Quitting Your Job? Have a Back-up Plan

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: July 22, 2013

Dear Heather,
I hope this mail finds you well. This is Aya from Cairo, Egypt. I need your advice according a great confusion that I'm facing those days.

I quit my job. It's really interesting, however, I couldn't stand the management team and the pressure that they're putting on me just to get some results without considering my rights and they were dealing with my rights as exceptions.I feel lost, I don't know what should I do, I don't know which career I should choose, which life I should join and decide it to be my lifestyle.

I know that I need to work on myself and that makes me confused because I know that there're a lot that I have no idea about. Like how do people think how can I deal with whoever is different than me. I know it sounds that there's no problem but I might not be a problem at all yet I need your advice.

Aya Othman

Hello Aya,
It isn’t clear from your letter if Cairo, Egypt is your hometown or your current residence, Aya. And, it would be difficult for me to comment specifically on the social/political context from which you must make these decisions if you are indeed working in your native country. 

So, I will instead address some basic principals from which to make these kinds of choices, because with the right tools, I believe we can create the path that will ultimately take us to where we belong. 

You demonstrated self-respect by leaving a stifling, restrictive employment situation. Good for you. But you’ve closed a door without having a clear understanding of which to open next. That’s tough. 

Begin with your passions. We often approach these from behind: working at unfulfilling jobs to earn enough money to do what -- perhaps -- we should have included in our life from the start! Identifying these motivators will require self-scrutiny, honesty and perhaps some career counseling, but they will help pinpoint where you will thrive. Many things may interest us; fewer will truly inspire us. As much as you can enable inspiration through your career, the more you will enjoy it and the more likely it is that you will be successful.

Accept a hazy horizon. Don’t let the lack of a fully detailed picture prevent you from taking forward steps. Plan to adjust as you go. Making the best decisions you can with the information available to you is generally better than stagnating while you wait for the panoramic view to unveil.

Make a commitment to continuous growth. Work towards expanding your life -- in terms of knowledge, experiences and people -- and you will create new opportunities for yourself. Continually. Aim to make a career rather than simply work at a job. Those with a drive to learn for the sake of discovery live more fulfilling lives, and what these individuals gain will always be bigger than the sum of the tasks they perform in their work.

Expect to change direction. As you grow in your new career and as the world transforms around us, your options and interests may change. Remain in touch with what truly inspires you so that you will always be open to your best available path.

Good luck Aya. I’d love to hear back from you as you figure out your next steps.

If you have a question for Heather, email her at Heather@heatherdugan.com and maybe she'll answer it in her next column!