I’m Unhappy at Work: I Feel Like Quitting My Job Every Day

Why do people stay in jobs they hate? For the money, of course. You drive to work each day, dreading the next eight hours, yet you climb into your car each morning and repeat the same commute.

Your job makes you miserable. As the day-to-day agony continues, you question your career: Should I quit my job if it makes me unhappy or continue working in a position I hate? Should I seek a new position or leave to save my mental health?

Does your job leave you constantly stressed? Do you spend a ridiculous amount of time at work, need to be on call all hours, or lose sight of your work-life balance? Is work taking a toll on your health?

Do you suffer from anxious feelings or wake each morning with a stomach ache? Sure, you receive rewards for these headaches, but what if you want to alter course or change careers? Are you tired of feeling stressed and anxious? Should you quit your job in search of happiness?

What should you do if you feel like quitting your job every day?

Do You Feel Like Quitting Your Job Every Day?

i feel like quitting my job everyday

Leaving your job is more than just a pipe dream. It’s something you seriously consider, something you want to do.

Is it time to switch to a less stressful job that will improve your mental health? Is it time to forge a new career path or contemplate a career change?

I bet you’ve thought about it for days, weeks, months, or years but continue to drive back into the office every morning.

Perhaps you’ve even drafted a resignation letter or exit strategy. What prevents you from walking out the door? What prevents you from leaving when you want to quit your job every day?

Should I Quit My Job If It Makes Me Unhappy?

Why are we afraid to quit our jobs? That’s an easy question; we don’t want to lose our salaries.

We want to ditch our current position for another job but don’t want to live on less. If we aren’t careful, we allow the financial perks of our positions to outweigh other factors.

So, here’s the truth, if you want to quit your job, you may need to accept a lower pay scale. I bet you are aware of this and perhaps terrified by the thought of it. You want to quit your job, but you’re scared.

Perhaps you sit at your desk, pondering the question, should I quit my job if I am unhappy? Maybe your mind urges you to leave, but you can’t stand the idea of earning less.

How high does happiness rank on your list of concerns? Not as high as paying your current mortgage and bills. So what if you are unhappy at work but need the money?

What if you are unhappy and dread going to work, but can’t quit and live on less?

How Can You Prepare To Quit Your Miserable Job?

How can you prepare to quit your high-paying job? How can you make the leap to a better fit?

The first thing you need is a game plan. You’ll need to come to terms with your future wages. You’ll need to decide if you can live off less before quitting. Doing so will include two significant lifestyle changes.

  • First, you’ll need to change your mindset about money.
  • Then you’ll need to change your spending habits.

Changing Your Money Mindset

When you earn a lot, you tend to spend a lot. You might live in an expensive house or drive an ultra-fancy, overpriced car.

So here comes the hard part. The first step is to stop for a moment. Look around at your possessions and ask yourself, are those objects worth your time, stress, and overall happiness?

Walk around your house, sit in your car, and look at the things you’ve purchased with your money. Open the drawers to your dresser, closet, and cabinets. Touch those possessions. Please pick them up and feel their weight.

Now ask yourself, do these things make me happy? Do they make you feel good? More importantly, are these treasures worth the extra stress you feel day in and day out?

Is it possible to find happiness without these financial burdens? Can you choose life satisfaction in place of this stuff?

Change Your Spending Habits

If you need those things to make you happy, you know you can’t quit your high-paying job. If you don’t feel compelled to keep them, you can move on to step two: changing your spending habits.

If you are serious about quitting your job, now is the time to research potential salary ranges for your new position. Once you have a number in mind, start living off that new salary.

Quitting your job could include enormous sacrifices. Can you continue to live in your current house, or do you need to downsize to a smaller one? Do you need to pay off your car or sell it and buy a cheaper one? Will you have enough money to pay your bills?

Evaluate your monthly expenses. What do you spend money on that you don’t need? What can you cut from your life? Take a red pen to every one of your monthly bills. Cut cable, unsubscribe to services, and look for ways to lower expenses.

Remember that changing your habits isn’t about deprivation. Don’t look at this as cutting out everything you love. Review your expenses and think about the exchange of time for money.

Do you love these things enough to continue to go to a job you hate or to work in an industry that leaves you feeling unfulfilled?

A lot of people are scared of turning off the money spigot. Do not be afraid. You still have your job right now. You are merely reviewing your spending patterns and focusing on what matters.

If you can’t live without these things, you can continue working in your current position. There is nothing wrong with willingly exchanging your time for a higher salary. Please don’t feel guilty about that choice. Instead, recognize and accept it.

