There’s a giddy feeling of self-satisfaction when you get to tell people what you do for a living. It might be your dream job or maybe it just sounds really off-beat, cool, or impressive at social gatherings. It’s what you always hoped you’d be able to do for a living and here you are, accomplished and proud, and you’ve run yourself ragged to get where you are. You can easily say, “I love my job.”
But you’re getting tired. When did you get those bags under your eyes anyway? When is the last time you slept for eight hours straight? Your only social interactions seem to be on Instagram these days so, really, the scenario in which you get to brag about how much you love your job is wholly imaginary because, let’s face it, this job is great, but it’s getting to be too much.
“You need to stop and ask yourself if this is worth the cost, both in the short- and long-term.”
I love my job but I want to leave.
It’s easy to get consumed by a job you love. It’s understandable, not everybody can readily say “I love my job” whenever they are asked about it. If you’re considering leaving your job, consider these things first.
- Your finances. Did you bury yourself under thousands of dollars of student loan debt to get this dream job? If so, it might be best to tighten your financial belt, try to live a little below your means for a while, and pay those monsters down to a manageable level before you call it quits.
- Your health. Seriously, you need to sleep. And I don’t care how many studies have been published about the health benefits of coffee, you need to eat fruits, vegetables, and lean protein to get you through grueling hours of work. Eat breakfast (think eggs or oatmeal, not pastries from Starbucks), pack a healthy lunch even if it’s just a sandwich and an apple, and make large batches of dinners over the weekend (if you have one of those) to make easy, healthy dinners. And as hard as it is when you are exhausted, you need to move. If you get a lunch break, take a walk around the block; it actually energizes you. Get away from screens and read a book or shut your eyes and go into standby mode for a few minutes. If you make self-care a priority, you might discover that it wasn’t the job draining you, but your overall lifestyle.
- Your alternative. What’s your back-up plan if you decide it’s time to leave your job? Are you just going to get up from your desk and head to the airport for a ticket to Bali in the style of Elizabeth Gilbert? Or is there another dream job that’s tucked away in your head somewhere? Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a beach bum and work at a surf shop in Maui, but decided to be the responsible young professional and join the white collar ranks instead. Weigh the pros and cons of swapping out a less glamorous, but more chill job and how that might tip the scales. You may have less stress in some areas of your life, but then you may start to sweat when the bills are due every month.
In the end, you have to do some serious soul-searching to decide what will bring your life back into balance. If you can say “I love my job” but still feel drained after making changes to other areas of your life, it might be time to call it quits. Leaving a job you love isn’t selling out, it’s doing what’s best for your health and lifestyle.