Talk me out of quitting my job on Friday.

With notice, of course. I’ll try to make it a short back-story if I can.

Is it worth going to work somewhere I’m not happy just so I can make a little more money? I used to think so…but now I’m pretty sure it’s not. I haven’t really been happy to go to work for two or three years. There are aspects that I enjoy, but in general I’m either bored or frustrated. I’ve had a lot of trouble finding a different job that could replace my income, because what I do is a little specialized. Not that I make that much money, mind you. So basically I’ve stuck around for two reasons: I don’t want to take a pay cut, and I need to carry health insurance on myself and my son.

Well, things have transpired in the last year that are making my job a pain in the ass, and it’ll get worse before it gets better. On top of that, we’ve been wrestling with a lot of changes to computer programs that were supposed to go smoothly…and of course they weren’t. Not only is it a bitch to deal with, there are an increasing number of little things like that that make me unhappy with my organization. I just see poor decision making, poor hiring choices (not related to me, see later comments), poor project and vendor management…etc. Frankly, and I told one of my contacts at another agency the other day, it’s freaking embarrassing. We’ve been reassuring people about these changes for months. Years, actually, and now we have ostrich egg on our faces.

The last straw was Monday, when I learned I wasn’t chosen for a lateral move that I and one other person applied for. I’m about (literally) twice as qualified, and even the manager in charge of that position assumed I was going to get it, because they started making plans to relocate that office. Well due to a fluke of HR, I wasn’t chosen.

Now if you think I’m just pouting and bailing because I’m mad, that’s not the case. I was using that lateral as something that would re-energize me and keep me interested for a few more years, while I learned everything about that job and cultivated what I could out of it. Since I didn’t get it, my interest in staying here is just…zero. In addition, there is no career development, there is no promotional path. Step pay raises are frozen, and cost of living raises are paltry if they happen at all.

I can survive; I have a part time job that I can get 20 hours a week out of until at least the beginning of July. After that, it’s possible the contract might be extended. It pays half what I’m making now. Between child care savings (I can’t be at that job during normal working hours) and some other odds and ends, I’ve got enough to make ends meet. On top of that g/f and I are finalizing plans to consolidate households, which will make the money stretch even further. If I need to, I have time to grab another part time job.

What am I going to do, then? Well, I’ll be honest. I’m going to take a couple weeks to just think and unwind (when I’m not working). Have a serious talk with g/f about continuing to work part-time while I start a master’s degree, which she brought up on her own not too long ago. Or, maybe I’ll find a great job that I love that pays 3/4 what I’m making now, but will turn my career in a different direction with more enjoyment and opportunity.

So there you go…either tell me that you did something similar, or persuade me not to.

Why not look for a different job while working at this one?

I see you asked for our experiences in similar situations… If I ever felt unappreciated, I changed jobs. Granted, for the last 1/3 of my working life I have been working for myself, and another 1/3 I was freelancing, so it was very easy to leave if I wanted to, but still. I remember doing it twice - once when by creating a huge and fully functional prototype I brought in a huge project to the company I worked for and got only a tiny (IIRC 2-3K) bonus out of it. The other was when my boss started being unreasonable about my work hours and work habits. That time I quit, and got a consulting gig at the same organization for three times the money.

But basically I always felt that it is a waste to work at a job you dislike or for people you hate. So I didn’t.

It does sound like you need to move on out of there, but I’m not sure that you need to do it RFN*. It sounds like it would work better if you had more concrete plans for the future, get those set in motion, then cut the cord with the old place.

*Should I assume you know Right Fucking Now? :slight_smile:

Why are you asking us to talk you out of quitting? If you can’t hang with a few disappointments, and a couple of drawbacks, then quitting is always an option, but rarely the answer. I think you already know that.

If you want to vent, then I understand the frustrations of the workplace. Vent away.
Otherwise, my suggestion is to go down to the gym and beat on a punching bag until everything seems funny. Works every time.

Quitting because you’re unhappy is the worst reason to quit. All jobs will make you unhappy in some aspect. Companies don’t exist to make their employees happy.

Do not quit until you find the job which makes you happy. Finding a job like that can take a long time. You may never find that kind of job. Most people work at jobs to make money, not to give joy to their life. You might as well continue to draw your existing salary until then.

