As I’ve written previously, the decision of quitting was at the same time very easy and very hard. It was easy because it felt right and it felt like a decision I really needed (fortunately, I’ve noticed that I did the right thing).
But it was hard because I wanted to be sure I was doing the right decision. I wasn’t satisfied with the feeling of being right. I wanted to be right, I wanted to be sure I was right. So I took a few measures to be absolutely one hundred percent confident.
(Of course, there is no way of being that confident about something. There is so little we can control. However, the little that there is to have control over, I wanted to have it.)
1. Reading Online
I was desperate to find some kind of confirmation, e.g. tips and life stories online about people who had done the same I was about to do. It wasn’t easy – I might have been looking in the wrong places – but I found a few blog posts that stuck in my mind.
- This one I mentioned in one of the previous posts: the website and blog for HSPs – highly sensitive people. I want to explore this site even further to learn more about the characteristics of HSPs but the post about most suitable jobs for HSPs and the best jobs for HSPs caught my attention. Both of them gave a very thumbs-up-feeling, like I was on the right path, that is, doing my own thing.
- The second page and post I was fascinated by was the blog post by The Minimalists: Quitting Your Job Is Easy. Although the message of the post didn’t really give me any confirmation, it did give me this:”Scores of people ask us how to quit their jobs. Much of the time it feels like they’re simply asking for our permission. The truth is you don’t need our permission.”
It was something I already knew at one level, but this text was a reminder put down in words. The decision I was making was mine to make. And no one else can make the decision for me.
2. Reading The Book
A book was recommended to me by a friend with the words ”read this before you walk up to your boss and tell her that you quit”. The book was Why Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office by Lois P. Frankel.
I had never heard of it before but it was a book that reminded me of the importance of the game and especially knowing the rules of the game. I haven’t read it from cover to cover but skimmed it, reading the chapters that I related to the most. Especially the chapters about talking and talking well caught my attention.
According to the book, this is how your credibility is measured: 7 percent comes from what you say, 38 percent from how you sound and 55 percent comes from how you look. So I focused on these until the D-day was upon me.
3. The +/- List
This one you know of already. I wrote down all the positive and negative aspects of my job, resulting in a list of two positive things and thirteen negative.
On the positive side I wrote 1) I can bike to work and 2) I get five credits for school which means I will be able to graduate in time.
On the negative side was all sorts of things from what I got paid per hour to how I felt, what the expectations were, how I didn’t want to be there in the first place but had to to get the credits for school and so on.
It was mostly a safety measure, for the feeling of being absolutely one hundred percent confident. But it had it’s effect because every time I saw the list it was a reminder about how I felt about the job.
4. Reaching Out To People
As I was unable to find life stories about people who had quit their jobs online, I tried to find confirmation from people in real life.
- I reached out to my teacher, asking what would happen if I quit my job (thinking of credits and my studies). He didn’t really encourage me to quit unless there were some serious reasons for doing it.
- I contacted a lawyer, checking that what I was thinking of doing was both possible and legal. He gave his blessing.
- I sent a message to a friend, asking how she saw the different aspects of quitting. She was the one to recommend Why Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, the test for HSPs, but she also told her story, how she had quit her job and found it to be an extremely good decision. She also connected me with her friend who is a full-time writer and a published author.
- So I contacted her, asking how her life looks like, what are her writing routines, how to get started if you want to become a full-time writer, how does she get along financially and so on.
- And in addition to this I had countless conversations about quitting with my partner and one of my best friends.
5. The Economic Plan
In addition to the point right above, one of the best things I did that gave me confidence was my financial plan for the coming year. It wasn’t the easiest job but it sure was worth of it’s time and calculations.
The plan included my current financial situation, my main incomes for the coming year (subsidies and salaries) and my monthly expenses (rent, money, bills, gym membership). From every income I put aside something for my savings account which I counted as well.
Then I did some simple plus-minus-calculations to find out how much I would have on my account a year from now and how much money I can use per month. I’m very curious about finding out if my economic plan actually holds but I guess I’ll see it in the end of May 2019.
Is There A Way To Prepare?
After this list, I guess the question is will any amount of preparing help you do the decision? I would say yes and no.
The economic plan, reading books and texts about quitting, and getting confirmation from people around you will help to a certain extent. These resources are the rational confirmations you can rely on when you find yourself questioning the feeling you have inside of you.
But in the end, the final act is yours only. You have to utter the words, be confident, find the strength to carry your decision through. And that is one of the hardest parts – at least what I know of yet.
How do you prepare for big decisions that you make?