I wanted to share with you, my personal story on how I quit my first job. Some of you may think, that I’m fairly young and don’t have any true work experience to give full fledged career advice. And you are probably right. I wouldn’t disagree with you on that one. However, like any other article I’ve written in the past, I am not giving advice. There are professionals with professional designations, who have years of experience and are paid much more than me, that give sound quality career advice. I only share my opinion, in hopes of inspiring you to think outside the box or even possibly get you over some hump you may be stuck at.
I quit my first job in 2007. I was a sales-rep for a small company that sold second-hand computers and photocopiers. This was also my first job out of college. I graduated college in 2005 and worked for the same company part-time during the last semester of school. Once I graduated, I got the opportunity to come on board full-time and join the sales team. I was young (and still am), green and with no real working world experience. And when the opportunity presented it self, I was on it, like a fat kid on a smartie. Unfortunately, I didn’t last at the job even two years. Looking back now, I wonder how I lasted even that long.
Dicks will ALWAYS be Dicks
After the honeymoon phase passed, I realized pretty quickly who I was working for. A critical boss who was a micromanager. What kept me sane, was a good sales manager who had my back. He knew of how green I was. Heck, I didn’t even know how to approach sales, deal with cold-calling and building a relationship with the client through the sales process.
There was virtually no support from the upper management (owner), yet sales were expected every week. Furthermore, all of my travel expenses were out of pocket and we had to use our personal cellphones on the road. Once the deals were closed, the delivery times were horrendous due to lack of proper procedures in place. On top of it all, I worked for was a critic boss who was never happy with anything. The more you did, the more it was demanded.
Eventually through time my desire to sell equipment became non-existent. And since I was on the road most of the time, I took full advantage of it. I used to start my days at 11am and meet friends for lunch by 1pm. I’d make a call or two and call it a day by 3pm.
The Last Straw
Despite poor work ethic, I did make sales here and there. The final straw came on one Friday in May of 2007, when I was shortchanged on my commission check. To make a long story short, I closed several deals to only got 50% commission, because they were “House Accounts”, yet they were not marked house accounts. Clearly, I was being taken to the cleaners and that was the last straw for me.
For months leading up to it, I knew I was unhappy. My unhappiness was written all over my work ethic, so I decided to quit. Typically I don’t make rash BIG decisions like that, but I had enough. I called up my Sales Manager, we met at a spot outside of the office and I basically said – “I’m not coming back”. He understood my frustration and we mutually agreed that it was only going to get worse.
I quit my job and had nothing lined up. Thankfully I was still living at home and my expenses were not that high. I took the next two weeks to my self, because I felt jaded, angry and disappointed and needed some time away from it all.
After the dust settled, I hit the job market and found a job a month later, which I am still doing five years later. I think I sent out a total of three resumes and was fortunate enough to get hired pretty quickly. On top of it, I found a job which related to my background in Marketing. It paid more – 30% more than my previous job. Even though my bills were not high, no mortgage and no car payment, but not having a pay check every two weeks was a big motivator to find something quickly. Without a job, you quickly realize how fortunate you are when you have a job. Even though things may be tight financially for some, at least there if a pay check coming every two weeks.
The other thing I realized was that if you are not happy where you are, there is no point of having a bad work attitude. You are not helping your self, the company or the co-workers around you. I chose not keep a positive relationship with my ex-employer. I brunt that bridge to the ground. I never had the desire to keep that relationship and I knew I’d never go back to work for that guy, even if I had to scrub toilets as my other job option.
I do encourage anyone leaving their employer to make it an amicable split. You never know when you might need the ex-employer again, even if it’s just for a reference. Keep a positive outlook if at all possible, but never put your happiness at stake. I firmly believe that once your desire and happiness at your job is gone, no money can repair the relationship.