Once upon a shitty time, my job was watching Youtube videos all day for a Multichannel network. Which sounds awesome, up until the point I realized I signed up for 7 to 8 hours a day watching Pokemon battles and Minecraft videos — with commentary.
(To be fair, some of these channels had more than 42K subscribers. What do I know?)
During this period of my life, crawling out of bed was a Herculean chore. Every minute I spent in that warehouse, armed with enough power strips and Apple charging cables to cause a Chicago brownout, a small piece of my soul spit in my face before it promptly, like a bumblebee sans stinger. I was wasting the best years of my life.
Most importantly, I had no passion for the Youtube space. I didn’t believe in what we were doing.
So I quit.
It’s Not About Passion
One point, before I continue — I don’t believe everyone should do whatever they love to do. I don’t believe that simply following your passion will make you happy and successful…
I believe you need to earn the rightt to create happiness and success from your passion. Earning this right takes hard work. This hard work will be uncomfortable. It’s challenging. You’ll doubt. You’ll get lost along the way.
Fact: no one’s going to make you an executive because you slaved away for the company for a decade.
Fact: no one’s going to give you a shot at the writer’s room because you feel you “paid your dues.”
Fact: no one cares if you hate the work you’re doing.
But if the work serves a higher purpose… if you’re learning along the way… then the work — no matter how shitty, is worthwhile.
What To Do Before You Quit
Before you quit, before giving up on the job, ask yourself: does your work serve the bigger goals in your life?
If the answer is “yes,” think carefully before quitting. If the work can propel you to the next level, the potential reward in the future may be worth the discomfort now.
Maybe you get a lot of creative control.
Or you’re working with a master, someone at the top of their game.
If that’s your situation, and there’s just a few things that make the job untenable, before you turn in your two weeks or start looking for your replacement, please: communicate what your problems are.
Is your schedule unmanageable?
Are your responsibilities unfairly split?
Do you not get along with your peers?
No one can read your mind. No one knows what you’re feeling. You may think people are taking advantage of you, or that someone’s out to get you. Far more likely, however, is they have their own issues they’re dealing with and your boss and peers have absolutely no idea you’re so miserable. So communicate.
When You Know You Have to Quit
But if you’re:
- Not learning anything new
- Not working with people who are the best in your particular field
- Not working in the space you want
Then it’s probably time to get out.
That’s how I knew it was time to leave the Multichannel Network company. The time spent Youtube channel surfing was actually making me dumber, so I definitely wasn’t learning anything new. There was no indication that the people I worked for were the best in the space. Most importantly, I had no desire to be in the Youtube space.
(I bring up this experience because I’m undergoing a similar change in my current role. Looking back and revisiting the heuristics used under similar circumstances shapes my decisions today — but I’ll post about that in due course 🙂 )
So, let’s say you know you should quit your job. How do you go about actually quitting? That’s the topic for this Zen Assistant series. I’m going to cover:
- Fear Setting – understanding the worst that could possibly happen
- Exit strategy – creating your plan on how to quit
- Networking – utilizing your weak ties (now, and for your next role) to find a better new role, faster
- Side Projects – inspiring your side endeavors when you can’t stand your day job anymore
When was the last time you quit your job? What was your thought process for making that decision? I’d love to hear what you went through.
Photo Credit: Sarahnaut