when to quit your job

7 Reasons to Quit Your Job (and 1 Reason Not To)

Do not share this post on your company’s network, your boss may find out. If you are a boss, then you should be comfortable that the following reasons do not apply to your employees, and to test that assumption, you can share it. You have been warned.

Doing a job is OK. I know a few people who enjoy the work they do, and are very happy with their current state of affairs.

But then there are reasons for doing a job that just do not make sense. 

Reason to quit #1: There is no such thing as “Job Security”

Here’s what the society has somehow agreed upon: a business is risky, and a job is more secure.

For years, I thought I was taking a bigger risk because I was self-employed and my friends were more “secure” because they were doing a job.

Till one after the other, they got fired.

When you are doing a job, you really have all of your eggs in one basket (or in control of a basket case if your boss is an emotionally imbalanced, egotistical being).

You income is dependent on one stream; your job.

reasons to quit my job

But if you are not ‘holding down a job’, you have the time and the clear incentive to build multiple skills. You can – as many entrepreneurs recommend – get multiple streams of income instead of just one.

Which is a riskier proposition now?

Reason to quit #2: You are paid for your time, never for the value your create

If I create a product or a service, I charge for it based on the market value. If someone hires me to do the exact same thing, they will pay me by the hour.

Companies pay their employees based on the value of the employee’s time. They hardly pay them based on the value that was created because of the time spent.

Trading time for money is just too inefficient. We ought to be trading value for money.

As long as you are doing a job, especially in one of those corporates, you simply can not get paid for the value your work brings.

Reason to quit #3: There are better ways of gaining experience

While in college, I was given this advice the most.

I was told that the best way to gain experience about business is to start a job at the bank; they deal with money and businessmen, so it only makes sense that you’ll learn from them.

Experience is very important, make no mistake. Einstein said that “Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience.”

But next time you’re told (or you tell yourself) that you need a job to gain experience, just ask the person to define the word, “experience”.

If I want experience in playing football, the only way to do that is to get a ball and hit it. It will be stupid to try to gain experience of playing football by working in a football factory, or a sports shop. “Many footballers come here, you’ll know about playing football by meeting them”. No you won’t.

The real experience of doing business will only come once you start your business. You have your own mistakes to make. Sooner the better.

Reason to quit #4: You will have no social life / have a limited social life

Observe anyone doing a job, especially if it’s a high-paying job, and you’ll see that their social life is either non-existent or severely limited.

Maybe you feel the same way about your social life right now.

Meeting the same people everyday, and then meeting their families over the weekend, is not a social life. Well it technically is, but it is very limited.

I know a lot of people who WANT to meet new people, catch up with older friends, interact with different groups and communities, but they don’t have the time nor the energy left after 5 to 6 days of work per week. I know I won ‘t have the energy either.

The job sucks the (social) life out of you.

Doing a job you do not like, and then sacrificing the wonderful experience of meeting new people, is a bad tradeoff.  To live a life like that is disastrous indeed.

Reason to quit #5: You will never have enough time left!

Want to start exercising? No time.

Want to get the hell out of here, go to the mountains, breathe actual fresh air? No time.

Hey, let’s learn a new skill! I know, let’s learn how to ride a horse? No time.
Mountaineering? No time.
Painting? No time.

I am bored, let’s go out for coffee? Huh, you crazy, I have a job! I have NO TIME!

Start a family? I am focused on my career, no time.

How about keeping a freakin pet parrot? Can you keep a parrot? Same answer, NO TIME!

Yup, if nothing else, it is this reason that would make me reconsider my job if I had one. One life to live, and there is so much to do, to see, to be! Sitting behind a desk is sometimes necessary but life doesn’t happen behind the desk.

Unchain yourself. Cut the tie that ties you to the desk.

Reason #6: You will be bored

The mind numbing job is what is on offer. Companies today have mastered the art of systems, and they want to hire only the lowest denominator.

Essentially, if you can “follow instructions”, you are a good fit. Everything else is just repetition and going through the motions. And for many, this repetition kills all creativity. That’s why you hear terms like, “working like a robot” because you follow a set of actions, as if your bosses are waiting for someone to invent a robot to replace you.

Most jobs lead to utter boredom. There are better options and people all around you are doing them. As Bertrand Russel writes in Conquest of Happiness, the opposite of happy is not sad, it is bored.

A man interested in his work is a happy man.

Are you?

Reason #7: Your Life will be Your Job

This is a biggie.

Your work tends to define you. And that’s fine, I think it should. But the work that defines you is the work that you rather not do?

Forget the fact that to live a wholesome life, you need to make time for your spiritual, financial, physical and mental fitness. Forget the fact that life has more to it than just your job or your work.

But your life is based around the kind of work that you just don’t like!? Tell me, five years from now, will you be happier that you are doing the job that you’re doing? You may or may not have more money, but do you enjoy the work, and can find meaning within it?

That brings us to the only reason when it shouldn’t matter if you are doing a job or not.

The 1 Reason To Not Quit Your Job

If you love what you do, if you’d pay to do it anyways, then working that job is awesome.

I will always remember watching this episode on NatGeo. They were interviewing the pilot of the Harrier jet, and he said, “I can’t believe they are paying me to fly this. I’d pay to fly this.”

