10 Things I Learned From Quitting My Job

I worked for a Fortune 500 company right out of college — a student’s dream. I made great money and met great people, but that didn’t stop me from crying every night — dreading work the next day. A job can mentally and emotionally break you quiet easily. After a year and a half, I left the corporation for a local small business, and I’ve never been happier

1. It’s okay to quit your first job.

When I realized I wanted to quit my job, I felt like a failure. Why am I so unhappy? Why can’t I just stick it out? It’s embarrassing to quit after only a year and a half—but it’s not. It’s brave and it’s respectable to know what you want and go after it.

2. Maintain a solid relationship with the employer

Because I left on good terms, my employer told me I could return at any time if my new position didn’t work out. Even though I put in a two weeks’ notice, I continued to be responsible and accountable because I knew that one day I would be glad I did.

3. Pay cuts are okay (if you can live off of it)

I took a pay cut when I left my corporate job. Thankfully, I have a wonderful husband to share the financial load with and we make it work. I was hesitant to take my current position because of the pay cut, but it is worth every penny I lost.

4. Employers make a difference in your attitude

I work for someone who gives me room to brainstorm, create and make my own daily agenda. His spirit and joy is contagious, which translates into every employee.

5. There will be things about your job that you don’t like

I don’t like running reports or answering the phone, but I do it because I love the other aspects of my job. You have to take the not so good with the great.

6. You’ll still have bad days

A talented hunk once said “it’s not always rainbows and butterflies, it’s compromise that moves us along.” We’re humans who are grumpy, irritable and ungrateful. So yes, not every day at work will be full of metaphorical unicorns — but you overcome those days and look forward to the next one.

7. The atmosphere has to be right for you

Just because a co-worker loves the high intensity, cut throat atmosphere, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. I got so caught up with thinking that I had to love the corporate world even though I didn’t. I came from a small business work history, and after nearly two years of a change of pace, I realized I needed to get back to my roots.

8. The people you work with actually do matter

You’re not going to get along with everyone — unless you’re some kind of futuristic cyborg, but it’s important to look for people who support you while also challenging you.

9. Trust your gut and don’t look back.

A slight panic attack is normal when jumping from one cliff to another. Just remind yourself why you’re quitting, and trust that it’s going to be best for you. It may not be the best for you in 10 years — but it’s best for you right now.

10. It’s possible to love your job.

No, really, it is. I wake up every morning happy to come into work. There are days when I want to stay cozied up in my bed, but it’s not because I hate my job (I’m actually just a super lazy, non-morning person). I’m surrounded by a group of people who encourage, support and challenge me.

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