Besides, how are you going to pay for health insurance if you quit? Getting private health can be problematic and expensive. Get some quotes for private health insurance before you quit. There’s no guarantee you’ll get another job quickly, and if you get a job it may not offer health benefits.

Stay working. You can always quit later. If you quit now, you can’t just jump back into your old job.

[quote=Sicks Ate]
…I need to carry health insurance on myself and my son…


I think you did it yourself. Whatever other number crunching you do re going part time / it’ll be tight but you’ll manage, factor in the cost of getting your own health insurance (if that’s even possible).

If you have a child to support, keep the job you have while you look for another one. I know on paper it looks like you could make it, but life rarely reads the paper.


Sicks Ate, You’re understandably disappointed over not being hired for the other position. But, we’re still in an overall bad economy; you must first be hired for a new job prior to even giving notice on your old one. Sad but true, employers prefer to hire people who are already employed. Keep the existing job and focus on going on new interviews.

I have been on an off for a couple years.

Exactly. It’s cool you had something like consulting or contracting to fall back on.

Good suggestion, but I’ll opt for a long run in the woods :wink:

And yet, somehow lots of people are happy at their jobs :dubious: It seems like being unhappy is a great reason to quit.

[quote=“Mama_Zappa, post:7, topic:646524”]

[quote=Sicks Ate]
…I need to carry health insurance on myself and my son…

I got some quotes early this morning…I can get a pretty sweet plan for both of us for $200/month.

That is a fact.

Amazing…I’ve been saying if for some CRAZY reason I didn’t get that lateral, I was going to apply for a certain job that I see openings for periodically. What did I just see posted? That job, opened up today.

The down side is it’s rotating 12-hour shifts. I’m not absolutely sure that I can swing that with day care and custody switches. So that sucks.

Being unhappy is a good reason to look for another job. It’s not a good reason to quit outright.

Being happy is a state of mind. All the stuff you mention (poor management, poor decisions, wrestling with computers, etc) exist in all jobs. It’s the same shit everywhere, but sometimes it takes a while before you can smell it.

You should only quit your job outright if it’s causing health problems. If you’re just unhappy, suck it up until you find a new job. In this economy you could be out of work a long time. It is foolish to quit a job before you have found another. If you quit, you’ll be happier, but how happy are you going to be if you still haven’t found work after 2 years?

75% of people “say” they hate their job, and the other 25% are lying. Most people do not get happiness from their job, but they do their best and try to make it a pleasant experience for themselves and their co-workers. Those are the people you are probably seeing. Ask any one of them if they would do something else if money were no object, and I think you will learn they find happiness somewhere else. The job is a means to an end, careers are over-rated, and all that.

Yeah, I am going to go ahead and agree with the other posters here and recommend you stay with your current job until you have another one lined-up solid, mkay? :wink: Do not hop off your lily pad unless you have another one at the ready.

Honestly, unless your job is so strenuous that it’s taking a toll on your health and personal relationships, I think you are better off just sucking it up for now. I’ve worked a lot of jobs and seen even more companiess inner workings as my clients. THey all have positives and negatives.

Trust me, girlfriends don’t like their guys sitting at home all day surfing the web or whatever you do to relax. And if you think you’re board now, imagine being home all day.

Just my opinion, but you spend the vast majority of your waking life at work, you might as well enjoy it. If you honestly believe you can survive I don’t see the point of staying in a job you hate. I feel sorry for people who think it is normal not to like your job. I’ve always left jobs that made me feel unhappy and I have have gone on to find some very, very good jobs, including the one I have now. Some people can tolerate more work-related bullshit than others. That’s fine. As long as you can pay the bills AFAIC you can do whatever the hell you want.

But definitely don’t expect to get a new job right away. It took me 10 months after graduating with my Master’s to find a job I hated, and another 4 months to find a job I liked (in a fairly robust field, I might add.) Being unemployed was so fucking miserable. There is a lot of time in there to get depressed and discouraged, so if you do decide to take the plunge, make sure you’ve got something to keep your life structured and moving forward (your part time job will probably help a lot with that.) And I would say make sure you have the ability to ‘‘survive’’ for at least a year.

I understand some people really don’t have a choice. But if you have the choice, and you honestly think you’ll be okay financially, I don’t see why you should torture yourself.

