When you hear someone use the word quit in a sentence, the first thing you most likely think of is giving up. We all do it. In fact, the word quit is usually associated with such a negative connotation in today’s society that we feel an inherent and debilitating shame for admitting that we did so. What I want to know is why. When did this short, four-letter word become such a definition for failure?
The fact of the matter is this: Quitting does not have to mean what we all think it does. It means something that’s empowering and refreshing too.
I was taught to never quit and never give up. That was my understanding as a kid and now. I think this mindset holds true in many situations and keeps us accountable. Nobody should suddenly stop doing something without good reason. Things may not be going your way, but with some patience and perseverance it could work out. In some cases, quitting isn’t the action you should take. There’s a difference between quitting because you’re scared, unmotivated or unwilling to try, and quitting because it’s truly what’s best for you.
So what are those situations where quitting isn’t the worst decision you could make?
I recently found myself a quitter. I went to school for one thing only to later find it may not be the path I want to follow. It was a decent job at a great company, but it wasn’t the job nor the company for me. I found myself struggling to make a decision regarding this position. Half of me couldn’t bare the fact that I’d be giving up so easily. If I decided to resign I would become this negative word we all hate to say- a quitter. The other half of me knew if I stayed where I was, I would be lying to myself. I would have been absolutely miserable. I would not be enjoying anything I was doing, and that is so important to me. I would be walking down the wrong path just for the sake of avoiding that quitter title. I had a moment of self-realization. I knew this was not what I wanted to do. I knew I needed a change. I knew it wasn’t what was best for me, and there was nothing wrong with that.
What I propose is a new meaning and perception on quitting. It can be the best thing you can do. Sometimes it opens the door to exactly where you’re supposed to be headed. Many successful individuals started our their journeys one way, only to completely change directions and head towards an incredible life.
So let’s redefine this word. Why can’t it also mean not settling? Why can’t it mean knowing you are better than something, knowing you have more potential and knowing that whatever it is you got yourself into is not for you. Are you denying yourself from greatness if you stick to something you hate? I don’t think so. Nobody lands their dream job right away. You’ll have a job you don’t like at some point in your life. Could you stick it out in hopes of a better opportunity down the line? Absolutely. It only makes sense that the so called terrible jobs make the good jobs that much better. Does that mean this terrible job was the terrible job for me? No, it doesn’t. We all have unique career paths and make the decisions that are best for us.
We don’t all know exactly what we want to do right away. I realized I was doing something that I was not enjoying, as well as something I believed I would not even enjoy years down the road. A bit of a “quarter life crisis” overcame me and I knew what decision had to be made. I respectfully resigned from my job. You can now find me not wasting any time and looking into other options that are more suited towards my interests.
Walk down the path you want to be on. I did. I became a quitter, and I’m okay with that it.
I am a quitter because I realized this is my life. I am not going to settle down for anything that won’t bring me happiness. I’m not saying I need a perfect job, because is there even such a thing? All jobs have their quirks and stresses. All jobs have their ups and downs. But you shouldn’t hate it. You shouldn’t lose your sense of purpose and passion. We are millennials and our generation is changing the way we go about our careers. We are finding our true interests and ourselves along the way. I have always been told to never give up. I am not giving up. I am quitting to move on to something else. I’m quitting to open the next chapter of my life. The definition of quit is officially defined as, released from obligation, charge, or penalty. Where in that definition does one see anything negative? It is only perceived as something negative if we make it that way. So let’s stop putting people down for their decision to close one door and open an even better one.
So here’s how we can define Quitting: to thoughtfully cross one thing off the list, and search for the next big opportunity.