We all know the guilty feeling that comes with separation anxiety. Whether we are breaking up with a partner, moving out of a bad living situation, or quitting our job- we tend to feel guilty. Now I can’t make break-ups painless, or roommates better people, but I do want to look at job quitting guilt and help you understand why letting go of that will not only be good for you- but good for the company you are leaving as well.
You work for the company- not your manager- You see your manager every day, and you will have to let your manager know when you quit- but you work for the company. You and your manager might get along really well, you might really enjoy your manager’s company- but do you enjoy the company’s company? Your manager would feel bad if they had to let you go- but the company wouldn’t. Remember this while you quit- you are not capable of hurting the company’s feelings- it doesn’t even have any!
You are replaceable- It doesn’t feel great to admit this, but we are all replaceable. Someone can and will be trained to take your place, and business as usual will return. The company got on just fine before you ever walked through its doors, and it will be a-okay once you exit them. I don’t say this to lower your self-esteem, but to remind you that you are not going to destroy the company with your absence. You can rest easy knowing that your shoes will be filled in a timely fashion.
It is never a good time- There is always a big project around the corner, sales that need to be made, products that are going to be rolled out. If you wait for the perfect time to quit you will wait forever. Do not pass up opportunities because you don’t think the company can handle your absence in the near future.
You need space to grow! Your career is a tree, your job is a greenhouse- it will help you get started but will ultimately limit how large you can grow. You will be a better employee in the future if you are willing to grow now. If another company offers you better growth opportunities you are completely allowed to take them, the world will benefit from you being a more well-rounded and complete person.
A guilty employee is a bad employee- If you stay at your job because you feel too guilty to leave you are not going to do a particularly good job. Employees that resent their employers (and guilt will always lead to resentment) do not make for a healthy and thriving workplace. You will be doing yourself and your company a favor by leaving at that point- as you will let them find someone who does not have your baggage.
Leave with notice- You will feel less guilty if you are honest and open about the fact that you are leaving, give proper notice, and do your best to fill your own shoes. The more you help the transition the less guilty you will feel.
Change is hard- change is harder when it is coupled with guilt. If you have career opportunities that require job changes, take them, but do your best to take them without feeling guilty!