Before You Quit Your Job

Nov 17, 2017 by

There’s a saying that goes “Find something you love to do, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s a nice enough sentiment, but it’s not remotely true. Even if you like doing something, it’s still probably going to feel like work. A-list actors presumably love their jobs, but they still have to deal with photographers trying to get their photo at the airport, and they still have to go on grueling press tours as part of the contract they signed before they worked on each movie. Even the most glamorous-seeming jobs have parts that are the opposite of glamor.

That doesn’t mean you should keep working at a place that’s making you miserable and affecting your health. The job market may be scary, but if a job is literally making you sick, you need to make a plan to get out of there. That’s the key, though: make a plan. Don’t just quit your job and tell your boss to stick it where the sun don’t shine. That may seem satisfying, but it rarely works as well in real life as it does in the movies.

Explore other fields

First of all, figure out what’s bothering you: Is it the work you’re doing, or is it the work environment? In many cases, it’s the latter. If your boss is a bully and office morale is terrible, that’s going to be hard for anyone to take for very long. However, if you’re realizing that the work you’re doing just isn’t something you’re suited for, that’s another matter entirely. It can also be a little of column A and a little of column B.

A lot of people have wild fantasies about, for instance, quitting their job to go sing on a cruise ship. Before you start calling Carnival, though, you should do some actual research into that lifestyle. That’s true of any profession you’re considering. If you’ve always been handy and think that repairing air conditioners might be fun, look to sites like HVAC Tech Info first. Don’t just visit websites, either; try and find a local person who works in a field you find intriguing, and then ask him or her a few questions. There may be dealbreakers you’ve never considered before (for instance, repair technicians often have to spend a lot of time on call in case someone needs emergency work done).

Look at the training and education requirements

Making a career change can be tricky, as some skills translate better to other professions. For instance, plenty of newspaper journalists do well in the public relations industry, but it’s going to be harder for a journalist to get a job in something like accounting. It’s possible, but he or she will need additional training or even to go back to school for another degree. Think about how passionate you are about changing career fields. Is it worth another four years (or more) of education? Do you have enough time and energy to go through any associated certification programs? The answer to all those questions may be “Yes,” in which case, go forth and be successful. But you can work in the legal field without going to law school (look into paralegal training). You can work in the medical field without going to med school (look into becoming a medical assistant). You shouldn’t feel trapped in your current job, but you should also plot out where you want to land before you make the jump.

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