Quitting for happiness

Nobody likes a quitter.

That saying has been ingrained in my head ever since I first heard it. Quitting seems synonymus with giving up. Not being able to stick with things and make them work. But is it true in all cases? What about deliberately choosing to quit – for happiness?

Let me explain: As you might know I started working a full-time job/internship at the beginning of August after finishing my studies. And now – a mere four weeks into it: I quit. Before you judge, though, let you tell me I’m not usually a quitter. Not at all. So I didn’t make this a spur-of-the-moment decision. It had been quite a way coming. Yes, four weeks aren’t a long time. Only it’d been four weeks of a six-month-internship already and I’d neither gotten more interesting tasks nor felt more comfortable at the office. Not going too much into the details for privacy’s sake I’ll keep it at saying the work atmosphere wasn’t enjoyable, either.  So it all played into a decision I wouldn’t have had to make had I listened to what I truly wanted earlier on.

Maybe you’re wondering why I started the job after all if I ended up unhappy in it. Fear and my constant need for safety are the answers. Back when I applied for this internship I was in the middle of writing my thesis, unsure of what was to come and afraid of change. Most of my friends didn’t stress about applying for jobs yet and instead pondered plans of traveling the world or simply taking some time off after graduation. And as much as I’d have liked that, too, I was scared. I’m a planner. In a [at least to me] perfect world I’d have had the one exact idea of what I wanted to do with my life at the end of my studies. All laid out with a plan of how I’d spent the first years post-graduation. Only that’s not what life works like. Obviously.

Fast forward to now I had been going to work without enjoying it every day. Tried to convince myself it wasn’t that bad and would probably get better. Only it didn’t so I quit. Not without going through the pros and cons of this decision with my family about a dozen times. Something else that helped was a conversation I had with a special blend who reminded me of that we only ever get one today. So we better spend it doing what we really enjoy. Working in a job my heart wasn’t into would have neither made me happy nor would I have had a [huge] benefit from it in terms of my future career.

With a lot of time to think these past days I noticed that in a way quitting and suddenly being left without a job was a blessing in disguise. Aside from already searching a new job I’ve noticed I need to make some changes in my life to be able to live it to the fullest and happiest. To actually get up and live.

Being honest, though, I’m scared of what’s to come right now. Lots of things to be taken of, decisions to be made [and that’s not exactly one my biggest strengths] and playing the waiting game in terms of finding a new job again. Reassurance and advice on how to keep calm, trust in the process and make this a truly marvelous new start are much appreciated.

Happiness inducing today: Starting a new healthy routine.

Have you ever quit something – a job or else  – to find happiness?

Are you good at adapting to change or stick to a certain structure and routines?

And to end on a happy note: How did you spend/are you spending the [long for US and Canadian readers] weekend?

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22 thoughts on “Quitting for happiness

  1. Emily says:

    I’m in tears. Literally.
    I am so, so, so proud of you.

    I’ve spent the majority of my life believing that ‘quitting’ and ‘failing’ were the exact same thing but it’s not true. Not one bit. Sometimes we’re presented with opportunities that don’t play out the way we expect them to. Sometimes we say “yes” to things that we shouldn’t out of fear. And sometimes we make decisions that we later regret. There’s nothing wrong with that. The only way we learn is through experience and, ironically, it’s those little imperfections that help us discover the happiness that we deserve.
    I have no doubt a new door is going to be opened for you. It may not happen immediately and it may completely surprise you but I promise that it will be worth it.
    For now, focus on being young. Take each day as a new opportunity to find those little “happiness inducers” and share your beautiful smile with the world. It’s amazing how contagious they can be.

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Emily! You know how much your encouragement helped me.
      Settling with the safe option and not daring to strive for what I actually want is what I used to do for years. The ‘waiting game’ right now is not an easy one for me but I’m trying to trust in what’s happening and the new door to open. Not an easy task for an impatient person with a need for structure.

  2. Ksenija @ Health Ninja says:

    You are writing out of my heart. I am going through exactly the same situation right now. Never been a quitter and I was always afraid to follow my dreams instead of doing what’s wise and reasonable and feels safe. I just wrote a post on that on Saturday – why I chose to quit and I cannot tell you how relieved I am right now. It was the best decision I made this year and from now on everything can just be better. Hope you find a job that allows you to follow your passion and makes your life richer!

