Why to Quit Your Job Before the New Year

This thought provoking post is written by Arthur Woods, co-founder of Imperative, an amazing company that has developed a world first assessment and learning system that helps people to uncover and apply what intrinsically motivates them and gives them purpose in their work. Although the title of this post calls for pre New Year action, the reality is this is something we should all be doing at regular intervals throughout the year. Enjoy Arthur's wisdom.


This fall, in the span of about 30 days, a number of my closest friends left their jobs. It all happened in such a short window of time I was convinced that Mercury was in retrograde. There were a variety of reasons my friends gave but most centered around wanting to grow, make a greater impact somewhere else or join a new community of inspiring people.

Some of my friends immediately sought out new opportunities while others accompanied Julia Roberts on Eat, Pray Love retreats. I was reminded that the process of quitting your job is actually quite cathartic — it pushes you out of state of complacency and forces you to ask very important questions of yourself.

Last new year’s eve, I’ll never forget, my co-founder, Aaron Hurst, wrote a note to our team at Imperative, saying, “Today I’m quitting my job and I encourage you to do the same.” When my panic subsided and I actually read his note, Aaron had a novel idea: at the end of each year we should go through the mental exercise of quitting our jobs and deciding whether or not to rehire ourselves. The main criteria should be purpose.

This sounds scary and it kind of is. But it’s also profound: why wait to ask ourselves important questions until the time when we actually leave our jobs? Why not preempt that process and determine what we want to change? Here are the steps:

  1. Mentally quit your current job.
  2. Consider these questions in your rehiring:
  • Am I making the impact I want to have at work?
  • Do I have meaningful relationships and a strong community in my work?
  • Am I growing and learning each day in my work?

If the answer to any of these is “No” ask yourself then if there is there a capacity to change the situation in your current work. As some anonymous proverb once said, “The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, it’s greenest where we water it.” It’s true — we often times jump to the conclusion that we have to leave our existing situation before we explore if there is capacity to improve it.

The reason we come to work today should not only be because we did yesterday.

So before 2017 is officially here, I’d recommend taking a moment quit your job and rehire yourself. Be open and creative with this process and consider what you want to see change for this new year. I’m convinced 2017 can be a year of purpose at work, whether you quit or whether you stay.

About The Author

Arthur Woods is the Co-Founder of Imperative, a breakthrough assessment and learning system that provides the first place for people to uncover and apply what intrinsically motivates them and gives them purpose in their work. Imperative partners with forward-thinking organizations to equip them with the tools, system and support network to drive purpose for their people. Are you ready to Unlock The Power of Purpose?

Image Credit: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, 2013 - Twentieth Century Fox