I’ve hated my job for over three years but it took til now to finally quit. I’m happy to say, I quit my job.
I struggled with the decision because I was happy there to start. I loved the environment and many benefits besides salary. And I also like the company at large and the owners of the company are amazing. But ultimately it’s the best choice for me to leave.
Life is too short to be miserable because of your job or your manager.
A lot of people are quitting jobs these days in part because 2020 taught us all a lot of lessons about how we want to live life.
Many of us realized after the past year that life is too short and precious to stay in situations that don’t serve us well, jobs included.
When Jobs & Company Culture Changes
When I started my job 5 years ago I loved it. I loved the people I worked with and the benefits and job perks. For the first two years the job was exactly what I needed.
But over time, things changed.
My manager changed and the work environment changed and slowly I became more and more unhappy with my situation.
I’ve explained it to others as the frog in a pot situation. I started off in such a happy place that I didn’t realize over time how things changed. I was happy at work until suddenly I was boiling with misery.
Things were bad in so many ways from little inconveniences to large issues. I was denied pay raises, denied annual reviews, given unclear feedback, had authority removed, felt micromanaged, watched my previous supervisor get demoted for no reason (which meant there was little hope for me moving up). Then after a year of working from home successfully I was told I needed to start coming back in daily even though we were still working remotely.
Those who have watched my YouTube channel for a while know that I have spent a lot of money in therapy trying to deal with my job and how unhappy it made me. I had never had a bad manager before and didn’t realize how difficult it was to constantly be trying to filter through the muck of unclear and unkind management.
Ultimately there are a lot of reasons why I quit my job, but it also boiled down to one thing:
I could finally financially afford to leave a bad situation.
The Decision To Claim My Time & Income
Ultimately I came to the decision in 2020 that I needed to leave my job.
Then, a pandemic happened right before I could make a move. 2020 was a rollercoaster where jobs were scarce and I was happy just to be employed most days because no one knew what would happen as we all navigated yet another “once in a lifetime” event. Suddenly finding another job was a lot harder.
Right after the pandemic I learned we were growing our family by one more. It had been something we wanted but it also complicated my decision to leave a stable job with health insurance.
Having a more or less stable job has been helpful through that time period and over the last few years as my husband changed jobs and grew his career. I was willing to put up with many frustrations with both corporate culture and my specific situation in exchange for a stable income.
But I struggled with the fact that a bad manager controlled both my time and my income.
A manager was able to say I could not make more money.
A manager was able to deny my time off requests.
After growing a side income via YouTube and having two small kids, I’m more aware than ever that TIME is my greatest resource.
I’m no longer willing to trade that precious time for money. Especially when I’m trading it for money that’s worth less than the year before because I was told I would not receive a raise of any kind.
I’m not willing to spend my time commuting to a job. I don’t want to spend 10 days a year in my car in stressful traffic just because a bad manager has decided it’s necessary.
I’m no longer willing to spend my time doing work that doesn’t matter. My job was just a job and it didn’t directly help anyone. After building a business that has helped people fix their finances and change their own lives I want more of that direct impact from my work.
By quitting my job I’m reclaiming my time and my ability to control my income.
If I want to earn more money then I will work harder in my business. If I want to use my time to take a vacation or play with my kids then I will do so.
My decisions will be my own.
Limiting Beliefs About Quitting My Job
However, I’ve been scared to make the jump for a long time. It took me a couple years of being unhappy and then a year of focused effort on my side business to the point where it was even possible to say I quit my job.
Even with a side hustle income that was equal to my day job I was still scared to quit. I had a lot of limiting money beliefs to work through before I was able to finally make the move.
Some of those limiting beliefs included:
- I have to have a “real job” to earn money
- If I quit my job then I will end up broke and homeless
- I have to be miserable to earn enough money
- If I don’t have coworkers I’ll be lonely and isolated
- It is too much of a risk not to have a stable 9-5 job
- I can’t make enough money on my own
- I have to hate my job to make money
All of these limiting beliefs were running through my head constantly. Looping around and keeping me stuck.
At a certain point in working through these I realized that FEAR was controlling my life and that’s what kept me stuck and so so unhappy.
Fear of the unknown and fear of losing control of my future and the fear of going backwards.
Why Quitting A Job Is Scary
Let’s talk about FEAR for a minute.
Fear is a super powerful emotion and it is a natural instinct within us that can be very helpful. It keeps us alive and helps us through dangerous situations. It is our body helping us see and handle danger.
But it’s also something that can prevent us from doing things even if those things could potentially be good for us in the long run.
Fear can keep us stationary or stuck because fear’s primary goal is to keep us safe.
Because fear keeps us safe we will often stay too long in situations that aren’t good for us because we allow fear to tell us we won’t be able to get the things we need if we let go of what we have. For me, the fear of not being able to find another job or not having enough money made me stay in a job that at various points has been boring, miserable, and toxic.
However, so many people in my life have told me to quit. Friends. Family. My husband. My therapist. Even my audience watching videos. My mastermind group. Everyone said I should quit and pursue this creator thing because it seemed to make me happy and fulfilled while my job only made me miserable.
