I Quit My Job Today!

by Ryan

When I see a fork in the road I make a decision, and when one of those forks leads to a dead end, my decision becomes quite simple. Today I made a decision to quit my job because I saw a fork in the road that had two options – a dead end or me taking my leave. I took my leave.

With that said, I’ve taken the leap quite rapidly and have not prepared for another job. I am okay with this as I believe in myself to find work through my persistence and ability to demonstrate my value. Worrying about my lack of employment will not get me any closer to employment. However, this is where aggressively saving and living below my means comes in handy.

As some of you may remember, I wrote an article earlier this month titled “How to Win Through Quitting.” It’s funny that I’m following my own advice so soon, but this is me backing up what I believe in. Ironically enough, Quennie did the same thing yesterday.

Releasing the shackles of a discouraging J.O.B. and thinking critically about the direction I’d like to live is something that feels empowering and is something that reminds me of the freedom I have, and you have as well. The freedom to do whatever we want in this world. It’s also good to know that other successful people such as Steve Pavlina believe that You Should Never Get a Job and that some of the most successful people have Horrible Resumes.

Resumes are for HR directors and drones who sift through them looking for the perfect skills that can accomplish a task. Jobs are tasks that need to be completed, nothing more. Jobs are not a way to express yourself and find your purpose, you need to create that yourself and that’s exactly what I plan to do.

What Was my Job, and Why Did I Originally Take it?
I thought I had found my perfect job, honestly. I worked at an underwater camera product development company here in Honolulu. It’s a small business with only about 13 employees. We sold to distributors who in turn shipped to dive shops, Wal-marts, and other niche stores that had customers wanting low price point underwater cameras.

I was promised that I would be doing web development, an array of projects, and developing their PR department from the ground up (there was none prior). The reason I joined the company was because it was in a field I was interested in – photography and business management, and because I saw the potential the company had to grow into something bigger. If the company grew bigger I would be able to reap the rewards along the way. However, like many ideas, this one didn’t come into fruition.

Why I quit my job
For the past two weeks I have absolutely dreaded going to work. My gut and my head were pretty much on the same page each day about it. Here are some specific reasons why I left:

  • The Boss – This was the number one reason I left.  My boss was a horrible communicator that asked for general projects (without specifics) to be completed, then rebutted with me doing it the wrong way everytime I presented options and my thoughts.  He never communicated exactly what he wanted me to do, and frankly I’m not sure he even knew what my role was as it seemed to change every week.  This lack of direction of my position was something that would’ve continued if I stayed and created an unsatisfying and highly unproductive work environment.
  • The Co-Workers – Mental stimulation was a joke.  My co-workers were there to pay their bills and do their tasks and nothing more.
  • The Environment – Sitting in an office all day just isn’t my thing.  Of all the jobs I’ve had thus far, the ones I’ve been least happy in were ones where I had a desk and computer that I spend 90% of my days at.
  • The Pay - My pay was slightly below median for a recent college grad. I’m an incredibly ambitious hard working guy who’s worth a lot more and could easily make the same amount of pay doing something that is actually fun, which is what I plan on doing.

Was this a smart or dumb move?
To many this appears to be a dumb move, to me it is not. I was happier working as a bartender back in Wisconsin than I was coming into work every morning for this company. I was unmotivated and not driven by purpose and therefore I floundered.  If it’s stupid because I’m throwing a potential career down the toilet, I say flush away!

Where am I headed?
I’ve known my whole life that I don’t want to be a part of corporate America. This blog, the other sites I’m developing, and a few other side projects will become a bigger focus of my days.  I will look for work in the hospitality industry as that’s where I enjoy working (being around people) which will pay the bills as I start my other business ventures.

This is not a sad ending, but a happy new beginning!

Have you recently quit a job because you weren’t happy?  If so please share your story.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Investing Newbie January 26, 2010 at 5:44 am

Wow. I am so happy for you. I didn’t think you could inspire me more and you did. Good luck with your future search, if you plan on looking for another job.