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Sorry to hear you’re experiencing the same a the moment. But after reading your post it looks like you made the right decision and already found a topic for your thesis that you’re passionate about. Believing in things just getting better from now on is just the right attitude.

  3. Arman @ thebigmansworld says:

    This is something to be proud of- you aren’t a quitter for making that decision. You should never feel like you need to stick to something in a fear of judgement or perception of yourself. At the end of the day, your happiness comes first, whether than be in your professional or personal life and Im proud of you to live up to your namesake- of getting up and living!

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Thanks, Arman! I’m definitely guilty of judging myself and still need to work on that. “At the end of the day, your happiness comes first” <- this! It's true for all of us yet feels a bit selfish for me right now. As I said: I'm working on that.

  4. Flake And Cake says:

    This is an incredibly brave decision and completely sounds like a good one. Why push yourself to go ahead with half a year in a bad environment for you? It doesn’t make you a quitter, it makes you strong. You could have easily carried on through the remaining five months, getting more and more miserable. It wouldn’t have helped your career or you long term – it certainly wouldn’t have been great for the company either.
    I am so glad I quit my last job and moved on to my current one. Certain people thrive in certain environments. There’s a big difference between ‘just getting on with it’ and hoping that things will improve and not getting out of something that is detrimental to your wellbeing and future. Well done for making such a brave choice, can’t wait to hear what you get up to next!

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      Thank you, Claire! Pushing the doubts aside I think I’ll benefit more from another internship or job, too – both in terms of my career and personal wellbeing. Right, I could have kept working for them without my heart being into it but it’s true: neither them nor me would have really been happy in that situation.
      Hearing about your own experiences is reassuring so thanks once more for sharing.

  5. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! says:

    Good for you for realizing that the job situation wasn’t right. Sometimes it can be hard to give something up or leave something without feeling like a quitter, but in the long run you know you’ve made the right decision! Good luck in the new job search! 🙂

  6. Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen says:

    I don’t think there’s any shame in quitting something if you’re truly unhappy. I don’t understand why there’s this idea in society that you’re better if you tough it out and suffer through unhappiness for the sake of success or money. I think it’s way more important to enjoy what we do!

    Good luck finding another job! Keep us posted. 🙂

    • letsgetupandlive says:

      You’re right that just sticking with a job you don’t enjoy for the money or success isn’t worth it. I’ll definitely update all of you once I find a new job/internship. Hoping it won’t take too long.

  7. alex@vegginout says:

    I’m so very proud of you! For someone like you who isn’t a quitter, it takes a LOT of courage to actually quit. Life is too short to be doing something you don’t enjoy and to realize that and take control of your life… well it isn’t easy, but you did it! You go girl! 🙂

  8. Jan @ Sprouts n Squats says:

    Great post! I worked in recruitment for 3.5 years and at the end I really hated it and it wasn’t making me happy but I stayed a year longer because I felt guilty about quitting but it is the best decision I made and I went on to much better things. I know you will do the same 🙂

  9. Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen says:

    Girl, I have had a different job (or two) every year since I graduated from college…and now I’m back in school AGAIN! My stepmom always said “Careers are journeys,” and I know from talking to people much older and wiser (and some younger and wiser) that it may never be something we truly figure out. I am a planner too. I also hate change. And yet I literally move on a whim, take chances when they are offered, and try to just do what is best for ME, whether that is moving across the country, working in a grocery store, taking a spontaneous trip to Mexico, or going back to school to get my PhD. It may be a selfish way to live, but it has worked so far…

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      “Careers are journeys” -> your stepmom is a wise woman. It’s just so hard to accept for me that what I hoped would be a good plan didn’t work out. Selfish? No way. Your ability to pack up your bags and go, jumping at chances when they offer up and trusting in things to work out amazes me. If you do what makes you happy you’ll ultimately make those around you happy, too.
      Hopefully I’ll get a bit more relaxed about it in the future, too. Only right now it’s a struggle I have yet to work out. Dear life, some more directions on my current journey would be nice :).

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