The Most Successful Quitters Explain Why You Shouldn’t be Afraid to Leave Your Job

Man holding I quit resignation letter
Image via iStock.

Even if you have mentally checked out of your job long ago, the decision to quit can be tough. You tell yourself “maybe it will get better” if you just wait. Or you fear you won’t be able to find anything else on the same level.

It is easier to stick with what is safe than brave the unknown.

But successful quitters want you to know that that is a self-defeating attitude. The Wall Street Journal recently featured testimonials from some of the business world’s biggest success stories to arise from quitting.

One of those people is Stewart Butterfield who in 2012 was the co-founder of a video game company. He was already a millionaire and his company was building a strong following.

But something just felt off about the whole thing and he wound up returning the money of his investors and leaving the company. He instead resumed working on his company’s communication technology that turned into a name you may have heard of: Slack.

Author of the book Quit, Annie Duke, points to this as an example of why successful people get where they are. She asserts that quitting is not a shameful act, but a smart one. It is recognition of when you have gained all you can in one opportunity and are missing out on your untapped potential for something bigger.

However, that is of course easier for someone like Butterfield to do, seeing as how he was already wealthy. The average person living paycheck to paycheck can’t simply pick up and venture into the unknown hoping inspiration leads them somewhere incredible.

But your exit from a company you no longer fit in with does not have to be quite as cinematic. You have realized that you are not achieving all that you want, so you can start looking for new options before you leave.

It might take you more time to gather the resources you need to quit and transition to something else, but sticking it out where you are seldom works.

In her book, Duke compares it to her time as a professional poker player. If you have a hand you are not happy with, riding it out and putting more resources in won’t make it better. Smart players acknowledge when their current play has bottomed out and instead focus on the next play.

Do you want to hear more from people whose biggest triumphs came after quitting? You can do so by reading the Wall Street Journal article.


Indeed, the world’s top job site, with over 250 million unique visitor every month, offers insights on resigning from a position gracefully.



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