To Quit or Not to Quit? Part I: The Phone Calls

Originally written on April 25th, 2016


I have a meeting with my boss in two days.

I am leaning towards terminating my contract.

I do not have another job lined up.

I am doing this largely out of curiosity.

My gut intuition told me that I should have quit 9 months ago. But I have stuck it out, operating under the same fears as most other people do: fears of poverty, or of lack. The feeling of responsibility I have as the only income earner supporting my wife. The fear of not being able to find another job. The fear that a new job or boss might not be as good as the current one.

When telling my friends that I want to quit I am typically advised that I should find a new job first. “Don’t throw out the old shoe before buying the new one”, goes a saying in Dutch. This is generally sound advice, if you want to step right into another job.

Lately I’ve been thinking, “Fuck the shoe; go barefoot for a while. Then go get another shoe later if you really want one.”

Why does it all have to be about the resume? Are we really free, if we are so concerned with having gaps in the resume? Why do we all allow our employers to have this much power over us? Why are we playing by their rules? What’s wrong with just doing nothing for a little while? What’s wrong with not having a plan?

Quitting requires a leap of faith. Faith that you can quit and fall back into the unknown with a smile, and that the Universe will catch you.

I am leaning towards quitting without a plan in order to test my beliefs. I believe that if you have a positive attitude, self-confidence, work well and build a good reputation for yourself that there will always be a job for you somewhere. It might take a little longer to get to the next step, but it is there.

I believe that gaps in the resume shouldn’t matter.

I believe that you don’t need to have a plan.

About 2 months earlier I was thinking about quitting. I had a meeting with my boss scheduled for the next day. I was pretty determined to quit.

That afternoon (the day before the meeting) I received a phone call from a recruiter I had spoken to in the past. I hadn’t heard from him in at least 5-6 months.

He asked me how I was doing. I told him I was about to resign. He continued on by telling me that he hadn’t seen any jobs at all lately, that it had been very quiet.

What a strange phone call, I thought. The recruiter called just to tell me that there weren’t any jobs?

Was it a test of faith? Or a sign that I was on the wrong track?

At that time, I guess it shook my faith a little. Instead of quitting at the meeting with my boss, I devised a plan to begin working part time. My boss verbally agreed to the plan.

Now I realized that I only went half way. That I did not have 100% confidence in myself or my beliefs.

I spent most of today thinking about my meeting in two days, and how I was going to quit. I became really excited at the prospect of quitting.

Then this afternoon, again I get a phone call – from the same recruiter. Again he called just to see how I was doing.

What are the odds of this happening? That twice, while I am getting so hyped about quitting, I receive a call from the same recruiter who had said there weren’t any jobs? I hadn’t heard from him in at all between the two calls.

Clearly, this is a test of faith.

Stay tuned to see what happens!