6 Ways Quitting Your Job Is Like Breaking Up With a Boyfriend

Making the decision to put my career on hold was not an easy one. Getting to the place where I was ready to actually make said decision was the hard part. That’s kind of how it is with a boyfriend, right? You just kind of skirt along knowing things aren’t working out, but you’re just not ready to call it quits yet. You tell yourself, He can change! Things will get better. I’ll never find anyone better than him. Maybe I’m the problem! Maybe if I do this, or try this, or do that… etc. etc.  Blah. Blah. Blah. We’ve all been there, ladies. Being a happily married woman, though, I thought I would never be there again. Until I was. Until I found myself breaking up with my decade-long career.

So, you’re skirting along in your career (relationship) and you find yourself thinking, There’s so many other things out there. I’m not getting any younger. I can’t be wasting my time on something (someone) that doesn’t make me happy. You used to love it (him) but now the feeling is just gone. You’ve lost your spark, your passion. Love don’t live here anymore.

So maybe you’re all Boy, Bye and singing You better call Tyrone, but maybe you’re like me and you’re all I don’t wanna go, don’t need to stay, but I really need to get it together. If you *are* like me, here are 6 ways quitting your job is like breaking up with a boyfriend:

You can’t make up your mind. With any relationship, there are good days and bad days. The good days are great and give you a much-needed recharge. You find yourself thinking, Yeah this could work. Until the next bad day and then you’re all, get me the heck outta here. It’s a vicious cycle and you waffle back and forth on the regular.

You remember all the good times. The honeymoon phase was so sweet, wasn’t it? Way back before things got hard and complicated? You long for those days again and are naively optimistic you can have them again. Your brain replaces the negative with the positive and you just want to make it work. You’ve invested so much time, blood, sweat, and tears already! You can’t quit now!

You dread the conversation. Nothing is worse than sitting down and having the break-up conversation. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s just not working out right now. I need to have some time alone to work on myself and figure out what I really want in life. This relationship has taught me so much. I hope we can keep in touch. Whether it’s a boyfriend or a career, the break-up conversation is essentially the same.

You almost change your mind. The hard part is over. The weight has been lifted and the pressure is off. You find yourself focusing on the positives again instead of all the reasons you came to the decision in the first place. You consider going back, asking for forgiveness. But you’re smart so you don’t, because all of the reasons you left in the first place are still there.

You wonder if you’ll ever find work (love) again. Will someone ever love (hire) you when you’re ready to get back out there? The longer you’re single (unemployed), the harder it will be, right? How do I stay on the scene so I can jump back in later? Don’t let this hold you back, ladies – don’t dwell in the future.  Someone will love (hire) you again when the timing is right.

You cry when it’s over. It’s emotional. Life-changing. You feel like a failure because you couldn’t make it work even though you really wanted it to. You’ll miss the good days and the fun. You’ll miss the great feeling your work (love) used to give you. But then when the tears are dry, you feel relieved.

I was working at a fantastic company with smart, fun people and learning so much everyday, but something just wasn’t right (my commute, mostly). Working with my last company 3.5 years, I spent the last year waffling back and forth before finally make the break-up happen. I have no hard feelings and no regrets. Maybe one day I’ll rekindle the old career flame and I’ll find myself back there. But, just like Ross and Rachel, I just needed a break.

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42 Comments

  1. February 21, 2017 / 9:30 am

    Leaving the work force was so hard because I really loved all my co-workers that I had spent so much time with for NINE years!

    • Shannnon
      February 21, 2017 / 10:49 am

      Yes, girl! That’s SO hard!! But, it’s for the best!

  2. February 20, 2017 / 3:07 pm

    Gosh, this is all so true! I had a really hard time when I left my job!

    • Shannnon
      February 24, 2017 / 12:30 am

      It’s so hard but worth it when it’s for the right reasons!

  3. February 19, 2017 / 5:09 pm

    I’m stuck in position right now and it’s HARD! Working to make a change, ever so slowly… 🙂

    • Shannnon
      February 19, 2017 / 6:54 pm

      You can do it!! Good luck!!

  4. February 18, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    Lol! Love the comparison and it’s so true !

    • Shannnon
      February 18, 2017 / 7:13 pm

      Thanks, girl! Breaking up is hard to do! 😂

  5. February 17, 2017 / 2:22 pm

    I love this! I find myself having these internal battles ALL THE TIME! So this made me smile!

    • Shannnon
      February 18, 2017 / 12:20 am

      Haha I bet you do!! Than, girl!

