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To Stay or Leave: How to Know (Exactly) When to Quit

For years you believe that your current job is your true calling. You love the day-to-day tasks and the industry. In college, you’ve been involved in lots of things that related closely to your job now. So when you apply to the role and got the job you thought you’ve landed your dream job.

Few months kick in and you start feel bored…

Instead of living the life to the fullest, you spent many times behind your computer, dealing with endless to-do list. Your boss keeps pushing you for numbers. You’re so busy that you feel quite disengaged from your friends, family and even teammates. Sometimes you think you’re living like a robot — you’ve lost all your purpose. And you thought to yourself “this is tough, should I quit now and make a new start in another industry OR stay?”

Tired and feeling like giving up. I have been in these moments before and I bet you, too. In fact, it’s very human to feel this way, sometimes. There’s a stupid quote saying, “Quitters never win. And winners never quit”. Why did I say that’s a stupid advice? The reason for this is quite simple—there’s no point in being in a place where all you feel is just frustration, especially if you feel like you are capable of doing more than what you’re doing now. Apart from that, there’s possibility that you will turn into a toxic in the organisation.

This whole topic may sound very counterintuitive because people said it’s the mindset that we have to change, not the jobs/environment/majors/partners whatsoever. But let’s face it, quitting gives room for change. It can bring you a fresh start and eventually lead you to be more alive, happier and productive. Even though, this is not always the case, quitting also help you point to new ‘direction’ that you have never think before. Yet, on the other side, quitting sometimes doesn’t help at all. Sadly, there’s big chance that you still have a miserable job/life/partner even after you move on to the next ‘stage’.

So how do we know the difference when to quit and when to stick? In The Dip, Seth Godin explains there are several easy signs that tell the difference:

Quit; The Dip or The Cul-De-Sac?

First thing first, know your motives and understand your current situation. Seth Godin says that you should understand whether the roadblock you’re facing is the Dip or the Cul-De-Sac.

The Dip is “a long slog between starting and mastery”. Which means it’s worth doing and you shouldn’t quit at this stage. The Dip is a moment when you visualize that things you do now will be fruitful and align with your real purpose, mission, and goal. The Dip is also what separate the best in the world from everyone else.

In the other side, there’s Cul-De-Sac which in French means “dead-end”. Godin says this is a situation where you work and work and work but nothing much changes. To my understanding, this is the moment when you treat your job merely only as a job. Or the time, when you have the ‘employee’ mindset, the time when you just follow the rules and never be your best self at work because the situation won’t let you.

If you’re still not sure which ones you are facing now, maybe you can try to answer this “Is there any potential of me being the best in the field?”, “Do I feel more energized, content, and accomplished when I ‘win’ the ‘game’?”. If you say “hell, yeah”, then that’s probably the Dip. Once you feel that it is the direction that you want to pursue, then you should keep going even if the odds aren’t in your favor yet.

Be Exceptional or Quit

When you find yourself at the crossroads, you only have two choices whether continue and be exceptional or quit. Don’t be the average and stop being just ‘survive’. When you realize you’re at Cul-De-Sac, or in the moment you realize the journey is not worth it, I suggest you quit now. Don’t be toxic. Don’t wait until you’re ‘ready’ because you’re not just wasting your time & energy, but also the resources around you.

Be smart about your choice. Quitting is not equal to failing anyway. If quitting can lead you to another awesome direction, then why not? Yet, if deep down yourself you can visualize that the journey is worth it and you have the potential to be great at it, then don’t quit just because you’re having ‘stress’ of the moment.

Otherwise, if being in the Cul-De-Sac is that all you want and you can be happy with that, then that’s fine, too.

Reference:

Godin, Seth. “The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick).” iBooks. 

Published in Career Talk Thoughts

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