a voice crying out in the postmodern wilderness

I Think You Should Quit

I Think You Should Quit

Yeah, you. Stop being a coward. You hate your job and you don't believe in the mission of your company, if it even has a mission. You complain about your company and your boss and you stand around the break room eating leftover donuts and trying to find someone to commiserate with.

I remember sitting in my car outside the office of a job I hated. I ate a sandwich and stared straight ahead through the windshield of my cheap car. I had no solutions, only angst and dissatisfaction. Things weren't working out.

I quit.

Hold on just a minute. I am not advocating you go buy a few banker's boxes and grab all your pens and pictures and pull a Jerry Maguire. I don't think you should tell your boss to take your job and shove it.

You should quit because one of two things is true: 1) your job is awful and you need to find something better or 2) you are a problem beyond repair in your current situation.

You can't just turn your attitude around. You can't just turn your company around. If you're the complaining, groaning, job-hating Monday dreader - you need to do something about it. For your sake or for that of your coworkers and company. Now if you had a bad day or bad week or even bad month, hold the phone. Chill. Breathe. Life comes in phases and seasons and this is probably just one of those. But if your frown cannot be turned upside down, you can't keep dragging around not contributing, not pursuing excellence, and not spreading joy - please do something.

If you are the problem, you'll bless your company by leaving. The void you leave will be a positive one. If problems follow us around all the time maybe we are following them around.

But maybe you aren't the problem. Maybe you are doing your best to live the life God has assigned to you (1 Cor. 7:17) but you work in a toxic environment or you need to move on. It happens. I'd say you should bail if:

1. Your company has lost the value of human life. These companies are profit > people, not the other way around. Your project or your task is more important than you. I have worked with companies like this and it's gross.

2. Your company's product or service is illicit or immoral. If you work for Planned Parenthood, quit yesterday. If you believe that your company's wares harm rather than help, leave.

3. You are called elsewhere. Be careful not to be the flighty person who is 'called' to something new every time the wind changes and the going gets tough. Calling is the intersection of skills, opportunity, and passion. And I'll add that 'passion' should be a spiritual passion - a burning in your bones that could only be the Holy Spirit.

You aren't stuck. Jobs aren't permanent. But we are fickle creatures and it's getting more common to quit than to stick. If you have legitimate reasons to pack your stuff, go ahead. But make sure that you aren't the problem first and if you do leave, remember that your character as you walk away will reflect upon Jesus Himself.


Photo credit: woodleywonderworks via Flickr

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