Imitate Your Future Life

If you don’t need more stuff, it’s time to move forward with the next step. It’s time to imitate your future life. Practice living on a smaller salary for six months before quitting your current one.

Create budgets that reflect your future take-home pay. Confine yourself to lower spending limits even though you can buy two to three times that much.

Start by making small changes first.

  • Pack your lunch a few days a week.
  • Eat at less expensive restaurants.
  • Create a shopping ban to stop buying stuff you don’t need.

Then move on to the big stuff.

  • Downsize your house and car.
  • Pay off all your debts.
  • Live off less so you can bank the difference.

Try to create a buffer of money before you quit. You can leave your job without any savings, but if you earn big bucks right now, it’s wise to start saving before you quit.

My Job Is Making Me Miserable

my job is making me miserable

Practice living this life and ask yourself if you enjoy it. Again, don’t feel guilty if you don’t. It’s okay to return to your job with a newfound appreciation for everything your income can buy.

Instead of thinking, “I’m unhappy at work, but I can’t quit,” think, “I’m unhappy at work, but there are huge perks to my current pay,” or “I hate my job, but it pays well.”

Then figure out ways to make your work environment and job more enjoyable. Also, focus on changing your mindset to feel grateful for the money you receive. Remember, many miserable people at work who make less than you.

Letting Go Of Your Ego

Remember that financial considerations are just one facet of a high-paying job. Many of us wrap our egos up in our work. It’s gratifying to receive big promotions, and setting goals and climbing the corporate ladder can dramatically boost our self-esteem.

There is prestige in working in a professional, high-paying job. We are doctors, lawyers, and software engineers; over time, those titles become our identities.

Sometimes we feel trapped by our professions and worry that people will think less of us if we quit.

It’s incredibly challenging to let go of this vision of ourselves. I left my position as a software engineer eight years ago, and I still mention my former job in conversation. It became a permanent piece of who I am—a way to value my self-worth above all other things that matter.

You may need to figure out who you are without your title. Keep in mind, just because this job worked well for you in the past does not mean you need to continue.

If you want to leave, ask yourself, “Is my ego more important than my happiness?” Am I justified in maintaining a job I don’t love for the ego boost I feel when telling people what I do?

What is essential in our lives? Is it feeling proud of our professions or feeling rewarded by them? Are we trapped by a society that places too much emphasis on asking, “what do you do?”

Is the quest for a more meaningful, less stressful life less important than your title? Think carefully about this question before you answer it. Does your job align with your life goals?

Unhappy at Work Should I Quit?

You feel unhappy at work, so should you quit? Do you suffer from a long commute, inflexible schedules, a lack of time off, anxiety, a horrible working environment, an unpleasant boss, or are you merely unhappy at work? These can all be the right reasons to quit your job.

How many hours do you spend on your employment? I don’t mean hours in the office, sitting at your desk and staring at your computer. I’m talking about the time you spend preparing at home, making your lunch, commuting to work, the amount of time you have for lunch breaks, driving back home, etc.

Should I Quit My Job If I’m Unhappy?

What if your job makes you miserable? Most of us spend at least forty hours at work, not including the time it takes us to commute to and from our jobs. If your job makes you miserable, does it make sense to spend so much time working in a place that makes you unhappy?

Sometimes it makes sense to take a lower-paying job or switch jobs to achieve less stress and misery. Can you make your current job less miserable? Can you alter your job duties or search for new projects that excite you? Can you find new opportunities within your current position? If not, can you explore a different line of work or dream job that might make you happier? 

My Job is Making Me Miserable. Should I Quit?

Perhaps, but we don’t all need to quit to find happiness. What if your job makes you miserable, but you can’t quit?

Sometimes you need to find a different position, a new boss, or a new company. The next job might provide the ability to learn new skills or explore new areas of career development. 

Before you jump ship or walk out the door, take a deep breath and ask yourself what you dislike about your job. Maybe you don’t mind your current career, but you feel burned out by long commutes or annoying coworkers.

Can you work remotely a few days a week or arrange a compressed schedule that includes less commuting? Can you negotiate a schedule change so you only come into the office during core hours?

Set boundaries for how many hours you work, and take breaks throughout the day to calm your nerves and ease your mind. Carve out time around your job for the people and passions that matter.

A perfect new job may not exist, and quitting your current job won’t ensure you love your next one. Sometimes leaving a higher-paying career for happiness doesn’t make you happier.

