Breaking up with your toxic job that is ruining your mental health sounds easy. I mean you spend hours, maybe even days dreading the thought of even going there. You shed tears and the tension is building up in your neck causing you physical pain. All you want is an escape. Then the day finally comes where you get to put in your two-week notice – something to celebrate, no doubt! Except if you’re anything like me, a people pleaser, all of a sudden your feelings shift. What once was your only goal, now seems like a harsh decision. Was your time here really that bad? Are you just being hasty, rash, and a little dramatic? No. You’re not.
Breaking up with your job is much like getting out of a toxic relationship. The idea of it sounds great and you dream of what it will be like when you finally get your freedom, but when it comes down to it, it’s hard. You start to remember all the good times – the laughs, the tears, everything. Here’s the thing though. You can’t forget all those times you felt broken down because of your job. You aren’t feeling this sudden hesitation because your experience wasn’t as bad as you thought. You are feeling it because change is hard. I don’t care what situation you’re in, change is always terrifying because you are letting go of what was comfortable – well maybe not comfortable, but easy.
There is a saying, I don’t know exactly how it goes, but it says something along the lines of change being scary, but is it really as scary as being in the same place a year from now? That was what put the fire under my booty and gave me the courage to tell my boss I no longer wanted to be an employee at that particular establishment. I thought about the fact that if I didn’t just rip off the bandaid, I would be in the exact same spot a year from now – depressed and disappointed in myself.
I also understand that sometimes it’s hard letting go of a job, not because you start remembering all the good times, but because you have morphed into your job and your whole identity is your career. I was a 911 dispatcher for 4.5 years. It wasn’t some easy job that I didn’t think about when I was off duty. I have calls that stick with me to this day. I had frustrations I had to let out to my fiancé. 90% of my friends I hung out with were coworkers, and I spent a plethora of days of getting forced in or complaining with my coworkers via text about a scheduling issue or something that had happened while they were there but I was off duty. It became a personality trait and I didn’t know a lot outside of that world. I was a dispatcher and that was it. So when it came time to give my boss my notice, I started panicking about how I would go on without this thing that had been my whole life. It’s a little bit ironic that I chose to leave because of my mental health, but here I was having full-blown panic attacks because of my future.
What I realized after was that although I felt anxious about the next chapters in my life, I DID feel immensely better after leaving my job. I’m gonna be honest, I have zero idea what I’m doing with my life right now. I’m a hot fucking mess, but my state of mind is better despite all the uncertainty. I know starting over isn’t ideal, especially when you’re at a point when you thought you’d have it all together, but I find it is highly necessary sometimes. A blank slate is something to be excited about, not scared of.
If you are finding yourself in a position where you want to quit your job but you don’t feel like you have the courage to do it, my advice to you is to go for it. What do you have to lose? Okay, I mean you lose your paycheck so have some sort of plan in place, but aside from money, what are you losing? I talked about this in one of my other posts, but sometimes in life you just have to do things without putting too much thought into them. When I quit, I hesitated to contact my boss for weeks. And then one day I was feeling extremely low, so I sent him an email asking to have a meeting without him and I didn’t let my emotions take over what I was doing. If you want out bad enough, you just have to take a leap of faith. Go all into your dreams, and don’t be afraid of the unknown. Sometimes the best things in life are the scary things!