Leaving Your First Role

Labor

Note: I'm writing this post from the future, backdated to the day I left my first job. Below are some thoughts I have on that event now.

Your first job can be rough. Mine was. It wasn’t what I had imagined in school, and it came with a lot of anxiety. I felt like I had made a huge mistake, and when I finally had to quit because of deteriorating health, I felt like even more of a failure.

A few years later, though, I only have one regret– that feeling of failure when I quit. If you somehow ended up on my blog and are in a similar situation, I’ll give you the advice I wish I could have given myself in that moment:

Leaving your first job isn’t a big deal.

On top of the daily stress of my role, I recall being absolutely restless thinking about how my bosses, peers, and friends would react to me handing in my resignation. I was sure they would be angry or judgemental or try to stop me or haunt my future job search or (narcissistically) be lost without me.

In reality, all of that was just in my head. The people around me were kind and understanding and ultimately moved on, and I’m fairly certain the people in your life will treat you similarly. In retospect, it makes sense: people quit their jobs all the time. Resignations are just about one of the only things that happen at every company. They’re common, they’re planned for, and they’re actually quite uninteresting. Yours will probably be too.

Most importantly, everyone else will eventually forget, and so will you. Quitting can be tough, but only let it be so for a moment. Be kind to yourself and don’t let anxiety follow you into the next chapter in your story.