It may cause more stress as you struggle to pay your bills and question your decisions. A high income makes life a whole lot easier than a low one. Sometimes it’s worth pushing through the not-so-great aspects of life to make other aspects, like paying your child’s orthodontist bills and mortgage, easier.

Every situation is different, so think carefully before quitting. You might want to undergo an internal job search because a better job may be waiting for you in another department or with a different manager.

What Do You Want Out of Life

So what can you do if you are unhappy at work but need the money? Most of us will agree that money isn’t great if it makes us miserable. Some of us are willing to downsize our lives and earn less money in exchange for a better work-life balance.

If you want to read more about this idea, check out this post: Live Simply, Quit Your Job and Follow Your Dreams. It provides details on learning to live on less.

A few years ago, I met a woman who left her law practice to become a waitress in a local taco bar. She told me she was tired of wearing a suit, standing in front of a judge, and listening to people fight and argue with one another.

The waitress didn’t intend to continue waiting tables. It was merely a place to land while she figured out what to do next. She enjoyed chatting with customers and telling tourists about the best places to visit in town.

Best of all, she said, “When I leave my job, I don’t take any work home with me. I constantly thought about my clients and their cases at my old job. Now I go home, wonder what the weather will be like tomorrow, and no longer clench my teeth in my sleep.”

“I can live a simple life,” she told me. “We don’t need nearly as much stuff as we think we do. We need to be happy, and I feel strangely happy waiting on people right now.”

Priorities Outside of Work

When we think about work, we often think about the eight hours we sit in the office, but few of us think about the impacts on the rest of our lives. How does your job impact your mental health, partner, and family?

Does your current line of work allow you to focus on your relationships? How often do you find the time to visit with friends and family?

Do you come home completely exhausted from a long day in the office? Do you crash onto the couch, become easily agitated, or lash out at your family?

Would a new line of work improve your health? I’m talking about both your mental and physical health. Do you move around much during your workday? Would you prefer a job that allows you to step outdoors or move around more often?

Does your job allow you to pursue your passions during work or outside working hours? Many of us spend so much time at work that we cram the enjoyable parts into nights and weekends.

Can you do anything fun Monday through Friday? Would quitting your job allow you to become more engaged in the day-to-day activities of your life?

I left my job when my first child was born. A lot of people leave high-paying jobs when their priorities change. We tend to jump ship after we become parents, become ill, or tend to sick parents.

Life-changing events force us to reflect on the aspects of our lives that matter most, but why do we wait for life-altering situations? What matters most to you right now?

Your priority list may include titles and high salaries, but most likely, it won’t. It will consist of the people you wish to spend time with and the passions that your heart yearns to pursue.

Living a Life That Matters

I felt like a treasured member of my team in my old job. I worked harder and longer than any of my coworkers and put my heart and soul into my work.

After I left, others stepped in and took over my tasks. The work moved more slowly, but it moved forward all the same. Deep inside, we all want to live a life that matters. Did my code make a difference in the world? No, not really.

It’s tough to quit a high-paying job for a lower-paying position. It’s also difficult to walk away from all that money once you start receiving it. It might feel like leaving your corporate career is a terrible decision.

Should you walk away from a six-figure salary? It’s scary as hell. I know and did it.

As I reflect on that decision, I have come to one conclusion. As far as I know, we only get one chance to live this life. I could continue to wake up each day and sit in a cubicle or search for a more meaningful path. 

Did I want more money or more time? I chose time. Time freedom, to be more exact! The scariest thought isn’t missing out on the toys and treasures of a high-paying job. It’s the fear of postponing a meaningful life for a future that isn’t guaranteed.

Will you quit your job if it makes you unhappy? Will you walk away from a job that makes you feel like quitting every day? Do you have a game plan, or have you already left your job searching for a more fulfilling career? Tell me about it by leaving a comment below.

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14 thoughts on “I’m Unhappy at Work: I Feel Like Quitting My Job Every Day”

  1. Great post! Two of the best decisions I ever made was leaving a corporate job for a smaller company with better culture.
    Second was leaving another company after only 8 months because I worked all the time and
    never got a break. Now I have a job I love where I get beer, pingpong and unlimited PTO!
    Never settle!

  2. Ugh, this is so timely for me. Yesterday I achieved my last goal for the year. I actually had an awesome year at work. And my retirement countrdown calendar has 60 days left on it. I am alternately excited and terrified. The few people I’ve told think I’m absolutely crazy for doing this. But I am, because I have enough money and my job takes up time for things I want to do. Honestly, between kids and work, there isn’t any time left for what I want to do. But I’m consumed by worry. What if I hate being retired? What if I’m bored? Logically I know this is silly, but this decision is irrevocable.

