Will Lukang, PMP, CSM, MBA, MASCL

I recently spoke to someone whose son quit his job because he did not find it interesting.  According to the person, he did not like the progress he was making and didn’t feel the passion to keep doing the same job.   The question is: Is that reason good enough to drop everything and move on?

During the time he quit his job, he was convinced it was the right thing to do.    It has been over two months and he has not found any other opportunity and his cash is running low.    He’s feeling the pressure of the decision he made and wonders what he got himself into.    Life lessons often provide us with tough lessons that we can learn, but the experience is rather a painful one.

The question is: Is it right to quit your job without having another job?  My personal point is that you need to assess your personal situation and also the economic situation in general.    In this economic situation, is it best to stay at a job you don’t feel passionate about, but that gives you a steady income and stability, or do you seek what makes you tick?  If you leave your job without another job, you run the risk of being unemployed for an extended period of time.

My suggestion is staying put for the following reasons:

  • Reinvent yourself – you can always showcase other skills you have by volunteering on other projects.  It provides you with the opportunity to show you’re a team player and are maturing to accept new challenges.
  • Learn new things or attend a class – sometimes by attending classes, you can learn new skills that can help you to be more marketable.  Also, you might learn something that you can take back to your job and use this so your manager sees that you’re adding value to the firm.
  • Find the reason why you’re leaving – unless you know why you don’t like your job, you can’t just leave for the sake of leaving.  You need to be able to pinpoint the three things that make you hate your job.  Otherwise, you’ll be in the same stage again a few months down the road, except you’ll be working elsewhere.   You need to seek the reason for your dissatisfaction.
  • Seek your mentor’s help – sometimes asking someone’s perspective can help you see things differently.   Especially if you have an experience mentor to work with.

One has to take into consideration that grass is often greener on the other side.   It applies to jobs and also your lawn if you own a house.    From a certain vantage point, my lawn looks great, but as I drive closer, I see brown patches that make my smile turn to a frown.    I agree that you need to find your passion and do what you love, but you also need to summon your practical side and survey things before you jump to conclusions.   The best decisions are the ones that are made over time rather than one hastily made because of a knee-jerk decision.

Unless you find why things are broken, you are bound to repeat the same mistake, only that the view is different.   The cost of mistake later on in your career cost a lot more than mistakes incurred earlier in your career.     I say let the head do the thinking and keep your emotions in check.