Be a Quitter! 9 Things That Will Teach You to Quit : Under30CEO Be a Quitter! 9 Things That Will Teach You to Quit : Under30CEO
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Be a Quitter! 9 Things That Will Teach You to Quit

| September 10, 2013 | 23 Comments


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How many times have you told someone or yourself to ‘never give up’? I know that I’ve done it many, many times. As I cycled 450km through one of the world’s toughest mountain bike trails, I told myself hourly not to quit. But there are times where you just NEED to quit!

I remember sitting in the office knowing that I shouldn’t be there. I wanted to quit! I knew there was more for me out there: the places I needed to be, the people I needed to meet and the experiences I needed to have.

BUT my aunt’s words stuck with me. She said “You are young. It will look bad on your resume if you quit and you will be labelled as a quitter, a job hopper.”

Does that label really matter? Was I the only one with a head heavy on my pillow? Was I the only one dragging to get myself to work? Would quitting be the end of my career?

But, I wasn’t a quitter, I am the overachiever with tons of things off my bucket list.

I was happy to find out that according to recent “Life After College” survey, the statistics show that Gen Y are expected to leave their jobs within two years. A more interesting statistic by Harvard Business Review is that 95% of over achievers under 30 spend less than three years at a job and are always looking out for new opportunities.

So obviously I wasn’t the only one. Here are “9 Reasons to Quit”:

1. The Need to be Mentally Stimulated

During my last corporate job, I was feeling restless. I got involved and launched a ton of different projects including launching my own social project called Gone Cyclin’ where we cycled 450km to raise 50k to enable women in East Timor. I also enrolled myself in a 6 month coaching program and organized adventure trips for my colleagues.

Then one day my colleague said “Yasmine, your problem is that your outside activities are overly stimulating and that makes your work seem boring”.  The words all of a sudden gave me a new perspective. Even though I was spending nearly 12 hours at work, I was bored and got myself involved in so many things outside of the job. Although the pay, the security and the benefits were great, I had already got the most out of my experience. I felt a lot of pain still being there.

I wanted to be mentally stimulated all the time, So I quit!

2. Clock is Ticking: Time is Precious

Steve Job says, “If you’re not passionate enough from the start, you’ll never stick it out.” Whether we are stuck in a bad habit, job, career, relationship or even with friendships, remember: Time is precious!

When I lost my dad, I started to think about this question “When I am 90, looking back on my life, is this the life I wanted to live?”

I got tired of putting my passions in the backseat. Even in Psychology there is a theory called “Cognitive dissonance theory” which basically refers to a situation which involves conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. What happens is that this produces a feeling of discomfort in which we need to alter one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance etc. I got tired of waiting for the right moment and feeling uncomfortable.

I think right now is as good as any to start, so I quit!

3. Organizational Ethics not aligned with Personal Values

During my first job with a conference company, I was organizing multi million dollar events for the oil and gas industry. I loved it. It was exhilarating and again the pay was Ah-mazing! Not only was I getting a sizable base, but also a percentage of all the conferences I organized.

But there was something that was not right. The company had the highest attrition rate I have ever seen and that meant that every Friday it was ‘goodbye drinks’. Lunchtime conversation revolved around who was leaving next.  But, the part that troubled me the most was my boss encouraging me to live to make the sale and sign on the speakers and that was totally against my value system.

The money was great. I was making nearly double what my friends were, but at the end, I didn’t agree with my manager, and had different principles. If I scarified my values that would be who I became.

I wasn’t prepared to be a liar, So I quit.

4. Being Mediocre or Being Remarkable?

When we were young, we had these wonderful dreams and ambitions. From being a doctor, to a president, dancer, saving the world from evil aliens, etc. Let’s just call those dreams the stars, but as we get older we start to realize that sometimes going after our dreams is difficult, so we settle for  mediocrity. In School, instead of getting an A we settle for B;  instead of competing on the national level we settle for the city level.

But the thing is, if we keep on settling on being mediocre, we will always be mediocre. Look at Nick Vujicic, a limbless man who teaches people how to get up. He could have settled for being limited to what he had but, he chose to be extraordinary. Or Jessica Cox who became the first pilot with no arms. She choose to be extraordinary.  Randy Pausch embraced death and left a legacy by inspiring millions of people with his dying speech. Being extraordinary mean your need to try, a lot of people don’t even do that.

