How to Get Up the Nerve to Quit a Job You Hate

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How to Get Up the Nerve to Quit a Job That You Hate

You want to get up the nerve to quit a job you hate but you’re scared, after all, your financial future is on the line.

With so much at stake, it’s not uncommon to stew on the pros and cons of the decision.   You constantly going back and forth in your head with the many reasons you want to quit versus the many reasons you should not quit. Maybe your inner dialogue is something like this …

I have a dream for my life and this isn’t it.  I hate this job.  I hate every freaking day.  I want out.  I want out so badly … this job is stealing my life from me and I’m letting it happen.  I’m just accepting it because I have obligations.  Real obligations … the kind you can’t run away from.

I have a dream for my life and this isn’t it.  I hate this job.  I hate every freaking day.  I want out.  I want out so badly … this job is stealing my life from me and I’m letting it happen.  I’m just accepting it because I have obligations.  Real obligations … the kind you can’t run away from.

I can’t quit.  Not yet, anyway.     Plus, I’m too old.  I’m too far in debt.   I don’t really know exactly what I want to do … or maybe I have an inkling of what I want to do, but what are the odds I can make a living doing it? I don’t know.

But, I have a dream for my life.   I dream of a life where I wake up with passion and excitement every single day.  Where my talents are used to the max.   Where office politics and irrational bosses and workplace bullies are not allowed.   Where making a living doesn’t require me to sell my soul.

I dream of loving what I do … having immense flexibility and freedom in my life.  I dream of making a difference, a real difference.  I want a life super-charged with meaning.  And I don’t want money to be a roadblock anymore.  I want to live in abundance in all its many forms.  I’m not talking about being greedy, I just think life should be joyful and not so damn hard all the time.  That’s my dream for my life.   It’s a big dream.   Yet, I’m afraid it’s a mere fantasy for me.

I’m scared to take a leap.   I want to change, I really, truly, most certainly do.  I hate this job.  I hate what I’m becoming in this job.   I hate how I feel when I wake up.  I hate how I feel when I’m trying to go to sleep at night … and “trying” is the key word there.  There’s no real rest, because I know when I go to sleep I’ll just wake up and have to do it all over again.  I dread that.

Am I just a whiner?  Others would love this job, or at least they wouldn’t think it was so bad.  I make an okay living, sure more money would be nice, but I meet my bills more or less.  I work in a safe place.  I get some benefits.  Others have jobs that are much worse.   In the grand scheme of life, it’s a good job.  Yet, I hate it.  I hate it.  I hate it.

Why can’t I figure out a way to just accept it?   Why do I keep letting arrogant coworkers and unreasonable demands from the boss get under my skin?   Why can’t I just buck up and make peace with doing monotonous work that uses only a small fraction of my talent?   Lots of people work in worse situations every day.  I’m blessed, really.

Yet I hate my job.

I live for the weekends and dread Sunday nights because that’s the time when I know I must face facts that I’ll have to get up again and go back into that job.


Does the above scenario hit close to home for you?   

Maybe not all the details were spot on, but are you facing an internal struggle over hating the job you’re in?  Do you feel stuck … trapped … unable to change?

Do you sometimes rationalize that it’s not that bad, yet deep down you know it really is?

You’re not crazy.  You’re not ungrateful.   You’re just in the wrong job.

There’s no need to feel guilty because you don’t appreciate the true benefits of your job … you do appreciate them.  They’re just not enough to make the job the right job for you.

There’s no need to wonder whether there is a better way of dealing with the day-to-day challenges and difficult people you face on the job.  It is what it is and you can’t change people.  You might learn a few techniques that would help you cope better, but at the end of the day, it’s still the wrong job for you.  You know it is … you can feel it in your bones.

There’s no need to punish yourself anymore.  Respect what your intuition is telling you.

You’re in the wrong job.  It’s as simple as that.  You’re in the wrong job for YOU. Nothing is going to get significantly better until you understand that fact and make a decision to do something about it.

