WHAT TO EXPECT: THE 10 Emotional Stages of Quitting a Corporate Job

WHAT TO EXPECT: THE 10 Emotional Stages of Quitting a Corporate Job

First day at work. Pressure makes diamonds. I really need a coffee. What is up everyone? Welcome back to my channel. My name is Vanessa Lau. In today’s video, I really wanted to talk
about the roller coaster ride that I’ve gone through the past three months. Ever since I … Actually no. The past year, two years since I started my
corporate job, left it, and now I’m doing this whole solo-preneur part-time barista
type of gig. So what really inspired me to do this video,
is I was working one morning at the coffee shot that I work at, and there was a girl
who ordered from me and she mentioned that she watches my videos. This girl, I won’t mention her name in case
she’s not comfortable, but after watching this video you know who you are. We started having a conversation. We started talking about the emotional stages
and the emotional roller coaster that comes with building that courage to leave your job
and what happens after you leave. That really inspired me to film this video
because there’s so much that I could say in terms of the emotional stages that someone
might be going through. The moment they start their new job, to the
moment they realize they don’t like it, to the moment that they resign, and then the
moment that happens right after that. Just a side note, prior to creating this video
I actually ran by these stages with a couple of my friends who have also left their corporate
jobs. They find that it’s quite accurate. But it’s not to say that what happened with
me and what happened with my friends are going to be exactly what happens to you if you decide
to leave your job. Also, I wanted to add that this is more specific
to someone who has left their job without another job lined up or without intention
to going back to corporate life. With that being said, I wanted to put that
out there, and I hope you guys enjoy the video. So let’s first talk about stage one. The honeymoon phase. This is the phase where you’ve signed your
full-time offer, you’ve anticipated for the moment where you start the first day at work,
you’re dressed to the nines, you’re wearing your best pair of shoes, you have an amazing
attitude, and you’re just so grateful that you’re there. First day at work. #lovemyjob. #sogreatful. #BLESSED. During the honeymoon phase, you walk around
with your notebook, you have your integration meetings with everyone on your team, and you’re
literally a sponge. You’re soaking all of the information in. You’re typing or you’re writing a shit-ton
of notes, to the point where you’re pretty much transcribing what everyone is telling
you. And you just want to tell everyone where you
work. The second stage is the try hard phase. This is the stage where no one’s really treating
you like a baby anymore and they’re starting to give you real work. As you’re getting all this real work, you
just want to go above and beyond. You’re willing to take on more projects than
you can handle. You just want to learn everything that there
is to learn. And you want to get as much feedback as possible
so you can continually improve. I’m sorry to interrupt you. I’m wondering if I could take you out for
a coffee. I’m constantly trying to learn at this job,
would really like to know areas of opportunity that I have in order for me to grow in the
company and take your job. But at the same time, during this try hard
phase, you realize that you’re really not the shit anymore and you’re starting from
the bottom. All the work seems incredibly challenging
and you’re just eager to be able to master all the tasks that are given to you. Stage number three. That is denial and frustration. The work isn’t getting any easier, hours aren’t
getting any shorter, and you’re starting to resent staying up late doing work all the
time, but you don’t want to say anything because #ilovemyjob. You’re at the stage where it’s starting to
get extremely uncomfortable at your job and you’re doubting and you’re having second thoughts
about whether or not this was the right path for you or not. Pressure makes diamonds. Pressure makes diamonds. Pressure makes diamonds. In this stage, you’re really in denial. You know that things aren’t good, but you
have a strong belief that it will get better and you realize it’s definitely no longer
the honeymoon stage. Stage four, which is basically anger and feeling
very, very jaded. And what this means is you have so much resentment
for your job because it’s not getting better, and you’re starting to feel frustrated, you’re
starting to feel anger, you’re starting to complain almost every single day, and you’re
also starting to become a person that you don’t even recognize anymore. Hello, hi. Do you want to go for a coffee? I really need a coffee. It’s as if no one in this company understands
what efficiency is. A project that got approved three weeks ago,
all of a sudden someone up there decides that it’s no longer good, and now guess who has
to stay over time in order to clean all this shit up and redo the entire project? Me! And when you’re in this stage, it’s probably
one of the most frustrating, debilitating stages to be in. It’s as if you have this cloud of negativity
that’s just circling around you and following you around, whether that’s at work, after
work, when you wake up, when you hang out with your friends. It’s as if work never really leaves your mind
and you’re at a spot where you are just feeling hopeless. In turn, you turn that hopelessness into constant
anger and resentment. This stage is probably the worse stage to
be in. Stage five, which is basically fear. At this stage, you’ve already pretty much
committed to resigning your job because of the frustration that you feel, or because
of the resentment that you feel, and you are just ready for a stinking change. But even though you’re all talk to your colleagues,
or to your friends, or to your mom, or to your dad, you’re saying things like, “Fuck
this, I’m done, I don’t care anymore. Peace out.” But, when it actually comes to the moment
or the night before where you actually have to hand in that letter of resignation, you
literally lose sleep over it. And not to mention, maybe even a week or a
couple days leading up to that big moment where you hand in that resignation, every
meeting you go to you literally feel so guilty because you know that you’re going to be leaving
soon. And especially when you’re in this fear stage,
