Quit Your Job, Find Your Calling

Do You Long To Quit Your Job?

You hate your job. You despise your job, actually. You get sick to your stomach every Monday morning and the sense of dread doesnít let up until TGIF Happy Hour. Okay, maybe you donít TOTALLY hate your job. There is that cute guy in billing, you did work hard to get where you are so far, and the money is decent, even though you deserve more. But you canít let go of that feeling that thereís something more.

You fantasize about quitting. You create elaborate scenarios in your head that involve telling your boss to take this job and shove it where the sun donít shine. You visualize cleaning out your office, walking out the front door, unshackling your chains, and throwing debris up in the air as you start break dancing to the perfect soundtrack that rocks you right into the life your dying to live — which is any life except this one.

Just thinking about it, you feel free. You can finally breathe. You stretch your arms out to the side, throw your head back, and inhale.

You know something is calling you — something that would make you giggle to your toes, something you love so much you would do it for free, even though people might actually pay you to do it, something BIG. Something you were born to do. But then that voice inside your head starts shouting so loud that your fantasies fizzle faster than fireworks hitting water.

Is Fear In Change?

You know the familiar dialogue in your head — the one between you and the fearful, panicky part of you that I call The Gremlin — that primal part of your brain that constantly thinks youíre suffering from either ďlackĒ or ďattack.Ē As far as The Gremlin is concerned, thereís never enough: not enough food, not enough love, not enough money. And if there is enough, beware — because youíre about to be attacked by those who want to take it away from you. According to The Gremlin, you havenít evolved from cave man days, when there really wasnít enough moose meat to go around, and that cave bear really did nip at your heels.

Most of Us Aren’t Really Lacking Or Being Attacked

I donít mean to diminish the real struggles people in todayís economy face. Unemployment is high, and many people who lived previously comfortable lives struggle to make ends meet. Certainly, some of these people may feel that they donít have the luxury to do what they love. They would be happy just to punch a time card and pick up a paycheck at the end of the week.

But you are probably not one of those people.

The truth is that most of the perils of modern day people in developed countries do not put us in direct danger of ďlackĒ or ďattack.Ē Although financial considerations can be real, thereís usually enough food to go around, and most people would not be at direct risk of death or dismemberment if they quit a job they didnít love. Most of the fears our Gremlins are cueing off are figments of our imagination, theoretical fears that exist only in our minds.

This Kind Of Workplace Angst Isn’t Just For Cubicles

I know all about The Gremlin because I am a doctor who left medicine. I was a very successful full partner in a busy OB/GYN practice making a fancy six-figure income before I quit my job to follow my passion. Sometimes we simply wind up in jobs and careers that just donít resonate with the authentic core of who we are. And thatís okay. It doesnít mean we have to stay unhappy.

Taking Leaps of Faith

Leaving my medical practice was a slow-motion sequence of leaps of faith that led me to walk away from 12 years of medical education, a phenomenal income with complete job security, a cushy retirement account, and meaningful work that was good — but just never quite the right fit for me. I didnít know it at the time, but leaving my practice would open me up to my calling — which is still about healing, but in a way that is much more authentic to who I really am at the core of my being.

Nowadays, I write books, operate the amazing online community of OwningPink.com, practice my own art of healing as a Pink Medicine Woman coach, engage in public speaking, paint with beeswax, and get paid to do what I love. But I didnít know that when I first took my leap of faith. I just knew that The Gremlin was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. And somewhere out there, I would find my calling.

Tame The Gremlin

To deal with your pesky, terrified Gremlin, try visualizing him as a harmless, ineffective little dude that sits on your shoulder and mutters ugly nothings into your ear. Name him if you like. By separating yourself from the voices in your head, you can be more objective, observing The Gremlin rather than identifying with it and mistaking it for the truth. I actually feel kind of sorry for mine, trapped in his scared little prison, like a zoo animal that canít be free like I am. I pat him on the head, feed him peanuts.

If youíre considering taking a leap of faith and leaving a job that doesnít resonate with the core of who you are, send your Gremlin to time out and give yourself permission to feel what you feel, to dream what you dream, and to quit your job if you must.

How Do You Know When It’s Time To Leap?

When the pain of staying put exceeds the fear of the unknown, youíre ready. Youíll still feel the fear but you wonít let your fear rule your decision-making. Youíll feel the fear and do it anyway.

If itís not time yet, wait. Dream. Plan. Look for signs from the Universe. Build your safety net if you must. Surround yourself with others who have taken leaps of faith. Schedule a coaching session. Most importantly, nurture your body, mind, and spirit. Be kind to your heart. Go easy on yourself.

For more thoughts on getting out of your own way and taming The Gremlin, check out these other mojo-filled resources:

What about you? Do you love your job? Hate it? Are you ready to take a leap of faith?

*†† *†† *†† *

Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of OwningPink.com, Pink Medicine Woman coach, motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about Lissa Rankin here.


Joe R.
Joe R5 years ago


Erich L.
Erich L.6 years ago

I find this story inspirational and well written, I could clearly visualize The Gremlin. I find myself ready to to pursue an editing career, as one of the things I enjoy the most is reading books. We also wrote a story http://academy.justjobs.com/know-yourself-follow-your-bliss about knowing who you are and finding meaningful work. I hope it helps. - Erich

Ellie Damann
.6 years ago

i cant afford to quit

Michelle K.
Michelle Krogman6 years ago


Therese Kutscheid

Thanks for that interesting article and even thank you more for interesting comments. What I believe most of the people don't know what they really want to do and than they blame the job, the boss the economy .....and whatever you can blame. Our human nature is to take everything for granted and being unhappy, we don't even know why. I strongly believe that everything is in attitude. If you can make the best out of job that you don't like you can make the best out of every situation in your life. Keep the job you don't like, make the best out of it and look for that dream job (if you know what that is).

Alison D.
Alison Duncan6 years ago

Hey, a 6 figure income and a healthy retirement fund must have made that leap of faith a whole lot less scary for her than it would be for the majority who live check to check.

I agree with Xristina, this is an advertisement and a rather annoying one at that.

When a leap of faith is more likely to end in homelessness for you and your children you stay put until you find or create something better.

There is such a thing as responsibility and respect for the people depending on us to do right by THEM too and not just ourselves.

My gremlins like PB&J and grow out of their shoes every other day ;D

Xristina Sigamisoupo
Past Member 6 years ago

This is a thinly veiled advertisement.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G6 years ago

Listen to your heart and go for it!!!

Katie K.
Katie K6 years ago

Life is always to long until your dying. If you hate anything so much, that makes your life a living hell, whats the worst that can happen.....getting a job thats even worse...so on & so on. You have to look at it like its just another adventure. Keep trying until you get it as right as is possible.

SWebE Sue
susan webb6 years ago

Don't quit one until you have another. If there is any time after WORK (and energy which I'm short on these days as well), perhaps work on your dreams or discover what they really are. Take a course or develop a hobby turning it into a money making adventure. I'm all for protection your mental health, however, if the job is that bad and goes against your conscience- then quit. But be ready for hunger and perhaps homelessness etc.