Desperate to quit your job? Here's 6 things to consider before you take a new one.

One minute life was going smoothly, I had my belated honeymoon to Thailand coming up in a few weeks and had just finished a huge work project. 

And then: coronavirus. We cancelled the holiday and kept working, hoping we’d be able to re-book really soon. 

It wasn’t until after I would have returned from the holiday that it started getting harder to go to work every day.

The kids were at home doing school around the dining table and the dread that comes with not knowing that my world is safe from one day to the next started to compound. I started taking shortcuts with my quality of work.

Nobody noticed, but I knew. It all just seemed kind of pointless now. 

Watch: Is self-care selfish? Post continues after video. 

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Oprah has been telling us for years to do what we love and the money will follow. I believe her. 

I’ve just never trusted myself enough to take that leap. Until now. 

After years of friends telling me that I’d be a perfect life coach and knowing in my heart it’s where I should be, I completed a life coaching certification and started my own business. And more recently I’ve followed my other passion of writing for no other reason than that I enjoy it and it allows me to share what I know. 

Apparently I’m not the only one. On top of all the mental health issues created by the outbreak of coronavirus and the naming of many industries as ‘non-essential’, for many, work stress just doesn’t seem worth it. Resignation rates are rising globally. 

We’ve all figured out what’s not right, but how do we know what to do next?

Start with an idea.

Write down anything you’ve ever entertained doing for even a moment. It doesn’t matter if it’s a traditional ‘job’. Don’t limit yourself, if it comes to mind put it on the list. 

Take the top three (or more, there are no rules here) items from your list and ask yourself, ‘Why do I want to do this?’ 

Make sure to include all the really selfish stuff, like ‘people will respect me’ or ‘I’m going to make a ton of money’. It’s hard to acknowledge our shadow self but we all have one, and once acknowledged you can choose to meet those needs on your own terms.

Determine your values.

This information shows what you value, which is key to getting your life together. If you value adventure and health, you may choose to work in the health industry and pursue your passion for adventure through rock climbing. Or you could combine both and join Doctors Without Borders. There is real satisfaction in aligning all of your values.


Avoid going back.

If the purpose of quitting your job is to find more fulfilment, there’s no way you want to go back to the same old thing. 

Consider all the reasons you were over your job. Was it a toxic environment? Bosses expecting more than is humanly possible? No sense of achievement or purpose? Make sure your new alternative is empowering in these areas instead.

Fill your needs.

It’s good to note that not everybody needs a sense of purpose at work. For a while, after caring for my sick dad, I chose to work as a cleaner rather than going back to my high-pressure career. It was down-time for me while I worked on my own personal healing and growth. That healing and growth was my purpose. 

That is a good example of ecology: is the new change compatible with all other areas of my life currently or how I want those areas to be? 

There are so many ways to meet your needs and values, so play around with it and don’t compromise - find an alternative way to fill your needs.

Listen to Lady Startup Stories, a Mamamia podcast all about starting a business. Post continues after audio.

Make it about you.

Maybe you’ve had a career change on your mind for a while. If you’ve tried before and ended up back in the same situation or failed to make real progress, it’s a good idea to reflect on what it was that held you back. Was it fear of failure, financial insecurity, lack of motivation or because your current career is the one your parents wanted for you?

Humans are emotional creatures; we base most of our decisions around avoidance of pain or gaining pleasure. If you are toward-focused, your drive is greater to work toward positive outcomes. Or you may be away-from focused, making all of your decisions around the need to avoid pain.

Think back to all the areas you’ve succeeded or not yet achieved your desires and ask yourself why it was so. 

Use this information to create a highly specific list of all the things you will gain from this career move, or all of the things you will be able to.

Start small.

One last thought - you don’t have to jump straight in the deep end. Try finding work in your desired industry before jumping into a giant student loan. You’ll get to see the downsides of that work. Or cut back to part-time if you aren’t ready to take the full leap. 

I am feeling overwhelmed and uncertain at all the changes the last two years have brought to my family, my country and my world. 

As a woman I’ve struggled to embrace my career as something that can bring me purpose, not just income and identity. Now is the time to use my fear and uncertainty to be drivers of change. 

No-one can tell you what career is right for you. Maybe making the world’s best coffee served with a smile to all of your customers is purposeful to you. I’ve been there. 

As Tim Ferris puts it, “Do your best and hope for the best. If you’re improving your world - however you define that - consider your job well done."

Follow Andi on Instagram at @absoluteselfcoaching.

Feature Image: Instagram @absoluteselfcoaching.