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How To Quit Your Job

If you don’t like your job, you shouldn’t fucking work there. As someone who will take any dollar bill that is waved in front of his face, I have worked some shit ass jobs, where I have to stand under someone and tickle their metaphorical balls all day to Tweeting for a stuffed animal to going on a cruise ship inhabited by three thousand horny housewives. I abide by the wise words of a young feminist, “A dollar makes me holler.”

Yet, if you recognize that you do not like your job, that you are annoyed by the work you have to do and have to mask your unhappiness with a wobbly smile, you need to move on. Get a new job! Quit. Fucking get out of there. This is easier in theory: we all need money or a financial base to survive. For many, not having a job means none means of survival. Believe me: I get that.

First, put feelers out. Reach out to friends, family, neighbors, whoever you know well and are confident can point you in a direction. “Network” as they say, sending notes to people with your resume, asking them to lookout for you. Do note that this should be sent to specific people in your world: you don’t want to send it to a co-worker who will present the news of your wandering eye to your boss. That is how you get fired, which could be good…unless you aren’t financially prepared to be unemployed.

Next, build a base. Save. This will be tough—but would you rather have a great mental headspace or slog day to day, spending money, unhappy? You want mental greatness. Build a little nest egg that you can live on for a month or two and then make your move. If you have a partner (or very well endowed family), lean on them. Ask them if they can cover you, if they can support you, on the path to your better you. Remember: you are what is most important. Not some fucking job, especially if it is a job you don’t dig.

Now, the toughest part, for me: quitting. I’ve only quit one job, the rest of which I’ve given a “two weeks notice.” (And that quitting was from an American Apparel, which I had only had worked at for two weeks and I never actually got compensated for my work.) Sometimes you have to quit, though. That starts with connecting with your employer, your boss.

If it’s a small operation, this is easy: make time with your boss and talk to this person. Have an agenda but be prepared to leave it behind. Start off by asking what your role is and how it will grow—and how you can grow from it. Does the answer appeal to you? Does that future-you, doing this future work, sound like a you now-you wants to be? If it does, steer the conversation to ensure your boss connects now-you with future-you. If you don’t like the sound of that future-you, get the fuck out. Tell them that you think it’s time to move on and that, while you like all the people (Lie if you must.) and like the job (Lie—but don’t reintroduce yourself to the job.), things just are not working out for you. If this is a position where you can indeed finish out a week or put in a notice, do that. If not, follow your boss’ lead and let them make your timeline (since there are protocols to follow).

If it’s a bigger operation, do the same thing—but lean even more into your employer. You’ll have to go through all sorts of channels to get out and likely will be tried even harder to stay, which is not what you want. You have to look out for you. No one else is looking out for you in a job, especially at a big company. You a cog in a giant machine, a machine that relies on eating itself to profit. If they promise to shine you up, remember that one day you will be eaten, yet again. Don’t fall for it. Think of the future-you.

Now that the deed is “done,” move on. Wave goodbye to everyone and tell them it was all good fun and that you will see them on the other side. If you’re close to someone, stay close with that someone. If you aren’t close with anyone, don’t stay in touch—but be nice on the way out. Unless you are undergoing a major shift in your career aesthetic, you will run into these people again. They will remember how you conduct yourself. Like the quitting charade and the transition out from work, the way you exit the job is just as important as the way you start a job. Even though you quit, end on a high note. Don’t give them a reason to hate you and to tell other people to hate you.

A lot of jobs are a means to an end. Realize that end and, if the job you are working doesn’t align with that, make your move. Don’t waste your time: you are only so young and only have so much time. Don’t squander any opportunities and don’t do anything you will regret. Get out while you can.

Think of your future-self.

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