The four stages of breaking up with your part-time job

September 12, 2016
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You’re not happy. Even though your friends keep telling you to stick it out and things will get better, you get the feeling that something isn’t quite right. In this situation, you can either keep going knowing you won’t be completely happy or you can make the difficult decision to leave.

Everyone knows that separations are hard, especially when it comes to your part-time job. It takes up a large amount of time and, more importantly, allows some sort of financial stability. When do you know it’s time to call it quits and how do you go about that awkward breakup conversation?

You're just not that into it

Arriving at the conclusion that it’s time to leave your job is a tricky one. You’ve got to make sure it’s a justified choice as you’ll soon be explaining your logic to all your family and friends.

If you’ve had a few shifts that make you reach straight for the wine bottle upon returning home, make sure that it’s more than just a short-term period of wishing you were on holidays or dealing with shitty customers. Stick it out for another month or two and evaluate how you feel at the end. Happiness and mental wellbeing is not something to be sacrificed for money; Andy sold her soul to the job in The Devil Wears Prada and we all know how that turned out.

Moving on to greater things

You know the expression about life giving you lemons. If you’re unhappy at your job, seeking out a new one is an excellent reassurance when quitting. If you’re successful, take that as your sign from the universe to leave and proceed to make lemonade. This way, you don’t have to worry about losing cash and being unable to afford rent or food. It also makes the leaving conversation a whole lot easier when you don’t have to explain to your boss that the job is giving you an existential crisis.

Keep it quick and clean

Once you make the decision to leave your job, you’ll probably lose the will to keep going for the final few shifts, hating every task you have to undertake. Not only is this not good for you, it could also impact the customers, your co-workers and the business. Don’t drag the separation process out; when your mind is made up, send a message to your boss asking to meet up for a chat. Know that there’s probably never a perfect time to leave. If you wait until your manager doesn’t have any other stresses to deal with, then you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life.

The break-up conversation

All things eventually come to an end but that doesn’t make the final conversation any easier. You’ll feel like you’re letting your boss down, but stick to your guns and remember that it is natural to outgrow something. It may be your manager’s career but it’s not yours. When you meet up with your boss, cut to the chase and explain your thought process. It’s likely that you’ll build it up in your head and they will be much more understanding and gracious than you think.

After your last shift you can throw away your name badge and walk out of there with your head held high knowing that you’re on a path to meaningful employment and (here’s hoping) a better job.

Grace Potter

Grace studies Communications & Media at the University of Wollongong and is an avid fan of Harry Potter and coffee.

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