There are a significant number of employed people who are dissatisfied or hate their jobs intently to the point where they are strongly thinking of quitting. Some of these people actively job search while they are employed, while others haven’t got the energy to look for a new job and simultaneously perform a job they have little motivation to continue with.
So here you are in your job, dissatisfied to the point where thinking about going in to work seems like heading off to some kind of prison sentence. I mean you don’t want to think about going, let alone actually go in, but there you are until something new comes up, and hating every moment of it. How did things go so bad? Surely at some point you presumably took the job with some kind of enthusiasm. Where did it all go wrong?
Some people feel trapped in their jobs – they are consciously unhappy and want a way out with a soft landing, but can’t just up and quit. It could be that the security of income, especially in situations where your decision would impact on others – such as a partner or children has you immobile. Maybe it’s the mortgage, the car payments, the cottage or your lifestyle you are afraid of losing if your source of income should be cut off.
The added moral dilemma is of course that you know you are unhappy and haven’t found a way as yet of doing anything tangible about it. If you are honest, you also probably know your attitude and demeanor are negatively impacting on those around you. Could be your anger is coming out quicker, your patience has a shorter fuse, things set you off that in the past you brushed off, you smile less often and you’re just not that fun to be around. When you say you can’t afford to quit, maybe for all these reasons you can’t afford to stay either. Now there’s your dilemma.
So now it’s a question of priorities. After all, you’re seeing this scale with your lousy job on one end and your happiness and all the things you could be on the other. If you could replace your job with something much more enriching, you’d have perfect balance instead of having this job you loathe weigh you down. And it really doesn’t take much you think; you just hand in a note stating you are submitting your resignation and you’re last day will be such and such. Just thinking about it is liberating!
However, (why is there always a ‘However’?) there still remains the problem of no job to replace the one you have, and no stable income therefore either. Hmmm….yes that is a tough one.
It’s possible that you sit down with your stakeholders; those in your immediate family and see if quitting your job would have their support, especially if your actions are going to impact on them financially. Honestly, they might surprise you and be relieved that you are finally going to DO something and quit! They may be willing to tighten up the entire family budget if they get their old dad or partner back – the one who used to smile and be a positive person.
You should at any rate determine what financial benefits you might be eligible for should you resign your job. A few phone calls to the agencies providing financial aid to unemployed persons will help give you some idea of your eligibility if you quit under certain circumstances. It costs nothing to inquire. Maybe a note from the doctor stating your mental and physical health is at stake would be good supporting evidence?
Not always, but sometimes a good talk with the employer is recommended too. After all, employers want and need people who are committed and at the top of their game. If your unhappy and doing the minimum, might they include you in some future round of layoffs doing you both a favour? Sounds odd but if things are this bad, getting laid off might be a blessing.
At the very least, start looking seriously for other work. Your current employment may look attractive to a new employer, and you should start to get a handle on what jobs are out there in your field, unless of course you’re leaving the entire field for something new. Then some research into other lines of work entirely is in order.
When you quit, be sure to do so with some grace. Life has a funny way of bringing people back into contact with each other. Whether its returning to work in the future to the company you never thought you’d work for again, or finding out your boss is on the Board of Director’s for some non-profit group you might work for, you could need a positive end to a relationship gone bad. Even a reference will have you wanting an uneventful departure. Save all those nasty things you are thinking for the car ride home!
A fresh start is liberating and invigorating. You will no doubt find some new energy in the job search process. Yes, it’s scary and has no guarantees. If you don’t jump sometimes however, you’ll never know what you might miss out of fear.
Whatever you decide, you’ll have to live with the consequences of your decision – stay in a job that’s negatively impacting on you, or take a chance with the possibility of saving yourself.