They say winners never quit, but I quit all the time. I’ve kinda mastered the art of quitting.
At the beginning of my career, I worked for Athenahealth. It was a fantastic job for a few years. Then I got put in a difficult position — mildly unethical, and deeply frustrating. I tried all the proper channels, and then any channel I could think of. Everybody said they’d like to help me, but something kept them from doing it.
After I left, I started hearing from former coworkers, my exit had made changes. Three people were assigned to cover the work I’d been doing, and the overly aggresive project timeline got put on hold.
Here in America we have “at-will” employment, where there’s no obligation between either party to keep working together. Your employer can cut you loose at any time (provided they have a good reason), but you can bounce too.
You always get one vote at any job. You can vote with your feet.
We’re experiencing a social phenomenon now that’s been labeled “The Great Resignation”. People are quitting their jobs in record numbers.
This means change, and change can be difficult. But growth, and therefore healthy life, depend on it.
When I quit Zipcar in 2011 to move to move to Austin, I horrified lots of people by not having another job lined up. This tide has turned. An understanding is starting to form that if your situation no longer works, it’s better to get away from it. Save up some money, cut your expenses, and take a plunge into the unknown.
When I got to Austin, I picked up a short-term contract gig, and then another, and so without really planning it, I became a freelancer. Most clients wanted me to stay on full-time, but I turned them down — quit! — because moving on had so many benefits. I learned so much, and every time I successfully completed a project for a big name, I could charge more next time.
I met a corporate coach named Deb Shannon who blew my mind. She said, “Have you ever started at a job where they talked in _any_ way about how it was going to end? Or was there always an unspoken assumption you were going to work there for the rest of your life?”
How about you, any job ever discussed that? Given there’s billions of jobs in the world, I’m sure someone has. But it’s rare, isn’t it?
Everything is changing, and jobs are no different. Get used to change and you’ll get along.
If you don’t like what you’re doing, do something else.