5 ways people react when you tell them you quit your job

This past August I quit my job.  I did it for various reasons, but mostly because I hated it with every fiber of my being. It was extremely stressful and I never felt like I was doing anything of worth. I had been thinking of quitting for months and finally all the stress became too much to handle.  So I quit without having another job lined up. 

When you quit your job there are many different reactions you will get from your family and friends.  If you quit without having other employment opportunities, well, the reactions will be all over the place.  Here are just some of the types that you may encounter. 

1. The Skeptical Ones

The skeptical ones are the group that won’t even remotely believe that you just quit your job without having anything lined up. Instead they will assume you got fired, but are too ashamed to tell anyone.  They might nod at you, wink, and go “OK, sure.”  All the while, they’re cunningly staring at you trying to decipher if you are really telling the truth.  They might ask you questions in an attempt to trip you up.  The number one question from them will be “Why?”  In the end, it’s up to you how much information you want to dole out to convince them of the truth.

2. The Psychic Bunch

This group is never completely surprised at anything you tell them. Their responses will most likely be “I figured you wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of job.” They reassure you by also adding “I couldn’t do that job either.” They might even say they were surprised that you even lasted as long as you did. They are way too similar to the “I never liked that guy” group that always surface after a breakup. 

3. The Professional Worriers 

The first question this group asks is “Are you doing ok, financially, personally?”  They are caring, but maybe a little too concerned.  You might be signing up for daily texts asking, “How was your day?” or  “What did you do all day?”  You might even get: “ I hope you find something fast before you go completely broke.”  This group (which sometimes includes parents) is so concerned about your welfare that it makes you nervous in ways you weren’t before. 

4. The Fixers

There are types of friends who want to help you get another job, fast. And while that’s not a bad thing, get used to hearing “Oh, so and so is hiring” or “Did you check out random company?” every time you meet up with them for lunch.  If they are really determined (or family) they will flood your email box with links to random applications. 

5. The Angry Realists

It’s hard breaking the news to this group. They “cannot believe you would do something so stupid.” They won’t be able to wrap their heads around quitting a job.  Be careful, their head might explode when you add the detail of having no jobs prospects. They will remind you about making such a horrible decision and possibly even the consequences of that decision.  Occasionally they might drop phrases like “since you’re not doing anything right now” or “I figured you weren’t busy” into everyday conversations.  This type has the potential for making you feel the worst. At the same time, they’re the most realistic. They might actually motivate you the most, because they’re the most honest about your situation.

No matter who you face, when telling people about your decision know that most reactions are out of love. It was your bold decision and it probably won’t affect anyone else, but you. The best you can do to deter these groups is to stand by your decision and to be happy with it. If you are actively pursuing a job, it won’t be long until you will be joining the working force again. Then these different types will settle back into the friends and family you knew before.  

Ashley Toaddy is a professional amateur at many a thing, including baking cookies, taking photos of her two dogs, and writing.  She lives in the hottest place on the earth’s surface AKA Phoenix, AZ. Her secret shame is microwave nachos. She writes about her awkward child years on her blog, that seven people may or may not read. Follow her, if you dare @unbearawkward.

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