Don’t knock it. I have worked from home for the last 13 years. Wouldn’t trade places with anyone else. And I see my kids SO much more than work-in-a-cube dads. And my wife doesn’t seem to mind me being home all day.

See, I don’t believe this for a minute. Just because I have my Facebook open, I’ll list some friends who love their job: A network technician, a personal trainer, a cell culturist, a vet clinic ER manager, a zookeeper, an investment manager, a speech pathologist…need I go on?

Yes, there is bullshit at every job…but it’s a fact that the things that make people happy about their work are not the opposite of the things that make them unhappy. They’re two different sets of influences.

Just for the sake of argument, I’d still be working 20 hours a week, and I’d have my 3 y/o with me every other day on average. The days I have free would be job hunting etc. I’m not one to sit around the house…fact is that’s one of the things she likes about me. I don’t veg or couch potato much.

Thank you for the positive outlook :slight_smile: Hashing out any details before I make a rash decision, of course.

The top piece of advice my father gave me: Never quit without giving it a week’s thought.

The advice I’ll give you is:“Being unhappy is a GREAT reason to change jobs…it is not, however, a reason to do it stupidly.”

You’ve been looking off and on…be honest with yourself: what’s the reason you haven’t landed anything else?

In my case, I wasn’t hungry enough to get one of the jobs being offered. They wanted someone who was worried about feeding their family, and the salaries being offered demonstrated that.

I also took some time to research and found that the Job I WANTED to do, paid what I’m already earning now. The Job I was DOING now, well, it may have paid more, but it was a whole lot more dangerous, employment wise.

Lastly, I didn’t have that Big Ticket example of what I was capable of doing. I’ve been kinda grumpy in my job and kinda slacking, and didn’t have that good an attitude, and it showed.

So. I’ve picked up a big science project that’d look good on a resume, and I’ve realized, warts and all, that my job HAS paid for my mortgage, food, and kids for a good 16 years now. What’s another 6 months while I put a gold star on the resume?

The other issue: Before you find that job you ABSOLUTELY MUST WANT TO HAVE…you should probably have a few other interviews under your belt. I’ve had a couple that (obviously) didn’t result in a job offer, but it’s very helpful to get the mistakes out of the way.

I did quit a job that was making me unhappy without another one in the bag. I’m glad I did it, but it wasn’t an easy time and I never could really relax while I was looking. What was different for me is I’d been planning to quit for about a year, and spent that time cutting expenses and saving money so I had about 6 months of cash when I made the leap. In retrospect 6 months was cutting it really close, but I made it and everything is fine now. Well, almost fine because it turns out the new job has its own irritations, but it’s still better than the bummer I was experiencing every single day at the old gig.

Along with quitting my job I also packed up and moved to a different state, so for me everything changed. My job might be only marginally better now but the rest of my life improved dramatically, which makes the job hassles much easier to move through without getting twitchy.

I think you have to balance the drag of a job you don’t like with the drag of job hunting and money worries. Also think about how comfortable you are with deep uncertainty, because you’ll definitely have moments where you wonder what you were thinking and those can hit you at three in the morning and really do a number on you.

I love that I took the risk and made the change, but as much as I spent that year wanting to storm off in a huff I’m also really glad I made a plan and took the time to do it right.

I left a soul crushing job with favoritism and pettiness galore to follow my bliss. I am not exaggerating when I say I love the work that I do. At the same time, if I could undo it and go back to having health insurance and a regular predictable paycheck I’d do it in a heartbeat. The amount i worry about security cancels out how much more I enjoy my job.

In you calculations, where your income from part-time covers your expenses, what happens if you crack a tooth and need $1800 worth of dentistry to fix it? (or a new furnace, or giant car repair…)

I don’t know your specifics, your qualifications beyond what you’ve posted, or what the availability of jobs is in your field. I do know that two people close to me with stellar resumes and tons to recommend them have struggled through long periods of unemployment and it was really damaging to their personal relationships. I recognize that your part-time income makes your situation different. I would just urge you to make the decision to quit or not with your girlfriend and really listen to what her expectations are of you.

If I were your mom, I’d tell you that you should stay at your current job and look for a new one while still employed there. Changing jobs is a big life change. Moving in with your girlfriend is a big life change. Big life changes, when possible, should happen one at a time.