you blow everything out of proportion. What if she yells at me? What if she slaps me in the face? What if the company escorts me out? Can I eve get a better job than this? Oh my God. Basically in a nutshell you are so scare to
pull the plug, but you do know that it’s necessary in order for you to move forward, and at this
point you’ve pretty much told enough people that you’re going to be doing it, so you really
can’t back out. The sixth stage is empowerment. At this stage you’ve handed in your resignation
letter. The moment you hand it in, it’s literally
as if you feel your life has changed. You feel like you were going this way, and
then because you handed in that letter, you suddenly are going this way. You feel incredibly empowered that you, you
were about to take control of your life, that you have taken ownership, and that you have
finally acted on the thing that you’ve been complaining about for months, for years, and
it’s a feeling that I personally will never forget. Pick up. Pick up, pick up, pick up, pick up. Sally! Guess what, guess what. I quit. I did it. No, on to stage seven. Stage seven is awkwardness. Because you’ve handed in your two weeks, you
have two weeks left to work at that job, and you just feel fucking awkward. You basically know that everyone is talking
about you, that your managers are talking about you, that HR is talking about you, and
everyone is just shook that you actually, actually made the decision to pull the plug. The rumors are starting to spread and you
just don’t really know how to handle it all. Not only this, in this stage of awkwardness
you are also responsible of wrapping up all of the projects that you had, and train the
person or leave transition documents for the person that will be replacing you. So during this awkward stage, it is quite
sad and quite bittersweet to know that you’ll be passing a lot of the big projects that
you’ve been working on for years to someone else. Just having that conversation with your team
and talking with your manager, it is quite bittersweet. So as much as you have been complaining about
your job the whole time or feeling miserable, during these last two weeks you do get a reality
check of how much you’ve grown in the company, and how much you appreciate your colleagues,
and how much you’ll actually miss this place. Stage eight, and this is pure happiness. You no longer work at this company. You wake up Monday morning at 10:00 AM realizing
that you don’t have to go to work anymore, you don’t have to wear pants, and you basically
are a free man or a free woman that can do anything that they want. That is one of the greatest feelings that
you could get the moment after you quit your job, is when you realize the freedom there
is on the other side of sitting in a cubicle. But of course, this newfound freedom and this
amazing happiness doesn’t last long. Eventually thy hype really dies down, and
that’s what brings me to stage nine, which is loneliness and social pressure. Because during this stage as the hype has
died down, you’re starting to feel lonely that all of your friends are at work and you’re
on your own. You have no one really to talk to from the
hours of 9:00-5:00. At the same time, you start to reflect back
on your corporate life and you ask yourself, “Was it really that bad?” Because you really start to miss that feeling
of having someone telling you what to do, and you miss having that structure in your
life. Because after you leave your job, especially
if you don’t have another job lined up, the world is truly your oyster. As much as you had anticipated this moment
for so long, it comes with its cons, just like anything. Everything has a pro and a con. With freedom comes with lack of structure,
and it comes with not having any direction whatsoever of what to do in your life. That causes a lot of stress. Not only this, the amount of social pressure
that you receive after you leave your job is immense. Really, the main reason why you’re questioning
whether you made the right decision or not is because everyone else around you is questioning
you. [Foreign language 00:10:48] It doesn’t make it better knowing that you
don’t really have anyone else to lean on in order to figure out your life. You don’t have a boss to talk to, you don’t
have colleagues to talk to, and it just becomes a really lonely journey. This brings me to my last stage. Stage ten, which is just basically adjustment. This is a stage that I’m in. This stage is basically where you’ve accepted
the new normal. The life that you have after corporate. You basically erase everything that you’ve
ever known in your life and you start over, and you’re okay with that. You start to have new routines. You start to have new habits. You start to have new interests. During this adjustment phase, you’re basically
relearning life. You’re taking courses, you’re reading books,
you’re soul searching, you’re networking. You finally start to have a little system
in place that keeps you sane. At this stage, you’ve basically accepted the
fact that your corporate job was a thing of the past. It was a thing that happened to you, and now
you move forward. Once you hit this tenth stage of adjustment,
you no longer look at your corporate job with resentment. Rather you look at it with a lot of appreciation. You wouldn’t necessarily go back to it, but
at the same time you are just grateful that you had that opportunity and now use those
skills and use those experiences to your advantage with whatever project that you might be pursuing. At this stage you basically have a better
idea of the new path that you want to take, and all your efforts are really concentrated
on how you get yourself from point A to point B, and working towards that new life that
you strive for. So guys, that’s it. Those were the ten stages that I’ve personally
identified throughout my journey of starting a corporate job, and then leaving it, and
then life after that. It’s definitely a bumpy ride, and it’s not
to say that this journey is linear. It doesn’t go one, two, three, four, five,
six, seven, eight, nine, ten. You could go from stage five, then go back
to stage eight, and then go back to stage, ten, and then go back to stage eight. It is truly a roller coaster, but I wanted
to make this video so that at least you have an idea of what to expect if you choose to
leave your job, and especially if you don’t have a backup one afterwards, or if you are
following a different path. So as always, thank you so, so much for watching
my video. I truly, truly from the bottom of my heart
appreciate it. And if you like my content, please make sure
to subscribe. With that being said, I’ll see you next week. Bye everyone.

