Two days into my brand-new job, I knew I wanted to quit.
In my defense, I never wanted the job in the first place. It was a year after college graduation and I was looking for a part-time job that would help me make rent while I pursued a full-time job in my desired career field.
A woman I’d known for a while knew I was looking for a part-time job and suggested a full-time job with her company. The job wasn’t even close to keeping with my career goals, but she insisted I was a shoo-in. She loved her company and had moved through the ranks relatively quickly from entry-level to management and knew of an opening I was qualified for. “You’ll be great!” she promised. And when you can’t get the job you want, shouldn’t you just take whatever job you can get?
Reluctantly, I began the long interview process. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but everyone seemed to think it was an “awesome opportunity” and I’d be “great” at the job. Ignoring my instincts, I accepted the job when they offered it to me.
Weeks passed and I hated my job more each day. The co-workers and managers were nice enough, the job had great pay and great benefits, but I hated the work. I felt like I was driving down a street with a “No Outlet” sign, barreling full speed toward a dead end. I tried desperately to focus on the silver linings, but I was miserable. It got to the point where I would excuse myself to go hide in the restroom and send my boyfriend dramatic text messages like “Dyyyyyyying!” “Saaaaaaave me!”
A friend who knew how much I hated my job suggested I give it a year before I resigned. This was ludicrous considering I didn’t want to give the job another day.
Instead, I reasoned I was still within my 90-day probationary period, so if I was going to quit, the sooner the better!
Still, fears flooded my mind. What will my manager think? What will my co-workers think? Will the woman who put me up for the job be mad at me? How will I face them after putting in a two weeks notice?
I felt like an idiot for letting someone pressure me into taking a job I knew I wouldn’t like. I felt awful for wasting the company’s time and resources. But I also felt resolve. I made a bad decision taking the job, but I refused to turn that bad decision into a worse decision by staying there.
A few weeks later, I mustered up the courage to put in a notice. To my surprise, because of the nature of the work, they didn’t allow two-weeks notices, so the manager had to let me go that instant. I don’t remember ever being so relieved as I grabbed my heater fan under my desk and practically ran out of the building.
While I don’t recommend haphazardly quitting jobs, I’ve never regretted that decision. I went against my better judgment by taking the job in the first place, but I was smart enough to know I didn’t have to stay. As far as the woman being furious with me? I think she still is. But life is too short to spend it trying to please other people while suffering in silence. I decided that day that I would never again let someone pressure me into taking a job that I knew I didn’t want.
Shortly after I quit that job, in a sheer twist of fate, I met a popular businessman in my city whose company happened to be looking for someone to manage social media. After a short interview process, I was hired with better hours, better pay and better benefits than the job I left. Had I listened to my friend’s advice to stay at my previous job for a year, I would have missed this extraordinary opportunity that turned out to be the best job I’ve ever had!
By getting rid of the things in our lives that don’t belong there, we open up our lives for the things that do.
And just as leaving that job made me available to accept my next job, I know that my leaving also opened up a place in that company for them to hire someone who loved it.
Have you ever quit (or wanted to quit) a new job?
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink
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