I however, having done it, really do see both sides of this argument. It really just depends. Most people are probably unhappy with their job in one form or another, especially younger people. I think my generation more so than any other before take job satisfaction to be very important. Our parents understood that a job was just that, a job. You didn't like your job, you did it to put food on the table. But somewhere along the way that changed. A job became who you were, it defined you. We constantly heard our parents tell us, "Do what you love" and we took it to heart. That has caused my generation to job hop until we find something that really makes us happy. The problem is that it is always still a job, and many people don't ever come to realize that. They jump from job to job always hoping to find something better. I know very few people my age that haven't had at least two different jobs. I myself am on my fourth while only being out of college for a little under eight years.
I disagree with the conventional wisdom for a few reasons.
- You can be doing a lot of other things besides a 9-5 job to earn money - This didn't use to be the case, but you can spend your time coming up with alternative ways to earn income. In the end, this might actually be smarter if you can make it passive, and then return to the work force. You will have double income!
- It really depends on your financial situation - If you are like me with no obligations or debt, and could survive years unemployed, than you have little to worry about. Believe me, the fear is bigger than the reality most of the time. This is where living frugally really pays off.
- Depends how much you make and how in demand your skills are - I make a lot of money. There aren't a lot of jobs that pay what I make now. It isn't easy for me to just find a job that will pay me what I want to make. However, I have the advantage of having skills highly in demand, so most of the time I have very little trouble finding a new job when I really want one.
- Money isn't everything - Coming from a guy who highly values money, this may be shocking, but it's true. I would rather have a job I liked and get paid less for it than a job I hated and got paid more for. So I would be willing to take a job that paid me less if I ever got so desperate. That being said, a lot of people are miserable no matter how much they get paid, so this makes the argument that perhaps you should just stick it out. Might as well get more money than less money for the same level of misery!
So what do you think? How bad of an idea is it to quit a job without another one? Do you think it really is an epidemic among the younger generation?