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My name is Ridea Richardson and before there were lots of blogs on this subject – I “Just Quit” my job. I had graduated in 2001 with a Masters Degree in Human Resources Development (HRD), while I was still working in Purchasing for an Automotive Manufacturer.  I was making a ton of money, and I needed to because I was a single parent, with a mortgage, a car loan and a son in college.

I had started looking for a job in HRD after I waited the obligatory one year from getting my masters degree (so I wouldn’t have to pay any money back to my employer).  I looked for over a year and didn’t get one interview…not a one.

It has dawned on me now that I reflect back on that time in my life that the reason I became depressed was because I felt stuck.  I didn’t necessary hate my job at that time, it was stressful, but I was good at it, just not passionate about it.  I couldn’t believe that I might end up stuck in a field that I had just “fallen into”.

I just didn’t believe that is the way life was supposed to work.

Just Quit?

And then one morning I woke up and the FIRST thing that popped into my mind was two words: “just quit”.

I had NO IDEA where that directive was coming from. I didn’t know what it meant. From then on like clock-work every morning, I woke up and those two words would be in my mind. I contemplated for some time what it might mean, then it finally dawned on me that maybe it meant I was supposed to actually quit my lucrative job.

Although I thought it was impossible (to quit without another job lined-up) I did an Excel spreadsheet. I figured out that I COULD quit at my five-year mark.  I’d have to immediately start scaling back and saving like mad, but it was possible.

I just kept looking at that spreadsheet and thinking that I must have a formula that was wrong or something screwed-up, but I didn’t. It was real. I COULD comfortably survive without a job for six months.

Delay..Delay..Delay..And Then Depression

depression

I didn’t immediately enact a “Just Quit” plan. I did what most people do…I second guessed myself. I thought I just needed to find another job and tough it out until I did. That is what normal people do, right?

Well, it took a couple of months for things to go from bad to worse. I realized that there was a major disconnect between my values and the job tasks that I was asked to do. Automotive purchasing can be cut-throat. I couldn’t eat anything but yogurt for a long time and I ended-up losing 30 pounds without trying!

Coupled with the weight loss, I was having heated sensations in my arms and legs, so I went to a neurologist who proceeded to run a series of tests. He finally concluded after interviewing me that I was “clinically depressed”. Let me tell you when a medical professional NAMES what is wrong with you and he calls it “clinical depression” that is the end of road.

Counting Down Monday’s

I went back to my office and I pulled out my calendar and marked the date three days from my five year mark as my “Just Quit” Date. I stopped looking for a job. I stopped sending out resumes. I just counted how many Monday’s I had to go…I had about nine months worth.

I did the time and then walked into my boss’s office and give him three weeks notice.  Why three weeks and not two? I didn’t want any bad blood.

I knew he would be shocked and wanted to give him amble opportunity to take any last potshots that he wanted to take to punish me for leaving. You have to be a step ahead during this process…it’s like a chess game.

After The Decision To “Just Quit”

Ridea Richardson

My son, my family, and my friends thought I had lost my mind and had made a mistake, but I was was completely at peace.  I couldn’t understand it then, but I knew it was all going to work out for me.

At that time I lived near the beach and decided I would wake up every morning for at least a month and go to the beach. I would listen to the ocean, feel the sun on my face and just relax.

And that is exactly what I did.

I almost didn’t make it a full month because within that first month (it was as if the stars aligned) I ended up finding out about, interviewing for and getting a job as a Business Education Teacher for high school students. It was one of those jobs I always wanted to try but NEVER would have quit my good paying job to do. Now that I was out of work it was like bonus income that I hadn’t counted on.

I taught for a year and also sold real estate (another thing I always wanted to try). Both were interesting, but neither paid as well as the job I had just left and neither was what I REALLY wanted to do.

Well, guess what? A year later I got the opportunity to do exactly what I had been looking for. I got a job as an Assistant Vice President of Training and Quality Service for a credit union.

My future was out there waiting for me, but I had to LET GO of a profession I fell into in order to LET COME the career field of my dreams. 

Today…

I’m still in the Performance Improvement Field and I’ve since moved and no longer live near the beach (I really need to get back to the beach!). In 2011 I started a blog about letting go to let come (everybody just talks about letting go…but the reason folks don’t want to let go is because when you focus just on what you are “losing” you miss out on the other side of letting go…it’s called LETTING COME… and if you can focus on the possibilities of what is to come that’s when life starts to get exciting).

Somehow my blog has ended up as the #1 Google search when folks search for such terms as: quit job without another one (even beating out sites like Forbes).  I don’t’ know how or why that has happened, but over the years I’ve gotten many emails from folks telling me their stories and asking for advice or just needing encouragement.

I put a survey on my blog, mostly to help people, but I also wanted to gather information about what was happening in the work world. I now have 2,300 responses from 78 countries, so when I tell you that you are NOT alone if you are miserable in your job…I HAVE PROOF.

One day in 2013 I was compelled to put the survey entries in a book. I dedicated seven months every day after work, on weekends, through the holidays (it was grueling) and got it done.

Every time I’d want to stop allowing the book to consume my every free moment I’d get a survey entry from someone so depressed they wanted to commit suicide. I had to push through and finish the book.

I’ve decided to blog the daily entries from the book just in case it helps even one person make it though the painful process of letting go of what is not working in their lives.

My Advice

Ridea Richardson

Don’t expect letting go of anything to be easy, especially quitting a job even if you don’t have another one to go to. It is NOT easy. It takes courage to trust yourself and for the universe to move you into your purpose in life. Why should anyone “settle” working year-after-year in a job they hate and especially if it is making them mentally or physically ill?

There is a way out of this misery. Listed below are the 11 Steps that I took to “Just Quit” my job:

  1. Made the Decision to “Just Quit” 
  2. Dealt with Finances – My Excel Spreadsheet and Saving Money
  3. Informed my Family of my Decision
  4. Found my Purpose, Passions and Causes
  5. Found a Community of Support
  6. Crafted my Story – Elevator Speech While Between Gigs
  7. Created my Celebration Plan – Go to the Beach
  8. Knew my “Just Quit” Date – 3 Days after my 5 Year Mark
  9. Wrote my Resignation Letter
  10. ”Just Quit” – I did it!
  11. Let Come and Now Living My Purpose    

It is very possible to do this, if you plan for it. Don’t just quit if you don’t go through the steps and have a plan. It’s not worth it and you might actually be making a big mistake.

All the best to everyone reading this…and remember…as you are on this journey don’t forget to listen to your OWN heart, quiet your mind and just listen…YOU will then know what to do and when to do it.

Let Go to Let Come…

 

About Ridea

Ridea Richardson has had a steady stream of “j-o-b-s” working in purchasing for companies such as Siemens, Mitsubishi Chemicals, and Hoechst Celanese. Since her career change 10 years ago to the Learning and Performance Improvement field, her professional life has been nothing but sheer joy.

“I wish this level of joy to everyone in their work and professional lives. Keep up with me at my blog at www.justquitthing.com and Twitter @Ridea…and remember…you have to let go to let come.”

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