You Control Your Happiness: Why You Shouldn't Wait Any Longer To Quit Your Job

by Shelley-Marie Phillips

So you hate your job? It really isn't that complicated. You are presented with two very simple and obvious choices: 1) You can suck it up, or 2) You can leave.

I used to juggle the idea of the latter option around in my head, but I had a myriad of bills and rent to pay. I was in no position to become unemployed.

While I recognized the validity in either choice, I was still making a truckload of excuses, rather than actually taking action to improve upon my unhappiness.

Words only wield so much power; they are empty without action. I used to claim all the time I was “this close” to leaving my job, yet never found myself actually walking out the doors with no intentions of returning.

When I finally did quit, however, that heavy weight that had smothered me for so long finally slipped away. There is bravery in making big decisions that come with a consequence, but more often than not, you'll be glad you took the risk.

“It’s not that easy,” I hear you protest. “How irresponsible,” I hear you mutter under hot breath.

Sure, it was terribly irresponsible. It was hardly the most calculated decision I ever made, but it was the best decision for me at the time. It foreshadowed an element of struggle, but not as much as I eventually had to endure.

Was it worth it? Of course it was.

You see, you’ll never fight for something hard enough if you have your back-up job to lean on. You’ll never be your own champion if you fight halfheartedly. When you quit a job with zero possibilities to fall back on, you know you have no other choice but to push through the challenges and make it work for your own well-being.

There is no motivator quite like the fear of being homeless, and instead of fighting with swords that might as well be made of butter, you'll find yourself equipped with weaponry you never knew you had.

You'll begin shooting arrows of unrattled persistence among the chaos of finding a job. Your silver armor may be tarnished, but it is strong, nonetheless. You'll continue fighting because you'll realize you have everything to lose.

The only time you are wasting is your own. If you love your job as a barista or you live for serving that perfect pint of Guinness, that’s more than okay. If you love your office job, that’s cool, too. But if what you're doing leaves you unsatisfied, unhappy and generally in a state of disarray, you need to know when to say enough is enough.

It’s easy to forget that you were meant for more than this mediocre lifestyle you've settled for and that where you are right now may not be where you belong. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you haven’t reached your own happy ending, you won’t ever get there.

The key is to stop trapping yourself. Only you can change your situation.

If you’re having a bad day every day, and you're taking home all of the angst from work, it's time to be proactive. We have to stop putting ourselves on repeat and stop bitching about our situations.

I know, we all love to complain; I do it so much it should be a competitive sport. However, only we have the power to change our lives; we can alter our realities.

I can imagine the rolling eyes of some of you, reading another article about how Gen-Y has it so damn hard, and how we blame our Baby Boomer parents for not being more realistic with us. We didn't earn the right to get what we want without a little hard work, but we can’t even get a step on the ladder to climb it.

This is our battle against so many of the doubters. It is easy for them to gloss over the fact that when we left college, we couldn't even get a phone call to confirm that we didn't get the offer for yet another job, leaving us stuck in dead-end positions that meant we had to live paycheck to paycheck.

We're hardly building experience for a promising career, and most of the time, we can’t even afford to make ends meet. Yet, we maintain faith. The future is ours, Millennials.

We’re seen as unproductive slackers, smeared as lazy and entitled brats who sit back and wait for the stars to align via our parents or some other chance connection.

Why is everyone being tarred with the same brush? Why should every Millennial be discredited for their individual hustles, struggles and efforts to achieve success?

In the real world, there are no scheduled movie montages with an empowering soundtrack filled with motivational quips. There are no cruel-to-be-kind mentors to help you find your way to the yellow brick road, and there is no pot of gold to encourage you to leave your small town.

There may be connections -- they may, in fact, be our one salvation -- to guide the way; however, we only have we in the end.

The only person in control of your direction in life is you, and you can’t wait for the perfect opportunities and that ultimate state of happiness to come to you.

While you’re slaving away at that job that you hate, wasting away your days, you're taking yourself out of the game; you're passing by opportunities to change your path.

You might continuously assure yourself that some day you will leave, but “some day” is associated with uncertainty.

The problem is, we keep waiting for some day. However, as far as we know, we only have today, and today, we should choose happiness, as every day. This is the only fate you have the power to change.

Maybe your remaining fate and circumstances are not around the corner, and maybe that destination is unknown. However, when that day arrives, we will finally have won. All we can do is continue to pursue and fight for what we want from this life.

Take comfort in knowing you haven’t peaked too soon, because then what would you have left to fight for?

Photo via We Heart It