You touched on something pretty key in your post: the definition of a job. I like to view my job as just a stepping stone to a future career, but it isn’t the be-all and end all. There are different paths I could take and my current job is the path that I have chosen. I can always quit this path and go along another path (which will be another job). The point is to keep my career goals in mind whenever I decide to take a job or if I hate the job so much, decide to continue working.

I won’t say too much except that I think I am in your same situation pre-quitting. However, I do see some generous payoffs for me staying in this role and trying to manipulate it to my benefit. I’m still getting around to the latter, but hopefully I get an idea about it soon.

Quennie Mae Lungay January 26, 2010 at 6:55 am

Hi Ryan, thanks so much for the link! Your post made me even more grateful that I made the right decision. For the longest time, I was afraid to leave my comfort zone and give up the security that came with the regular J.O.B. It’s a pity though if we continue to sacrifice our lives just to pay the bills. There’s a huge and beautiful world out there with lots of promising opportunities. Congratulations on your happy new beginning!
.-= Quennie Mae Lungay´s last blog ..Do you wish to travel the world for free? =-.

FinEngr January 26, 2010 at 7:32 am

Congratulations! I was wondering how you’ve been able to post so many articles already, now you’ll probably churn out 5/day!!

We had, quite literally, the same experience. I thought I had a dream job working in the Turks & Caicos islands, but many of the same issues (namely co-workers & boss) ended up driving me away. I’m currently stuck in career limbo.

One important thing to remember (as you’ve said yourself) is to fail forward. You already made a big jump from Wisconsin to Hawaii to pursue your “dream” job.

The second important thing to remember is that dreams change. Once you reach a goal, it doesn’t mean it will be everything you “dreamed” of, or that it has to stay the same.

As always, best of luck in your endeavors.
.-= FinEngr´s last blog ..Convenience Tax: You’re Only Charging Yourself =-.

Tracy January 26, 2010 at 8:42 am

Congratulations Ryan! One of my earliest jobs was as a receptionist in a law firm. They actually paid pretty well, but I quit after the first week, because I couldn’t stand being inside all day. Then there’s my mid career stint teaching skiing. I am a huge believer in doing something that gives you meaning. The receptionist gig was the last traditional kind of job I had, and what I do now couldn’t be classified as a normal job either, but it was definitely the niche I belonged in for the last couple of decades. The next adventure is already in the planning stages. Happiness is the ultimate currency.
.-= Tracy´s last blog ..New Car or Used Car: Eco-Friendly Or Not? =-.

Evan January 26, 2010 at 9:08 am

Did you learn enough to start your own company in that field? It seems like you would like it if you ran it the way you wanted.
.-= Evan´s last blog ..The 241st Carnival of Personal Finance =-.

Money Funk January 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Yeah for you! Take the reigns and let your passions live! You can make it work.

Oh, I’ve had days I think about doing the same but with my family of 4 I need to take a more secure approach. I think as long as I keep securing that path I will be able to lead my ‘free’ life soon.

I read the extended 4HWW. have you? Some great tips and exercises in there. Might be worthy to pursue and build up that free lifestyle you are obtaining. :)
.-= Money Funk´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday =-.

WellHeeled January 26, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Hey.. new reader here. So glad I found your blog. I didn’t quit my job, was laid off. Even though it brought mixed-emotions (and, you know, lack of income), I think it was time for me to leave and enter a new phase of my life and career. Best of luck with your decision!

Investor Junkie January 26, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I’ve “fired” myself from quite a few jobs. I never felt satisfied until owning my own business. Best of luck!
.-= Investor Junkie´s last blog ..How I Learned Everything About Business By Owning A Lemonade Stand =-.

Financial Samurai January 26, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Hey Ryan! Good stuff man! If you hate your boss, no amount of money is worth it. There are just way too many opportunities out there to stay miserable.

You are doing a very rational thing. Well done! Keep on going and don’t settle until you’re At LEAST 50% happy. You’ll never get to 100% happy I don’t think, but if you get to 75-80%, that’s close enough to work heaven!

Looking forward to more posts. I highly believe you will rocketed up the Alexa rankings too as part of our challenge!
.-= Financial Samurai´s last blog ..Someone Always Farts In A Crowd =-.

