Gaining The Courage To Quit The Unfulfilling Job


He was my university classmate. Five years after graduation, we met at a game show. On our way home, he asked me about my job. I told him I had quit my job to do something else.

You get mind. Me I no get mind,” was his response.

From the tone of his voice, I got that he was not fulfilled at his job but he felt stuck.

This post is not asking you to quit your job if you do not have to. It is for those who are not fulfilled at their job and are looking for the motivation to do what they know has to be done for the sake of their purpose. The following may help.

  • Define the reason why you want to quit your job. If you are clear about the reason, then you will see the value of taking the risk. Your “why” will give you the courage to quit and make you persevere when the going gets tough. Make no mistake about it, the going will get tough.
  • Fate determined the early part of your life – your birthday, your parents, sibling, gender, and so on. You had no choice about any of these. A time comes in your life when you are to choose how you will end. So you have a choice. You can choose to do the work you love, to pursue your dream. Know that your employer is not responsible for “your good life”. You are responsible for that.
  • Feed your faith not your fear. Faith and fear are about uncertainty. With faith you are trusting that it will turn out well but with fear you are pessimistic. Faith and fear will be present but you have to choose the one you will dwell on. Nurture your faith not your fear.
  • If you are waiting for the timing to be perfect then you may as well forget about quitting totally. Maybe you need more savings, maybe you just got a promotion, may be you lack experience for the field you wish to go into. There will never be a time when everything will fit perfectly for you to leave the job.

One of the things that continued to keep me at my previous job was that I needed more savings. One day I considered how much I really wanted before I would like to make up my mind to quit. I found out that it would literally take me years to save ALL my salary to get my savings to that amount. Lagos was not designed for me to do that. I thought to myself that I may as well quit and figure out how to get the money I want along the way. It was a matter of will and where there is a will, there is a way. Now I know that not having enough savings is not a reason for me not to; it is rather a reason I have to.

  • Everything will not be clear from day one. This is with respect to the journey to your dream. When travelling, you see the road up to a particular point. As you move towards that point, the road to your destination continues to unfold. This happens until you get to your destination. It is so with the journey to your dream. So trust that the path will unfold.
  • Steve Job said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.” Listen to your gut. I knew in my heart that I wanted something different while I was at my job but I lacked the courage to do the necessary. It was when I realized that regret was waiting for me in the future if I did not quit the job that the courage came. I was afraid of failure in the path I wanted to follow but my fear of regret was greater than my fear of failure. Thus, I tendered my resignation letter to the surprise of my boss and colleagues.

I believe that everyone deserves to be happy doing what they love. Everybody includes you.

Godwin Nwaokike is the author of Growing Through Life: The Pursuit of Fulfilment. Click the image below to find out more about the book.

Godwin's Maiden Book

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