What I Said to My Friend Who’s Forever Been Wanting to Quit Her Job

A friend sent a screenshot of an email encircling in red a portion of what appears to be a bullet of comments.

She followed it up with a series of details explaining the context of this sudden message in our Facebook “support group”.

She was screaming in anger, that much I can tell.

I inquired if the sender of this email was her monster boss.

I was right.

It was only this boss who can make her explode about work.

She’s crying in frustration.

She wants out… for a very long time now. Several others of her colleagues had raised the white flag.

To give you an idea of this boss’ monstrosity, the epic monster boss deliberately ruins the chances of ex-employees from being hired.

“Don’t hire him. He’s the laziest!” — her response to the inquiring prospective employer, spoken in front of my dear friend, who’s also friends with the person she just denied possible livelihood.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Manipulations, verbal abuse, inconsiderations, just about every vileness a boss can do, she has it in her resume.

My friend has been tolerating the torment for most of her career in this reputable company.

But she’s at the edge of her patience spool right this second.

She’s seeking approval to quit her job.

“I can quit already, right? I don’t have kids yet anyway!”

“I don’t have much adult obligations and expenses. I can live on just a little.”

If you’re her, what would you say?

Most probably, you’d empower her to quit and find a job with an empowering, enriching mentor.

Work for the boss, not the company, I once read. The boss teaches you. The image of a big company does not.

Does her situation, even in any tiny bit way, resemble yours?

You may have a different story but clicking to read this gives me a hunch you might also be settling in a career situation with monsters that suck the life out of you. Work mismatch, restrictive schedule, toxic workmates, or worse, a bland, okay job that doesn’t maximize who you are in this world.

You know something’s odd, there’s a void, and you want to work on something more meaningful.

But you’re still there.

You’ve been meaning to rock the boat, but all the excuses come flying high every time. 2 years later, you’re still in this same situation hoping something might shift.

I simply told my friend she might be dead in 5 years and by not taking action, she’s choosing to spend the remainder of her life in her boss’ degrading, mean, negative, derogatory, life-sucking presence.

Why?

She’s a great employee, smart, get things done, I’m sure she can find another job where she will be appreciated and well-compensated.

You, too!

You’re brilliant (in your own zone of genius)! You’re competent. You make things happen. You’re an asset to your boss, in your company.

If they don’t see that, find someone who will and unleash what great work you are capable of doing.

Never feel like you have no choice. You always do. It’s a matter of choosing which consequences you’re willing to tolerate for which more important gain.

Passion isn’t this perfect, bokeh-laden love that’s all rainbows and butterflies. It’s, as in the passion of Christ (saw that movie?), something you love enough that you’re willing to suffer for.

Thought I’d pop in to be your today’s enabler if you’re still at the fence, or still lost in the abyss of life’s work, or just basically in the same boat as my friend.

Not everyone’s going to understand your decision. But not everyone lives your life, too. You do. Make it worth the world’s while.

You don’t need permission to live a life you’re proud to live and watch over and over again.

Your work isn’t life unless your work is your life. Work to live. We don’t live to work. We live to make this world better than we found it. If your current work doesn’t facilitate that, worse, it hinders you, then find another way that will.

Feel free to email me if you want someone to talk to about this. I don’t know why this is such a difficult conversation especially with, supposedly, the most significant people in our lives.

How do you feel about your work? Do you also feel meh about the trajectory or progress of your career? Email me with your stories and I’ll highlight some of the interesting ones in an article next week.

Tell me: What made you pursue your current work? When did you realize this might not be what you imagine it’ll be or that you may have made a mistake? Did you tell anyone? How did it feel when you realized? And what is your plan now?

I’d love to hear your story.

If “I don’t know what to do with my life!” is your battle cry lately, you may want to get this Design Your Life’s Work Worksheet here. It’s free!