Quitting anything sucks. You’ve invested a lot of time at that place, massaged the feet of many an executive, and held back from slapping the boss’s face in front of you mid lecture. You established close relationships, many of which over fireball shots at the company’s holiday party. Don’t even get me started on the possibilities and opportunities you’ll be leaving behind. In summary, there is a lot of “stuff” you are giving up when departing from your current job.
If entertaining such an idea appeals to you then that is evidence enough that quitting may be right for you. There are a few things we need to vet out before you do.
- Do you love what you do? In a commencement address to Stanford University students the late Steve Jobs stated “every morning I wake up, I look in the mirror and ask myself- if today were the last day of my life would I be doing what I’m going to do today? If the answer is no too many days in a row, something needs to change”.
- It doesn’t matter what you’ve done at your company so far. In college economics I learned the concept of sunk costs. Sunk costs are those costs you’ve expended to-date that DO NOT MATTER. The only thing that should matter to you is the future. It is important that you objectively define the opportunities out in the world and don’t over value your current job because of the time you’ve invested so far. Every day you stay at your current job you are expending the opportunity costs of other unrealized opportunities.
- It is not as scary as you think. What is the worst that can happen? This is a question that no one asks themselves when they are weighing the risks of a decision. Can you specifically write out the worst case scenario if you quit? Humans have a tendency to emotionally over emphasize risks without actually defining those risks. As discussed by Tim Ferris in his book 4 Hour Work Week, if people actually defined the worst-case scenario, they’d find it to be far less scary then the feeling they were initially getting. Remember, do not under-weigh the opportunity costs of chasing your dreams. To not chase your dreams scares the sh*t out of me and is extremely costly. We only have one chance on this earth!
- Don’t live in regrets. I realized early on in life that most people do not take nor use advice that is given. They typically listen, contrast it with their life experiences, and scowl at how inaccurate the advice is. On second thought, that’s probably why no one reads my blog! The way most people change their opinions are by actually going through the experience. If you’re unsure about your career, excited about possible other opportunities, but are dissuaded with the what-ifs, take comfort in that you may regret your decision for the rest of your life. Not the leaving one, the staying one. By leaving you either 1) love it or 2) hate it and gain a new appreciation for your old job. Either way you clear up the unknown and are free from the what-if regrets of life.
Quitting also statistically increases income and quality of life – see Freakonomics podcast link below. I recently left a job which leaves me to be an expert in the aforementioned topic. I would love to hear any of your experiences!
Link to Freakonomics podcast- The Upside of Quitting
Link to Steve Jobs- Stanford Commencement Address (must see)
Link to 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris-