I have met many people over the years who complain about their jobs endlessly. They aren’t feeling fulfilled. They aren’t happy. They are exhausted. They are stressed. They talk often about the “golden handcuffs,” and they never leave. Why?
Why do we stay in jobs that we don’t love?
Quitting your job is hard. It’s scary. It’s nerve-wracking. It’s any number of things.
I think it’s important to think critically about leaving, but I think it’s equally important to reflect on why you are staying in the first place.
Is it about money? Do we stay in jobs we don’t love because we don’t want to shift our lifestyle to accommodate a lower income, or temporarily, no income?
Is it about prestige? Do we stay in jobs we don’t love because we don’t want to lose our status or power?
Is it about judgement? Do we stay in jobs we don’t love because we are afraid of what people will think?
Is it about our resume? Do we stay in jobs we don’t love because we are worried that by having a gap in our resume, we won’t be able to get another job?
Is it about ______________ ? (you fill in the blank).
In my opinion, it’s probably all of those things, but fear is the foundation. We are afraid to be without money. We are afraid to not have status and power. We are afraid of being judged. We are afraid of being told no. We are afraid of the unknown.
My husband and I have had several experiences in this domain.
Several years ago, my husband had a job he didn’t love and wanted to quit. We had numerous conversations about whether he should quit or not. He finally built up his courage to quit, and they convinced him to stay.
A year later, it was my turn. I wasn’t happy and I desperately wanted to leave my job. I didn’t have a new job to go to, so we would be without my 6 figure income. I would have a gap in my resume. I wouldn’t have a fancy title. I grappled with my decision for months and finally I quit. It took courage. I instantly wondered if I did the right thing, but there was no going back.
About 6 months after I quit, my husband attended a coaching event with me where the topic was integrity. Feeling inspired by the event, he went to his boss the next day and said, “I am not happy here.”
This time his boss didn’t convince him to stay. My husband came home scared and wondering what the hell he had just done. Three weeks later he was out of a job.
I had just started my coaching business, and he wasn’t working. A week later we found out I was pregnant.
Two jobless parents and a baby on the way.
It was terrifying, but we utilized our skills, support, and savings to get us through.
You can too.
Don’t let fear keep you in a job you don’t love. You do have a choice, even if it’s not apparent to you right away.
How can you use your skills differently?
Who can you rely on to help support you through the transition?
How much money do you need to bridge the gap?
It's Your Life. Live It Boldly.