Quit your job to take a better paying position? Sure. Quit your job for a great opportunity? Definitely.
Quit your job to start your own business? Absolutely! (Keep in mind there are compelling reasons to hang on to your full-time job as long as you can while you get your business going. Also keep in mind you can start a company in just a few hours.)
But there are a lot more reasons to quit your job. And they all fall under one main category:
Life’s too short.
Life’s too short to go home every day feeling unfulfilled. Life’s too short to work for a terrible boss. Life’s too short to go home every day feeling taken for granted, feeling taken less than seriously, or feeling taken advantage of.
Life’s too short to not be as happy as you can be.
Say your grown daughter called and said, “I hate my job. I’m bored, frustrated, and feel like I’m going nowhere.” Wouldn’t you tell her to look for another job?
Shouldn’t you follow the same advice?
Here are reasons to stop being miserable and start looking for something better:
1. Your input is disregarded or even not wanted.
Everyone has ideas. And everyone loves when his or her ideas are taken seriously–and implemented. The feeling that you’ve contributed in a special way is incredibly gratifying.
But when your boss or company shoots down or even laughs at your ideas, it’s not only insulting, it’s demotivating. And pretty soon you stop caring.
Life’s too short not to care.
2. You get criticized publicly.
We all need constructive feedback. We all need a little nudge. We all need to be told when we can do something better–and how to do it better.
But we need to be told those things in private.
Life’s too short to walk around waiting for the next time you’ll be criticized–and even humiliated–in front of other people.
3. You never hear the word thanks.
Everyone also needs praise. We all need to know when we do something well (and everyone, even poor performers, do some things well).
Life’s too short not to be recognized for the contributions you make.
4. Your boss manages up, not down.
You know the type: As a leader she should focus her time and attention on her direct reports, but she spends all her time “following” her boss. It seems like your only job is to contribute to the greater glory–and advancement–of your boss.
A great boss knows that if her team succeeds–and each individual on that team succeeds–then she will succeed too.
Life’s too short to spend your time developing your boss’s career at the expense of your own.
5. You feel like you have no purpose.
Everyone likes to feel a part of something bigger. Everyone likes to feel he has an impact not just on results but also on the lives of other people.
Life’s too short to go home every day feeling like you’ve worked, but you haven’t accomplished anything meaningful.
6. You feel like a number.
Everyone is replaceable. Everyone, ultimately, works for a paycheck. But people also want to work for more than a paycheck. They want to work with people they respect and admire, and they want to be respected and admired in return.
If your boss doesn’t occasionally stop for a quick discussion about family, an informal conversation to see if you need any help, or simply to say a kind word, then you’re just a cog in a larger machine.
Life’s too short to only be a cog in a larger machine.
7. You aren’t even mildly excited to go to work.
Every job has its downsides. (I’m willing to bet even Richard Branson has to do a few things he doesn’t enjoy.) But every job should also have some fun moments. Or exciting moments. Or challenging moments. Or some aspect that makes you think, “I’m looking forward to doing that…”
Life’s too short to spend only looking forward to quitting time.
8. You can’t see a future.
Every job should lead to something: hopefully a promotion, but if not, the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities, learn new things, tackle new challenges. Tomorrow should have the potential to be different–in a good way–from today.
A decent boss works to improve the company’s future. A good boss works to improve her employees’ futures too, even if–especially if–that might mean some of those employees will eventually move on to bigger and better things.
Life’s too short to live without hope.
9. No one has the same dreams as you.
Countless companies were started by two or more people who at one time worked together and realized they had complementary skills–and realized they wanted to carve out a new future together.
If you plan to be an entrepreneur, working for a big company first is one of the best things you can do: It’s a risk-free environment where you can meet future colleagues and co-founders. Pick a dozen companies at random and you’ll find at least a few that were founded by aspiring entrepreneurs who met as co-workers and went on to launch awesome startups together.
Life’s too short to spend working with people who don’t share your hopes, dreams, and passions.
10. You don’t think you can do anything else.
That’s the best reason of all to quit your job. I know what you’re thinking: “I make too much in my current job; I’ll never find something comparable.” Or, “There just aren’t any jobs where I live.” Or, “I’ve put too much time into this company (or career or industry).”
Or, “I don’t have what it takes to start my own business.”
All those things are true–if you let them be true.
You can do something else. You can do lots of something “elses.”
You just have to believe–and trust that your creativity, perseverance, and effort will take you to new, happier, and more fulfilling places. Thousands of people start their own businesses ever year. The only difference between you and them? They decided to take the chance. They decided to bet on themselves.
They decided that life’s too short to just stay where they are instead of doing everything possible to live a better life.