I wasn’t prepared to be mediocre, so I quit!

5. In Search of a Cause:

I love this remake of this song by Eddi Reader & Thomas Dolby called “What You Do With What You’ve Got”. She says:

“What is the point of two strong legs?

If you only run away?

And what use is the finest voice

If you’ve nothing good to say?

And what good is strength and muscle

If you only push and shove?”

I think we are the generation in search of a cause or a movement. We see it happening with the rise of brands like Toms, Kiva, etc. We all have this thing where we want to do something bigger.

I always thought this whole app/tech space had a lot of people who wanted to find the next billion dollar idea. I recently had a change of perspective when I met Nathan from Inspire9, who shared how his why was because he wanted to make a bigger global impact.

Now looking at my career, my network of changemakers, we didn’t just want a job to take up our time and create no impact – we wanted to be part of a movement.

I didn’t want to NOT make an impact… So I quit!

6. People around you: Where is that R-E-S-P-E-C-T?

In today’s world, we are expected to put lots of hours into work and this means we have to cope with a lot of stress. That’s why not having a supportive work environment where we feel valued and R-E-S-P-E-C-T-ed to help you learn and grow where you need to, can become excruciatingly difficult. This is because if we feel that we are put in a situation where we are being taken advantage of, and we keep on “giving, giving, giving” and we get nothing in return.

Perhaps because our career growth is being halted by a non-supportive boss, unsupportive team, or we are being discriminated because our age, race, gender, weight – we might begin to feel the whole world is against us.

This psychological distress can also affect our health, wellbeing, and start to affect our productivity. We start to lose patience and this does not only affect our work but this kind of soap opera drama also impacts our life. This year, I cut off a couple of friendships with some people who I didn’t feel respected by.

I am tired of letting people disrespect me… So I quit!

7. I am Enough!

When things don’t go as anticipated, we sometimes feel that we’re not good enough. We think that we’re destined to failure. But that’s just wrong! Lighten up on yourself!

I hear this alot in my line of work. People let their past define them. I had a client who had a hard time letting go of something that happen years ago at work. He didn’t realize how much it was affecting him until he let go of it.

A new start is required and in order to do that.

I am tired of letting my past define me… So I quit!

8. Need to Reinvent & Redirect

Sometimes things happen, that are unexpected. I met a Norwegian lady last year, whose husband shot her before he shot himself and she lost an arm. She needed to quit what she was doing and find a new path.

I also remember another story of a father who needed to quit his job when his son became very sick, so he could spend more time at home with him. Or for example Pat Flynn, who lost his job and then went on to start a multi-million dollar blog called Smart Passive Income.

I am not sure either one had thought that is where their life would be, life changes that is a fact and you need to get on board and adapt.

There is no need to keep dwelling about on past… So I quit!

9. Winners Sometimes DO Quit

Not every venture is in our best interest, but pride can keep us from cutting our losses and moving on to something new. I love the example of Andrew Mason from Groupon. He used to run a site called The Point. He had to let go of it, and the results speak for themselves.

I have learned that when something is not feeling good, when it doesn’t flow as it should, it’s probably not meant to be on my life-course. That’s when I am quick to remind myself that winners sometimes have to quit (something that’s not ideal) to pursue something better and make a huge success of it.

I wanted to be in constant state of flow… So I quit!

Quitting Take-Away

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Image Credit:

Quitting is a game, and you should only quit if what you’re working with is not worth it, and it affects you negatively, taking you off the course you were meant to take. There are some factors that will push you to quit while there will be others that will pull you to stay. There is no right or wrong answer except:

You can quit only if you move on to bigger things!

Have you ever quit anything? How do you feel looking back at it? Did you learn anything valuable? I’d love to hear your thoughts on lessons learned from quitting…

Yasmine is marketing & lifestyle expert, adventurerandis the founder of, a leading institute that equips women to take their careers and businesses to the next level. She is the author of the forthcoming book called Wonder Women’s Guide Asia where she is interviewing 50 most Powerful Women. Connect with her on Twitter @yasminekhater and Facebook

About the Author: Yasmine Khater

Yasmine is marketing & lifestyle expert, adventurer and she is the founder of, a leading institute that equips women to take their careers and businesses to the next level. She is the author of the forthcoming book called Wonder Women’s Guide Asia where she is interviewing 50 most Powerful Women.

