I'm lucky enough to love my job. But a lot of people don't. Surprise, surprise. Especially millennials who work in a very traditional 9 to 5 setting or who are working outside of their preferred field.
We enjoy freedom, flexibility, perks, and passion… and when positions don't encompass any of those, it gets really stale, really quickly. Many millennials are quick to quit a job off of impulse - but is the job really worth quitting without having your next move set in stone?
That question leaves a lot of young adults in a tight space and are forced to choose one of two routes:
- The Secure Route: staying in misery to maintain the financial security.
- YOLO Route: Quitting with hopes that something better will come.
My answer: go with your gut. But your gut must be backed up with some solid reasoning. If your situation is described in two or more bullet points from the list below, then you may have found your answer.
QUIT (when you prefer) if…
- The job has literally led you straight into misery. You’re losing your mind. You’re physically unhealthy because of work. Your job has depleted you to your breaking point in more than one way.
- You can afford it… aka, you have money in the bank… aka, your emergency fund is on fleek with at least six-months’ worth of expenses saved. But keep in mind, there is no telling how long the job search can take.
- Your current work environment is toxic.
- You have a form of passive or secondary income that will sustain your expenses.
- You have a side hustle that you are working towards transforming into your primary income - and you’ve started to see evidence of financial growth. (Don’t miss that last clause!)
DON'T Quit (without having another job lined up) if…
- You’re being emotional. You may bump heads with your boss, or your coworker gives you the side eye. Suck it up. You didn’t know that grown folks are petty, too?
- You’re broke… aka, you spend everything you make and have nothing saved.
- You’re only looking to make more money.
- You aren’t disciplined with finding another job.
- You have no secondary or passive income to help subsidize your expenses.
- You have no alternative plan or vision for your future work life.
Now, I’m not saying don’t quit period. If you're not happy, by all means, do whatchu gotta do! I’m saying don’t quit without having another job lined up. My usual recommendation is to stick out your existing job, while maintaining an intense job search.
Here are some things you can do to make your job search more effective:
1) Stay on LinkedIn. Live on LinkedIn. Eat, sleep, and breathe LinkedIn.
2) Scope the scene. What are some ideal places you’d like to work?
3) Make sure your resume is outstanding. Have slightly different versions for different types of positions.
4) Have a vision. Write down what you’re looking for in your ideal new position.
5) Produce during your break. Travel, volunteer, play on your passions. This is a great time to brush up on some skills that may be required for your ideal new job. Whether that be starting a YouTube channel to learn the ins and outs of videography, or doing social media for a nonprofit to get some good stats for your resume.
6) Be present in your goal environment. You want to work in news, tweet your favorite reporter and see if you can shadow them for a day. Want to be a photographer? Look on Instagram to find local photographers. Want to start your own business? Go to a business summit or conference and network with other entrepreneurs.
Go the extra step and it will take you a lot further in looking for your next best move. Job hunting and finding the right place to lay your passions can be difficult. It is a journey that people of all ages are on. Be cautious of who you seek advice from. Everyone can't handle knowing your destiny before it manifests. Protect your plan.
Check out this 3 min clip from Oprah Winfrey, who's speaking to students at Stanford University. It's very encouraging and motivating for all young adults!
Click here to watch the full hour-long video. It's absolutely inspiring.