Life Stories Motivation

9 Signs it’s Time to Quit Your Job

NYC

Rewind six months ago and you would have seen a dark circle faced, black wearing, overworked lookin’ Jo. I was beasting through 16 hour days, five days a week at two different jobs, while trying to grow Shut Up and Go to eventually switch gears and become a real entrepreneur. That’s right ya’ll, I’m a serial workaholic; guilty.

As an immigrant, I was raised to take any job I was offered without even asking what I’d get paid. I was trained to milk every opportunity to grow and to slowly climb my way to the top becoming a star employee; the one who gets picked for the most difficult projects. What I didn’t realize is that these “honors” were simply titles that carried stress, anxiety, and heaps of depression for the sake of “looking good in someone else’s eyes,” and maybe, just maybe, a few extra bucks.

new-york

After realizing the obvious fact that I couldn’t afford NYC rent with just delivering groceries (the only job that allowed the flexibility to travel and still film, blog, etc.) and measly cents from our YouTube channel ad revenue, I started scouting for a new job. I landed a sweet gig as a part time receptionist at a coworking space for creative entrepreneurs, and because I couldn’t possibly just work one job, I found my second one at a corporate travel company as a part time admin assistant. Despite dreading the thought of corporate America and a cubicle, the job fit my financial needs and was a gateway into building travel relationships.

I remember flinching at the interview for the position; “So Joanna, you seem to have such an adventurous past, what makes you want to switch gears and work in an office?” Dang, now that’s a great question.

Truth was that I needed the money to start tackling loans, and I also wanted to absorb more about the corporate travel industry before jumping on the entrepreneur boat full-time. And plus, if I wanted to eventually play with the big dogs as a bo$$ business woman, I’d need to learn the rules of their game. My beauty pageant answer was, “I’d love to be around experienced professionals and gain as much as I can about the industry.” Hopefully my spritz of slight BS didn’t stain their nicely ironed blazers. The minute the words escaped my mouth, I felt like I was selling myself short from my visions of having my own company. But I also knew I had to do what I had to do so I accepted the job to get by until the time was right.

When you meet me, it’s obvious to know that I’m not a corporate robot, I ooze free spirited vibes. Because of this, I think even the executives who interviewed me knew that my days there were numbered. But for some reason they gave me a chance and I stuck around doing pretty corporatey types of tasks day after day. We’re talkin’ the highlight of my weeks would be getting to color coordinate excel spreadsheets, and alphabetizing RSVP lists.

Slowly but surely, I went through a roller coaster of false happiness at being offered a promotion, then a little bit of introverted depression from having at most two conversations a day, then financial comfort, followed by frustration, and then finally realizing it was time to go, but not knowing the right way to leave the company without deteriorating the relationships I had made.

My strategy was to get paid for networking, but the outcome was not as sweet as I had thought. Turns out that spending 16 hours committed to things that you don’t necessarily want to do is damaging to the soul.

So six months after accepting the position, I made the decision to not only turn down a second promotion offer, but to quit completely and go on a month long trip and pulling the trigger to live in LA to work out Shut Up and Go full time.

I reached a point where the fear of complacency became greater than the fear of instability.

work

I now look back and realize turning down that offer and quitting was by far the best decision I’ve made in my life, that and choosing to use men’s deodorants.

Here are 9 signs it might be time for you to quit your job and pursue your next career move:

You’re using food to get through the day

My old desk chair used to be a sea of crumbs. The floor was dusted with crushed nuts and other snacks I used to use scarf down to keep me awake and satisfied. Binge eating is only sometimes funny in rom-coms (aka romantic comedy), and even then it’s not ok. After I quit that job, I instantly lost five pounds because I didn’t need food to fill my happiness void.

Music is your lifeline

You could just love listening to music while working, but I know personally when I plug my headphones in and keep them in from the moment I leave my apartment, to the moment I walk back home at 10 PM it’s because my day has been so blah that I needed to use music to feel jazzed up. There should be other sources of happiness in your job beyond your Spotify playlists.

You forget you have an opinion

You often keep quiet in meetings because you feel like there’s no point in even expressing your blank statement. You’re so under stimulated that you honestly forget you have an opinion.

Sunday nights are your worst enemy

alarm

Nothing chills your bones more than thinking Sunday night is approaching. The act of physically setting your alarm for Monday morning makes your stomach flip, and the only thing to help that feeling is to grab a tub of ice cream and binge on Netflix for your last hours of freedom.

You can’t stand happy people

It’s not your fault, but you just can’t feel genuinely happy for happy people. After a few minutes of basking in their radiating smiles, you just need to remove yourself from the situation.

You know your skills aren’t being used

If you’re a marathon runner who can juggle while doing it – people actually do this – and truly believe you can make a career out of it, but instead, you’re coding for a tech company that undervalues you, you’re doing something wrong. Don’t let your skills go to waste, every one has a place to be appreciated, even if that means you have to create that place yourself.

You feel your life is flashing before you

flashing

You tell yourself time and time again, you’re going to quit. You just don’t find yourself actually doing it because of your belief that you need a stable job. You’re also afraid you won’t be able to find anything beyond this one job you hate. First of all, this is a massive lie, there are so many jobs out there that would willingly accept you, you just can’t be afraid to go out there and look. If you feel like your life is flashing before your eyes, you gotta get out of there. You’re not helpless, you just have to learn to help yourself.

You tell yourself you need $10,000 to quit

malibu-pensive

This is probably reason #1 why people allow themselves to tolerate crappy jobs that are simply not good fits for their lifestyle, financial fear.  They tell themselves that in order to put in their two week notice, they need a massive lump of money. Face it, once you quit your job, financial stability goes out the drain, but that doesn’t mean money gets out of the picture all together. If you really wanna pull the plug, you can research hundreds of ways to make an income that will work around the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. This concept of needing “x amount of dollars” to quit is just a security blanket to prolong you finally taking the leap into freedom.

