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Are you feeling guilty about leaving your job?

career direction tips career mindset practical advice Jan 14, 2022

I was having a phone session with a client recently, who is a head of a private school. He was sharing with me he was feeling guilty about leaving his role that he had prepared for so many years. He couldn’t believe how burned out he was of the politics and COVID. I asked him, “Are you able to give yourself fully to this role right now?” He responded, “I work long hours and I work really hard.” We paused, and I asked him again, “Are you able to give yourself fully?” And he said no.  

At that moment, it felt right to share my experience of when I was teaching college and career classes in the public schools back in 2011. The school was understaffed, so I was working from 7 AM to 7 PM, and sick all the time with strep throat and migraines. And I couldn’t give myself fully either. 

 My students were amazing- I loved my conversations with them and watching their successes. I had a lot of guilt about leaving the school because I worried about what would happen to them. Since I was constantly sick, my energy was low, and productivity limited. In some ways, I felt like a body in a chair with my spirit hovering above, yearning for my weak physical body to join it.  

But I valued my health — I couldn’t continue with ongoing strep throat and migraines because my quality of life was pretty much at zero. I also couldn’t squelch my beautiful spirit any longer.  

I left my position at the school in 2012 to become the program coordinator at a nonprofit running young professional networking events. In retrospect, I could give myself fully at my next job and bring my gifts to the world.  

The person who stopped in my role at the school could give so much more to the students than I could. And at the end, everybody benefited- myself, my students, the new college and career advisor, and the organizations in which we served.  

At the end of our conversation, my client ended up saying to me, “Danielle, I feel fully confident leaving my role now.” 

If you were in a position where you’re feeling guilty about leaving your role, remember it’s an energetic exchange. When you’re able to in a job where the work and culture ignite you, you’re able to give a hundred percent. And someone else will step into your role and give their hundred percent too.  

Give yourself permission to leave. 



P.S. If you would like help with your next move, reach out to schedule your complimentary consultation here TODAY. 

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