How To Know When To Quit Your Day Job

Are you holding yourself back from your dreams?

This is just one point of discussion on Episode 140 of Productivity Paradox this week where I’m sitting down with Amy Jo Martin, fellow entrepreneur, author, and host of the podcast, Why Not Now, to talk all about how we can stop getting in our own way when it comes to pursuing our goals . . .

And to be completely honest, our conversation has me thinking a lot about what happens when the concept of ‘holding ourselves back’ has less to do with us personally and everything to do with the job or career that we hold down in the day-to-day scheme of things.

Because making the decision to quit a job is a tough one, right? No matter how you look at it, we all need some sort of income to take care of ourselves, our family, and our responsibilities in the background.

But could there be a point when we simply need to bite the bullet, so to speak, and make the difficult decision to transition away from a job that might not serve us so that we can dive in deep and do some focused work toward the pursuit of our dreams instead?

Amy Jo says . . . Yes! And while she shares a bit of her own story and what led her to take the leap to say No to the parts of her professional life that were no longer serving her on Episode 140, I thought we might take a look at some of the tried and true ways to determine if taking a similar leap is the best move for us.

So without further ado, let’s take a peek at just a few ways that we can tell if the time is right to quit our day job so that we can start to focus on pursuing our dreams instead.



5 Ways to Determine it’s Time to Quit Your Day Job


You’re Too Comfortable—

Amy Jo talks about the importance of tapping into our inner renegade on the episode this week, and what that basically means is those who benefit the most in terms of their personal and professional life are those who thrive in being uncomfortable.

If your job is not presenting you with an opportunity to grow, expand your skill set, or to test your ability to handle a challenge or two, then . . . What’s the point?

Far too many of us associate comfortability with success, but studies have shown that the opposite is actually true. Those who allow themselves to dip into realms of un-comfortability in their career, as it turns out, are often those who see the most success at the end of the day.

So, if you’re feeling a bit too comfortable in your day job, to the point where you could do your work with your eyes closed (let’s say), then it may be the right time to reassess where your career is headed!


Negativity from Your Job is Bleeding into Your Personal Life—

Admittedly, I’ve been guilty of bringing my work home with me from time to time. Let’s be honest, it happens!

But if you’re noticing that you’re bringing your work home with you more and more and that you’re bringing negative energy into your personal world as a result, then it’s time to take a step back and figure out where the negativity is coming from.

Are you compartmentalizing the different parts of your life enough? Have the boundaries you set between your home life, and your working life slipped just a bit, perhaps beyond the point of repair? These are questions to consider as you assess whether or not your current position works for you in terms of your happiness and contentment.

Amy Jo offers a big thing to consider on the episode, and I’ll share it with you here: If you find yourself doing a job that you hate – performing task after task that just doesn’t resonate with you and that just brings you feelings of dread . . . STOP.

Why put yourself through the wringer more than you need to? If what you do doesn’t lend you happiness as it should, give yourself permission to let it go.


Your Job is “Just a Job”—

We’ve all held a job that we’re less than passionate about at one point or another, but if you’re continually viewing your position as just a job (i.e., just a job that pays the bills and nothing more), then it might be a good time to determine if your lackluster feelings about your career are due to the fact that it’s not entirely in tune with what I would call your North Star.

When you look at the trajectory of your life and where you want to be in one year, five years, or ten years (let’s say) – what is the primary element that’s guiding you toward that destination? In other words, what are the things that you feel most passionately about that you could center your professional life around?

That is your North Star! And if you’re experiencing some discontent with your current position, it may be time to take a step back and refer to your North Star as your guidepost. (Refer to Episode 004 for some help determining yours!)


The Environment is Toxic—

We all deserve to work in a place that not only challenges us to be our best selves, but that also feels welcoming, and that inspires us to keep growing personally and professionally.

If you find yourself working in an environment that does not feel supportive of you, your coworkers, and so on, then it could be time to move on to something else.

After all, studies have shown that the more supportive a company’s work culture is, the more productive and happy employees tend to be.

So, if you’re faced with a toxic environment, don’t settle! Give yourself the permission you need to find a workplace that will contribute to your growth – and not the negativity that you feel at the end of the day.


You Feel Physically and Emotionally Bankrupt—

Amy Jo describes a major turning point in her life in more depth this week, and she mentions that one of the contributing factors that led her to a major shift in her work-life harmony was her feelings of physical and emotional bankruptcy.

So, what does physical and emotional bankruptcy mean? What it comes down to is a general feeling of unhealthiness – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

While it’s no secret that we all have the ability to keep moving and to keep performing at our top potential even when we’re internally struggling, it’s also no secret that, eventually, we all reach our breaking point where we feel emotionally and physically drained at the end of the day.

We could be millionaires, like Amy Jo, when the burnout sets in, or we could be right where we are in life right now, but the bankruptcy works the same nevertheless.

If you’ve noticed a downward spiral in your overall health, your ability to concentrate, and so on . . . It’s likely time for you to pump the brakes on what you’ve been doing in your day-to-day. 

How might you turn your physical and emotional bankruptcy on its head? What might your daily life look like in the absence of the general unhealthiness that you’ve been experiencing? Think about it!


 Have you dealt with bouts of emotional and physical bankruptcy before in your career? What helped you to overcome? Share your experiences in the comments below . . .

And tune in to Episode 140 of the podcast this week to learn even more about Amy Jo Martin’s story, and how you too can embrace your inner renegade to your advantage in the pursuit of your dreams!

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Tonya Dalton
Tonya Dalton