Quitting Your Job – A Tale of Overcoming Fear and Creating new Possibilities

the road ahead

We’ve all thought about it at one point or another some of you may be thinking about it right now. No, I’m not talking about sex, I’m talking about quitting your job.

We live in an age where over half the workforce in North America does not feel happy and engaged with their work. I think this is truly unfortunate and a huge waste of human potential.

For me, quitting went from just being an academic exercise to the real deal when I made the decision to leave my well paying role with my previous employer.

While I spent 3 years in this role and was quite good at it, at some point I began to feel disengaged and misaligned with the values and culture of the company . Over time I noticed the front door to the office began to feel heavier and heavier and I began to feel dead inside. The frustrations and stress from my job began making it’s way back home and negatively impacting my family dynamic and my health.

Each night I came home to my wife and kids, the days frustrations and emotional turmoil I had endured were tagging along for the ride. While I desperately felt like I needed someone to talk to and a way to vent, I became blind to the toxicity that this was creating at home.

While your family is there to love and support you, never abuse this trust. They are not there for you to dump all your daily challenges and frustrations on, so if you find yourself in this boat, for the sake of your family and your marriage, please stop.

While I tried everything in my control to make things better at work, at a certain point I realized that I could only do so much and that you can’t change things that don’t want to be changed.

It’s at this point that I came to a very difficult fork in the road. Do I stay in a role and organization that I felt completely disengaged from and pretend I was happy and try to just do my job or did I bite the bullet and create a brighter future for myself and my family and take a  leap of faith into the unknown?

As Thoreau once wrote, ” The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.”  I realized I had become one of these men and that I had to find my way out before it was to late.

After talking things through with my wife, she encouraged and supported my decision to step down. This was not an easy decision to say the least and has been a mix of fear, exhilaration and hope.

In a perfect world, I’d advise those of you thinking about quitting your job to have something lined up and in place before you pull the trigger if possible. As it turned out in my situation I left before having my dream job in place.

Some of you may have a fantasy of quitting your job by going out in a blaze of sound and glory. In my case it was pretty low key. I sat down with my boss over lunch the next day and explained how I was feeling and my intent to step aside to pursue something new. He was very supportive and understanding but once he realized my mind was made up we decided on a date for my last day with the company.

I spent the next few weeks helping prepare my team for the transition and tie up any loose ends. It’s always preferable if you can part with your employer on good terms and this was indeed the case. My company took me out for a really nice farewell lunch and even provided me with a card designed by our creative team wishing me success.

And with that I became a free agent of the universe and my new life began!

Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely days when the fear of being able to find my next gig,  provide  for my family, pay the bills and put food on the table rears it’s ugly head.  When this happens, I try to remind myself that courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to embrace fear and move past it.

My faith is stronger than my fear and I also feel a sense of excitement and exhilaration that has come back into my life. Every day brings me one step closer to achieving my dream.

Realizing that the next time my phone rings or the next time an email arrives in my inbox, I could be talking to my next employer and be one step closer to joining my dream team is a real rush!

For all of you out there who can relate to my situation and may be considering leaving your job, I hope this gives you something to think about. Ultimately you need to do what’s best for you and your loved ones. In my case I have no regrets.