When you’re in a job that you dislike, it could be complicated to simply walk away. It’s tough to walk out the door without looking back and weigh the various consequences. But at the same time, walking away from detrimental situations also can be a beautiful exercise in taking back control — taking back control of your life and yourself and all you embody, even if it’s not always so easy.
In my personal experience, I planned to stay at a particular job for a decent amount of time. Then, when I started to see the writing on the wall, marked in red (you know, for red flags), I had to reconstruct my mentality. I was going to start looking elsewhere. I was going to put out my feelers to find a better situation while still ‘hanging in there.’
But we are only human, and we all have our limits. We all have our threshold of what we are personally willing to tolerate before it becomes emotionally toxic. Before we have to reevaluate what we want to settle for, weighing the pros and cons, and what we want to advocate for by standing up for ourselves. We certainly do not want to feel limited or trapped or stuck in our day to day routine. And, while in some circumstances, it does make sense to “stick it out,” that’s not always going to be the case.
After my milestone of a birthday (goodbye, 29), I realized that I can’t settle for misery any longer. I don’t have the time or energy to feel those feelings if it’s not necessary. I don’t have to be in a situation where I’m not being heard, and I certainly don’t have to be in a situation where I’m not being treated with respect.
With this blog post, I want to hone in on the concept of control. I used to write about control years back and how it’s such an important desire for so many of us. When we don’t feel like we are in control, that’s when we may become stressed. That’s when we may become anxious. (And I’m definitely someone who can be prone to that variation of stress.) And yet, there are so many facets of life where we simply are not in control. We can’t control other people. We can’t control situations and prevent them from unfolding. And we certainly can’t control the weather, when we yearn for the sun to make an appearance during a gloomy winter week.
By exerting personal control and leaving a job that inherently isn’t the right match, you’re able to think thoughtfully and carefully on next steps and plans. Doors can open with better opportunities ahead. Reflections can ensue regarding purpose and passion and fulfillment, even if it’s not in the form of income. Taking back control runs much deeper than the job itself.
“You’re in the driver’s seat of your life,” Ronda Suder states in her article “Why It’s Ok to Quit (Your Job).” “No one else knows what’s best for you but you — not your parents, your grandparents, your spouse, your best friend, or your mentor. If you make a choice to please others before you please yourself when it comes to your career choices, you may grow to resent those people in the long run. Also, you’re the one who has to get yourself through each day, and no one else can or will do it for you. If you know that quitting your job is the best choice for you, trust that others will see it too.”
It’s a very individualistic and personal decision to know when it’s time to walk away from a draining employment situation, because more often than not, it’s not always black and white. (And I happen to think that premise can apply to relationships as well.) But sometimes cliches are cliches for a reason. Sometimes, nothing rings more true than the sentiment, it’s time to take back control of your own life.