Should You Quit Your Job?
The nine questions you need to ask yourself before you publicly announce, “f#@* it, I quit.”
Earlier this week, Alaskan TV news reporter Charlo Greene very publically resigned, proclaiming, “Fuck it, I quit,” on air during a broadcast about a local medical marijuana organization. Greene dramatically revealed herself as the mysterious owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, which connects marijuana patients with growers, and announced that from then on her time would be spent on “freedom and fairness,” rather than whatever it is that broadcast journalists do during the workday.
Simultaneously telling your employer to shove it and announcing your entrée into the weed business may not be everyone’s idea of following your bliss, but at one point or another, we’ve all considered quitting our jobs to pursue our dreams. Maybe that means walking out one day and never looking back, putting in two weeks’ notice that you plan to start a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire, or pooling tips with your fellow servers to buy the family-friendly chain restaurant that stole the best years of your youth, and out of sheer spite, burning the damn place to the ground.
But you don’t have to be imaginative or ambitious to resign—it’s surprisingly easy. Every year, two million people quit their jobs, whether because of a jerk boss, low pay, unfulfilled dreams, or sheer boredom. And, hey, it’s not all bad; some people actually love what they do for a living. Just because man was cursed to toil by the sweat of his brow doesn’t mean work has to be a miserable, soul-crushing experience. Unfortunately, learning how to tell if your job truly sucks, or if you’re just a spoiled brat with a sense of entitlement can be tricky. Take this quiz and add up your answers below to see whether it’s time for you, too, to tell the world, “Fuck it, I quit.”
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Your boss yells at you:
2. It’s happened a few times, but is usually followed by an apology (and let’s be honest, a couple of times I deserved it.)
3. Like Gunnery Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket
The last time I got a raise or bonus:
1. I get them every 12 months with a formalized review.
2. A few years ago when I threatened to quit (best drunken rant ever.)
3. Obama still offered us hope.
I wake up Monday morning…
1. Like a Disney princess—wide-eyed, optimistic, and with a song on my lips.
2. Like a kid—I know it will be fine, but I still wish it were a snow day.
3. Like a baby seal suddenly realizing that an invitation to go “clubbing” means something very different than he’d imagined.
I am expected to work:
1. During work hours.
2. I’m often asked or expected to stay late.
3. I automatically appear if my boss chants my name four times while looking in a mirror.
I get good feedback at work…
2. Every couple of months when my boss says something nice or constructive.
3. Wait, there’s “good” feedback?
At work I generally feel…
3. I had to stop myself from feeling anything a long, long time ago.
My superior is…
1. Someone who is competent, that I can turn to for help—like Kathy Bates in Six Feet Under.
2. Someone who is a little crazy, but prone to bursts of inspiration—like Kathy Bates in Primary Colors.
3. Some who is petty and tyrannical—like like Kathy Bates in Misery.
When I grow up, I want…
1. To be doing what I’m doing, just at a higher level.
2. To be doing something more in keeping with my creative drives.
3. To become famous for blowing the whistle on my current employer’s corporate malfeasance.
1. Isn’t curing cancer, but it’s meaningful to me, and the pay is good.
2. Is what you expect in a job—It pays my bills, but it’s not what I went to college for.
3. Drains me to the point where I can’t act on the suicidal thoughts it inspires.
9 to 14: Smooth sailing
Your job is ideal—like being the non-eunuch, unionized guard in a harem or a chocolate tester immune to weight gain and Type II diabetes. Keep up the good work (or don’t, if you can get away with it), and take whatever opportunities are presented to make your way up the ladder. And if you’re already up there, remember those below you. Also, are you hiring?
15 to 21: Red flag
A good chunk of your time is probably spent on LinkedIn, but mostly looking at exes’ employment histories, figuring out how much they currently make, and wondering what your life would be like now if marriage had been in the cards. Maybe your job has some nice perks, or it affords you the lifestyle you want, but if the red flags keep popping up, use the comfort of a job you can tolerate to find a job you can love. Don’t let the inertia take over; life moves pretty fast—if you don’t stop to look around every once in a while, you could miss it.
22 to 27: Take your two weeks and run
Delmore Schwartz wrote that in dreams begin responsibilities; if you spend all your time dreaming of a different job, then it’s your responsibility to look elsewhere. Only you know your financial situation and obligations, but don’t dawdle. Remember that picture of everybody clinging to the last helicopter leaving the U.S. embassy roof in Saigon? Imagine one guy saying, “Eh, I won’t try and get on the chopper today, I’m sure I’ll have a chance tomorrow.” Presumably, your job is nowhere near as devastating as a Vietnamese re-education camp, but the mere fact that they are being discussed in the same sentence should be enough. Quit your job.