It takes a lot of courage to switch jobs. It takes even more to quit your job without a solid backup plan. However, work conditions can sometimes be so horrendous, the workplace environment can be so toxic, you end up giving your notice (or deliberately not even doing this) and packing all of your stuff in a cardboard box ASAP. There’s only so much that people can take!
Twitter user Kierra started up a very interesting thread on the social media platform when she asked people if they’ve ever “randomly” quit their jobs before, having absolutely no backup plan. The thread immediately went viral, getting over 125.8k likes, as Twitter users rushed to spill the tea about their personal experiences in the job industry.
You’ll find their stories about what happened after they decided that they’ve had enough and quit their jobs below. Have a read and let us know which of these you found to be the most inspirational, dear Pandas. Have you ever handed in your resignation without a plan for the future? Share your story in the comments if you’re feeling up to it.
Bored Panda reached out to Kierra to learn more about the inspiration behind her viral thread, what to do if you're planning on changing jobs in the near future, and whether passion or interest in your position is more important. Kierra helps people to pivot into tech, especially data-related roles. In case you're looking for a change in your career, you can check out her newsletter right over here. Scroll down for the full interview, Pandas!
Image credits: iamKierraD
Kierra told Bored Panda a bit about the inspiration behind her viral question on Twitter. "I came up with the question after doing some deep thinking about quitting my current role. I've been working in this current position for some years and I've been looking for a change. The work isn't terrible, but I'm not quite as interested in what I'm doing as when I first started," she revealed that she's been doing some important thinking about the future.
"I feel as though others might be feeling the same way. COVID has been rough on everyone in some aspect of life, even if it's just burnout. So many people are tired of being stuck in their pandemic routines and want a fresh start, something new and exciting... or even freeing."
I was curious to get Kierra's take about whether we should be looking for a new job while still working at our old position or if we should opt for making major changes, not necessarily with a backup plan in mind. According to Kierra, it all depends on the individual's circumstances.
"I always recommend people to look for a job while they are at their current role, mainly for job security and financial reasons. Searching for a new role can take some time and quitting a role cold turkey without any savings can make the job hunt even more stressful," she said. However, if you find yourself in a truly toxic environment, one that causes you a lot of mental and physical strain, it's best to cut your losses as soon as possible. " I consider that a different situation and I would advise one to leave as soon as they can. Your health is always more important than a job."
In Kierra's opinion, passion isn't incredibly important for one's job. "Sure, it would be wonderful to find a job that you're enamored with and I believe that it definitely could lead to better performance, but it's clear that passion is certainly not the reality for most people who work. I would instead suggest people find a job that they're actually interested in. Something that you don't mind earning a living doing. That interest will hold you over and keep you curious and willing to learn."
The author of the thread shared with Bored Panda that she didn't expect so many people to respond with stories about having quit their jobs. "I was shocked to see that there were many people who have quit jobs multiple times! I learned that people really do treat jobs as an additional part of their lives, almost like jobs are an accessory to happiness. It made me happy to see so many people advocating for themselves."
Earlier, Bored Panda spoke with life coach Lindsay Hanson about toxic and problematic workplaces. According to her, we’re all responsible for setting the boundaries in life for what we’re willing to tolerate. In short, it’s up to each of us to set these boundaries.
Regardless of whether we’ve got the human resources department on our side during times of turmoil, we’ve always got the option of reaching out to our superiors and talking to them. It might be awkward, it might be nerve-wracking, but they’re always there if we want to voice our concerns about the workplace environment. Whether or not changes will happen is a whole separate issue, but starting up some honest-but-diplomatic communication is always a good idea.
"If you feel that there's nothing you can do to change the situation and the company or people involved are unwilling to change, then you have to decide whether you're willing to stay in that environment or not," Lindsay told Bored Panda.
"A good question to ask yourself is, even if this toxic situation were to change, would I still want to work here?" the life coach noted that we have to check in with ourselves and search our feelings for an honest answer to this question.
Lindsay pointed out that we have two options when it comes to workplace environments that are stressful, toxic, or generally difficult. First of all, we can do our best to try and find contentment or happiness in whatever position we have at the company. Secondly, however, we can start looking for a way out, to leave permanently.
According to the life coach, even though we’re still stuck in the Covid-19 pandemic, we shouldn’t feel limited or imprisoned by this fact. It shouldn’t be the main factor deciding whether or not we’re staying at a company.
"The idea that you can't change your situation due to the pandemic is very limiting. There are still companies hiring. There are still ways to make money on your own. There is always a way to change your current situation—telling yourself you're stuck feels very limiting," Lindsay said.
"It comes back to what you're willing to tolerate. You can do everything in your power to bring attention to the toxic situation and attempt to change it. And at the end of the day, you always have control over your own mindset, how you're reacting to the situation, and how much you let it affect you."
Meanwhile, Professor Eddy Ng told Bored Panda that if workplace problems get out of hand, employees might want to consider lodging a human rights complaint, e.g. if there are plenty of derogatory comments and unwanted jokes. “Employers (managers and HR) can be held responsible for inaction," he said.
"If repeated complaints about the toxic workplace to the manager or HR fall on deaf ears, then it is indicative that the employer is not taking the concern seriously and it's the cue that you should switch employers/workplace," the professor told Bored Panda. "If management makes an effort for change, then it would be an opportunity to assist with that change. Many organizations are not addressing systemic discrimination and are engaging with employees with this change."
However, the professor noted that it’s generally easier to look for another job while you still have one. That way, you “don't have to explain gaps in employment or past problems with a prospective employer.” On the flip side, he also pointed out that switching careers might be the perfect time to have a break and “take stock, engage in career planning, and exploration, and transition to new careers.”