There is a lot of inspirational – possibly, aspirational – advice which focuses on people and their jobs. It usually goes along the lines of ‘Hate your job? Quit!’, as if it’s that easy. I mentioned on Monday that I have quit jobs in the past, and that I’m “not afraid” to quit jobs. I should have rephrased that. I’m not afraid to quit jobs because I don’t have anything to be afraid of. I have always had financial support outside of working. I have never been in debt. I don’t have any dependants. I rent, so no mortgage. These considerations are huge when it comes to deciding to stop working, and I don’t have to consider them.
A lot of people my age, and in my position, are writing these blogs and giving out this advice without having these considerations. It’s deceptively simple advice too. After all, when you start prioritising your own happiness and well-being, why should you stick it out in a position which grinds you down? Life is for enjoyment, right?! Well, it might become pretty difficult to enjoy life when you’re facing eviction, bailiffs or hungry children.
Most of the jobs which I quit occurred during my time at school or Uni. I still had A-Levels, or degrees, to work towards, so quitting a job or two here or there didn’t seem that big a deal. I usually got another one soon after – and I only quit jobs which were actively upsetting me, rather than just being monotonous. I’m 25 now, and I don’t have the comfort blanket of the education system to convince me that even if I’m not getting paid, I’m still achieving. This shouldn’t be a new feeling to me since I graduated a couple of years ago, but I’m hovering at the bottom of my bank balance and I’ve just started working for myself, from home. I’m getting a little old to ask my parents for hand-outs – although I still do, I’d like to stop that.
I’m getting to that stage where it’s becoming more difficult to just up-sticks and change jobs, because I need to stick with something so that I can start saving. But it’s still always going to be easier for me to quit, because I have these safety nets of family to fall back on if I fuck up financially.
So, as someone with absolutely no experience of being in difficulties when quitting a job, I’d like to ask:
What have your experiences of quitting been like? How did you cope with any financial obligations which you had? Was it easy to find another job, or start working from home? What encouraged you to quit in the first place? How did you weight up the pros and cons?
Anyone who is unable to quit a job they dislike, for whatever reason, how do you keep yourself going? Do you have any advice for other people in a similar position?
Please do share your experiences of escaping, or not being able to escape, jobs – it would be great to hear from you.