I Quit My Dream Job And It Feels Weirdly Like A Breakup


It feels cliche but necessary to say that I do not dream of labor. My dream is not to devote all my time to be able to survive while making someone rich even richer. But unfortunately, we do not live in a society where I get to live my actual dream of being cool and hot all day. Also, my *real* dream job is to be whoever gets to name nail polishes.

Now, to my actual point.

If you choose to attend college, you are obviously seeking some sort of end goal. You pick a major based on what you want to study and what you want to spend your career doing. If you’re like me, you change your mind a few times, but you still finish schooling with a job in mind. My degree is in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, so my Bachelor’s degree is actually just a one-way ticket to more school. I spent college and grad school focused on my niche area of interest while barely surviving through the rest of my classes. I scoured high and low for a job right out of grad school that I wanted, which I was told was almost impossible to come by. I was willing to travel as far as I needed to just to be able to get the job I wanted. And I actually got it.

And in a few weeks, I’m leaving it.

I’ve never quit a job before. I left my summer jobs because I had to go back to school, and I have stopped writing for other publications for one reason or another, but I’ve never actually quit quit. I had to do the whole letter of resignation rigamarole. I felt so awkward and postured as I pieced together examples from Google trying to sound professional yet warm, confident but not jaded. For something I once wanted so badly, it was strange being relieved that I was leaving.

Here’s the thing; I really loved my job. I loved going to see my patients every day, and I rarely had a bad day at work. Then I’d have a bad day once in a while, then once a week, then almost every day. For many compounding reasons, the job was just not what I thought it was going to be. I waited for it to go back to the way it was when I first started, but it never did.

Because this was my first “real job,” I didn’t know how to read my own feelings. Much like in my first relationships, I didn’t know when it was time to stay and when it was time to go. I didn’t know that my feelings might change over time. So many adults in my life would tell me they’ve been working at the same job for several years or even decades, so I just assumed that I would follow suit. I wanted this job, therefore I would always want this job. I’d marry the job, have kids with the job, and live a mildly resentful life with the job.

However, much like my past relationships, what I thought I wanted is not what I needed, or was even just wrong. I can change my mind about everything, including what job I want, without it undermining my past feelings. It’s weird to relearn something that I’ve already grappled with but in a different context.

So I thought this job was forever. So I thought that I would always want to do this, even if it was in a different place. So I was wrong. So what? I got a new job that will hopefully be everything I hoped this job would be. And if i’m wrong again, I’ll just get another one. There’s no reason to be caught up in any exchange that’s not making your life better, and every job gives you the opportunity to learn what you do and don’t want.

Suddenly, I’m hearing ‘thank u, next’ playing in my head.