  6. February 17, 2017 / 2:19 pm

    So true! It was even like this with jobs I hated because I loved the people I worked with!

    • Shannnon
      February 18, 2017 / 12:19 am

      It can be so hard, right? Thanks for reading!

  7. thehealthfulideas
    February 17, 2017 / 3:25 am

    This is all so true! I’m too giving up a job in my city in order to move across the world and although the job wasn’t so glamorous, it’s still hard to walk away. It always is!

    • Shannnon
      February 17, 2017 / 8:37 am

      Always is!! Good luck with your move!!!

  8. brittanyputman15
    February 16, 2017 / 7:39 pm

    I definitely felt this way whenever I left my teaching job. I had to leave because we were moving but it was very sad.

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      It’s so hard to leave something you love!

  9. February 16, 2017 / 5:19 pm

    Love this post Shannon! I never went back to work after having my daughter but I had all the same thoughts and emotions. It was like the end of a great relationship!

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      Thank you! Yes, it totally is that way!

  10. February 16, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    Love this post shannon! It’s been awhile since I left the working world, but this definitely resonated with me!

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Thank you, Jessica! I’m glad you can relate. It should totally be easier!

  11. February 16, 2017 / 4:48 pm

    I got all kinds of emotional reading this cause this is just how i felt when I quit my job six months ago to blog full time.

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Aww! Congrats on that transition, though! That’s a big leap! You go, girl!

  12. Meredith from Mommy in Leggings
    February 16, 2017 / 4:32 pm

    This is an AMAZING post and I couldn’t agree more with everything you’ve said! I’m in the denial stage currently *maybe things will change!* lol!!!

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:53 pm

      Thank you, Meredith! I hope they do get better for you!

  13. February 16, 2017 / 3:33 pm

    I remember feeling the same way when I finally quit teaching to stay at home. I used to be the teacher who stayed at the school from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. working. I cannot imagine doing that now. At the time, I was sad because I was so passionate about teaching….. now I laugh at the thought of going back.

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:54 pm

      Yeah that’s just not sustainable! It’s funny how we are so scared of the unknown. Like, it’s hard to think that something might actually be better.

  14. February 16, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    I felt excactly the same when I quit my full time job in September. It had a lot of consequences and even though there are still days I think ooooo no! There isn’t a day I regret my decision. You are doing the right thing. Not because I feel like I made the right decision, but because you thought real hard about it and made that decision yourself, with your family. That is something to be proud of. X Kari

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Thank you so much, Kari! I don’t think I realized you left your job! Congrats! I’m so excited to be able to focus on home full-time. Thanks so much for your kind words and support.

  15. February 16, 2017 / 1:42 pm

    Yes this is all true and we have all been there.

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:55 pm

      Yasss. Totally. Thanks for reading!

  16. Five for the Road
    February 16, 2017 / 11:27 am

    This is so true!! Isn’t funny how we cry about it even though it is the right thing to do. At times it can make you think you are making the wrong decision but more often it is just an emotional decision!

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:56 pm

      It really totally is! I remember bawling my eyes out after a breakup 13 years ago even though I knew it was the best decision I ever made. I think it’s just taxing on us, ya know?

  17. February 16, 2017 / 10:52 am

    OMG this is totally accurate!!!! Both things are sooo hard to do!!! I had a hell of a time leaving my career too and I still think about it, and sometimes miss it years later, but know that it was the right choice for me! Love your comparison to relationships!

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Thanks, Samantha! I’m glad you can relate. Thanks so much for reading!

  18. February 16, 2017 / 9:53 am

    Ahhh, this is spot on. So happy you decided to take the plunge and try something new. It’s hard to leave security and steady money.

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:57 pm

      Thank you! Yes! It totally is.

  19. February 16, 2017 / 9:27 am

    man the breakup is the worst! I’m terrible at confrontation and always afraid they’re going to hate me! haha

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      Bahaha! Yes, that’s part of the anxiety for sure.

  20. February 16, 2017 / 8:50 am

    This is so cute! I’ve had to quit a few jobs before, one that I hated so it wasn’t hard at all. And the other one was only because we had to move, so that one was hard!

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      Ha! Yeah, it’s definitely not hard when you hate it!

  21. February 16, 2017 / 8:40 am

    This is so cute! I’ve only quit a few part time jobs but I remember the feeling! I’m glad that now I’m my own boss so when I want to quit it won’t be hard haha!

    • Shannnon
      February 16, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      Thanks, Claire! And, yassss! Being your own boss for the win!

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