100 thoughts on “WHAT TO EXPECT: THE 10 Emotional Stages of Quitting a Corporate Job



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  • Handed in my resignation last week at my firm. The awkwardness is real, especially because everyone knew me as the fun guy who worked really hard. I'm going into medicine now (start in a couple weeks),.

  • wow ok im shook! that was too accurate. i just left my job as a hmua at a known salon to pursue my own brand and business. i am totally in that re-adjustment phase and its really hard not to get stuck. but youre killing it girl! im honestly just surprised you havent blow up already <3

  • No more hesitation, just pull the trigger and submit the resignation. then take it as a man and move on! then plan after. ha ha ha ha ha 🙂

  • I'm very happy that I stumbled upon your video. I subscribed to your channel and will be very interested to see where your journey takes you.

  • Wow, I couldnt have said it any better myself! I quit my job 2 days ago and it was the weirdest feeling. I KNEW this is what I had to do, but it still felt weird. Right after i told my boss i was resigning, I went out for a walk just to gather my thoughts of what just happened and I could only think to myself, "wow is this really it, I'll no longer be coming back to this place"? My coworkers were probably all talking about me the day after, but its all good (i expected it). I woke up my first day of being unemployed at the exact time my alarm would ring. But it just felt like i took PTO or something. Guess it hasn't entirely hit me yet, but it probably will on monday when I start my post 9-5 routine

  • wow this is so huge.. I was suppose to quit corporate in december but i am still her….
    I feel like its safer for me to get another job first before I quit.

  • YOUR MOM SOUNDS EXACTLY LIKE MINE! lol, shiver. You just need to restructure your life and transfer your corporate skills towards your new career.

  • After 12 years at my job I quit recently. I put in my two weeks and by day two after my resignation, my boss asked me to leave because it was uncomfortable for him. Hmmmm. I'm now in missing phase

  • Wow this is insanely accurate. I definitely between phase 3 and 4. Anger and frustration growing every day. I know fear is going to hit me hard in the next phase but I'm just going to have to take the plunge. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Great bullet points on the stages, I remember going through almost all of them before quitting my corporate job as well. Stage 9 – Loneliness does stay around quite a bit though, especially if you're a solopreneur. Instead of having regular coworkers to socialize with, I have to be proactive in attending networking and meetup events to really meet like-minded individuals. But it's a different feeling because you probably won't see them regularly, so the sense of community is not there. But after all, it is an adjustment and I've been okay with it for almost 3 years. Props to you on quitting, it has definitely been scary and rewarding experience!

  • I have planned to leave my sucking job. I don't plan to tell about this to anybody except my immediate family and few close friends. So, that I don't have to give any explanation or face judgemental questions.I wud let the world knw later when I establish my dream.Excellent video btw.

  • If you have "nosy busy-bodies" and "tattle-tales" at work, that always worry about what your doing, it's time to leave!

  • I quit my 9-to-5 job last week with no certain plan or another job and every thing you said is sooo true and literally its the best decision I've ever made cause I'm only 22

  • This is just so timely for me, Vanessa! I'm so glad I've subscribed. I'm learning so much from you as you also grow!