- If I don’t take risks then I’ll never get to a level I want. I’ll just be at my job earning roughly the same amount forever because my manager has control over my income and refuses to give people raises some years.
- I don’t have social interactions at work that I can’t replicate. I didn’t have meetings or much in person interaction at work. The things I enjoy are lunches with my coworkers but that’s outside my actual job and something I could schedule myself with whoever I want during my weeks.
- You have to take radical responsibility for yourself, 100%. Nobody is coming to save you or give you permission to change your life. You are going to do it yourself. You are responsible for your destiny. So I had to give myself the permission to do this even if everyone else already told me.
When maternity leave ended my manager required I come back to the office full time 5 days a week even though I’d spent a year doing the same job remotely.
I had to go back to the office physically to work remotely from another building. No one knew if I was there or not besides my manager. The level of control and insanity in that decision finally pushed me over the edge.
If I could work hard for that company I could work hard for my own company. Or another. Life is too short for such silly decisions to control my lifestyle.
Making A “To Do Before Quitting” List
I’m a very responsible and risk averse person generally and with a family I knew I couldn’t quit without making sure we would be ok financially.
I also wanted to make sure I was going into a situation that was as strong as possible since I wouldn’t be getting unemployment and my business is growing but not 100% stable.
So I made myself a list and started working on crossing out all the things I could.
My list of things to do before quitting included:
- new tires on my car
- fill all my prescriptions
- medical procedures done
- build out my video studio (based on the Dream Studio course)
- save up gift cards from Fetch Rewards for groceries
- filled up some of our sinking funds
- earn as much money in my business for multiple months
- have at least 2-4 paychecks from business saved up
Basically I wanted to take care of the most pressing needs that could be expensive and then go ahead and plan my budget for a couple months of runway.
Knowing I had at least a couple “paychecks” from my business before I quit really helped me feel more confident. I know how to cut expenses and have fun on the cheap – building a business without taking a huge income could be possible.
Making A “Reasons I’m Quitting” List
So I also made myself a list of reminders about why I am doing this. Honestly, I’m tired of being miserable and allowing a bad manager to control my choices and 50 hours of my life every week. I’m also tired of forcing something I love to do into the margins of my life.
Here’s my list of reasons why I’m quitting my job:
- I’m prioritizing my mental health
- I’m prioritizing my physical health
- I’m prioritizing my family and time with my babies while they are little
- I’m buying back 5 hours per week and over 10 days per year that I would spend commuting
- I’m giving myself the freedom to say yes to new opportunities
- I’m allowing myself to do work I enjoy that helps others
- I’m giving myself the chance to pursue new career options
- I’m leaning in to things I’ve always done for fun (creating content)
- I’m doubling down on making money on YouTube
- I’m giving myself the time to pursue professional development my job didn’t give me
- I’m opening up time to work on things that let me stop trading time for money
- I’m betting on myself
It’s scary to let go of something stable for the unknown and not guaranteed. I’m still scared.
But when I think about staying in my current job I feel depressed. It’s almost physical how sad it makes me.
When I think about quitting? When I write out my plan? I suddenly feel optimistic and excited and energetic.
What’s Next After Quitting My Job
So I did it! I quit my job!
I’ve put in my two week’s notice and my time will be freed up very soon. I still can’t believe I quit my job after 5 years.
What’s next for me? I’m going to work on my business full time!
I’m both excited and terrified to try being a full time YouTube creator.
My business is mainly content creation in various forms. That’s where my skills and passion lie, specifically creating content that helps people take control of their finances. I like helping people make more money and manage that money better.
My work will be focused on several things:
- my personal finance YouTube channel
- my income creator tutorial YouTube channel
- my digital products, both printables and educational resources
- my website/blog where I’ll be adding more written content
I’m incredible excited to keep building on the foundation I’ve already built for this business. It feels great to create content that I know has helped people.
And here’s the thing: this YouTube business can be my job for the next year. I can pay our mortgage and bills. I’ve built something that covers all our expenses right now. It can be my job for a year while my baby is little. Or maybe even two years until my baby can go to the preschool we love.
Will it be my forever job? I doubt it. Will it be something that I learn a lot of lessons from? Yes. Will it give me time to tide me over and maybe change my career or plan my next job focus? Yes.
I’m tired of settling for things that don’t make me happy or fulfilled.
So I’m accepting what this is and not putting pressure on myself to make this last forever. I did that with the job I worked three years too long. If this stops working then I’ll make a pivot faster.
I’ve learned from this situation over the last year or two that holding loosely to your plans is the best way to proceed. This is temporary… as is every job and every situation.
Even if change is scary it is the only constant in life. So this will be my next step and I hope you join me on this journey.
Mary is the founder of Pennies Not Perfection where she shares her journey to build wealth through online income. She quit her day job in 2021 after she paid off her debt and doubled her 9-5 salary.
Mary's favorite free financial tool is Personal Capital. She uses their free tools to track net worth and work toward to financial freedom.