    I think all major life changes are scary. But the thing about life is that the fruit grows at the end of the branches. Sometimes you have to go out on a limb to get what you want. Courage…

    • Is the decision really irrevocable? I’m sure you could return to work in some capacity if you really dislike retirement, right? I hate to make decisions, because I often correlate them to walking the plank off of an old pirate ship. Once I make them I can never change my mind, change course or look back. I don’t think this is true for most of our decisions in life. Having children is one exception to the rule, but there are so many others where we can change our minds and sometimes in knowing that we can change course the decisions don’t seem so scary. We do need the courage to make big moves, (and I absolutely love your quote), but realize that few things are set in stone for life. I think you will love being retired, but if you don’t you will change your life in ways that are rewarding and fulfilling. If you have the means to quit and have worked your way to this point imagine all of the things you are capable of moving forward! I can’t wait to find out more about your journey as you take the leap!

  3. I could return to work doing something, but I’m out of my industry forever. I’m taking a retirement package (worth a fair amount of money and some benefits) that requires me to “leave nicely”-I have to hire and train my successors and introduce my clients to them. My worth (to my company and others like it) is my client relationships- after clients adjust to my replacements, I’m not worth much in terms of salary. In addition, I have an ironclad non-compete agreement, and my employment licenses expire after not working in the industry for a few months.

    I have a lovely resume, and someone would certainly hire me to do something, but probably at less than half of what I’m making now. Part of it is security- making 6 figures solves a lot of problems. And I must admit that the ego thing is a little hard to let go of.

    Its scary to let go, but the truth is, I did my job for 20+ years, and I just don’t want to do it anymore. The stress- ugh! I don’t really know if I just need a couple of years off and want to work again, or if I’ll be blissfully happy being retired. I guess I’m about to find out…

    • To be honest I never thought about a job that relies on client relationships. It makes perfect sense, it’s just not something I ever encountered. The license expirations will certainly add complexity too. In your case it will definitely be more difficult to return to that line of work and the salary you have grown accustomed to earning, but as you’ve said you’ve put in your 20 years so I think now is a great time to make the leap into early retirement and see what the future has in store for you.

  4. I’ve really struggled with this, it’s basically the entire reason my wife and I decided to pursue FIRE. I’ve found looking for any meaning in your work goes a long way. That being said, we still want to retire early 🙂

    • It definitely helps to look for meaning and purpose in the work you do. Also, to try your best to see the good that it provides. It pays the bills, provides insurance, etc. Having said all of that it’s best to plan for an early retirement if we can. If we end up wanting to work we can, but if we hate our jobs we can walk right out the door. Thanks for your comment!

  5. I am pursuing early retirement after 25 yrs of service. I took this decision since the work culture has become horrible. No respect for seniors…scolding n howling by bosses on petty issues…too much workload… not filling vacants posts….over burdening employees with work of higher post n low pay…constantly blaming and asking explanations for small mistakes. Long boring meetings where there is no real interaction only orders and scoldings are given by bosses to 50+ employees infront of all. I realised enough is enough. Now planning properly for retirement thru professional financial planner

    • I’m so glad you have the ability to step away. I think so many of us end up in jobs we don’t enjoy. I always advise trying to fix the situation first, but if you can’t then its great to be able to walk right out the door. Congratulations!

  6. I am in the same predicament right now… while contemplating, it led me to your blog… I am also a software engineer with a guaranteed six-figure salary and yearly bonuses; but I am beginning to question if it is worth it with what I am giving up: my health, time with family, etc… I know I want to quit, to spend more time with my loved ones and pursue my other passions… I have been thinking about it for years… I just need the courage to finally jump.

    • Hi Girl from PH,

      Can you find a part time position that might help with your transition or reduce the hours at your current job or do you think you have to quit to achieve all that you want? Do you already have savings? Also, can you keep in contact with your current boss, coworkers, etc, in case you want to go back after you make the leap? Knowing the answers to those questions might make it easier to finalize your decision.

  7. Hello
    I just left a grueling career after 18 years. I want to thank you because you said it best a more meaningful life. I wanted to enjoy my life while I was here not be on call 24/7. I just left in September and it feels nice to be working in a much slower pace and not taking work home with me. My family time is my family family time which is more valuable than any dollar amount. Sometimes taking a leap of faith is scary, but you need to leap to see the bigger picture : )
    Thank you


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