I will quit.

There’s a strong sense of security that comes with having a job. I’m not talking financial – that’s a given. A 9-5 (or whenever you end) job anchors you to a period of time each day, five times a week, where you are being productive and you are occupied. It’s routine, it’s secure, and it’s the source of livelihood for the lucky.

Which is why I’m terrified of quitting.

I won’t go into the reasons for quitting here, but I wanted to articulate (for myself) my thoughts about the best time to quit. For me, I’m debating one of two things:

  1. Quit with no job lined up – I`m quitting so I can have the time to figure out what I want to do, instead of jumping at the first opportunity.
  2. Quit when I have a job lined up.

I was very ready to jump at number one. The first day I went into work after a night of deliberating my future and deciding to quit, I walked around with the lightest step I`d had in a very long time. I was excited at the prospect of being unemployed – I’m financially stable and have enough saved up to be okay and independent. When would I get another chance at that?

Number two, on the other hand, I’m almost afraid to admit, but it stems from a deep sense of insecurity; am I quitting with no job lined up because I can’t get a job? Do I need to prove to my peers and family that I am a wanted and employable professional?

A friend argued that people with jobs looking for jobs are “more employable” because they have something to fall back on and thus have stronger negotiating power. I’d point out on the other hand, who’s to say someone looking for a job doesn’t have another offer lined up? And my soon-to-be-previous job’s salary would serve as a good baseline for negotiating my next salary.

But the greatest thing holding me (and anybody else) from quitting really comes down to fear.

Fear of the unknown. Fear of not being able to find another job. Fear of being viewed as an employee nobody wants – fear of other people’s perception. Fear of losing discipline and rigor.

I’m acutely aware of the last point. My discipline will be tested when my daily anchor is set loose.

No. Quitting will be the best thing for me and I need to stop making excuses not to. I’m confident I’ll bounce back, and in the right direction. I’m aware of the importance of discipline during that period. I’ll quit in January 2016 (it’s just the quarterly ebb and flow of our line of work – can’t be leaving a bad reputation behind!) and be unemployed by mid-February. There’s no practical reason not to quit without a job lined up and the only thing stopping me is fear. I will quit. Hold me to it.

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