A few years ago, I learned that sometimes achieving your dreams means waking up to a nightmare. Landing a publishing internship with a small book press had seemed like a great opportunity when I was still in school.
I could work from home and set my own hours, but was required to attend virtual meetings. The training process was haphazard at best. Criticism tended to be long and cruel instead of helpful. I didn’t want to quit, though.
Eventually, things got so bad that I couldn’t sleep. I wanted to give up on everything. So I agonized over the decision for weeks before I decided to write a resignation letter. Why should I stick it out? The company had no intention of ever paying me, at least not for a long time, while they made money at the top. The workload had reached an unreasonable level. And the culture was vicious.
According to the American Institute of Stress, our workplaces can be a major life stressor. People issues contribute 28 percent to our workplace stress, while workload can contribute 46 percent. Not being able to balance life and work contributes another 20 percent to stress levels. Job security is the least of our worries at only six percent.
I decided to leave the small publishing company and kept the position off my resume. It hadn’t contributed to my career, nor had I been an intern for very long. I did my best to leave as amicably as possible. Soon after I left, the company folded and shut its virtual doors.
What makes a job unbearable for you? No job is going to be perfect, but one of the things to consider is how the company and its atmosphere affect your health. If you’re always on high alert, edgy, maybe even afraid, and you can’t sleep or eat, then it’s time to cut the job loose.
A lot of companies look amazing from the outside. They provide glossy job descriptions that are full of buzzwords but don’t reveal a clear picture of what the company really needs or wants for the position. Maybe the description features a hodgepodge of skills and talents with a long list of potential duties and responsibilities. No one could meet all of the qualifications.
Or, you can get hired into a company and realize that their work style doesn’t fit with the way you work. Your managers believe in the power of the meeting, and you want to get started on projects. They ask you to create “something new” before giving you such a detailed list of parameters that there’s no room for innovative results.
Even if the job pays well, it might not be worth staying on. A solid paycheck won’t mean much when you’re sick from spending so much time at work and dealing with constant social violence or a stifling atmosphere. You do want to leave in a professional manner, though, so it’s best to write the resignation letter and wait to send it.
I felt so much relief when I quit, and that’s how I knew it was the right decision. My dream job had become a toxin in my life, so I needed to let it go.
Have you ever had to leave a job that you thought would be wonderful? Let us know in the comments!
(image source: public domain/pixabay.com)