Post Academic

Why Quitting Might Not Be As Bad As You Think

Posted in Transfer Your Skills by Caroline Roberts on January 28, 2011
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Is quitting really that bad? In a guest post I did for Worst Professor Ever a few months ago, I fessed up to quitting a PhD program after the MA. I wrote the following:

Yes. I’m a quitter who makes more money and has better job opportunities precisely because I quit.

That’s all true. I do make more money, and I do have better job opportunities, but I realize that I sound, well, prickly and defensive. The subject of quitting brings out that feeling in me.

What’s so bad about quitting? For starters, “quitter” is one of the first insults hurled when a person abandons a challenge. “Quitting” is synonymous with weakness and whining. It’s the low point in any movie, the moment when the protagonist hits rock-bottom. Even in comedies, someone must protect the protagonist from being a quitter, like when Leslie Nielsen rallies Robert Hays into landing that hot-mess airplane and proving he’s a real pilot after all.

Okay, you might not want to quit your job in this fashion, but this is a pretty good “I quit” monologue. Apologies for anyone who have issues with potty mouths.