I have always tried to be working on projects that I can say the same thing about. I do not always succeed. But there are times that I do succeed, by God’s Grace. And that makes it all worth it.

And this whole “find your passion” brigade that has been around the internet, infesting your YouTube and your social feeds, I don’t really buy into that. “Find Your Passion” is bad advice at worse, and incomplete advice at best. It is translated as “if I stop enjoying it, it means it’s not my passion” which is ridiculous: some of the most important pieces of work you’d ever do may take everything from you! It may consume you, it may frustrate you, it may at times even defeat you. But you’d know that at the end of it, it is worth it.

So said another way, the only reason you shouldn’t quit your job is if you find it meaningful. If you are able to win the battle of desire vs duty, if you are able to sacrifice your now for a better future… then your job is indeed a gift to cherish. And to be the best at.


Final Note

The employees working at a good company will find none (or most) of the above reasons to be true for them (If you are a business owner of such a business, I think it is something to be very proud of).

Please note, quitting one’s job, and starting one’s business is not for everyone. I never pretend that everyone should be self employed. The world has variance and that’s what makes it beautiful.

I do very strongly believe that everyone can be happy, creative and interested in the work they are doing. It is in fact a worthy cause to work towards, to fight for, to share across to your friends.

Do you think that your job is holding you back? Or is it a long term project that makes you happy? I wish you all the best.

Photo courtesy of Kevin Krebs 

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  1. Awesome article, I agree 100%, but whenever I float around an idea in my home to do my business, they ask me one question specially my brother, where is electricity? Which business runs without electricity, how will you survive without electricity? And there is no such thing to answer 🙁 I know that should not limit our thoughts but that has now become a reality of our life. Hearing that industries are closed due to power shortage 🙁

    1. Resistance will show up everywhere, make no mistake. My family resisted my decisions. But I was young and foolish then. I like to think I still am.

      It is VERY simple, and NOT easy.

      Yes, there are problem with loadshedding, but there may be different ways of handling one’s problems. Problems can lead to opportunities, so start a UPS business maybe? Or look into solar power? Bio gas? Or be more creative and take this as a challenge?

      Of course, it is easier for me to say than for you to go ahead and do it. That’s why I will repeat, it is simple, not easy. The information is already out there in most cases, but we need the motivation and constant reminders.

      I am also involved in the business of milk, and given the current power situation in Pakistan, I can tell you that chilling the world’s most perishable product is no easy task. We are having problems, yes. But by God’s Grace, we are pulling through.

      I repeat, having a job – or if you stretch the metaphor, living in a “comfort zone” – has its obvious benefits, such as a perception of lower risk. But the flip side, where more trouble looms possibly, is where the fun is, and where life itself lives. I think. I wish us all the best!

  2. Aint that the story of my life. I quit my job two months back to pursue photography professionlly. Worth a risk….hell yes, anyday! For five and a half years I worked as an Recruitment Consultant at one of the largest HR consulting companies in Pakistan. But like you said, boredom sets it, feeling less valued and so on were some of the reasons I decided to take the plunge. I think decisions such as quitting a job cannot be thought out too carefully. Its an instinctive decision, one which is driven by passion for something else, sometimes frustration and sometimes a combination of both. I’m happy I chose to be independent.

    1. Thank you for sharing such a valuable story, Zeeshan!
      Freedom is what really shows you that it is not about the money only, and that life has so much more to offer. Good for you friend.

      And an impressive folio you have. I recently had a good chat regarding the same topics with another photographer from Pakistan, who quit his job to pursue his passion, Yasir.

      Glad to see you put out some good work. All the best, and welcome to the LifeETC Community (you have subscribed, right?)

  3. Really good but my parents have spent so much on me for studies. They want to see me on a revolving chair, holding stick of power in my hands. They dont permit to start any business. What to do dear!

    1. The answer is not easy, Sohail. Talk to them. Bring them to a level where they at least let you start, even if they wanted you to do a job.
      And read this article. Show it to them perhaps. Make a case. Present it. Your parents do deserve a good rationale. Like I said, it won’t be easy. Watch the movie 3 Idiots with them if you have to. Talk to them at the right times. I still have to sometimes remind my elders that what I am doing is better than sitting behind a desk.

      I wish you all the best 🙂

      God guide and bless us all.

  4. Momeikh I am 100 agree with you. But I am still thinkig where to start. I am student of I.com part one, but have done my personal mba.. still thinking where to start from. Help….

    1. You mean, you want to “find your business”? You want to know “which business to start”? Is that what you mean, Talha?

  5. Very nice momekh bhai. Good as always, I must say.
    You are absolutely right about quitting.
    But, let me ask this, what if I start my business while continuing on with my job ?
    Although, the progress will be slow paced, but at least my business is getting bigger day by day. And, yeah, what I currently do also makes me happy.
    What do you say ?

    1. If you are seeing results in your business, then that’s a great way to move ahead.

      Our decisions should be results-based. If your desired result is to keep both – the job and the business – then that’s what you’re getting. Most people’s dream is to quit their job and then we give ourselves these reasons to not quit. 🙂

      I wish you the best.

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