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I quit my jobs for the sake of my mental health

I’ve quit three jobs since the year began. Seeing as it’s only June, I guess it’s safe to say I’ve set a new record for myself. Especially, since I had never quit a job before. It’s crazy how quickly you can go from being a nervous wreck about turning in a resignation letter, to sending a two-week notice email without hesitation.

On January 3, I informed my manager of 4 1/2 months that my last day would be two weeks from that day. Ironically, that day was significant to me because it was my number day and the launch of this blog. Even more, the 17th fell on a snow day where I didn’t have to go in. God’s favor was surely shining on me that day. To me, it was confirmation that quitting was the right thing.

I’ve never wanted to work in corporate or have a typical 9-5. Even in my high school days, I would dread the thought of being in a cubicle. Fast forward to around my graduation, my plan for myself was to graduate, take the summer off from working, get a internship (maybe), and begin job searching in August. Then my dad dropped a bomb on me: my plan wasn’t an option and I had to get a job.

My ideal job has always been a position where doing work from the comfort of my bed was an option. I always thought it was far-fetch, but I constantly dreamed of it anyways. So, when my dad informed me I had to get a job, my work in bed dreams became a distant and hurtful memory.

Thankfully, only a few weeks later, I was blessed with an internship opportunity with a magazine. It was unpaid but it seemed like it would pay off in the end, so I went for it. My student assistant job at my alma mater allowed me to continue to work during the summer so there was a good enough of cash flow to sustain me.

Eventually, I landed a full time position in the office where I was a student assistant. Truthfully, I was a bit embarrassed I wasn’t able to land a paid job in my field straight out of college, but it was a humbling experience I needed. I was still interning with the magazine so I was building up part of my career so I continued to push through and pray for better.

For about four months, I mentally wrestled back and forth with myself. I was trying to listen to older people who I sought advice from, and make the best of my situation, like they suggested. It wasn’t going to last forever, and apparently it’s easier to find another job when you have one. I’m not sure who came up with that idea, but that wasn’t the case for me.

I was afforded a nice office with a great few of the city skyline. To make myself more comfortable with the thought of having this job, I splurged in TJ Maxx on office decor to make my office a place I’d actually want to be in 8 hours a day. Even after making my office the coziest it could be, it still wasn’t enough.

Each day heading to work was a struggle. Forcing myself to care about work that didn’t slightest bit interest me was even harder. I didn’t realize how much of a toll it was taking on me until I noticed my mood and attitude towards people. It was unusually negative and when I reflected on my behavior, all roads led back to my sentiments towards my place in my career.

Around December, I could no longer mask my true feelings. I had to quit. At that point, I was working two full time jobs but only living off of one. I had to make a choice. I previously took my parents’ advice to get a job for stability, but I knew taking a risk would be the only way out.

Over the last few weeks prior, I interviewed for a few jobs I was actually excited and interested in working with. Though we had great interviews, I still hadn’t heard back.  But I knew I couldn’t stand waking up another early morning to sit in traffic, heading to a job that I didn’t really care for, so I stayed positive.

Doubts and thoughts of failure surrounded me, but that slightest chance of success kept me motivated. Finally, over the Christmas break, I mustered up the courage to quit. I had no secure job opportunities but I had faith it would work out.

Filled to the brim with anxiety, I googled a simple resignation letter sample letter, filled in what was applicable, and handed it in to my manager.

A sudden sense a relief hit after I delivered the message. I felt free on so many levels. Though my family was worried about my next move, I was happy and finally felt unbound.

As I continued to search for another full time job, I began freelancing at my internship. Yes, I’d finally finessed a check. In the mist of searching for new positions, I was suddenly a staff writer with tons of new responsibilities at the magazine. Shortly after that, I received a few job offers. With none of the offers able to allow me to live comfortably from one source, I accepted a few to build my resume and stack in the meantime.

I’d always been a busy bee so I didn’t think too much of taking on all this new responsibility – until it broke me. I started to feel that sense of unhappiness I previously felt at my 9-5. It was that same unhappiness but it stemmed from a different place. I was overwhelmed and unappreciated.

Here I was just a few weeks later having to make another big choice. Though the money flow from all the jobs was good, it was too much, and I had to let some positions go.

But even when I thought I was finally in a good place with fewer job titles, that feeling of unhappiness came over me for the third time. I was in a high paced job that wasn’t necessarily the best place for me to bloom. Here I was battling with the decision to work through issues I faced because the job seemed like a once in a lifetime experience, or putting my mental health and morals ahead of money and job status. Either choice could lead to my ultimate success but one option felt that if I took that path, when I finally do reach my goal, I’ll be tired and worn out.

So I did it again: I removed myself from a situation where I didn’t feel I could grow.

Honestly, May was a month of reflection. Of course, I often question myself if I quit too soon and could’ve pushed through. Knowing myself, I definitely could’ve made it, but who would I be on the other side? Would I be able to recognize myself? Those are the tough questions you have to ask yourself when weighing out your options when it comes to quitting a job.

Quitting a job has always been a mysterious art form to me but the method became clear when my mental state was at risk. Of course, I’m not saying jump ship as soon as a problem stresses you out, but if you have a unhappy feeling when it comes to a role or position and you’re questioning your health over security, remember God has your back. Weigh your options and take the leap. He’ll amaze you.

 

Until next time,

NCB

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