Congratulations, college graduate, you made it to exactly where you wanted to get! Now it’s time to quit your dream job.
Steady paycheques, prestige, a sense of fulfillment.. working your dream job has been fun, challenging, and an all around great experience for you. So why am I asking you to get rid of it?
I’m a huge advocate of strategic quitting.
One of the best things you can do is abandon ship after you’ve looted it for good.
If I sound like a pirate, I don’t mean to. You don’t have to sink the ship. Actually, it’s probably best if you don’t. But you should hop in a life raft or swim to shore if the time is right.
I don’t often quit employers, but I do change roles when the opportunity presents itself. Many friends and family and peers alike are critical of my quit-and-move-on strategy, particularly if I’m making a lateral move with the same employer, often not seeing the positive results of my actions until they’ve blossomed a few months later. I understand how my behavior can appear risky from an outsider perspective, but truthfully it’s strategic. I simply don’t like to stagnate. As far as I’m concerned:
If you’re not moving forward, you’re falling behind.
Which is why I quit even when I have a good thing going.
SIDENOTE: Some people aren’t ship-jumping risk-takers like myself. Some people want to find a stable, secure job where they feel comfortable and useful, and this is great! There is something to be said about committing to a role for a long time, even your whole working lifetime. Some people are diligent workers, and some of us are like preschoolers that need a new box of crayons every 15-minutes because we’ve scribbled too enthusiastically during drawing time.
SECOND SIDENOTE: Abandoning employers on a regular basis is bad news bears. I do NOT advocate switching companies like you’re on some sort of merry go round. It’s bad for your resume, it’s bad for your bosses, and it’s bad for you. If you’re working for a company you love, stay there. Just try to change your role.
I recently quit the full-time role I had for two years.
It was a job I loved. When I first got it I described it was “my dream job”. I knew it was my dream job because in May 2011 I wrote a list of things I wanted in a job, and then in September 2011 I started in a position that provided me with everything on the list. It was a unique find. I got to do everything from public speaking to traveling to teaching. I had my own office and met industry leaders. It was fun, it was challenging, and all around a great experience.
So after 2 years, I quit my dream job.
And if you’re in the same boat (I’m really on a ship theme here, aren’t I?), you might want to consider quitting too.
Why you need to quit your dream job
You’ve learned everything you can
One of the best things about a new job is developing a new skill set. If you’ve been working long enough that your tasks are routine, you’re not developing. If there’s still more you want to learn how to do, find a job that will take you to the next level.
There’s little or no room to advance
As I said above, some people are cool hanging out where they are, some want to shoot up the corporate ladder, and most will fall somewhere in between. If there’s little or no room for advancement where you’re working, there will be little or no advancement for you. If you want to move up, it’s time to move on.
A new opportunity has presented itself
Life works in mysterious ways and sometimes something unexpected might come along that you want to try out. Do it, particularly if the two points above are also true.
You’re deeply unhappy and ready for a change
Good benefits and a steady paycheque isn’t necessarily a good excuse for a life of drudgery. You can pursue something that’s more adventurous, fulfilling, or whatever! This is your life, live it the way you want.
I quit my dream job for some of the reasons I listed above. I’d maxed out my skill set, there wasn’t any room for me at the top, and I seized an opportunity that came available. And I quit, because I’m a risk-taking pirate, but also because it was the right thing and the right time to do so.
What is your advice on when to quit your dream job and when to stick?