5 Killer Reasons For Quitting The Day Job

By Peter Hall

January 6, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

I was keeping a list of the reasons I could use to justify handing my notice in. It included such gems as one of the office toilets getting regularly blocked (#13) and the lack of decaf coffee available in floor 2 drinks machine (#9).

It was quite a long list but I never used it.

That’s because in any job, and for many of us that’s in an organisation in some bland office (#21), there will be lots of things that niggle that we don’t like. Everything from the wrong setting on the air-con (#3) to not being ale to wear shorts on dress down Fridays (#16).

And none of those times of things, however irritating or demonstrative of some organisational failing, are really good reasons to give up the job. All of them can either be put up with, resolved or worked around with a little ingenuity.

In fact I believe there are only a few reasons that you can use to quit. Reasons that you can’t fundamentally ignore and that aren’t fixable. These are killer reasons.

Everything else is part of what you have to put up with for a salary. That is if you believe the organisation is the best place for you to do what you love. If you don’t think it is the best place then you’ve already got a reason to move on.

So, this is my list of killer reasons to reconsider the day job.

1. There’s a fundamental mismatch between what the organisation does and your values.

You can’t be a pacifist and work for an arms manufacturer or a teetotaller working in the drinks industry.

You’re never going to be able to put your heart and soul into something that is in conflict with your values and having this level of conflict isn’t exactly living the dream.

The examples are quite obvious but for many it will be more subtle. For instance you might question the ethics of your employer’s off-shore production or even be uneasy with the way they treat customers or those that use the services.

You could have started with good intentions working in healthcare or education but now find yourself working for a system that you don’t believe serves patients or children.

the niggles and doubts. Take a long hard look at them.

Don’t live a life, where the main thing you do, you don’t believe in.

2. Your jobs places demands on you that mean you have to neglect other important areas of your life.

There are two areas where, if your job is having a damaging impact, then you must take action.

The first is your health. If the time demands and stresses of the job are causing health issues – starting with a lack of exercise and weight gain – then it’s time to pay attention. You’re no use to anyone critically ill or dead. So if that’s where you’re headed then stop.

Second, family relationships – spouse, children, parents. If these are being neglected then you’re paying too high a price for the job. Money is no substitute for damaged relationships nor can it fix them.

Relationships are something that cannot be put on hold until later. Later doesn’t always happen.

3. Your job only uses a tiny part of your capability.

You’re talented, capable, bursting with ideas yet the day job keeps you caged-up allowing you only to use a tiny part of all that you are.

Whilst any job might not fully utilise all your brilliance, one that neglects much of what you can do is a poor one. If despite you’re best efforts you can’t find opportunities to use your skills then it’s time for a rethink.

Whatever talents you have are to be used. Don’t waste what you have, put it to good use.

4. You’ve a burning desire to do something else.

If you’ve something else you need to do, then think about how you can transition from you’re day job to the dream. Start the business on the side or do those evening classes whilst you save some cash.

You only get one life and don’t live it with regrets. A job shouldn’t get in the way of following your passion.

5. Too see what else life holds

If working life seems to squash even the ability to think about what else your life might be then stopping will give you the space and time to do so.

A demanding day job can be not just a time and energy block but also a mental block. If we only believe we can make ends meet by being employed we’ll never see the other opportunities. Letting go of the day job will not only create the opportunity but also the need to think beyond that model of making a living.

When it came to handing my notice in I didn’t use the list of gripes as that would have been blaming someone else for my working life not being perfect. But I instead spoke about the role not being something I cared enough about to continue put in the high level of hard required.

You only need to give or have one killer reason. What’s yours?

Peter Hall

Peter Hall is a blogger and writer.

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