  • Trust me, loneliness will be the last thing on my mind. I'm already lonely at my job. i'm going back to my university… aka… self learning to become a software dev and build projects, collaborate, do freelancing and doing ALOT of networking. Granted, I do have debts to pay off, but I feel it make me hustle harder, I will also have the chance to put my health back in check.
    I'm scared though, but if I don't do this, who will ?

  • Leaving my 9-5 (food serving) was the best and scariest thing I have ever done! I just randomly decided that I wanted to help people. My Aunt is a Realtor and I decided to get my license (while still food serving). Once I got my license it was really difficult building up a client base from zero. Now that I have been in it for a few years its been very rewarding, and challenging but I quit my 9-5!!

  • I just quit my corporate job today, I have another job lined up yet I still feel a range of conflicting emotions after handing in the notice. This video sums up my experience so perfectly 😀

  • O-m-g this is so accurate… I'm about to quit my first 9-5 job in two days… I've just worked there for two months but went through all the stages you have described.. Let's go to stage 7, 8 & 9! Thank you!

  • SO RELATABLE! I left my corporate job and started youtube (something i've been wanting to do for years), but the social pressure got to me so i had to get a separate home-based job. it's kind of a win-win situation right now 😀

  • Hi Vanessa, curious to know – how did you move from Stage 9 to 10? Thanks and keep up with the content 🙂

  • Girl this could not be more on point…awesome video. I went through this but the difference is i was laid off and i didnt have the courage or the funds or the support to stay on the self employed path so now i find myself cycling back through the first couple stages in the new environment 🤦‍♀️ kudos to you for sticking with it….new subbie

  • Vanessa!!! Please make more video like this 🤣 you should make comedi channel or something 🤣 I laugh until I cant breathe 😆 😂

  • Nicely said – everything you mentioned is true and accurate. I am at stage 5. I'm glad you have a stage 10. Glad I am not the only one.

  • I have watched 5 of your videos back to back and I have nothing but respect for you. All of these stages hit home for me and its great to see I'm not alone in what I'm feeling.

  • Accurate.I don't like to work.period.I admit it.there, i said it.I DON'T WANT TO WORK.I'll just do youtube

  • Going through stage 9 right now. Trying getting another job which is difficult where I live. I know I made the right decision to leave. Just trying to figure out my goals. This video did make me feel kinda better

  • Last two weeks?! My notice period is two months…. I don't feel like I'll ever stop working here, so I'm not at that stage yet. The first half described me, but not the last one.

  • Im currently think about leaving my welling job at a corporate law firm to go back to being a shift supervisor at starbucks. I am so unhappy. Im so stressed that i have a headache by 10am amd had a nosebleed in the middle of shitty meeting. Im the only person in my department because everyone has left and they have yet to hire anyone else because they believe i can handle it. I cant, have already told them I cant bit yet im still alone and they still pile work on me. Cant wait to give my 2 weeks and take a quick breather. No more after hour emails or text messages, no more nasty emails, no more of the partners family members working at the firm and being tattletales. No more doing attorney work, no more clients thinking they know more than the firm. No more 12 hour days. Typing this out made me realize im not stupid for wanted to do this. Im taking about a 50k pay cut and im okay with it.

  • Stage 5 is me right now to the point it’s scary. I always sleep well but as of lately, it’s been on my mind. And the awkwardness and random emails are everywhere. I love this video.

  • Omg, went through all these stages REAL quick! This is NOT what I signed up for! Only been here since August, will wait until the end of the school year. Working on side gigs now so I can fill the void when the time comes.

  • wow!! You are certainly the best youtuber on earth! Great videos, informative, funny, and incredible. I will clap my hands for those videos forever! Well Done 💎🎓🌹🌍🎨🚀🌟🎉🎖🏆🏅🥇

  • Wow, thanks for sharing, Just know that there are always options! I remember this bar/restaurant closed down, I decided I no longer wanted to do "restaurant work," and I certainly felt some attachment to that kind of work…but the good thing is, I kept on, and kept getting involved in Brand Ambassador work, which brought me a lot of joy. As of now, I'm implementing some new gig ideas, that'll help encourage my growth. I still find that I'm still doing Banquet kitchen work here and there for faster pay, but I'm also realizing I can't compromise my personal happiness over it! Having said this, I'm definitely working on 3-4 different job/gig options, outside of the Brand Ambassador work that I enjoy doing!

  • I’m at the stage where I’ve decided to quit. Though, my decision is because I don’t have enough work and it’s making me depressed and I’m losing my identity.

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