5 Reasons That I Left My Job
It’s petrifying to quit a job these days because it makes you unhappy. A steady paycheck, benefits, a secured position, and comfort in knowing the job itself. They can be enough to make a person stick it out at a misery-causing job. It made me question whether or not it was my job that was miserable or I was just complaining too much. I thought ‘Maybe my head is in the clouds’ or ‘I just want too much’. Maybe I was just afraid to actually walk away from the known, despite my unhappiness, and look for a better option. I just didn’t think that a job, where I spend at least two-thirds of my day, should have to be so miserable. I kept questioning this for years, but my aggravation only grew as the years passed by.
Eventually, I realized that my job did not only make me miserable, but it was making my family miserable as well! I could no longer restrict being unhappy just at the workplace, or get rid of it on the forty-five minute car ride home, or hide it in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep. It infected our house! I had to do something to change how I felt and how I was acting. So I resigned my comfy, but going nowhere, high school secretarial job after 9 years.
Since I have been away from my former job, I have discovered that I am not the only person to feel this way. I am not alone in thinking that there has to be something better out there. Everyone has different reasons for wanting to leave a job and I will share my top five reasons in the hope that anyone reading this will know that they are not alone in wanting something more out of work.
1. Unchallenging work. The need to have responsibilities and to be challenged at work is fundamental for employees to feel like they are contributing and being valued. Just like musc
les need a physical challenge in order to grow and actually weaken without a challenge, employees need to be challenged intellectually in order to rise to the occasion and have a strong performance. Goals and opportunity for advancement can provide challenges for employees. I spent 9 years at a dead end job. It was time to leave.
2. Improve family life. We all know that stress has a variety of effects on the body, including high blood pressure, depression, headaches, and sleep disorders, but stress can also create feelings that create unhappy employees. Insecurity, hopelessness, irritability, jealousy, and sensitivity to criticism are just a few. When stresses at work become too great, they can spill over into personal lives. I found myself short-tempered with my husband and son, easily irritated at minuscule things, unable to focus on simple tasks, had headaches, and was physically drained. It was definitely time to leave.
3. Feeling unheard or even dismissed. Sadly, it is common for employees to feel unappreciated or not respected by their boss, that their boss takes them for granted, or that they are not recognized for their work. Some of my job duties included compiling and editing the entire building budget proposal, manage substitute teachers and any classroom coverage needs, complete state reports, keep track of classroom and testing accommodations for students, and assist in the planning of the commencement ceremony. This was in addition to whatever the Principal needed me to do, like schedule meetings, enter continuing education hours for teachers, and other office duties. I like to be busy at work, so I did not mind the work load. What bothered me most was that upper administrators, like the Superintendent, Assistant Superintendents, and some of the Principals I had, did not seem to appreciate hard work and advice from other staff with experience. There were no actual thank you’s from any of them. If there was a gesture of appreciation, it had a hidden purpose or second agenda, like a photo op. It was absolutely time to leave.
4. Disgust in Management and Administrators. Poor attitude at work can start when an employee’s values or ethics are at odds with administration or upper management. I have witnessed outright lying to parents and perspective employees, hiding unused money only
to “find” it later and use it in their interest, and expecting under staffed departments to complete unreasonable workloads without error. Let’s face it, there are also several terms that are synonymous with the school systems these days– Common Core Curriculum, over testing, budget deficit, and No Child Left Behind. Many families and students have a sense of entitlement these days, but it is not limited to just them. Administrators that I have known feel that all-expense paid conferences and using the Driver’s Education car for their personal use is perfectly within the norm. It was time to leave!
5. Freedom to customize workday. According to Forbes magazine, about 70% of employees would leave their job for a flexible work arrangement or a chance to work from home. In a press release, President and CEO of Softchoice, David MacDonald said, “We found most people really value the freedom to customize their workday – to be able to run an errand, schedule an appointment, or pick up their kids from school, and catch up on work when it suits them. Organizations that enable that kind of flexibility have become highly desirable places to work.” Work-life balance is the top reason Forbes magazine cites for wanting flexible work arrangements. While it is not feasible for some professions to work from home, like being a secretary, flexibility in the work day could let an employee feel that they are valued and important enough to work out an arrangement. There was no doubt for me, it was time to leave.
There are many changes in myself and family that I have noticed in just the few months since I left my job. I can sleep at night. I no longer get stress related headaches. I have more patience and energy to play with my son. There is very little tension in our house. I can juggle personal errands and work without feeling overwhelmed. I know that it is not feasible for everyone to quit a job that fosters misery, but if the opportunity presents itself, take it! Life is too short to be unhappy!