7: Should You Quit Your Job?

This episode is all about quitting your job. Tips mentioned:

  • Build your savings first
  • First impressions are everything
  • A job interview goes both ways
  • Consider whether the extra pay is really worth it

I also tackle common concerns such as:

  • I won’t be able to find a job
  • Gaps will look bad on my CV
  • What if I’m not good enough to find something better?


 Hello and welcome back to another episode of the Minimal Minds Podcast, the show where we talk about all things self improvement. This is episode 7, my name is Alex. Today we’re going to be talking about a question that most of us have asked ourselves, at least once in our lives. Should you quit your job?

Today we’re going to be discussing the decision making process, and maybe some of it will resonate with you. First we’re going to talk about making the decision and why you’d even consider it. Then we’ll talk about tips on getting something better. And then finally we’ll address the most common concerns people have before making a final decision.

First we have to talk about what a job actually is. And there are many different ways you can look at a job. So, let me describe to you the average worker mentality. For most people, it’s just a way of being able to pay the bills. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that mindset, but if your only focus work wise is just the money you’re gonna get back, From spending your time, uh, you’re gonna be miserable very, very quickly.

You’re gonna end up feeling like you’re wasting your life just being a cog in a machine, and… Whether you perform well or not has no effect on the money you get, so… There isn’t really any incentive to work hard. You’re essentially just waiting to get off the clock, and… You gotta remember, if you do what average people do, you’ll get what average people have.

So, if you’re not content with spending 40 hours a week clock watching for over 40 years until you eventually retire and you’re too old and frail to enjoy your life, then you should probably change your perspective. In my opinion, a job is more than a means to paying your bills. It’s an investment of your time in order to build skills.

And these skills allow you to better provide value to either the company you work for, or the general public, or whoever. Now the money you receive for your time is just a direct measure of the value you are providing, and it’s a way of keeping score. The more value that you can provide, the more you will get paid.

This is how the working world works. It’s up to you to choose a job that will give you the most relevant and valuable skills as possible, in order to rise up the value ladder, and ultimately get paid more for your time. Now ironically, this shift in perspective may already be enough to convince you to keep your job, assuming you’re still learning and building your skills.

But if you are considering leaving your job, you’ve got to ask yourself, What is making you miserable? Why do you want to quit? And more importantly, Are these reasons for making you want to quit, are they in your control? Your job satisfaction is your own responsibility, so if you are unhappy, then it’s safe to assume nothing will change if you don’t make any changes.

If you have a standard 9 to 5, then your work week will dominate your life, so if you’re making a decision on whether to change that, You need to remove your emotions from the decision making process. Otherwise, you might end up making a decision you’re going to regret. So, get a piece of paper. Write down each reason why you’re not satisfied with your current role.

And you’ve got to make sure that each reason is an objective fact. Like, it’s not just an opinion. You can’t just say, oh, I hate Debbie, and I don’t like her. I don’t like the way she looks at me. It’s got to be an objective fact. Now, when you’re done, look at each one and ask yourself, Is this directly in my control?

Can I change this without me having to leave? If you have control over certain things, or can at least ask your employer to accommodate you, then it really is worth pursuing that. But again, things will not change unless you take action. Your bosses are not mind readers, and you have to communicate when you’re not happy in a situation.

Or nothing will ever change. I, I can’t state that enough. If you’re not happy, you have to make the changes. Now if the reasons you wrote are completely outside of your control and are objective, and you know things aren’t going to change anytime soon, you can make the decision to leave guilt free, knowing that there’s nothing you could have done to improve it anyway.

Now another thing I want to quickly touch on is the popular quote, If you do a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Which I think was popularized by Steve Jobs around 20 years ago in one of his keynote speeches, I think. It sounds really insightful, but it’s objectively false. So, whether you love doing something or not, if you’re having to spend your time doing something that you wouldn’t be doing otherwise, that is work.

That includes commuting to work, that is work. Nobody commutes for fun. Doing something you love can still be draining, and it’s still gonna tire you out if you’re doing it for eight hours a day. So realistically speaking, there isn’t a perfect job out there. It doesn’t feel like work, at least some of the time.

