Originally published 07/02/2015 in The Huffington Post
Here at HireArt, we think a lot about jobs. Particularly about helping people find new ones. Sometimes the first step in finding a new job, though, is realizing that you need one.
In LinkedIn’s #IQuit series, Robert Herjavec (of Shark Tank fame) writes that “people have a funny relationship with quitting. The way I see it, quitting isn’t losing. It’s simply changing direction.” From my own experience, I’ve learned that quitting your job can sometimes feel like you’re giving up on a relationship that you’ve nurtured for months, even years.
You put in time, emotional effort, creativity, you build bonds, you work through issues... generally with the hope that something about this job (money, skills, or experience) will advance you toward your long term goals. But sometimes, you just have to accept that it’s time to dump your job.
Taking this step can be difficult for a number of reasons. In an era when a glance at Facebook makes it seem like everyone has a perfect life, it’s hard to admit to yourself when you’re unsatisfied, and nearly impossible to admit it to other people. This is especially true of high achievers right out of school. People expect you to graduate from university and find a fun, interesting, rewarding, and well-paid job. Quitting, then, feels like a public admission that you failed. You didn’t find an awesome job. In fact, you were unhappy, an emotion that has been seemingly banned from social media.
A few friends recently opened up to me about how unhappy they had been at work. We realized that 1) dissatisfaction with work life is far from uncommon and 2) you don’t have to accept it. You have the ability to start anew. With their encouragement, I’m sharing these stories because if simply realizing that you’re not alone gives anyone even a fraction of the courage that it gave them, then this will be worthwhile.