Complaining about hating your job is NOT doing something.   It’s time to take action.  As Tony Robbins would say, it’s time for “massive determined action.”

Maybe you feel trapped …by debt, family obligations, or something else.  You’re only trapped by the thought that you’re trapped.  There’s always a way out.  Always.   It might require you to start doing things that take you far, far, far outside your comfort zone … it might not be easy.  But, there’s always a way out.


Need some inspiration to get up the nerve to quit a job? This guy’s the real deal …

Have you ever heard of a man named Jon Morrow?    I learned about him when I was reading a post on called How to Quit Your Job, Move to Paradise and Get Paid to Change the World. 

Jon is one inspirational dude who has made an amazing career for himself as a blogging expert despite the odds being stacked against him.  From day one, Jon was dealt a truly lousy hand.

Jon was born with a fatal disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy.   It’s rare for people born with SMA to live to adulthood.

Jon can’t move from the neck down.  Can you imagine what your days would be like if you faced that kind of physical limitation?   Jon has to depend on others for nearly everything … he can’t feed himself or cloth himself or do much of anything else that requires the physical agility that you and I take for granted each day.  Yet, there is nothing wrong with Jon’s mind; he’s brilliant.

Jon’s medical care for dealing with the issues that stem from SMA come with a high financial price tag. His annual medical expenses in the US were $127,000 a year.   Can you imagine having that kind of crushing financial burden on you year after year after year?

Jon’s troubles did not end there.

In 2006, Jon’s van was hit by a speeding car and he sustained significant  injuries that left him in pain for months.  You might say that his situation was hopeless.    You might have given up.  I can tell you, I would have.   Yet, it was during this period that Jon started to re-evaluate his entire life.   It was during this time when Jon decided to become a blogger and “change the world.”

I don’t want to give away Jon’s whole story, I couldn’t begin to do it justice, so you can read it here.     The bottom-line was that Jon moved to paradise (Mazatlan, Mexico) and found a way to earn a living that supports him, his parents, and pays for a nursing staff using nothing but his voice!

Back to you:  you hate your job and you think you have barriers in your way.   Think about Jon.  Think about what barriers he overcame to have a thriving career and live in paradise.

Your barriers are challenging you to see how much you really want to change. Do you hate your job and want to continue to wallow in your unhappiness?  Or do you really want your life to change?

What are you willing to do to create the life you want?   Are you brave enough to pursue the career you’re dreaming about, or will you continue to enumerate all the reasons why you can’t go after your dream career?

Jon had access to the most legitimate excuses ever and he chose none of them.  Nothing would get in his way.  Nothing.  That’s the kind of outlook you need to assume right now.   That’s the kind of tenacity you need to wear like a second skin.    Get fired up and stay fired up.  Your passion to change will carry you.  Don’t allow your passion to die.


My personal story of how I quit my job …

People quit jobs they hate every single day.  Three years ago, I quit a job I hated.     It’s not that it was a bad job, in fact many would consider it a “dream job.”   It had just become the wrong job for me.

Straight out, I mean no disrespect to the people I worked with or the organization I worked for.  Good people … good organization.   This was never about them, it was always about me.

Chances are where you work, there are good people and the organization has its merits … that doesn’t mean you’re not justified in hating your job.  When it’s the wrong job for you, it’s the wrong job for you.  It’s as simple as that.

At my old job, I’d risen through the ranks and had a significant title and paycheck.  I’d worked there 22 years, the bulk of my professional life.  I was scared to death to give up the security … the steady paycheck, the health insurance, the sick leave, and all the many perks.

I was scared to death to leap out into the unknown, with only a modest safety net to support me and heavy debt still hanging over my head.  Being single, there was no back-up source of income to come to the rescue.  I had to do it all on my own.

I didn’t just wake up one day and decide I hated my job.  The feelings crept in more and more with each passing year.   I denied my feelings of restlessness and resentment and despair … and they just kept growing stronger and stronger and stronger.   I was in the wrong place.  I didn’t know where I needed to be, but I knew this wasn’t it.

