It’s day one of your work week. The weekend that disappeared in the blink of an eye seems like a distant memory; illusory, at best. You’re mentally drained, and your motivation is at an all-time low. You begin to fantasize about that moment. You know, the one where you finally summon the amount of courage it takes to march proudly through your boss’ door and declare that you aren’t going to take it anymore. Then, as you walk through the halls towards the exit your coworkers all stand up, slow clapping – you’re a hero now because you stood up. All is right in the world, and then you cross the threshold into the terrible, terrible freedom of the parking lot outside. What’s next?
Sure, all of this might seem dramatic, but it’s not unusual to have this fantasy. The problem is that in reality this is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Today we are going to be talking about what to do if you feel like you’ve had enough, and you’re about to quit and walk out on your job hastily.
Take Inventory of Your Accomplishments
First, take some time to think about what you’ve accomplished at work. Were you a part of a recent project that improved the company in some way? Perhaps the way you do your job is not easily replaceable, and you’ve built impactful practices and processes along the way. Now, I’m not saying you should think of your employer’s feelings before you decide to quit, but you should ask yourself if you’ve got something to leverage for a raise or a promotion. Maybe you’re just burnt out and need a change, and the possibility might exist that you can get that change from within the company you are currently working for.
Think Back to When You Were First Hired
Yes, the glory days. Remember when you were first brought into the organization after you nailed that interview, and the prospect of your first paycheck was something to behold? There was a time when everything was exciting and new, and maybe you’ve become jaded over time. Consider whether you’re still on the right track in your career. If you are, it could just be monotony getting you down. Try talking to your boss and asking if there is anything else you can do to help at work, or try new approaches to old tasks. It is possible to recapture that initial excitement and drive you had at the beginning, you just have to work at it a little.
Imagine Your Life Without Your Job
Rolling out of bed at 9am, powering on the old gaming console, eating ice cream for breakfast, or watching day time television, or…all of these things. Yes, life without work seems like bliss on the surface, but while your commute, frustrations, lack of motivation, or any number of negative aspects of work might disappear, your bills will not. Oh, and time will not stop on the count of you leaving your job, so you’ll still be getting older and the gap in your resume will grow ever larger as you slip into the void of unemployment. Consider whether hastily quitting will have a lasting negative impact on your life. The chances are, it will.
What to Do If You Want to Quit
If you’ve thoughtfully considered all of the above and you still feel that you absolutely must quit your job, make sure you have a safety net of some kind. The best kind of safety net is having another job lined up, but a decent amount of savings that can cover your bills until you find another job can suffice. Just remember – quitting on the spot can come back to haunt you, because you never know who you’ll encounter on the winding paths of your career. If you run into your old boss again down the line and they have the power to make or break you, it might not work out so well if you did the whole “I’m not going to take this anymore” thing.
Sometimes it’s those overwhelming feelings in the moment that get the better of us. So, if you’re sitting there on that first day of the week thinking you want out, try your best to get past it. Tomorrow will be better, and you can always take small steps each day to improve your life and your career. Take some time at night or when you’re off from work to look for another job if you feel you must leave, but don’t make big decisions based on fleeting moments. In the end, it’s best to maintain your professionalism despite your feelings, and seeking to persevere through difficult times builds character, and is the path towards emotional strength
Rasmus Hougaard is on a mission to humanize the workplace. Hougaard is the founder and CEO of the Potential Project, which helps leaders at Accenture, Cisco, Lego, and other top companies manage their minds to stay focused, reduce stress, boost productivity, and improve well-being.
Next week, Firsthand will be hosting its second annual Women in STEM Virtual Career Fair. The fair will provide women studying science, technology, engineering, or math or already in STEM roles with the opportunity to meet with employers, find new and exciting jobs, learn career lessons, expand their professional networks, and engage with event sponsors.