College Success

Quitting a Campus Job

Winners never quit and quitters never win, right? Never quit, right? Quitting is not an option, right?

Wrong. Quitting is good sometimes. Until an opportunity during my sophomore year, I thought that winners never quit, and quitters never win. I never quit. I thought that quitting was never an option.

Per the college experience, my convictions were challenged.

I had applied for a job on campus, and I was really excited about it. I saw it as an opportunity to strengthen my public speaking skills and since the job was career-oriented, establish relationships that would prepare me for post-grad life. The position was structured in a way that didn’t accommodate my working style or personality, but I didn’t know about this incompatibility until I was working for a few weeks.

I began to consider quitting when I noticed how unhappy I was at the job. I noticed that I didn’t enjoy going to work most days and I was unsatisfied by the work I did.

Time for Self-Reflection

Before sharing my experiences with my supervisor, I did some self-reflection. I recommend doing the following if you’re considering quitting.

  • I asked myself if I felt the need to quit because I just started the job. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, or even a few months, to become comfortable in a new work environment. It takes time to get to know co-workers. It takes time to understand expectations.
  • I asked myself if there were changes I could make. Could I ask for different tasks? Mentally, could I approach assignments differently? Could I ask for a change in hours?
  • I asked myself what my workplace values were and I determined if the work environment I was in was compatible with my values. There were values I didn’t knew I had until I noticed that they weren’t present in this particular workplace.
  • Finally, I asked myself, “What is it about this job that doesn’t quite fit?”

Give Notice If It’s the Right Move

After considering all of the above, I determined why this position wasn’t compatible for me and I respectfully expressed my thoughts to my boss. I told her early enough so that she and I could meet repeatedly to discuss if I had changed my mind. I also told her early enough so that she could find a replacement/modify the schedule.

If you do decide to quit, it’s crucial that you leave on professional terms. You don’t want to burn bridges when it isn’t necessary.

I learned a lot from this opportunity and I did have memorable moments, but the most important lesson I learned is that quitting is good sometimes. If an opportunity is not an ill-fit for you, and you’re totally unhappy with it, then it probably isn’t healthy for you to hang on to it.

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