Quitting Up

My first ever post on Medium is about quitting, a subject near and dear to my heart. 

I did it again. I quit a job—one I loved in many ways and I know many would be eager to have. But there were plenty of problems, as well. As I grew increasingly unhappy, sleep-deprived, and frustrated, I kept trying to make it work. Until one day I just couldn’t any more.

When I say I quit, I don’t mean I left one full-time job to take another. That’s the assumption, right? When you announce you’re leaving, people automatically ask where you’re going, because it’s very hard for most people to imagine leaving for the sake of leaving. But that’s the step I’ve taken several times throughout my career. And while in some instances, I could have quit a bit more politely, strategically, or stylishly, I have never once regretted leaving. In fact, I’m pretty sure quitting has been among the best career decisions I’ve ever made.

Walking away from a clearly defined path, reliable salary, and paid time off takes courage. It is a risk, and I don’t want to minimize that. But taking that step in the “wrong” direction, or leaning sideways as I sometimes call it, has exposed me to more experiences and people than I ever would have encountered while ascending that ladder one rung at a time. Increasingly it’s a way of working that businesses are embracing, too, which in some cases makes quitting a real win-win.

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