Here’s a few good reasons to quit your job, in my opinion. Number one, you are objectively underpaid, and you know you can get more money elsewhere. Number two, your job role does not vary, and you’re not learning anything, so you’re very, very bored all the time. You have to step on eggshells around office politics.

Number four, Upper management are making very questionable decisions that you don’t morally agree with. Number five, the expectations of the role mean that you have no chance of a healthy work-life balance. And number six, you found another role to pursue that’s just objectively better. And here are a few reasons to stay in a job.

Number one, you genuinely enjoy what you’re doing, at least most of the time. No job’s perfect, but most of the time, you’re enjoying it. Number two, you’re constantly learning new and useful skills, even when it’s difficult. Number three, you’re compensated fairly for what you’re doing. And number four, you are consistently seeing progress towards a goal that you have set for yourself.

Now from this point I’m going to presume that you’re now leaning towards leaving, so I’m going to give you some tips that should hopefully give you some more confidence in your choice. You don’t even necessarily have to quit your job for another job. It is perfectly fine to quit just to have some time off to work on yourself or go travelling.

Now this is assuming you have enough savings to keep you going in the meantime, which leads me to my first and most important tip. Build your savings first, please. Please above all else build your savings first. And why is that my number one tip? Well, there’s something immensely liberating knowing that you have savings you can rely on if you suddenly become unemployed.

Being able to walk away whenever you want means you have better leverage in both your current role and any job interviews. This gives you such a massive confidence boost like, ironically, it means you’re more likely to ace any interview because you’re not in a mindset of desperation. Now, I recommend six months worth of living expenses saved, but anything over a year is really ideal.

I’ve left jobs in the past for many reasons, and some of them because I found something better. Uh, one, because I didn’t like the decisions that upper management was making. Uh, I’ve quit multiple jobs because I was bored. Like, to most people, my actions sound irresponsible at best, and just downright stupid at worst.

But, I stand by my choices. And everything has worked out because I’ve always had savings backing me up. Whereas most people live paycheck to paycheck, so they literally can’t afford to leave a job. Now my second tip is, first impressions are everything. How you present yourself to a potential employer will have the biggest impact on whether or not they’ll even consider you for a role.

That includes your mannerisms, how you convey yourself, your attitude. They’ll all be considered before they even get to the questions on the interview. And the very, very first impression you’ll give to them is on your CV, or your resume, or whatever you want to call it. It needs to be concise, no more than two pages, and genuinely don’t be afraid to miss stuff out if you have to.

If you have experiences that aren’t relevant, then you’re just wasting space and their time because that experience isn’t helping you. Hiring managers usually receive dozens, sometimes even hundreds of applications that they’ve got to sift through, so they’re literally just skim reading all of them.

Most of these CVs are low effort and not worth considering. So if your CV is not relevant and you clearly haven’t put in the time to making it the absolute best representation of value that you bring to the table. You don’t even stand a chance. Tip number three, a job interview goes both ways. In our culture, it seems that the power balance in workplace interviews always leans with the interviewer and not the person being interviewed.

And I think that’s totally wrong and people are selling themselves short. In an interview, Already any kind of sales scenario, the person with the most power is the one who needs the other the least. That’s so important. Please write this down. I’ll say it again. The person with the most power is the one who needs the other the least.

If you know your worth and understand that there are dozens of job opportunities out there for you, then the loss of this job or just messing up this interview won’t really phase you. So naturally, you’ll be more confident in the interview. Remember, the employee is not doing you a favor by interviewing you.

In reality, they’re just trying to fill a void that needs filling with the best candidate possible. If you can market yourself as the best candidate during the interview process, it’s in their interest to hire you. And my final tip, tip number four, is that job really worth it? A job that is advertised at more money than you’re currently paid, is just not really worth considering some of the time.

You also have to consider the amount of hours that you’re doing, and the commute in terms of how long it takes you each day to get there and back, plus how much that commute costs, as well as the employer’s expectations of any unpaid overtime and your commitment to the job outside of the standard working hours.

I would argue that someone who works 20 hours a week from home for an average wage Is richer than someone else to commit over 50 hours a week based in an office for an above-average wage. Because the first person has time. If you can optimize your outgoings to make them as low as possible while still being comfortable.

