A friend and I had dinner tonight, and over Vietnamese vermicelli noodles, we discussed how his office has already experienced three rounds of layoffs this year, in addition to colleagues quitting left and right. Some are leaving to pursue roles at competitor companies, others are changing industries entirely, and two or three have even quit without any other job lined up. They were that fed up with the politics and attrition rate that they couldn’t be sane staying there. It’s gotten to the point where this summer, on average, he’s probably only come into the office one or two days a week at most and just “works from home” the rest of the week.
A lot of us spend a lot of our lives making decisions (or lack of decisions) based on fear. As a twenty-something adult, we may be worried about leaving our jobs without anything lined up because of the fear of no health insurance, the fear of future employers asking us to explain the “gap” on the resume and their judgment, the fear of not being able to pay bills or save (pretty fair, though, obviously), the fear of what our parents or friends or peers will say to our voluntary unemployment — the fear. I’m not exempt from this. That’s why it’s always so rare to hear about people actually quitting their jobs with absolutely no plan or no job lined up. It’s such a gutsy, out of the ordinary thing to do or hear about. Granted, I’m not advocating that people quit their jobs and just sit around all day and do nothing, but I think that we all deserve a break from being miserable and controlled by terrible, toxic work environments.