Jobs aren’t as satisfying these days. It’s as simple as that. It’s not that people are suddenly becoming less grateful and entitled, jobs sucked before too, but we work longer hours with the most of us doing unexciting tasks that pose no mental challenge now.
Longer hours of doing things we don’t enjoy and less time to do things we do. Not to mention life has seems to be getting more and more unaffordable with each passing year.
It’s no wonder the internet is full of people looking for answers on how to escape their soul sucking jobs for a better quality of life.
“Working at a job you don’t like is the same as going to prison every day, my father used to say. He was right. I felt imprisoned by an impressive title, travel, perks, and a good salary. On the inside, I was miserable and lonely, and I felt as if I was losing myself. I spent weekends working on reports no one read, and I gave presentations that I didn’t care about. It made me feel like a sellout and, worse, a fraud. Now set free, like any inmate I had to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.” –Kathleen Flinn
One of the biggest obstacles that prevent you from quitting your job is the fear of regret, that life after quitting will be worse. And I’ll be honest, there’s a chance that might happen if you don’t prepare properly.
If you’re looking for some practical advice on how to quit a job and not regret it later because you didn’t prepare properly, then keep reading.
Understand why you want to quit your job
Not everyone needs to quit their job and go travel the world. Some people just need a small pivot in their work life. To figure out what you need, you need to know why you hate your job.
Is it the tasks you do at work? The corporate culture? Your colleagues? The industry you’re in?
Maybe an internal move to a different department is all you need. Or just changing jobs to a different company for a healthier work environment.
You’ll know if you need a small pivot or a drastic change once you sit down and think about why your job sucks so much for you.
Surprisingly when you ask people why they hate their job, many people can’t give clear decisive answers. They just know they feel crappy.
Take the time to figure out an elevator pitch on why you hate your current job. A short, precise, to the point summary that answers your question “Why do I hate my job?”.
Creating an action plan
Real world situations, require real world practical solutions. No more daydreaming or thinking only of the desired end result. It’s time to actually think about how you’re going to get to your end result.
This means you got to do the unglamorous. You need to plan.
Even if it’s getting yourself to a different team or department at your existing company, you need to think of how you can achieve this. Who do you need to talk to you? Who do you need to impress? What can you do to make it happen?
If it’s a more drastic change you’re looking for, such as starting your own business. Then you need to start crunching the numbers on how much you need to start. What talent do you need on your team, if you even need a team. Create your business plan and have all your resources ready before you quit.
If you wish to do what I do, and live a location independent life then you need to figure out how to create a stable income regardless of your physical location. What do you need to learn? Do you plan to create a passive income stream or find a job that allows remote working arrangements?
You don’t want to quit without a single idea of what your next move is. That’s a recipe for regret. Create a plan now, even if you end up changing the details along the way. You just need some sort of road map to follow so you’re not completely lost right after quitting.
Creating a backup plan
This might seem a bit pessimistic but it’s important to acknowledge that although most people do not end up regretting their decision to quit their current life to start a new path.
Some people do.
One of the biggest reasons for this is because even if they create an action plan, their expectations were too unrealistic. They thought starting a new career in a different industry would be perfect but forgot all the hustle required when you’re starting out.
They didn’t realize starting your own coffee shop required longer working hours than their office job. They didn’t realize travelling around the world can get emotionally tiring, as well as physically.
There’s a lot of things people don’t think of because we have a tendency to only think, see and hear what we want. Changing careers isn’t a bad thing, nor is starting your own coffee shop or travelling the world. It’s just important to realize your idea of it might not be 100% accurate and the amount of inaccuracy can cause regret. No matter how much you plan ahead.
You probably think the best way to avoid this is to find people who have done what you want to do and talk to them. Find out what you’re missing and get a more comprehensive picture.
It seems to make rational sense, but there is no close substitute for experiencing it yourself. Life is just one of those things where you need to try it to know it.
So the best thing you can do is have a backup plan. For most people it may be as simple as going back to your original job or career path. For others it may mean going back to school to prepare for a different career or deciding to take on a job you’re overqualified for but makes you happy.
Whatever it is, you should know what the back up plan is. Don’t burn bridges with your old boss when you quit. Keep in contact with old colleagues you get along with. Know the options for possible courses, programs and degrees you could join etc.
Surrounding yourself with support
Change is hard, especially in adulthood and some people might not understand. You might get worried family members telling you to think twice or friends that are making you doubt yourself.
All of this makes your life post-quitting extra difficult, which is why it’s important to surround yourself with as much support as possible for several reasons.
You won’t give up so easily or as fast.
You won’t get yourself into a rut the instant things don’t go as smoothly as planned.
You’ll have a better chance at overcoming challenges with people willing to help than doing it by yourself.
If you find yourself to be extremely unlucky with zero support in your existing circle, have no fear. Internet is your best friend and you can easily find like minded individuals. They might live far away or if you live in a big city, you can most likely find a group locally, but you can rest assure you will never be alone and a support system is a matter of finding one for yourself.
Go for it!
Being overly prepared is a thing and it spills over to procrastination. You need to make your move once the above is sorted. Don’t hesitate or overthink. If you’ve taken you time to evaluate, plan, and plan some more you’re as ready as you will ever be.
Don’t be afraid of regretting what you do, because most people will tell you their biggest regrets in life are the things they didn’t do.