Most of us have probably dreamed of some elaborate “I quit!” scenario whether it is a job we hate, a relationship that is dysfunctional, or a hobby or sport in which we just suck. At the same time most of us have also been raised with a “don’t quit” mentality. Our society has a negative connotation of quitting and this perseverance likely comes from America’s immigrant spirit. Famous people continue this message like Vince Lombardi who said “winners never quit and quitters never win.” Further, one of the most listed traits to be successful is having “grit”. However, there is also the success that people like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg both had after quitting Harvard University or Steve Jobs had after quitting Reed College.
Quitting should not be the first choice but you need to be able to quit at the right time and stick it out at the right time. Many people have the tendency to either be quick quitters that rarely achieve and are not thinking big picture. Other people are the never quitters that will stick out about anything whether it be for loyalty or feeling of failure and results in other opportunities passing them by. Just like any big decision in life the key is to analyze it and come to a decision and once decision is made own that decision.
Ignore the naysayers – quitting is good and is an important option that should be used when appropriate. Things to consider when determining when to quit:
- Pros and Cons: Yes pro-and-con lists do work and are important and will repeated throughout different posts. However, when doing a pro-and-cons list make sure to do some weighting and things that are the big factors should count more than things that are minor factors. Do not list 100 pro and cons and instead focus on the key items and I try to never have more than 10 and generally it is 5 or less that are really the key pro and cons to focus on and weight.
- Get Perspective: Making any major decision means emotion plays a part. Having a group of trusted people that are people that you can rely on telling you that you are full of it.
- Why?: Are you quitting for better opportunity or just quitting because of a bad opportunity? In the job setting quitting because of a bad current opportunity often leads you to another bad opportunity — make sure you are leaving jobs for a good opportunity. Of course this factor does not apply the same for relationships and hobbies.:)
Information workers are fortunate people that get to do cool things and are talented and smart and should embrace quitting when it makes sense. So whenever you are quitting your job, relationship, or company’s softball team consider the pros and cons, get perspective, and ask why and if quitting is the right route then own it.
As always I appreciate your comments, emails, likes, and re-tweets!