Quitting Time

By Robert Goldman

January 16, 2020 5 min read

Thinking about quitting your job?

Dumb question. You've been thinking about quitting from the day you started.

You remember that fateful day, of course. "It's a great opportunity," you told everyone. "It's not a huge salary, but I'll be making a boatload of money eventually. My co-workers seem really nice, and my boss really cares. It's a great move."

You were so enthusiastic that everyone believed you — everyone but Y-O-U.

Deep down, you knew that you'd never make a boatload of money, or even a teaspoon of money. Your boss only cared about mastering the skill of being a jerk, and your co-workers weren't really nice. They were barely human.

Still, you said yes, packed your new lunchbox, and off to work you ran, despite the fact that what you really wanted to do was pack your bathing suit and run off to a sun-kissed island with talcum-powder beaches where you could live off coconuts.

It took a while — you're not too bright, are you? — and now, at last, you're ready to quit.

What should you do?


That's the subject of today's sermonette. Don't quit your job until you can do it right.

Step one?

Read Yuki Noguchi's, "Want to Quit Your Job? Here's How to Do It Well," a recent addition to the "Life Kit" section of NPR's website. (You can also listen to Noguchi's article on the same webpage, but that means you'll have to turn off Silkk the Shocker, and you don't want to do that.)

When it comes to quitting, Noguchi believes that "the sooner you start planning your exit, the better, because quitting a job out of anger or on impulse ... will only hurt you."

The key, then, to a successful quit is to wait until you are really happy with your job. This is a reasonable strategy, except you may want to make the move in the current decade. That's how long it will take for you to have a moment of happiness long enough to quit in. Career coach J.T. O'Donnell cautions against becoming too emotional about quitting your job. "Often people wait until things get so toxic," she writes, "or they are so demoralized that they get emotional. That's when people say hateful things and storm out."

This is probably true, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply to you. Emotions are for wimps, as you well know. It takes a real tragedy for you to get emotional, like when they canceled "Fuller House" or when your favorite ice cream place runs out of Pickled Mango.

Besides, who says you have to be emotional to say hateful things and storm out? For people like thee and me, that's just another day at the office.

It is recommended that you have a plan before you quit. It's also advisable to have beaucoup bucks. "A year's worth of savings" is the recommended amount, just in the admittedly unlikely case that it will take a while for a new employer to discover your wonderfulness.

If your measly salary is one reason you're quitting, accumulating a year's worth of savings could be a challenge. J.T. O'Donnell recommends her clients knit a safety net by "downsizing their life (and) selling off any excess items they can live without."

How your life can get downsized is a mystery to me. It's already so tiny you need an electronic microscope to see it. But you could sell off certain excess items — like your clothes. You don't need that trendy, athleisure work wardrobe when you launch your new career as a couch potato. Just smear yourself with sour cream and chives, and off you go.

"Get your story straight" is another piece of good advice. An exit interview is not "a dumping ground for pent-up grievances." Try to be positive, or at least somewhat less negative than you usually are.

And be sure to have this final conversation face-to-face with your boss. You've been avoiding your manager for so long that you might not remember what your boss's face looks like, in which case, feel free to conduct your exit interview with the water fountain in the break room. At least the water fountain will care.

By following all these rules, you can leave your job with a much better reputation than you ever had when you were doing your job. This could help if you ever decide to work again, which I sincerely doubt.

You've tried it once. It's beach time now. Please pass the coconut.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

Photo credit: StockSnap at Pixabay

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