In a recent article she titled “Why You Need to Quit Your Job,” Author and Life and Leadership coach Adria Corso related her own struggle feeling trapped in a job that made her miserable. In introducing the dilemma, she wrote that “Eight years ago, I sat in the big fancy office of my corporate job, miserable, listening to my sister on the other end of the phone saying: ‘Just quit. I don’t know why you stay there. You’re not happy – you need to quit.’ My response was what you might expect: ‘I can’t JUST QUIT. I have bills to pay.’
Corso knows that most of us can relate. Giving up a familiar situation—even when it’s an empirically bad one – requires us to dive into the dark realm of uncertainty, and most people (being risk-averse by nature) prefer to cling to an unsatisfying job that we at least know and understand. Eventually, Corso gave into her sister’s advice and quit. And despite her anxiety about the bills, they still got paid. She reflect that she might have pulled the plug sooner if she’d been more confident in herself and had the level of self-respect to simply walk away from a toxic job environment.
Corso and many other career coaches see this situation every day: people stay in toxic situations or unfulfilling jobs because they need to pay the bills of they’re simply afraid of the unknown. As she writes, “If you’re feeling dread and dissatisfaction about going to work, if you long to do something new or try something different, you, like me eight years ago, might need to ‘just quit.’ Below are the reasons why”:
Your work is causing you to become physically and emotionally sick.
Working at a rotten job adds unnecessary stress to your life, which in turn wears down the immune system. People carrying a high burden of job stress, might suffer from more frequent illnesses: colds, flu, viruses, etc. Being unhappy with your job also compromises your sleep schedule, leading to even more physical illness. Stress and dissatisfaction with work can fray your emotional wellbeing too. If feel dread or discomfort about something you have to do every day, you’re more likely to feel irritable, frustrated, anxious, resentful, angry, or sad – even outside of work. These emotions can even make people physically sick. So if you’ve noticed that you’re sick all the time, can’t get decent sleep, and feel physically or emotionally run down, it could be your job…
You don’t like what you’re doing.
Why should any of us spend our days on Earth doing something we don’t like? Corso promises her clients and readers they can find something they like (maybe even LOVE doing) that generates income. But first, you have to stop doing what you don’t like…
You don’t like the people you work for and with.
Another principle to observe: don’t spend your precious time and energy interacting with people who aren’t aligned with your values. Corso also promises that everyone can find a way to work with people they respect. But first (AGAIN) – we have to stop working with people we don’t like…
Your job feels “soul-sucking.”
People commonly complain that they’re stuck in a “soul-sucking” job. The details of this dilemma may be different from one person to the next … but anyone who’se experienced the soul-crushing job phenomenon gets what Corso means here. It can feel like the life is being drained from you, one drop at a time, every moment you spend time at work. This is no way to live. There is nothing worth doing that drains your life force from you..
Sometimes we accept a job because it’s the first thing that comes along when we graduated (or when we really needed cash FAST) and now the job no longer fits. Or, perhaps you loved the job when you started, but now that you’re older and wiser it doesn’t fit with your values or interests. That’s normal! Change is built into the life process. Re-examining who you are and what matter to you gives you a chance to find a job that lines up with what you want to do each day during the next phase of your life. But, first: you’ve got to take the plunge and quit the job that no longer fits.
You deserve better.
You deserve to do something that gives a sense of fulfillment and enjoyment every day. You deserve to be excited about your work. Why would continue doing something that makes you unhappy? Like Corso eight years ago, your response might be “I have bills to pay” or “I have a family to support”. But there are plenty of jobs that you could actually love, that would cover your bills and support your family. You deserve it.
You can have more.
Not only do you deserve more but you can also have more. You can work in a position that you love, one that pays all the bills and then some. But to get to that place, a person must first believe in herself and have the self-respect to let go of the work situation that’s causing discontent. She must be willing to embrace uncertainty and let go of a situation that’s not right for her, no matter how familiar and secure it is. It is in this space of uncertainty that new possibilities are born. As Corso tells her clients and readers: “Trust me: dread, dissatisfaction, feeling stuck and unhappy are most definitely not part of that equation. You can have more and you can create and find meaningful fulfilling work. But first, you need to quit your job.”