You’re afraid of what other people will think of you quitting

Guess what? Phil from the cube next door ain’t the one paying your bills, and he’s also not the one who has aspirations for much more beyond this job, so he’ll never know what’s good for you. In fact, no one else knows what’s good for you the way you do. It’s important to think about why you’re afraid of quitting. If it’s because you’re worried about what other people will think, that should be your first step into going against what people say. Of course people are going to tell you that you getting rid of a stable job is like suicide, but that’s because the people saying that are probably content with their complacency, or are afraid of going after what they truly want. Don’t let people’s self inflicted projections rain on your parade, if you’re craving much more you should probably go with your gut.

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  • Yuri Souza

    Tão cansado dessa vida que só não me encaixo. Toda vez que vejo vídeos de vocês dois, ou esses textos, começo a pensar até quando ! Até quando eu vou deixar as coisas como estão ao invés de fazer do meu jeito

  • Sonia

    Joanna, I totally emphasize with most of these points- especially with forgetting to have an opinion and dreading Sunday nights! The problem is I’m in high school, so it’s a slightly different situation. I’m a senior, and I keep trying to find happiness in the future, knowing college isn’t too far away. However, I’m not genuinely enjoying life and I feel like I’m wasting my senior year away! Any advice??? Love you and Damon, your videos get me through the day. xxxxx

    • I felt the SAME in high school and my advice to you is that things really doooooo get better! Once you graduate, you start realizing you have a lot more control over your choices. Don’t think you’re wasting anything, it’s all part of the experience, but definitely make sure you’re keeping yourself stimulated with your next move! Big hugs, don’t worry, you’ll be great!

  • This is a great article and the “you need $10,000 to quit” is such a good point.

    I think for me the fear really comes from the loans I have from school. I have no doubt that I could make rent and get food and live the lifestyle I want by freelancing alone.

    I am also very confident that with the extra freedom I could create additional sources of income for myself very quickly thanks to skills I’ve gained over the last 6 years.0

    But part of me is stuck because it seems like a stupid decision when I have so much in student loans to pay off. I end up convincing myself that I should just put all my freelance money towards paying off my loans and keep my full time job to pay my bills.

    This of course leads to working MUCH longer hours, losing sleep, losing time at the gym, losing time with your loved ones, and much more stress.

    I’m currently finding ways to transition out of my 40 hour job though because it has seriously started affecting my health and that’s pretty much where I draw the line.

    Nice post Jo

  • Danielle Mercado

    I feel the exact same way. I am so happy that I am not the only one who feels this way. You definitely inspired me to make some changes in my life

  • IHS Serme

    Oh my god this is me right now and the worst is that I don’t even have a job yet hell I haven’t even graduated . But thanks for the article it really made me think about my life choices . Merci beaucoup johanna et amuse toi bien à New York

    • This could totally be a feeling wherever you are in life! The point is we need to make constant changes to remind ourselves of happiness, otherwise the complacency swoops in and takes over! Big hugs! Bisous!!

  • I really needed to read this. My job (that I’ve been at since graduation) pays well but I’m SO bored, I keep daydreaming of something different.

    “I reached a point where the fear of complacency became greater than the fear of instability.”

    Can’t wait till I get to this stage T_T

    • Thanks for your comment! It’s such a common thing to feel, people just kind of neglect the feeling and before you know it, you’re 90 years old wondering what could have been different! Good luck love!

  • Sandy Garcia

    This was me a couple of months ago. I finally quit that greatpaying, soul-sucking job but now I’ve realized I don’t know what I want to do to make money. I’m struggling to find my dream and getting irritated that I can’t see it. I’ll be back in the job market if I can’t figure it out soon.

  • Fernando Favela

    this is not your story, it’s mine! except for the fact that I haven’t had the balls to quit my job yet. =/

  • Love this <3. Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Alejandro Gomez

    ” You tell yourself you need 10,000 to quit” really says it all, spending your day at work daydreaming what to do and where to go with that money so your not so funny anymore day at work can goes faster. Great post!

  • Luz Rodriguez

    I’m a senior in high school and want to be an engineer but I come from a very low income family. I would basically be paying college on my own aside from scholarships, grants and/or loans. I want to help the environment but I don’t want to feel depressed from all the heavy work. I’ve experienced heavy anxiety and/or depression at least once a year for a period of time in HS and I don’t want for it to become worse in college. Can anyone give me advice with how much work i will experience and my major options? THANK YOU Damon+JO This article helps me alot and I watch every one of your videos:)

  • Clare Lindley

    You two seem great 🙂 Really genuine, lovely people. I’ve just been watching some of your videos, you both just come across so well. Good luck with your business and may it continue to grow and you have many more travel adventures 🙂

  • Marco Barbaresco

    Thank you for these beautiful words <3 Today i'm feeling so tired, exhausted and bored with my job. I'm feeling unable to do something. I can't feel my soul. With this text, you makes me cry and thinking about my life from now on. I would love to go to the United States to work and study, but did not want to go as a tourist. I do not know what I do. Even so, thank you for everything!

    • Hi Marco, don’t cry! There’s always a solution, you just have to be strategic and take a few risks! Best of luck, sending you um abraco bem grande!

  • Veronica

    Thanks Jo! (I love you and Damon’s Youtube channel!!!) I’m definitely in that space now and I so admire (/envy) your awesome adventures. I’m working on my passion project now to help me get out of my job (or at least a new one with more income to help me move out and explore the world). I really hope one day I can travel solo and with friends to amazing places and make something of my passion project instead of just working to make money.

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