Backstabbing colleagues. Inattentive managers. An unmanageable, ever-growing workload. These were a few of the factors that made me quit my job.
I had been working for this company for 10 years since I graduated from university. Throughout the past 10 years, I had considered resigning from my job before, but I never really had the courage to leave, so I hung on and on until I couldn’t hold on any longer.
The months leading up to my resignation were filled with frustrations. It began when my manager resigned and it continued with a string of staff shortages, which led to a significant increase in my workload—I ended up having to also absorb the duties of my ex-manager. I talked to my higher-ups about it, but nothing happened.
I struggled to finish my tasks at work. I was putting in 10 hours a day, but that was still not enough. I delegated some of my to-dos, but I couldn’t delegate the managerial tasks, such as the staff rosters and pay.
From sunup until sundown, all I could think about was work. I would go in on the weekends, check work messages at midnight, or even when I was out with my friends. And the weekends when I wasn’t going to check on work was used to recover from the brutal week. I was feeling the strain both mentally and physically.
I was very exhausted because of the long work hours and lack of sleep. My body was aching all the time. I was suffering from dizziness, insomnia, and headaches, and was constantly feeling lethargic. It wasn’t until I went to see my doctor for a mental health care plan (and got my routine check-up done) that I was diagnosed with anaemia and severe hypertension.
To have hypertension in my early 30s should have been a wake-up call, but I was too stubborn to make any changes because the perfectionist and workaholic in me wanted to be in control of the work situation.
But I could sense that my mental health was going downhill fast. I was depressed and anxious, dreading every workday that came around. I was also losing interest in the good things in life, such as my boyfriend, food, and being with my friends. Although I had no suicidal ideation, there were times I felt like it would have been easier to die than to live—the thought of living didn’t attract me.
Alone and hanging by a thread
To make things worse, one of my colleagues, whom I have known for 10 years and was very close to (we have even gone on road trips together), started to turn her back on me. She spoke badly about me and my work, even though I felt like I had given my 110 percent. I don’t know why she did what she did, but I was very hurt by her actions.
My workdays were filled with confusion, anger, and tears. Going to work was no longer a joy, and neither was it rewarding.
So many times, I questioned why I stayed and what I did wrong to be treated like this. I cried nearly every day, sometimes before and after shifts. I felt like I was hanging by a thread on the cliffside, and was just waiting to drop down at any point.
During this challenging time, I prayed, asked my friends to pray for me, read the Bible, and did everything I could to find the strength and reason to keep going. But nothing really changed.
Why I finally decided to quit
Still, making the decision to quit wasn’t an easy one. There were lots of “what ifs” that came into my mind. For instance, what if I wouldn’t be able to pay my mortgage? Or, what if I had meaner bosses and colleagues at my new job?
I had savings to last me a while, but it wouldn’t be enough. During this time, God reminded me of how He had provided for me in the past. It renewed my faith, and gave me the strength and assurance that I can quit my job, even though I had nothing lined up. Friends and colleagues backed my decision; they convinced me I needed to resign for the sake of my health. They even prayed for me, and assured me that I would be okay.
The other factor which made it hard for to me move was that I was too comfortable with where I was. It was close to home, and it spared me from having to job-hunt.
At some level, I also stayed on and endured for as long as I could because I wanted to show people what a “tough person” I was.
Unfortunately, I could no longer hold on. This time around, I didn’t let fear get the better of me and handed in my resignation letter.
Even though it was tough, I still believe God was in all of these, through the good and the bad. As He said in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
He provided me with this job when I needed it after my graduation, and I believe He will provide for me again in the future. Remembering that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8) gave me the courage to resign from my work, even though I did not have any other job waiting for me. I did not want to let the fear of the future trap me in an unhealthy situation.
Ever since resigning, my sleep quality has improved, and I feel so relieved I am no longer under the influence of my higher-ups and in a toxic environment. But it’s hard to simply move on because work has been dominating my mind and time for too long.
For now, I am taking a break from work so I can focus on restoring my mental and physical health through counselling and therapy. In the meantime, I’ll be taking on freelance work while I seek a permanent job next year.
Philippians 1:6 (NLT) says, “. . . and I am certain that God, who began the good work within you will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” I might not see a clear road ahead of me, but I have faith that God is with me, and He will lead me through all the uncertainties.
I also learnt that we always have a choice, and we are neither stuck nor hopeless in our situation. I can let go of control because God is in control, and He is my provider (Philippians 4:19). I trust that He’ll be the one to heal me from all the anger and resentment I feel towards those who have hurt me.
Sometimes we’re so blinded by our situation or fears that we can’t see a way out. But when we ask God to show us a different perspective on things, to open a way, or to show us the choices that are in front of us, He will give us the courage and faith to lean on Him—and that’s what I have chosen to do.
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