It's been nearly one year since I quit my career as a concert promoter. Many family members, friends, and colleagues never saw it coming. But I didn't leave without a plan.
I saved 40-50% of my income for several months, invested in other skill sets, and planned to take some time off before transitioning into digital marketing.
I chose to leave in August, which had historically been a slower month for the company, giving my co-workers time to take the reins and prepare for my upcoming fall shows. Also, I left after wrapping up my work on two major festivals.
Before I gave my notice, I told my boss I was going to start looking for another job. Why? After seven and a half years with the company, I felt like I owed him an advanced warning. And he appreciated my honesty.
But what did I really owe the company?
A good friend of mine recently asked herself the same question.
After several years with a major entertainment company, she started getting fed up with the long hours, unreasonable expectations, and cynical work environment. Recently married, she thought about the honeymoon she'd put off, the lack of time with her new husband, and the future children she planned to raise.
Looking around, she didn't see many women making it work.
Between the constant travel, never-ending events, and lack of days off, a more sustainable lifestyle seemed more out of reach them ever.
After an especially punishing weekend, she carefully typed up a resignation letter, and hand-delivered it to her boss.
First, she was pressured to reconsider. Then, she was asked to stay through the end of the year because taking off would leave them in a “bad situation.” She was shown little appreciation for her generous offer to stay for five more weeks.
Her predicament got me thinking.
Is it fair for employees to suffer through a toxic work situation until it's convenient for them to leave? What about the health and well-being of the individual?
You know what happens while we're waiting to make a necessary change until it's more convenient? Life.
And you know what the rest of the world is doing? Taking chances, giving birth, spending time with ailing family members, and finding other jobs that make them a hell of a lot more happy.
Would most companies hold off on planned layoffs until it was convenient for their workers? During a recent merger, her company didn't. And most others wouldn't either.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, don't be heartbroken to discover your company doesn't always have your best interest in mind. And follow your heart when it comes to making major life changes. You know what you need.
I'm not going to lie and say that quitting your soul-sucking job is the answer to all of your problems. But it's a start. Even if you don't have an immediate plan for what's next.
Readers: How much do you feel you owe your company?