Defined Sight

Personal Development Blog

Don’t Make a Mistake and Stay: Leave a Job to Match Your Stage in Life

Don't make a mistake and stay

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” Super lame question. It should be, “Where do you want to be at each stage in life?” Maybe if a question like that would have been posed to me, it wouldn’t have taken me so long to realize I needed to find a job for each stage in life and not the status I was pursuing. Don’t go through each mistake I made:

Setting the Scene:

I was pretty motivated to be one of the youngest, successful people out there. Since about the age of 15, I worked both full-time and part-time jobs while going to school.

By 21, I obtained an associates and bachelors degree. At age 23, I graduated with my MBA and by 24 I found myself in a managerial position supervising 6 full-time positions and 1-2 interns. It worked out great to pay off school loans, make house & car payments, gain experience and fit for the “in debt up to my eyeballs” stage in life.

By 28, I was comfortable enough in my job to where I had everything settled, in good order and deemed it a good time to start a family.

Mistake #1:

Hoping your situation is going to miraculously change and you will start loving to go to work is a mistake.  The truth was I actually hated my job. It was draining, but I was awesome at it. I knew all the ins and outs, and unfortunately people became too dependent on me.

By 29, I hit a wall. I came back to work after my maternity leave only to find the replacement they had brought in to fill in my position had a personal midlife crisis, and let everything, including the team, fall a part. Everything I had worked so hard for in 5 years, was gone. Knowing it took working my tail off in my 20s to get to where I was with the team and the business, it was impossible to go through that again. I put my Supervisors on notice I would be looking for another job. However, they wanted me to stay, and gave me a promotion that at the time, any one would be foolish to turn down.

Mistake #2:

Throwing money at a problem isn’t a fix. It’s a temporary band-aid. It didn’t relieve the actual problems. “Here’s more money for you. Will you stay?”

I gave it my all the next year, attempt to replace those who left, train in new staff, perform at a managerial level, balance a 7 figure operating budget and advise executives who probably didn’t understand 3/4 of the words coming out of my mouth yet held the puppet strings.

Mistake #3:

You would have thought it was being employed by execs that deemed you as a puppet, but heck – that’s everywhere! Not a problem; just use “Survivor” tactics to outwit, outplay and outlast. The mistake was actually sleep deprivation. On top of working 8-5pm, I was also cranking out long hours working at home and only getting about 2-4hrs of sleep per night.

Before long, my immune system was shot; I was sick all the time and cocaine skinny like a celebrity. I knew I needed to make a change so I took a vacation day from work and spent my 30th birthday applying for jobs.

Mistake #4:

Resumes.  I will focus in another article about resume building and all the tips and tricks, and mistakes I made along the way until my resumes (yup, plural, more than one) were finally updated and successful enough to get some interviews.

Mistake #5:

I stayed due to loyalty. I made the mistake of being more loyal to a job than I was to myself, my family and marriage.

Learn from these Mistakes:

Now these are mistakes and not regrets. I’m a firm believer (and feel challenged everyday) that God doesn’t give what you can’t handle, and gives what can strengthen you.

Luckily, I did find another job that makes me excited for Monday’s. It was not an easy transition and very hard decision to make with my family, but I am glad to be in a job that matches the “Partner in Life Wife, New Mom, Caring Daughter, Quirky Sister, Best Aunt, Old Friend” stage in life.

Question for the readers- Does your job match your stage in life?


  1. Oh man, I feel like you got in my brain and pushed out everything that I’ve been feeling. I have been actively looking for a new opportunities as I know that it’s my time to move on from the position I’m in.

    The hard thing is I really love the people but I know I am getting burned out.

    I look forward to hearing more about your journey!!!

    • Mr Defined Sight

      October 23, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Hi MSM! Moving on from coworkers is probably one of the harder things in regards to leaving a job. A person spends so much time at work that it is only natural to develop close friendships. I know that to be the case from a couple of my previous jobs. The funny thing is that my closest coworkers have since moved on to other opportunities as well. Sometimes you have to look out for yourself! 🙂

  2. How timely, this post! Like you, this seems to be the theme of my professional oddyssey. I suppose that’s okay – if it gives you the push you need to retire early from the rat race. So often I sit in that cube and try to imagine a different approach to make it more engaging, but I know it’s all the same in that big corporate jungle.

    • Mr Defined Sight

      October 23, 2016 at 9:10 pm

      Hello AC, thank you for stopping by! You are correct about the corporate jungle. It doesn’t seem to matter if it is a small or big company, the game is mainly the same. It’s a shame that it has to be that way but that’s life I guess 🙂 Like you said, if it gives the extra motivation to escape faster, then it will serve the purpose. Take care and stop by again!

  3. I stuck around at my last job for the wrong reasons, stubbornness and not wanting to be seen as having made a huge mistake moving for the job. I stayed in the same industry and left the lab behind for QA, and am so much happier. Management can have a big effect on that, at my current company management has my back.
    I am glad you found a job to fit your next stage of life.

    • Mrs Defined Sight

      October 27, 2016 at 7:30 am

      Thank you for visiting the Defined Sight! I agree – management can have a big effect on whether an employee stays or goes. I think I read a statistic somewhere that 64% of employees who leave actually quit their bosses…not the job. It’s so important for a manager to actually understand what the employee does. I am grateful that I have a manager who used to do my job at the beginning of their career and then was promoted. I think it helps for management to have that experience at every level so they better understand the business…AND the value of their employees’ jobs.

  4. Hi

    Came across your blog while lurking around.

    As we came along the journey to reach nearer to financial independence, work becomes something which we sees and define differently. It appears that work is no longer work and not as demanding and interesting as it is. Life is so much fuller our own way isnt it. 😀

    • Mrs Defined Sight

      October 27, 2016 at 7:55 am

      Forever Financial Freedom, I am glad you found the Defined Sight! Completely agree – Life is so much fuller our own way! I am glad we are realizing this early, and not later in life…the path becomes much more defined and easier to follow!

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