Courtesy of Dayana Sabatin
- Dayana Sabatin left a six-figure tech job after six months because she was miserable.
- She said she was offered a raise to stay, but still refused and moved to LA to start a new career.
- Sabatin says there were a few key signs that it was time to move on, like dreading Sundays.
It’s been nearly five years since I left my six-figure tech job in Seattle and made my way to Los Angeles to create a life for myself as a writer and content creator.
I don’t regret a single choice I’ve made since then — I’m in the midst of growing my YouTube channel, writing a novel, and writing self-help articles online. I’m significantly happier and I wake up with a sense of purpose and fulfillment now that I never experienced when I worked my 9-to-5.
But it wasn’t always this way
Five years ago, I was working as a financial analyst at a tech company, with a $100,000 salary. I was stuck in a cubicle, sitting in long and pointless meetings, commuting upwards of three hours a day round-trip, and feeling more miserable than I’d ever felt before. I saw what my life was going to look like in 20 to 30 years, and the thought terrified me.
I thought that career was what I wanted— I worked my butt off to get my foot in the door in the tech field, with no college education and only an internship under my belt.
But after multiple interviews and a few weeks of working, I realized I had made a huge mistake. I was lucky enough that I didn’t have a ton of school debt, but I felt like the amount of time I had wasted was worth more than money.
After six months, I was done. I realized I had two options: keep climbing the corporate ladder and remain miserable, or take a risk.
I gave my boss my notice. The promises of a raise if I stayed lingered in the air, but I had made up my mind. I was moving to LA. I was ready to do something different.
Here are a few signs you should pay attention to if you’re trying to figure out if it’s time to quit your job.
1. You regularly approach your work with dread
Do you start every week counting down the days until Friday? Do you count down the minutes to 5 o’clock everyday? Are you someone who hates Sundays because you get anxious over the idea of seeing your full email inbox?
I used to live for the weekend. Actually, I lived for Friday nights and Saturdays because Sunday was too overwhelming. The idea of getting ready for another miserable week literally made me sick.
Maybe you started out in your job with high spirits, but over the last few months or years, it’s worn you down so much that you don’t even recall what it’s like to wake up on a weekday and actually be happy.
If you find yourself regularly dreading your workdays, it might be time to seriously reconsider your options. Life is way too short to force yourself to stay in an environment that consistently brings you misery.
2. You’re not growing
You’re either frustrated because there’s zero way to grow and evolve within your company, which is a good enough reason to leave, or alternatively, you simply don’t like the trajectory you’re on.
I was in the second boat — there was room for financial growth within my role, but that wasn’t good enough for me. I’d still be doing the same thing, just with a bigger job title and a few more operational responsibilities. The work would remain repetitive and mundane.
It’s like if you’re a beginner working out at the gym with 10 pound dumbbells; initially, the workout will feel challenging, and you’ll probably feel really good — but if you don’t diversify your training or consistently go up in weight, you’ll eventually hit a plateau and stop improving.
If you’re starting to notice that your profession isn’t serving you or allowing you to grow and innovate, then that’s a good sign to move on.
3. You’re reading this article
If you’re here right now, you probably have a gut feeling that your 9-to-5 isn’t right for you, and you’re looking for someone to validate your feelings.
I get it — I needed the same. I scoured blogs of people writing about their experiences when they quit their jobs; I watched YouTubers talk about how they got their “dream” jobs right out of college, only to find out they hated them.
Maybe you’re telling yourself, “I’m just curious,” as you fall into a rabbit hole on Quora. But if you were truly happy and thriving within your professional life, would you be weighing the pros and cons of staying?
When I was in your shoes, I just needed someone to tell me that it was okay to feel the way I was feeling. It’s okay that the job you thought you’d love isn’t actually suited for you — and it’s okay to start over.
Finding the courage to make a change can open new doors
I didn’t have a step-by-step plan of what would happen once I moved to LA, but I took it day by day. Once I got here, I started networking and meeting new people, which allowed me to discover my passion for writing about self-improvement and relationships.
I now know that a change of environment and lifestyle can help open doors — ones that have the power to change your life for the better.