From the time we’re little kids joining our first sports teams, we’re taught that “quitting” is a bad word.
This is reiterated throughout our lives.
If you stop playing soccer, you’re a quitter.
If you drop a class in college, you’re a quitter.
If you end a relationship, you’re a quitter.
But quitting isn’t the same as giving up.
One of the most common instances of quitting being seen as extremely negative is in the working world. We’re programmed to believe that, no matter how unhappy we might be, we must stay at a job for a minimum of a year.
Otherwise, it looks bad.
But why do we care what it looks like?
I recently went through this situation. I was at a job for just eight months.
Could I have stuck it out for at least a year? Yes.
Did I want to? No.
We spend the majority of our lives at work. Sad, but true. As long as you’re not going to lose a bunch of money on a security deposit, you don’t force yourself to stay in an apartment that’s falling apart at the seams and that you dread returning to every night. Why should our jobs be treated any differently?
Let me explain that I wasn’t miserable at my job. It just wasn’t the right fit. I tried to ignore that fact for a while. Without even complaining about it to my parents, they told me they noticed that I didn’t sound content.
But I had to stick it out, at least for a year. Right?
Wrong! Obviously I’m no career expert. But for me, after eight months, I realized it was silly to live my life based on unwritten, made-up rules.
A friend pointed out that if a company was willing to hire me, it didn’t matter how long I’d been at my current role. It sounds so simple, but it put things in perspective for me.
I had just opened myself up to the job search when my current role caught my eye. I didn’t want to jump into anything too quickly…but all the signs were there!
While I’ve just started my new role and have no way of knowing where it will lead, I can say that this time, I’ve made sure to prioritize the things that I know I need in a working environment, both as a professional and as a human-being.
Just like colleges, gyms, homes, even romantic partners, there’s no one-size-fits-all company. And thank goodness, because then the world wouldn’t function! Everyone has different needs and desires, and that’s more than ok.
You have to do what’s right for you.
And if quitting is what’s right, then go ahead.
Be a quitter.