How to Find the Courage to Quit Your Job

Growing up, you likely had all sorts of lofty ideas about what you’d do for a living. You had a specific idea about what your life would be like, and you couldn’t wait to grow up.

Then, before you knew it, you grew up.

Those dreams were replaced with sensible goals. You got your degree and found a stable job.

You’re doing everything you’re supposed to. So why isn’t your job making you happy?

Over half of the workforce reported feelings of dissatisfaction at their job, yet few people have the courage to step out of their comfort zone and seize their goals.

Are you looking to make a change? Here’s how you can gather your courage to quit your job and pursue your dreams.

Don’t Give Into The Sunk Cost Fallacy

It’d be so easy to spend the next few years of your life at your job. There’s something comforting about familiarity, after all.

As a result, you may find yourself feeling guilty for wanting to leave.

You’ve put all of this time and effort into finding a great career, after all, how could you just up and leave like that?

This is a perfect example of the sunk cost fallacy.

If you’re unfamiliar with the sunk cost fallacy, it occurs when someone makes an investment — in this case, your time — and continues down a certain path, even if they have regrets about their investment.

You’re only hurting yourself by staying at your job.

Guilt is such a controlling emotion, but at the end of the day, it only has as much power over us as we give it.

Take a deep breath. Just because you’ve lived your life one way doesn’t mean you can’t change your mind.

Trust Your Instincts

As we grow up, we tend to let reason take over. In many situations, that’s for the best.

However, too much of a good thing can become problematic, and sometimes a little emotion is a good thing.

Reason will only get you so far. It doesn’t guarantee you’ll have a happy, satisfactory career. That’s up to you!

You’ve listened to your head, now listen to your heart. Look inward and see what your gut says.

Many psychologists even agree that listening to your gut can lead to better decision making and a happier life.

Ignore ‘What If’ Scenarios

‘What if’ scenarios can be some of the most powerful fantasies we can conjure, especially when we’re weighing our options.

This is when the sunk cost fallacy comes into play once more, as they’re often reliant on these powerful hypothetical situations.

You may have tons of nightmare scenarios running through your head at this very moment.

What if you quit your job and can’t make your dream career work? What if you lose your house and you become financially destitute?

At the heart of these questions is one thing: Fear.

One of the best ways to overcome that fear is to let yourself feel it and explore it. If you can’t get these scenarios out of your head, run through them and give into the worst case scenario.

Let’s say you do quit your job and your new business doesn’t come to fruition. What then?

Though it isn’t an ideal scenario, it isn’t the end of the world, either. In fact, setbacks can often give us strength.

You can always find another job or retool your business idea into a more successful venture. It doesn’t mean you’re a failure or that you’ll never have a successful career.

Running through these scenarios can help you get a better sense of how resourceful you are, and thus, give you more confidence.

Examine Your Dissatisfaction

You’re convinced that you want to quit your job and move on. But why is that?

Take some time to examine what specifically you dislike about your current position.

As silly as it may sound, knowing what you dislike is a great way to learn what you do like.

Grab some paper and jot down a list of things you dislike about your job. Don’t worry about editing yourself, let your thoughts flow on the paper.

Once you’ve finished, look over the list and start to piece together your findings.

Maybe you’re better suited for a job in a quieter environment, for instance, or a job where you have more freedom.

These are actually great indicators for your future job, as insignificant as they may seem.

Furthermore, exploring your dissatisfaction can help you better structure your argument when it comes time to present your two weeks notice.

Rehearse Your Exit

There’s a good chance that the one thing keeping you from leaving your job is an awkward conversation with your boss. Most of us don’t like confrontation, after all.

But staying at your current position isn’t an effective solution.

Instead, gather up the courage to talk to your boss by rehearsing what you’ll say.

Jot down a few bullet points you’d like to address. Don’t worry about being overly complicated with your argument, it’s best to keep it simple.

The trick is to remain both diplomatic and honest.

Be open with your superior, but don’t allow yourself to be bullied into staying, either. Walk into the room with your mind made and tell yourself that you won’t back down.

In addition to an in-person conversation, you’ll likely need to hand in a letter of resignation outlining your reasons for leaving.

Expect an exit interview, as well, where you’ll reassert what you stated in your two weeks notice. Again, stay focused and keep your eye on the prize.

Quit Your Job And Don’t Look Back: Final Thoughts On Finding Your Courage

If you’ve made it this far into the article, you have the steps needed to gather the courage to quit your job.

Take a few quiet moments to breathe and focus. Today can be the first day of the rest of your life. But only if you’re dedicated to making it happen.

Now comes the hard part: Following through.

If you’re ready for a new career, download my PDF to answer a few simple questions about yourself and your aspirations.

I’ll work with you using my O-YES (one-year exit strategy) system to help you make the next chapter in life the best one yet.


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