How I overcame the guilt of quitting a job

How I overcame the guilt of quitting a job | Career | The Chronicles of Carly

How I overcame the guilt of quitting a job

Let me paint a terrifyingly common picture; you are in a job that you once loved and for whatever reason that spark is now gone and you are feeling worn down. Not just worn down, you are feeling deeply unhappy. This isn’t a storm that will pass. You know the expiration date has been met and you want to leave. No, you need to leave. But you can’t. You are stuck. You know you must leave but first you must get over the guilt you feel about leaving.

Recently, I put a post up on my Instagram about getting my ‘glow’ back since starting my new role. I will embed the post below if you want to go read it yourself. To be completely honest, I wrote the caption on the bus after a terrific Monday at work. It wasn’t planned or carefully crafted. The words just came out. And I was definitely not expecting the amount of responses and personal messages I received and the angst behind them.


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As it turns out, there are a lot of us struggling quitting our jobs because we feel guilty.

Before we can go any further, you need to figure out what is making you feel guilty. For me, it was that I didn’t want to leave the team behind that I was managing. I loved my job, I loved my work, I loved the clients and I loved my team and leaving them still makes my heart hurt.

But, once I realised that I was only staying for the team and not because I was happy, I needed to have some hard conversations. The funniest part? They weren’t hard at all. The people in the team completely understood, had watched my spark slowly disappear (I thought I was covering well 😂) and encouraged me to leave because they wanted what was best for me.

And maybe you just need to look at it from a different angle.

I can only speak from my experience. So, for me, I didn’t want to leave because I thought I would be letting down the team and our clients. But I was so unhappy and lost my flair and energy so really, what version of me were the clients and team getting? Definitely not the best version. For me, that made leaving a no brainer. Because if I couldn’t serve them to my fullest potential, then they deserved someone that could.

Long story short

Here are the key takeaways:

  • Pinpoint what you are feeling guilty about and why.
  • Figure out whether you should actually be feeling guilty or if it is an unrealistic expectation you are putting on yourself.
  • Do what is best for you and the people that are around you and truly care about you will support you for it (and you will be making yourself better for them #Win).

I always come back to this one point so sorry if you have already heard me say this 100 times…. Ultimately, when I am 80 and on my rocking chair, I am not going to look back and be glad I stayed in a job I was unhappy in for an extra 6 months to avoid whatever guilt I had. 80 year old me will be happy I took chances and jumped at new roles that excited me!

Did this help? I would love to know. Send me a message over at @thechroniclesofcarly

Also, if you want to see what I do in my day job, be sure to go follow @womenindigital and @digitaltalentco