Ten More Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job Right Now!

Photo: John Lewis

This is a cross-post from James Altucher‘s blog Altucher Confidential. His previous appearances on the Freakonomics blog can be found here.

I realized I had been a bit misleading. I looked at my blog post “Ten Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job,” I realized that I said 90% of people “should” quit their jobs and I gave 10 reasons for recognizing if now is the right time for you to leave. But that’s a little different than saying, you have to quit right now.

But the reality is, most people need to begin their exit strategy right now.

So here are the 10 reasons you need to quit your job right now. And below that I have the methods for doing it.

1)      Safety. We used to think you get a corporate job, you rise up, you get promoted, maybe you move horizontally to another division or a similar company, you get promoted again, and eventually you retire with enough savings in your IRA. That’s all gone. That myth disappeared in 2008. It really never existed but now we know it’s a myth. Corporate CEOs kept their billion dollar salaries and laid off about 20 million people and sent the jobs to China. Fine, don’t complain or blame other people. But your job is not safe.

2)      Home. Everyone thinks they need a safe job so they can save up to buy a home and also qualify for a mortgage. Mortgage lenders at the banks like people who are like them – other people locked in cubicle prison. Well now you don’t need to worry about that. Here’s why you should never own a home in the first place. Save yourself the stress.

3)      College. Everyone thinks they need to save up to send their kids to college. Depending on how many kids you have and where you want them to go to college it could cost millions. Well now we know you don’t need to send your kid to college. So you don’t need to stress about that money anymore.

4)      Their boss. Most people don’t like their boss. Its like any relationship. Most of the time you get into a relationship for the wrong reasons. Eventually you’re unhappy. And if you don’t get out, you become miserable and scarred for life.

5)      Their coworkers. See above.

6)      Fear. We have such a high unemployment rate, people are afraid if they leave the job they are miserable at, they won’t be able to get a job. This is true if you just walk into your boss’s office and pee on his desk and get fired. But its not true if you prepare well. More on that in a bit.

7)      The Work. Most people don’t like the work they do. They spend 4 years going to college, another few years in graduate school, and then they think they have to use that law degree, business degree, architecture degree and then guess what? They hate it. But they don’t want to admit it. They feel guilty. They are in debt. No problem. Read on.

8)      Bad things happen. All the stuff I mention in the post “10 Reasons You Need to Quit Your Job” start to happen. And it gets worse and worse. You don’t want to look back at your life and say, “man, those were the worst 45 years of my life.” That wouldn’t feel good.

9)      The economy is about to boom.  I don’t care if you believe this or not. Stop reading the newspaper so much. The newspapers are trying to scare you. Bernanke just printed up a trillion dollars and airlifted it onto the US economy. Who is going to scoop that up. You in your cubicle? Think again.

10)   Your job has clamped your creativity. You do the same thing every day. You want to be jolted, refreshed, rejuvenated.

*Note: some people love their jobs. This is not for them, but the 90% who don’t.

So, Henry and Aaron (of Yahoo) asked a good question: you still need to support yourself, you still need to support your family, you can’t just walk into your boss’s office and quit.

Good point. You need to prepare. Its like training for the Olympics if you feel now is the time to move on from your job. You need to be physically ready, emotionally (don’t quit your job and get divorced on the same day for instance), mentally (get your idea muscle in shape) and spiritually all ready.

To quit, at least follow the ideas in the first post. Here are the posts that will help you get ready to quit your job:

In the above link, it’s not about starting a business. It’s about finding what your frontier is, how to explore it, how to test the waters and move beyond it. I’m not saying I can do this. I’ve hit my boundary so many times and bounced off that I have six broken noses to show for it.

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  1. Sarah says:

    This is so awesome! It made me laugh first thing in the morning! Thank you! Nine is hilarious! Here’s to hoping for landing in the 10%, and all the planning inbetween just incase you’re like the rest of all of us! Heh!

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  2. Joshua Northey says:

    “Most people don’t like the work they do. They spend 4 years going to college, another few years in graduate school, and then they think they have to use that law degree, business degree, architecture degree and then guess what?”

    In the US less than 40% of the population has a bachelors degree. Less than 10% has a graduate degree. Granted that is skewed by the pre-baby boomer cohorts, but the point stands. The story you are telling might have to do with “most” of your “peers” but has little to do with “most people”.

    All this advice reads like advice for someone born with a silver spoon in their mouth and no real concept of what life is like for the other 95% of the population. I used to be told all the time by a bunch of professors who came from upper class families that I should definitely go to graduate school. When expressed concern about taking out loans for a degree that wouldn’t increase my earning potential much they just acted like it was no concern at all.

    I came from a bottom quintile family (single alcoholic mother who couldn’t hold a job) but had excellent intellectual ability and it has been a major struggle to get myself into the second income quintile. My wife and I are in our late 20s and make very good money for our age. The advice you give would be absolute professional suicide for either of us or people like us (which are not most people).

    Has anyone ever told you that you seem a little anti-social? Anyway they are interesting pieces, and give the reader a nice look into your mind. Most writing is so de-personalized.

    An important thing you are not noting is that most entrepreneurs fail. Taking such a big risk looks appealing when you have a safety net of a wealthy family or large amount of personal savings. On the other hand when there is nothing to catch you if you fall, it looks like a fool’s gamble.

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    • James says:

      I agree about the silver spoon attitude. Many of us don’t think like that. Take the home ownership equals stress thing: for me, it’s far more of a stress reliever. Working in the garden, or even just smelling the flowers, watching the dogs play in the yard, even the satisfaction of doing a bit of woodworking or painting… It’s not stressfull, it’s an antidote to stress – though I do admit, having bought the place before the housing bubble took off, and buying less house than I could afford even then, does tend to eliminate the element of financial stress.

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  3. RogerP says:

    The real kick to being self employed is to see your money BEFORE the taxman gets hold of it. Being taxed at source by your employer eventually deadens you to just how much of YOUR money is being taken away each month.

    Another kick is that you have the power to take money away from the taxman by making a discretionary purchase for your business.

    The real downer is the feeling of panic when your business is threatened by, say, falling sales. That’s when your creativity gets tested.

    Right now, my business is facing a huge threat from skyrocketing raw material prices. You should see my solutions.

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  4. Jason says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Unemployment and homelessness are under-rated IMO. After I type this from the library, I’m off to get lunch from behind the bagel shop, then a nap in the park. Ah, freedom!

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  5. John Lewis says:

    Thanks for giving a spark to my old http://quityourjobday.com site. I really appreciate the nod.

    Keep up the awesome work.

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  6. Ulysses says:

    I don’t have any major problems with the advice given here, except the silliness of positing it as “quit your job now” instead of “plan your exit strategy.” Everyone should always be open to moving on elsewhere for better opportunities, higher pay, etc. if there are any major negatives about their current jobs. But yeah, you, uh, kind of need to have something lined up before you leave anywhere today–no matter how valuable and talented you are.

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  7. Philipp says:

    Is there any statistical evidente for your claims, or is it more your feeling that guided this post? I’m specifically looking at the »90% hate their jobs« part.

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  8. Judy White, former fake middle class says:

    Vast majority of Americans are dirt poor, they have no choice whatsoever, but doing their boring so called “career” day in and day out to put food on the table and to pay mortgage. Despite those efforts,
    22% of US homeowners are still in foreclosure and or behind on their mortgage and one in 7 americans are on food stamps, and most importantly 93% of American adults are ALWAYS in debt.
    We have deep reservation about our so called “American dream”

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