changeathing.com bax

    Process, not outcomes. Amen.

  • Pingback: Entrepreneurs! 7 Awesome Blogs You Probably Haven’t Heard Of | The Greatest Networker in the World

  • Vishal

    Sorry, this is quite long but it will be cathartic for me and interesting for some because, in essence, I’m about to take a jump.

    The moment I walked into my current job (almost a year ago) I remember thinking to myself that there’s no way I can see myself being here in the long-term. It was just something about the company atmosphere and the way my role was so poorly defined, it was like I was bought in as a buffer between my line manager and the rest of the organisation, to do the sh*t tasks and make him look important. I have 10 years of experience in my field (market research) but I’m made to feel like an amateur, filling task sheets that track what I’m working on, not working on any full-fledged research projects, and ultimately not being properly incorporated into the rest of the organisation. My line manager has even made me sit away from the rest of the organisation, under his watchful gaze because I guess he doesn’t want me to shine too much in front of other colleagues who sit in the main office on the opposite side. Almost a year on and I haven’t felt any different. I’m not empowered at all and going into work every day makes me very anxious and low.

    There have been times when the depression at work extends to the rest of my life, or it may be the other way around. My girlfriend and I have had some of our worst fights because of how my mood is affected at this job. Either way, I’ve experienced depression constantly over the past year. I also realised I’m fed up of working for someone else. A 33 year old taking orders from someone else, for tasks that I just don’t enjoy doing and don’t add any value to my career? No thanks. I live in a country that is so alien to my values that everything about it has started making me terribly angry. I promised myself to never become a bitter old man who regretted his life, so I got to thinking: is it all really worth it?

    I’m emboldened by the fact that I get contacted with at least 2-4 prospects a month, even if not all of them work out (one recently did and I’ve been offered the job but probably won’t take it because I sense I’m going to be working for another authoritarian). I’ve saved up enough money for the near future and I think money isn’t everything, things will work themselves out. I’m a strong believer in spirituality, that once the higher powers sense I’m made the big step, the path of wisdom will be made clearer (corny I know but we all have an inner Master Yoda). Just the thought of breaking free gives me revelatory moments at night and eases my soul. I love to write and last night, after spending a week away traveling, I lay in bed with a lot of interesting ideas in my head.

    So, I’ve decided, next week, after Easter. I’m going to hand in my resignation letter. My contract says I have to serve out two months notice, but I’m going to negotiate for 6 weeks. I have some time left on a Europe visa, so plan to do some traveling for a couple of weeks. I’ll come back, take stock for a month and see whether I’ve answered the eternal question of: what do I really love doing and can I get paid for it? I’m going to send out feelers based on that, get in touch with people, circulate my CV. If nothing happens in a month, I’m going to live my life-long dream of emulating my true hero, my spiritual guide in life, Jack Kerouac. Travel to the US, see the mountains in Oregon, the Pacific Coast, New Mexico, the beautiful nature that America has to offer. What’s the worst that can happen?

  • http://marketingwithsergio.com Sergio Felix

    Quit my job a while ago.

    Now my brother in law (who is also working with me on a project) wants to do the same.

    The plan is to create an equal income to what he receives right now on his job and then taking the next step.

    I have to say I can’t wait for this to happen, more and more people (friends of mine in their mid 30′s) are realizing that they are living a very sad and unfulfilling life and their jobs are the number one reason for them to feel like that.

    Sergio

  • Myriam

    Hey there!
    I have been struggeling with my job for years! I really hate it but it allows me to travel the world. Not they want to move me again to a cool place…but still the same old job I hate.
    I think reading your post has given me just that final push – try something new and be better for it!
    Thank you!
    M

  • Pingback: 38 Amazing People Who Will Help You Quit Your Job & Follow Your Dreams

  • http://mattgreener.com Matt Greener

    If you even have to ask, the answer is YES! and the sooner the better. It’s cool to see that so many people agree!

  • Pingback: 3 Reasons to Never Take Another Job — Think Traffic

  • Pingback: Time for a Career Change? 26 Links To Help You Decide | Figmentations

  • Cad Lag

    I really enjoyed reading your post, Corbett.

    I have been a professional accountant for about eight years now. I earned my certified public accountant designation early on in my career, and after two years with an accountintg firm, I went into private industry. I left this position in private industry after some years for a more high profile accountant type role, thinking that things might improve. As I was to discover, things did not get better, and, in fact, it was this new role that convinced me that it was time to leave it all behind. Let me share why.

    In general, accountants have job security, because whether the economy is in a downturn or upturn, the books still need to be kept and financial statements still need to be prepared. Those skills sets are not going to go out of demand. On the other hand, accountants also face their own set of disadvantages. Chief among them are black out dates related to month end closing. Because the books need to be closed and the financial statements produced, your workload ramps up during the first ten business days as you, the other accountants, the assistant controller, the controller, and the chief financial officer are looking to give senior management numbers for the month. During these first ten days of the month, your butt needs to be in that chair. If that is not enough, you need to prepare for month end close during the last week of the month. So already, the first 10 days of the month and the last week of the month are critical times for you. Multiply that by 12 months a year, and your schedule seems pretty inflexible for a huge chunk of the year. Not enough for you?

    Take December then — which is when a lot of businesses have their year end. During the last month of the year, some companies impose black out days during the last two weeks during which no vacation (other than December 25) is allowed. Then, if you are in a retail industry, January 1 might see you at work because inventory has to be done. Furthermore, the retail industry does not observe all of the holidays of the year, since these businesses cannot afford to be closed, say, for Martin Luther King Day or President’s Day. Still not enough for you?

    I know this gentlemen who, when he was a controller for his employer, never once durng how ever many years he served as controller, had ever been able to take vacation in and around Christmas. Now the person who has taken over this position is in the same boat. In fact, this person works seven days a week, barely has time for family, and actually likes it this way.

    If this is the type of life a person wants, then so I suppose that is a true passion. However, I was not conforming well to this type of work schedule. I saw none of my friends, I was waking up at night in a cold sweat and with a tight chest, I did not eat, and I barely got any sleep. What I am saying here is that as far as accounting goes, the nature of the work (because of its strict and recurring deadlines) exerts a far greater impact on your life and schedule than most people expect, and this effect gets larger the higher up you move an accounting department department.

    At some point, I stepped back and said, “This role is taking me away from a lot of the important things in my life: my faith, my family, and my friends.” They are either growing up fast or are growing older fast, and I am seeing them whiz past me. I can generally tough things out, but this time, I recognize that I cannot (because there is a lot to lose) and will not. I think the costs are either greater than the benefits, or they have caught up with the benefits.

    Having been fiscally responsible and a saver for a good number of years, I am comfortable letting go of this job to think about what I want to do. I am finally asking what it is that I want to do and to take that shot at my dreams. And therein lies the unknown and what can be. I am not a blind optimist either. I have an idea of what I wish to pursue, but I am more confident about that which I do not want: accounting. I no longer wish to deal with exacting things. I want to be around people, engaging them, sharing ideas and emotions, talking with them, and building up solutions whose correctness is not based on whether a set of numbers is right or wrong.

Up Next:

3 Reasons to Never Take Another Job

Let's face it. Jobs suck. I spent 13 years of my life working in various jobs, and I never felt right about it. Not once did I feel like I was doing my life's work.

The Sparkline — a blog for independent creatives and entrepreneurs building matterful things.

% Stay inspired, productive + on track—get a weekly email from us. Short n’ meaty, built for speed. Get it Weekly