I was a senior in college when I was told this:
If you don’t enjoy your job for more than 5 days in a row, quit.
At the time, I didn’t think much of it. It seemed to make a lot of sense to me. Turns out it was, quite frankly, the best advice I ever received.
And it’s the best advice I never give.
I’m happy to say “you know how I feel about that”, but I never tell people to quit.
Today, someone asked me why a mutual friend doesn’t just quit her job because she’s miserable.
No one ever tells you can quit, I said.
Think about it. If you’re like me, your parents have had the same job for as long as you can remember. Quitting–the word alone–has negative connotations. It’s like you’ve given up and are not fulfilling responsibilities.
But really, if you think about it, the biggest responsibility we all have is for our own well-being, and that of our families (if that applies). I do admit (and this is a huge reason I don’t give the advice) that I have an extreme amount of freedom being single. I can do what I want, when I want ,mwithout consulting anyone or worrying about how it may affect them.
But I was thinking about it today because I know the look of misery at work. And I remember something someone said to me a few months ago…I’ve decided to follow your example and when I leave this job, I will never work anywhere for more than a year.
When he said that, I was mortified. It isn’t for everyone. And if you’re easily stressed, it’s definitely not an easy way to live. But when I thought about it today, I realized it actually is a great compliment.
It kind of meant to me that I have succeeded.
And truth be told, I know I have. There have been months that have been hard, but for the most part, it’s been a lot of fun.
So, when pressed next time, I just may give that advice.
You can quit.