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  • Real Aigle Yeux

    Thanks for posting this… I need them badly! :)

  • Yasmine Khater

    glad to help real :) people don’t say it enough!

    What do you want to quit?

  • carissa

    Write! Loved this article! I have been saying I want to quit my job that I hate. I want to do something that I’m passionate about and something that inspires me…just can’t figure out what.

  • carissa


  • Kevin Diamond

    So true Yasmine! I quit my 9-5 in the middle of July and the leaps I’ve taken, people I’ve met, and things I’m starting to do are already way better than I ever imagined. The “unsupportive”, unfulfilling work environment was holding me back. Now I’m able to pursue things that resonate with my core values, better myself and subsequently better others. It’s not always an easy road but it is very rewarding knowing you can put everything on the line, and make the life you want to live.

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Yasmine, This is great, giving the opposite side of “success”. Sometimes we need to quit and start over again, even if things are working out.
    I also really like how you said you were making tons of money, but your value system didn’t agree with your manager. Lots of people wouldn’t do that, and probably, start to agree with that manager by being around them so long. anybody can rationalize anything, but sticking to your guns in the heat is important. Beautiful piece :)

  • Yasmine Khater

    Hi Carissa, I can totally relate, well drop me a message on my website, I can send you a great worksheet that can help you explore some options,

  • Yasmine Khater

    Congrats!! For taking the big step to Q***

    That’s incredible! thanks for sharing! and i agree its not always easy! and for me its also about close to core values, time is limited!!

    What were you doing before and what are you doing now?

  • Yasmine Khater

    Would you say quitting is the opposite of success? I dont think success is linear, how would you define success?

  • Belinda Summers

    I was surprised and glad when you included Nick Vujicic as an example, a very exceptional man. Quitting was never option to me not until I read this inspiring blog @yasminekhater:disqus. It’s quitting to have a better opportunity. :)

  • Yasmine Khater

    Hi Belinda, Yes, I think people are so fixated about the idea of doing things that they are supposed to do.

    For example, I was with a client who is a fund manager who hates her job with a passion. She won’t leave because she doesnt want to be a quitter, but as you said its about quitting to have a better opportunity!

  • Ava Cristi

    Sometimes we have to quit not because we are tired,we choose to quit because we know that there is a blue sky waiting tomorrow.

  • Jonathan Siddall

    This article is so true, I am only 25 and have already quit 2 jobs. The first one i was forced into a sub-ordinate role where i knew i could achieve more and the person above me kept getting me down and blowing off my ideas, hence i quit.
    The second was almost by chance, I was a financial analyst for a cell captive insurance company and it was an extremely repetitive job (earning a good salary), eventually it got to a point that at 9am in the morning i had finished the reports and nothing else to do, my mind started wondering and i clearly needed change, i got a job with a larger insurance company and in a “new business and emerging market” role, it keeps me busy, keeps my body alive and i look forward to every day at work to find the next innovation to change our world. My next step from here will be to work for a global enterprise (or create my own)… Onwards and upwards and no looking back, never stagnating!

  • Yasmine Khater

    love it!!

  • Yasmine Khater

    Thanks for sharing! Super awesome to hear your story and super inspiring as well :)

  • Tyson Hartnett

    Haha it’s funny, I just created an article about success, and how the idea of it is overrated. The overview is that success is different to each and every one of us. If i make a million dollars, am I successful? How about 100,000? How about 100 million? When do I reach the point where people say “Hey, that guy is successful!”
    And, what if I am successful on the outside, but I have destroyed relationships around me in the process? Doesn’t seem so successful. So bascially, success is intrinsic to each and every person, and we have to find out what our success barometer is, and create it for ourselves. Thoughts?

  • Yasmine Khater

    I totally agree completely! Last week I was running a workshop and I asked the participants why are you here, one guy was saying because i was interesting and i asked does that imply that you are not, and he was like yes!

    Some people would consider working for a big fmcg on a regional role successful but some don’t.

    Either way, its a choice thats self defined and as long as we are happy with the decision thats cool!

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  • Belinda Summers

    @yasminekhater:disqus I’m sorry I was too preoccupied. I forgot I’d already read this blog. :)

  • Yasmine Khater