Then do you really need the extra money? Your time is your most valuable possession. You can always get more money, but when you spend your time, you’ll never get it back. Now in this next section, I want to talk about common concerns people have when assessing the idea of leaving their job that makes them miserable.

Typically, there’s three fears that seem to dominate. Fear number one is I won’t be able to find a job. Now, this is a controversial take, but when people say, there are no jobs going, what they usually mean is, there are no relevant jobs close to me that I am willing to do, and also won’t make me uncomfortable applying for.

Of course, if you’re not willing to leave your comfort zone, then naturally your choice of jobs you’re willing to apply for is gonna be really, really limited. It’s okay to sidestep into a different profession, not every new job role has to be a direct upgrade from the one you have now. People will debate me on this, but you really don’t need a degree to get a good job, or at least get your foot in the door.

If you’re a millennial, like me, or younger, you likely had it drilled into you from birth that going into university and getting a degree is the only path you can take in order to be successful. But, times have changed. The internet is a literal miracle, and you can self study pretty much any subject for free.

If everyone in the job market has a degree, That degree no longer holds value because you’re not setting yourself apart anymore. You’ll be surprised how many employers will consider you, even if you don’t match their perfect candidate description in the advert. A second big concern is, gaps will look bad on my CV.

Now, I’ve been in the working world for about 10 years now. I started work when I was 17, and in that time, I’ve had a total of 14 different job roles that I could count. With 10 separate employers in those 10 years I’ve had several periods of unemployment where I’ve had gaps over six months long and with my longest gap being 18 months So in 10 years, I probably only worked for about six of them Maybe even less than that.

So I’m literally the definition of a job hopper and yet Not once has a company been dissuaded from hiring me because of these gaps because if you’re using your time wisely by improving your skills and gaining valuable life experience, you can easily explain why these gaps exist. In fact, from my experience, they’ll just ask you about it out of pure interest and excitement instead of asking out of concern.

And the final concern I want to talk about is, I’m not good enough to find a better job role. So, who says you’re not good enough? Is it because you don’t have direct experience? Because you don’t have a degree? The most guaranteed way of not getting a better job It’s not applying, because you don’t think you can do it.

The most important key takeaway from this episode, if you, if you get anything from this episode, please write this one thing down. Your ability to fit in is more important than your ability to do the job. It’s such a game changer when you realize this. So I’m gonna say it again. It’s not just to make my episode longer.

Your ability to fit in is more important than your ability to do the job. Why is this? Well, hiring managers are very aware that people can be taught how to do things. But finding someone who is a right fit into their company culture is genuinely really difficult, and also getting rid of a worker who can do the job fairly well but just doesn’t fit in is even harder than that because we have working laws.

So based on that, don’t worry about your skill level. Nobody expects you to be a pro from day one. There is nothing you can’t learn with consistent practice and time. As long as you have some relevant skills, just apply. What you’ve also got to bear in mind is that the job description is usually overkill anyway.

They’re describing the perfect candidate who’s been doing the job for years. These candidates are gold dust, like you’ve people just can’t find them. And this is slightly because they’re applying for more advanced roles anyway. They’re trying to get the ladder themselves. Employers will always pay the absolute minimum they can get away with paying you , that’s every company. So if a company thinks you have the right attitude in that you fit in well and they can get away with paying you less whilst you learn on the job, you can actually be a more attractive candidate than someone with more relevant experience. So let’s wrap all of this up.

In conclusion, should you quit your job? Well, that depends. If you’ve taken the time to objectively analyze while you’re considering quitting and the things you don’t like about the job are not the kind of things you can reasonably change. You’ve got a backup plan, some savings to fall back on, and at this point, the only thing holding you back is your own fear of failure, then please take a leap of faith.

But if you’ve analyzed your situation and you are either Reacting emotionally about your work situation, and not logically. Or, you can reasonably change the gripes you have about your job, either through a change of your attitude, or by seeking guidance from your manager. And how about making a plan, see if you can change those things, before you find something else.

So that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you gained some value from what I had to say. Uh, if you want to support the show, you can leave us a review on iTunes. Thank you so much. Uh, you can also get yourself a sticker from our sticker store at theminimalminds.com. Click on the word shop. They’re only £2.99. I ship anywhere in the world.

So buy yourself some stickers, they look dope. See you next time.