Why Quitting Can Be the Best Decision You’ve Ever Made
Perseverance is often seen as a sign of major strength, and we bet you’d be able to buy a great piece of statement jewelry if every time someone cautioned you to just try harder they handed you a dollar with the advice. While staying the course is definitely a good idea in situations where you’re still working things out (like getting motivated to exercise), there are times when gracefully bowing out on something important (like ditching a diet) can be a smart and sanity-saving move. Since it’s ultra tough to tell when to hold ’em from when to fold ’em, we consulted life and career coach Lea Berry. Scroll on for her helpful tips.
When To Quit Your Job
1. No Room for Advancement: When it comes to work, Berry reminds us that personal and professional growth is the name of the game. “If you’re in a niche job area, and you aren’t seeing anywhere you can move up to, quitting may be your best option.” She says that leaving a stand-still job can help you uncover the types of opportunities that’ll improve your skills, responsibilities, and overall satisfaction. “The longer you stay in a position at the exact same level, the more you risk letting resentment and boredom set in — which ultimately lead to increased feelings of unhappiness.”
2. You’re Not Learning: “You’re really ready to move on when you don’t feel a sense of excitement or the challenge of your work because you’re not using your skills or developing any new ones,” Berry advises. The situation is worse if the company you work for fails to offer learning opportunities across the stack, which might mean that your colleagues also suffer from a loss of excitement and stop advocating for classes, opportunities, or programs that foster a continued sense of learning. “If you have a tuition reimbursement or learning stipend, look into taking it upon yourself to try online lessons from Coursera, Allison, MIT Open Share, or others,” Berry suggests. “If nothing is offered to you, consider that it might be time to look for an employer that offers something new.”
3. Trapped in a Toxic Environment: Unhealthy workplaces can include offices where you don’t feel emotionally safe, cultures that create burnout, and even bootstrapped companies that sometimes can’t afford to pay you. Regardless of what makes your workplace unhealthy, sticking around not only takes an emotional toll but can also suck up energy you need to find a professional situation that really works for you. “If you feel like you’re too tired at night to network, work on your resume, or look for a new job once you’ve realized you need to, then your day job is actually costing you a new opportunity in a big way,” Berry explains. “Without the space to focus on your resume, you’ll be forced to constantly stay up late at night or spend the weekends working, which adds even more strain on your potential productivity.” To break the cycle, she says to scale back the job as much as you can while finding space to work on what you need to.
When to Quit a Relationship
1. Enforcing Your Boundaries: Relationships of all types require tons of consideration, attentive care, and hard work. Berry tells us, “Whether you’re leaving your significant other, saying sayonara to an old friend, or putting your foot down with your mom, you need to respect your own boundaries when it comes to relationships.” She went on to explain that most of us tolerate not feeling good sometimes because we believe that we need to give in to others in order to feel better about who we are: “What actually works with greater success is when you focus on respecting yourself first and can acknowledge when someone has crossed a line. If that person continues to walk all over you, then there’s still at least one person in that relationship who respects you and will stand up for you.” Right on!
2. Respecting Your Principles: “Look at your list of personal values and how you like to treat others,” Berry suggests. “If the other person in a friendship or relationship doesn’t honor, acknowledge, and validate your feelings and values and continues to hurt you, it may be time to quit it.” She reminds us that surrounding yourself with people who support you makes a world of a difference when it comes to feeling truly happy. “Quitting a relationship can impact your overall health and happiness because it allows you to actively choose your own story — one in which you opt to honor yourself and to be around people who do the same.”
3. Holding Someone Accountable: If you’ve let someone you love get away with actions that had a negative impact on you, you’re definitely not alone. Berry observes, “We all allow others to hurt us because we think we can’t do anything to change them, and we want to keep them close to us.” Though it’s hard to let go, she says, “Know that in a case of hurtful behavior, you’re probably not the first to have a negative experience in a relationship with this person.” It can be super tough to let go of someone without feeling guilt, but Berry promises that sticking to your standards is a healthy thing to do — for you and for them. “Let your actions show that when you raise your standards for relationships and people in your life, you invite others to level up and join you.” Be confident in your decision, and know it really is okay to walk away.
What did you recently quit? Tell us how it went @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)