Redditors share their stories of abandonment and what happened next

Millions of Americans quit their jobs in record numbers. At Reddit, a question was raised: if you were one of them, why did you quit and what are you doing now?

To put it into perspective, Reddit has 330 million monthly active users. A February 2021 survey found that “36% of Internet users aged 18-29 and 22% of users aged 30-49 use Reddit”. About 46% of Reddit app users have a college degree or higher, while 40% have a high school diploma. With this data in mind, the social media site is a great way to gauge sentiment among young and middle-aged people of working age.

This is an interesting question, posed by a Redditor. The mainstream media speaks of the “big quit” as if all workers quit their jobs and then sit on the couch at home watching Netflix all day. They are not. People leave bad bosses, low pay, disrespect in search of better opportunities and fair treatment. The pandemic has taught us the hard way that we only have a short life to live, and we must make the most of it and cannot waste it working in a dead end job that makes you miserable.

Here are some of the stories, mostly from Gen-Z and Millennials, who posted on the r/antiwork, r/ask the women, r/askreddit and other subreddits, about quitting their jobs and what happened next.

Cyber_Mermaid

I was not paid enough in my old job. I worked with children with special needs and it was a great job, I really felt like that was what I had to do. But I only made $250 a week. Now I work at Costco for $17 an hour plus a ton of benefits. Work is not what I want to do. But I’m more enjoyed serving hot dogs and pizza.

Huge blue strapon

That’s why I recently quit being a mechanic. Lowest paid job, you have to provide your own tools. Stores charge upwards of $100 an hour for labor and offer technology about 20% of that. So obviously not worth what they charge. And you get paid a flat rate, so you have to be quick and lucky and have a strong support team to get quotes approved and parts in your hands. And if a mistake is made, you have to fix it for free. If business goes out, so do the hours.

Just quit for a turbocharger remanufacturing job. Paid less but I feel appreciated and I get paid by the hour.

SpanktheGreenAvocado

Yeah. Same here 1.5 hours on two buses each way. The job was micromanaged, which was probably the main reason I quit. It was good pay, $18/hr, and I was also considered the best worker. Leave it for $14.50 and 20 minutes on a bus. 4 months later I got a raise to $18 after the same company asked me to come back and my current job didn’t want to lose me. Know your value, but most importantly, know the value of your time.

Sinister lines

This person raised an important fact, as opposed to a personal anecdote. Sinister-Lines shared a recent study that concluded that the vast majority of those who left the workforce were people who had just retired. Goldman Sachs, in a research note, estimated that most of the 5 million are Older Americans who have decided to retire. Only about 1.7 million are between the ages of 25 and 54, what economists consider to be the best working years.

Aspenchef

I was a pastry chef. Now I’m investing in real estate and building my own bed and breakfast! Being in the industry really threatened my mental and emotional health. I was underpaid and overworked. Now I work from my laptop and earn 4 times as much.

thereu/hestolemysmile

I left work last night, it was nice to be home making the kids breakfast and taking them to school today! Go looking for a new opportunity, wish me luck 🙂

you/wotitdo

I quit my job today. What an era. What an era. What a time to quit.

I just gave my company my two weeks notice and would like to feel this huge sense of relief. But I don’t. I feel nervous but I also feel good. I’m pretty calm. I emailed my boss and she came back with, “Okay, sorry to hear that. I’ll put some time on our calendars later today to talk about it.” She’s a big reason why I’m leaving I don’t feel stupid about quitting right now, but I should, that’s why I haven’t told anyone near me, because I know they will remind me.

I will not pursue another job. But do my own thing and apply for graduate school later. I know we are going through difficult times. And I don’t have a big stash to crash on and I have someone to support but I was so unhappy and trying to do my own thing but unable to focus on it. I’ll probably cry later when I realize the extent of what I’ve done… but I hope, I really hope, that I fight back and that I and my family will get through this.

I always thought that chasing your passion and happiness was only for wealthy people who have money or at least parents with a house they can go to if shit hits the fan. And here I am quitting a job, supporting my parents and having a house that I will probably sell now.

dianaprince76

I worked for a world famous company for 18 years. A good salary, fantastic benefits, a defined benefit pension and all that. I started super happy. I made tons of friends and loved my job. 11 years later, everything has changed. I was absolutely miserable for the next 7 years, but I knew nothing else. Also, on paper, it was a good job. But my bosses were awful, I was sexually harassed and when I complained to HR and my manager, I was harassed more and told to engage in reputation management, blaming me for what the harasser had done. I got depressed, gained weight, and started smoking large amounts of weed to get by.

And then, one day, the magic happened. I was called to HR and told they were downsizing and I was being fired. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, hands down. I couldn’t contain my happiness to the point that they thought I was having a nervous breakdown. I was not. I was liberated.

That was a few years ago and since then I have been so happy in a job that I loved. Yesterday I had an interview with a new company and the hiring manager asked me what I would do differently if I could change careers. I probably exposed more of myself than I should have, but it came out so fast I couldn’t help it. I told him that I would have liked not to stay so long in this company. I wish I had been more open to change, more able to see the possibilities available to me, and more confident in my own abilities and resilience.

It might sound crazy to do what you OP do, but you won’t regret it. You should never, ever put aside how you feel if you’re in a bad situation like this. Negativity will seep into every facet of your life. Your self-esteem, your physical and mental health, your relationships, all of it.

Know that it’s going to be a little tough for a while. But rest assured that you are doing what is best for you, your health and your future. You paddle your own canoe, don’t let the current dictate your path and I’m so happy for you. You have this!

tara_tara_tara

I left the cushy world of software consulting when I was 50 to go out and do my own thing.

I first started career coaching because I was a former advisor to students and graduates at my university and helped them find internships/jobs, resumes, interviews with Mike, determine what they wanted to do and the rest. I hated.

I decided to follow my dream and now I am an astrologer. I’m really, really good at reading and I love it. I see so many possibilities and they are only limited by myself.

I had a glitch because I couldn’t do anything and it turns out I have ADHD, but not the hyper, “I can’t do anything because I can’t concentrate” hyper. Now I am on ADHD meds and feel great. I took a break and I am relaunching the 8/8.

You can find a way to make money, even during the pandemic. In the meantime, enjoy your freedom and don’t look back.

Manfromsnives

I haven’t worked for anyone else since I left college 5 years ago. I immediately started freelancing, selling my research/writing skills. Not earning a fortune and there are slow times, but it’s better than working a “real job” under someone else and having no time to live. Next year I plan to start mowing the lawns and doing some basic gardening work as a side job. The world is your oyster and money isn’t everything. Sign up on freelance platforms and do odd jobs here and there you can make it work.

The common thread is that people no longer want to put up with abuse. It’s not that they’re lazy or that they never want to work again. Redditors don’t ask for much. They just want a job with growth potential, autonomy from mean bosses, and the flexibility to have a healthy and fulfilling work-life balance.

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