Burning bridges at your old crappy job can feel cathartic, but there are always consequences.
Welcome to Couldn’t Be Me, a weekly advice column where I solicit your personal dilemmas and help out as best as I can. Have something I can help you with? Find me @_Zeets.
This week we deal with quitting your job. Whether you’re going on First Take to trash your former coworkers, or you’re considering quitting your job to do more fulfilling things while separating from a long-term partner, leaving a job can be an emotionally fraught time. Sometimes the immediate satisfaction of leaving, or being petty, only creates more problems in the long-term.
Then again, sometimes it really does feel good to unload.
I was hired by one of my best friends to help run her family business, where I used to work in my younger days. It seemed like a wonderful situation, working with a close friend and giving back to the people who gave me so much. But soon after starting there, I realized that one of my coworkers, who was hired at around the same time as me, was backstabbing me and saying hurtful things about me and my work ethic. While it’s true that I wasn’t as present for the job as I should have been — they knew that I had other ventures — I couldn’t believe the coworker would do such a thing.
Along with the backstabbing, I felt that I wasn’t empowered in my role. I quit suddenly, and soon after, I went public with all the problems with the business. Some people are saying that I shouldn’t have done so, that it’s a betrayal of my friend’s trust, but I felt that I had no choice considering that my reputation was on the line. Was I right in going public?
Considering that I love drama and pettiness, I would say that you were perfectly right in both quitting suddenly and going public with the internal problems of the business. But of course, there are also things to consider beyond the immediate satisfaction of being petty.
It seems that the company has real organizational problems that run deeper than your time there, and your exit won’t change anything on that level. In fact, you may have made things even worse if it’s to be assumed that the person who was doing the backstabbing now has more power with you out of the way. And I can only imagine that there are more actors behind the scenes who are vying for power.
So in that sense, you going public with the mess of the company didn’t make the nature of the mess any better. You simply gave the world a snapshot of what many people inside the company likely already know.
There’s a personal concern here for you, too, that your friend, whose family has given you so much, might not be as warm to you as they used to be. Even if what you did doesn’t really harm the company, they may still look at your actions as betrayal. There might be too much of a distance between you two to fix the relationship. At least for now.
I understand why you went public with your grievances, but it might have been a tad bit too impulsive. In what you hoped was a cathartic act, you may have created a new set of problems for yourself.
I’m in a good job in a company that I’ve worked at for 10 years working my way up. I’m on a good salary but me and my long term partner are in the process of splitting.
We’ll have to sell our house and I don’t know if I can risk moving jobs (for maybe less money but a more fulfilling job) while trying to save for a new place.
Also I live in Dublin and the rental market is bullshit. So the thought of living back with my parents, being alone, and working a job I’ve grown weary of is depressing the shit out of me.
So basically should I stay or should I go?
I’m sorry to hear about the split with your partner. There’s a natural grieving process that follows a separation like that, which will surely be made even worse if you’re in a job that makes you unhappy.
But also, moving jobs while going through a split seems like a bad idea. There’s a combination of stresses there that can easily become overwhelming.
The last thing you need at this moment is more struggle. I imagine that the best way to go through such an emotional time is to maintain some semblance of control in other aspects of your life. Dealing with finding housing and a new job could make your life feel messier than it already does.
It may seem demoralizing to move back home with your parents, but that’s what a good set of parents and a childhood home are for: to help you when you need it. There’s no shame in that. You’re still their child, and sometimes the world is too much, so you need people to care for you and a safe place before you can go back out on your own. You should never feel bad about taking your parents’ help, especially in such an emotional circumstance.
Your parents, if they’re the compassionate and caring type, will also help with that feeling of loneliness. And hopefully you have a strong group of friends who can also take care of you. It really takes a village to help someone heal from such separations.
In time, when you feel strong enough, you can begin working towards a more fulfilling life. But you will need time. There’s no need to rush into changing every unsatisfactory aspect of your life. You’ve given a lot of time at your job, and it sounds comfortable enough that you can do it well without too much thought. And you may have coworkers who know what you’re going through on a personal level, and will be willing to grant you some grace if you’re struggling. That wouldn’t happen in a new situation.
I think you should save up as much as possible, go to the people who love you, and gather your strength before deciding who you want to be away from that relationship. Life is hard, heartbreak makes it feel like hell, but there’s always a chance to be reborn from it.
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