I was being called to something else … a calling from the depths of my soul.   The shape of my future was not clear, nor was the entire path ahead, but I’d come to a crossroads.   It was time to choose a new path.

Staying in a job that I hated was unfair not only to me, but to the people I worked with and to the organization as well.   That’s true for you, too.

When you’re in a job you hate, the whole world around you suffers.  You don’t think it does, but it does.  Your family.  Your friends.  Your coworkers.  They can all feel your pain … you may think you’re hiding your negative energy, but you’re not.  You’re just trying to fool yourself if you believe otherwise.

Most people will say you need a plan of what to do next … and I think that’s a valid recommendation.   Create that plan.  Study.  Read.  Research.   Get a career or life coach to help you, if that’s at all feasible for your budget  (but if it’s not, you can still do this on your own!)

Get your plan as complete as you can, knowing some things will play out your way and others will not.   But, don’t become an expert planner who never makes the leap.  You must leap before you feel fully ready.  There’s no other way because you’ll never feel 100% ready.

I must confess, I did not heed the warning signs that I needed to leave my job until I hit emotional burnout.   Drained of all energy, sapped of all strength, I offered my employer a generous notice and then left my job without a clear plan.  I took a gigantic leap of faith, trusting that Divine guidance would help me make my way.    I probably would have struggled less had I worked through a plan beforehand, but I know that quitting was still the right thing for me.  My challenges along the way have not defeated me;  they’ve strengthened me.

If you’ve reached burnout, save yourself now.  I don’t regret my decision to leave without a detailed plan in place.  My only true regret is going through so many years of suffering in the wrong job for me.

In all honesty,  I’ve struggled with making an income and finding direction, but I know I’m still better off than I would have been had I stayed.   I’ve given up comforts that the job afforded me, but have found comfort in other ways.

It’s never just about leaving a job.    It’s about who you are and how you define yourself and what you’re willing to accept into your life.    When leaving a job, you must have faith. You still have to do your part and work hard and create opportunities, but you need faith that you’re not in it alone.  That with every step you take forward, grace takes ten more for you.


The most important advice about quitting a job you hate …

Do not remain in a state of hate towards your job … it steals your energy.  It robs you of perspective.  Respect what the strong emotion is trying to tell you:  that’s it’s time to leave.

Don’t allow day after day to pass without doing something because that becomes month after month, then year after year.  Pretty soon decades will have slipped by that you cannot get back.

This is YOUR life.  Do not spend it in a soul-sucking, inspiration-draining job.

Steve Jobs had an incredibly insightful way at looking at this:

For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “no” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something

If you’re in a job you hate, the most important thing for you to do is to stop accepting ANY excuse about why you must stay in that job.    Find a way.  Make a way.  Resolve to make a change.   Commit to that decision.  Don’t let years pass.  This is YOUR LIFE we’re talking about.  Don’t give it away.  Own it.  Take responsibility for it.

The road ahead of you will have its rocks and hills and valleys.    Understand that you’re strong enough to face whatever you need to face.

Don’t stay in a job you hate.    After reading this, there will be many who still say “But, what choice do I have?”     The choice is on your shoulders.  If you believe you have no choices, you won’t look for them.

No one can tell you what to do or how to find the path that’s perfect for you.  So just start.  Explore options.  

Any time you hear yourself say “ I don’t know what to do,”  keep going and doing your best with what you do know.    When you think “this is hard,” remember that change is often hard, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t change.   Don’t let any excuse get in your way, even legitimate ones.

Explore the options.  Read more blogs.  Talk to others who can offer insight or help.

Now … right now … is the time to start searching for work that will make your soul sing.   Most people won’t do this.   Most people will accept that work can’t be good, much less great.    Don’t let that be you.  It’ll make all the difference in your life.


Wishing you joy and success along your journey to a job  … a career … a life that you truly love!  ~ J. Marie Novak, Founder of



 Need help coming up with a vision for a life you’ll love?  This will help …







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