FancyNancy January 26, 2010 at 6:08 pm

Hi! Congrats! I am actually kicking myself for not taking a package back in October…I followed others’ advice instead of doing what I wanted…my dad keeps telling me how lucky i am to have a job and the income I get…and others thought i was crazy for considering a package in this economy….and someone told me I could figure out my dream job while still working at this miserly place….I find myself drained from being unhappy…and only get to devote an hour or so a day to researching my next move.
well, i am seriously considering to quit my job april 1st. why the date? I fully vest in my pension…and would like to take it with me. i have to suffer for 2 whole months…now the question is…do i have the “” to do it…i’m scared!!!! I’m scared that i’m not going to figure it out….i admire you for choosing to be happy..i hope i can do the same…it is challenging for me…b/c my parents would not be happy….mind you I’m in my mid thirties…and they somehow influence me….yuk!

Sarah February 2, 2010 at 7:29 am

Investing Newbie pointed me to your blog after I announced today that I’ve decided to quit (finally), or more accurately, WHEN to quit — because, like you, I don’t have another job lined up.
.-= Sarah´s last blog ..Item 1 of 3 =-.

Helping Ordinary People Make Money Online February 13, 2010 at 1:30 pm

The younger one is, the easier it is to follow their dreams.

Older age brings chains of responsibility for many.

Always have faith in yourself.

Best of luck to you.
.-= Helping Ordinary People Make Money Online´s last blog ..Just Another Scam to Make Money Online =-.

Jeremy Johnson February 16, 2010 at 9:21 am

You are definitely in a minority Ryan, being at your age and having the vision that you do. When I was in college and even shortly thereafter, I was married with no kids. But I had a very poor vision and it wasn’t until I hit 30 that I really started to wake up and realize I needed to do more.

Take advantage of all the time ahead of you. I think you quitting your job was a good decision – you are young, have good ideas, and plenty of time to make it all work. Those who are married with families (of which I am one), generally have to blend the day job with the side dream, which is more work, but when you really want it, the work isn’t a big deal – and it sure is fun to work on a project where you have final say in EVERYTHING :)
.-= Jeremy Johnson´s last blog ..How To Be A Hot Nerd =-.

Nadine Bautista March 21, 2010 at 10:11 am

Hey Ryan,
It’s 4 am right now and I can’t sleep because tomorrow I’ll be quitting my eighth job. Your post made me feel better about the choice. People around me keep forcing me to get a job to be successful but I don’t see that in my future. Its annoying that people think its the ‘natural step right off college.’
Most people just get jobs to pay the bills but they mostly act like drones. I want to do something else with my life where I get to feel alive. I hope you continue writing and inspiring people to follow their gut instead of going with the majority.
“Only dead fish swim with the current”
Nadine

Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey March 23, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Very encouraging in the sense that sometimes you have to take the make what most would consider a hard and crazy decision to better yourself. Sometimes when you’re comparing avenues and you can clearly see that one road is a dead end, you just have to be wise and take the better road and you’ve clearly done so and because of that you are at a better place in life.
.-= Jarrod@ Optimistic Journey´s last blog ..Got Validation? =-.

Matt Davis July 20, 2010 at 8:47 pm

First off, I’m 18, and a few months ago, I thought I had my entire life figured out.

Turns out, even after aquiring the job I tried to get for many months, I wasn’t happy, and despite the huge pay increase and better job, I feel worse than before.

To be honest, I’ve been contemplating quitting for about two weeks now. It’s hard to do, as the shackles of life are around my ankles and I feel I need to support everyone else.

I’m not going to quit tomorrow, but in the next month or so, it’s a definite possibility. Thanks for the added inspiration Ryan.
.-= Matt Davis´s last blog ..Samurai’s Yakezie Alexa Ranking Challenge =-.

ElleX February 19, 2011 at 10:40 am

Is it bad to dream about quitting your j.o.b everyday? LOL….Ahh, the courage you have! Alas, one day I will have the strength to follow suit!! BRAVO to you!

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