Do you daydream of quitting your job?
In my younger years, before my business, I quit many jobs. There were lots of reasons:
- I felt confined by my boss who micromanaged me.
- I was bored and uninspired by the work.
- I believed the expectations were unrealistic.
- I was told to ‘tone it down’ and made to feel like ‘authentic Allie’ was not good enough to belong.
My personal favorite was the time my restaurant manager pulled me into his office to say, “Allison, we’ve decided that when the team sings Happy Birthday to the customers you need to LIP SYNC.”
That’s right – I was too loud and too off-key for Jack Astor’s birthday chants. (For my American readers, that used to be a rowdy restaurant chain known for making birthdays special.)
Years of being a waitress at several establishments taught me a lot about human behaviour, so did selling cars in my early twenties.
Quitting my job as a sales rep for a car dealership may have been my most dramatic resignation.
It was a Saturday in March. An unexpected snow storm had all but shut down the city. I was a mere three months into the role and doing well with my sales numbers, but snow days weren’t an option for this rookie. Given my low tenure on the team, it was my job to keep a hundred cars on the lot clear of snow – an impossible quest in a raging snowstorm.
I didn’t mind the back-and-forth of scraping car windshields. Typically, it was a cathartic way to pass the time, even if the cars were covered by thick snow moments later. I minded that I was doing the task in high-heeled pumps and nylons and no one cared that I was freezing. I hadn’t brought boots since I had no idea the weather was going to turn awful so quickly. Nor did I know that I’d be forced to work outside.
Clearing snow was an unreasonable task, especially given the announcements on the radio telling Londoners to drive only for emergencies. Buying a car was not an emergency. Thus, after several arguments with my manager about the stupidity of the situation, I made my exit. I yelled something dramatic about the injustice of it all as I flung my arms and slipped my way through the dealership’s lot to reach my own, snow-covered car.
My rant continued as my summer tires on my rear-wheel drive 1979 Pontiac Grand Prix spun in the snow. (I couldn’t afford snow tires.) Finally, I got enough traction to fishtail out of the dealership’s parking lot as senior salespeople and administrators watched from inside the heated showroom, sipping hot chocolate, and wondering what the heck just happened.
Despite calls from my manager to return to my job on Monday, my car selling days were over. I don’t regret quitting.
Obviously, I did okay eventually.
What I realize though is that quitting wasn’t the answer. My problems – which extended far beyond tone-deaf singing or frozen fingers and toes in a snowstorm – weren’t the job’s fault.
Quitting wasn’t going to make up for my lack of resilience or fill my internal voids.
Instead, I needed to:
✅ Build confidence, so a manager’s criticism didn’t deflate my enthusiasm for serving others.
✅ Find my voice, so I could combat injustices and set boundaries in any working condition.
✅ Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, so I didn’t hate myself when I wasn’t ‘perfect.’
✅ Understand my strengths and my skill gaps, so I could find roles that were better suited to me.
✅ I also needed to watch the weather forecast, so I dressed appropriately for conditions.
It’s fun to think of the dramatic quitting of a twenty-year old version of me. Unfortunately, as working adults with responsibilities and goals, even when we feel overwhelmed, angry, or uninspired at work – rage quitting is not really a thing we get to do.
I’m way past wanting to quit. I love what I do, but I know a lot of people feel burned out and wish they could.
Watch yesterday’s TV interview on CTV Your Morning Live, for some quick tips on how to reignite your enthusiasm when you’re burned out – and no you don’t have to quit your job!
Allison “No need to Quit” Graham
P.S. If you lack joy in your role right now or feel like you’re under living your potential – then let’s talk. I am constantly amazed by the transformation my clients make as they reignite their spark and step into their full brilliance! Is it your turn? Hit reply and let’s talk.
P.S.S. Some of you have asked about the group coaching program I mentioned in November / December. Plans are not solidified yet – let me know if you’re interested and I will make an announcement soon. Thanks for your patience!
Are you concerned about your team’s stress levels and burnout rate? Planning a conference or professional development initiative: There is still space on my calendar for me to do more speeches (way too much space given my mission to share my message far and wide in 2024!) I’d love to work with your team and serve your audience. Here’s my demo reel if you haven’t seen it yet!