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I guess what I'm asking is: is it totally irresponsible of me to leave a job when I don't have another to go to?

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Question - (14 February 2011) 2 Answers - (Newest, 14 February 2011)
A male Ireland, *r T writes:

Hi All

In a bit of a bind.

I have been working in sales for over 10 years now. I took a break in 2006 (during the height of the economic boom in Ireland) to go travelling. Thinking of course that it would be exactly the same when I returned to Ireland. While I was travelling I had a lot of time to think and came to the conclusion that I was totally frustrated with sales and in fact all office work. I wanted to try something different.

The plan was to get back to Ireland, clear a few debts incurred from travel and leave sales.

When I got back to Ireland the country was in very bad economic straits. I got a job but the company folded after a few months. I got another role but was let go after 18 months. Again I won another role which has gotten me to this point: I'm miserable.

I get a knot in my stomach each evening before I go to bed and first thing in the morning when I think about this job. I know that sales isnt for me, even in the interview I remember thinking 'dont blush' when I was explaining why I wanted the job as I knew I was lying through my teeth.

Now I know that this country and most of the world is in a bad way and people are crying out for jobs but my gut feeling is that I should leave here and make this job available for someone who would enjoy it.

I dont have a mortgage, I dont have kids, I split with my partner last year so I have no ties in the country.

I am just about to complete a teaching english as a foreign language course and have put some money aside to train as a SCUBA diving instructor (I really enjoy diving, teaching would be new to me) so I have options.

I guess what Im asking is: is it totally irresponsible of me to leave a job when I dont have another to go to? I have tried to get new roles but every time I put my CV out there I get sales roles back. I know I can do it but its just not me anymore.

My feeling is that I have a responsibility to myself and my happiness and taking a chance in life is not a bad thing but a lot of my friends think Im crazy to risk it.

What do you think?

View related questions: a break, debt, money

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A reader, anonymous, writes (14 February 2011):

It's not irresponsible at all. It's your life man and as long as you don't have debts to pay off or others relying on you then you can do whatever you like.

First off get your TEFL and scuba diving instructor qualifications. Look into lifeguard training and other little things like that, that you can do. You see the more you have when you leave the better chance you have at finding a different kind of job and lifeguard is a pretty fun job.

The most important thing is to use this job as an opportunity to save a bit of cash and get as much training as you can done. The make a plan. A proper one, not just have an idea of what you might do.

While working you have a great opportunity to be able to afford whatever you'll need to emigrate. You have a great opportunity to save up a bit of emergency cash and even pay for more courses. Set yourself some goals and begin preparations. Find a country you want to go to. South East Asia is great. I have friends teaching English in Vietnam and they absolutely love the place. Start sending CV's and applying for jobs in that country. Look into visa applications. Really there's a lot you can keep busy with, there are a lot of little things you can be doing to prepare but it is far better if you keep working while you do so. Because the extra money will mean you have more options. Plus knowing you're leaving, knowing you're working on making a better life for yourself outside of sales should take the edge off it. So get a plan going and start working to achieve that. Keep the job until you've bought that ticket and have another job lined somewhere else.

Again though it's not irresponsible it's your life but you have to understand that having the income you do now will make what you want far more attainable. In that sense the smart move would be to keep working until you have something else sorted. Look I know the hassle people will give you saying you're lucky to have a job and all that crap or that you're an asshole for giving it up when others can't even get one. That's not your problem, you didn't create this situation and you have options which others don't have, well then who cares about them.

People say that crap all the time to me too, how lucky I am to be in college getting both the grant and BTEA and I'm like yup, it's cool. We've become a nation of whingers but life isn't about money and life is still pretty sweet when you're a guy with no debts or commitments.

Oh something to note though, you can't get the dole unless you're fired, so unless you have a sound boss who will sign that form for you the you won't get it.

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A male reader, Capri2 Argentina +, writes (14 February 2011):

I fully understand you, I have been there before. Living in Argentina I can teach about having economic crisis. Thank God we have been recovering and then in good shape for the last 10 years. But in 2002 I was being paid for doing nothing, which combined with other situations took me to the psychologist. But I couldn't leave that job until 2005 because I had to help my parents to support our house. As soon as I could I moved to a job which I enjoyed more.

I can't tell you what to do. I have had to wait until the country was in better shape. Maybe you can risk and because you don't have to support other people. But I guess you have to build a good plan before living. Quitting and then start figuring out what to do is not a good idea.

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