Life is Just Plain Weird. Oh, and I Quit My Job Today

Quitting a job is absolutely bizarre. Today is my last day at my current company. In two weeks, I’ll start a new role at a new company, where I’ll learn new things and make new friends and start a new routine. But over the last week or two, things have been…weird. Because I knew I was done. But I was still getting stuff done. It’s a very surreal experience. I could say it twenty different ways and it wouldn’t feel normal.

Quitting your job is weird and awkward, and the ceremonious way in which we do everything makes it even weirder.

I’ve quit jobs before. I’ve sent e-mails to bar managers and called in to restaurant managers, but typically, I don’t just leave a job for something better. It’s never been my MO. I’ve been laid off and left jobs when they weren’t right for me, but I promised myself I’d never quit a job without a better job, this time. And so I waited it out. Until I could find a place that could offer me a new home. A place to grow. Which I did, and I’m SO excited about. But that doesn’t make leaving this job any less weird. These are just a few of the weird things I kept thinking about over the last week that make quitting a job the right way a little strange.

Two Weeks Notice

First, you’re advised to give notice. And not just like, hey tomorrow’s my last day. Instead, the norm is to offer 2 weeks of your time after you know you’re donezo. When a job lets you go, you’re out that day. Why does this tradition exist? During those two weeks, do you tell people you’re leaving? Do you keep quiet and get as much work done as you can? I fell somewhere in the middle and was wigged out the entire time. I’m proud as fuck I was able to see a contract through to completion and launched before my last day, but what if I hadn’t finished it? Would I have been expected to continue working long after my last day to finish it? Would I have left it to someone else who wasn’t in on the rest of the contract process? Fucking weird, right?

Exit Interviews

I always thought I’d leave angry with a big ole bone to pick with HR. I’d been preparing for my exit interview since I started. I documented every instance of ridiculous, crazy, and horrible things. But when push came to shove, I didn’t have anything to say. Sure there were times I was so angry I threatened to quit.  But I got a lot out of my job. I learned a ton. I explained my reasons to my boss, but mostly it was just the right time for me. I have a new job lined up that I’m so incredibly excited about, and I’m not leaving my current job on bad terms. I’ve made my peace.

Saying Goodbye

I’ve bid farewell to many a co worker in my almost 3 years with the company.  Several times, I’ve shed a few tears. Not just because everything makes me cry…but because I was genuinely sad to see people go. Now it’s my turn to go, and I’m genuinely sad to say goodbye to the people I’ve come to know here. That doesn’t make it any less awkward. I started telling some people last week that I had put in my notice, and others I didn’t tell until yesterday. Others still, I didn’t tell until I sent my last e-mail. It’s just weird. Because I didn’t want to be in the middle of contract negotiations and then tell people I’m leaving. I didn’t want to be working on a project and let people think it was going to slip between my fingers. I wanted to finish what I started and get it done properly without a thousand questions as to why…but then I felt guilty not telling them until now.

But my last day is here, and I’m not sad or angry or joyful. I just feel weird. Adulting is hard.

Have you ever quit a job for something new and exciting? What is the strangest thing about quitting a job? What other weird traditions do we stand by that should maybe be eliminated?

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Comments

  1. It’s even weirder when you know you’re being laid off, but you are encouraged to keep as low profile as possible so that you can stay on the payroll until the bitter end. You want to run through the halls saying FUCK YOU to everyone who has wronged you, but you have to play their game with a smile on your face because you might get a smidge more money once they pay you out. It’s been 4 years and I’m still bitter about it.

    However, CONGRATS on your new job and moving on in a ‘not setting the place on fire’ on your way out. I’m torn on the whole should I tell my clients I’m leaving or should I just let them figure it out. I typically go with an update on LinkedIn and those who are connected can deal with it as they’d like. =)

  2. Good for you. Every time I’ve ever left a job I’ve had huge guilt about leaving them hanging but always gave my 2 weeks notice to my boss. Typically for our company and most of the one’s I’ve been at, the bosses make an announcement about you leaving within a few days of your notice and typically ask you to stay quiet till then. It’s always sad even when you’re leaving because you don’t like the job because there’s bound to be someone you connected with at some point.

    Yay for new job and this reminds me i’m coming up on my 8 year anniversary at work in February. HOLY CRAP.

  3. When I graduated from college I had no idea what to do, career wise. So I got a job at the local bank as a teller. Eighteen months later, I finally had some direction and quit the bank job (and gave 2 weeks notice). It took one class and a few more years of seasonal work until I decided to go back to school, where upon graduation, I finally had some direction and got my first “real” job (one with benefits and one that could have ended up being a 30 year career to retirement, if I had wanted that). Congratulations on your new job!

    • That’s awesome. I graduated and worked retail /tended bar for a year before jumping into catering. Then, I quit, went back to school for traching. Now, I’m a writer/editor/content magician.

  4. Two weeks notice is definitely weird, especially when you know you’re going on to better things with better people for better pay. You have no motivation to keep working, andspend most of the time divvying up your work and packing and trashing your stuff.

    Then, what are you supposed to say during the exit interview? You all suck and I hate each and every one of you? No, you say something mild and try to be as truthful as you can so you don’t burn bridges.

    Congrats on your new job.

  5. Two weeks notice is definitely weird, especially when you know you’re going on to better things with better people for better pay. You have no motivation to keep working, andspend most of the time divvying up your work and packing and trashing your stuff.

    Then, what are you supposed to say during the exit interview? You all suck and I hate each and every one of you? No, you say something mild and try to be as truthful as you can so you don’t burn bridges.

    Congrats on your new job.

  6. That’s corporate America now. You’re just a paycheck and expected to play by their rules until you leave. Yet, they can fire at will and push you out the door the same day. It is strange. Good luck on your new job!

    Hey, we all know that the people we work with are a disfunctional family anyway!

  7. Adulting IS hard. Just like being awake is exhausting. Which is not at all a joke. I hope your transition goes well and your new job is excellent!

  8. Joe Paredes says:

    Always try to have fun at your job ,as long as you’re happy at work ,it doesn’t hurt to get up early to work. I was privileged that I loved my job. Kind of retired now,but still having fun.

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