How to leave the Job you LOVE for the Job you NEED


If you’ve been reading Let’s Build for a while you know that changing jobs is as common as changing panties for me; but that doesn’t always mean it’s easy. Yet, having the right job for the reality of your life is an important tool for building a better life for yourself. In fact, I want to discuss how you can gracefully leave a job you LOVE to go to the job you NEED.

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Why Leave

I know, I know for the millennial generation working a job you love is up there with our other major needs in the workplace like opportunities to lead, working with an impact/goal and paid time off. Goodness forbid we do what our parents did and work a job that sucks just for a steady paycheck and benefits. But let’s be honest, with more of us tackling student loan debt and coming into an age where taking care of baby boomer parents is common due to their lack of saving for retirement, you may find that the job you love is not meeting all of your needs. An article from Bustle explains this situation perfectly in Our Parents Are Broke & So Are We. Now What?.

Regardless of the reasons, our needs change. Something happens and a few extra hundred a month could be the difference between just making it and being able to set up for a better financial future or freeing extra time for family or a higher job title. With a generation so in tune with our wants we often place our immediate needs on the back burner until we start to smell smoke. Sometimes we have to remind ourselves that making the most of unexpected opportunities is one of those millennial mistakes lessons that we learned a few years ago.


Blazers to Boots

Currently, I work in a slow pace environment with three other people who I’ve managed to form bonds with outside of the awkward workplace tango many of us do when in “work mode.” While working here I’ve managed to tap into my creative side and launch my blog as a result of having the time and resources to focus on the Let’s Build brand. I work with a purpose to uplift an entire community, with vacations, holidays, sick leave, health benefits, and decent pay. I truly love my job. This will all change in two weeks as I trade in my blazers and afro-centric work attire for a uniform and heavy boots. I will trade in quiet interactions for loud voices and a mentally stimulating environment for a physically demanding one.


I will also be trading in set salary pay for an income increase. I will be trading in a sometimes hectic work life for a more simplistic one because instead of juggling two jobs I’ll be down to one. When I run down the mental list of pros and cons of leaving to embark on a new chapter, the choice is really a no-brainer. My priorities have changed and I now need to adjust my reality to achieve the things that will place me where I want to be in life. So, even though I love my current job I have to take the job I need instead. But just how do you do that?


Be Honest

Telling your boss that you’re leaving because you need a job that aligns better with your financial/personal/professional reality can play out in many different ways. You should prepare yourself for the many possibilities.

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A. They could offer to rise to the occasion to meet those needs to keep you as a part of the team. (This may not be an option within their power to do in many cases.)

B. They could be understanding and wish you the best in your pursuits because, ya know, it’s hard outchea and you have to get it how you live.

C. They could even be resentful regardless of ample notice and an exemplary track record while working there because they know that they are losing an asset and will have to go through the process of replacing you.

D. All of the Above

The best way to break the news is to share only what is necessary in an honest way. You don’t have to go on a rant of how the opportunity will be far better than the job you’re in now but don’t shy away from saying that it’s simply the best choice for your life at the moment.


Don’t Apologize

As a society we have a tendency to over apologize whether we actually mean it or not, “oh, I’m sorry I got the last double chocolate muffin.” “Oh, I’m sorry I got the closer parking spot.” “Oh, I’m sorry I need to take advantage of a job opportunity that could get me out of debt sooner?…” STOP APOLOGIZING FOR DOING WHAT’S BEST IN YOUR LIFE!


(unless of course you’re truly harming someone, in that case just be a better person immediately.) But when leaving a good job for a great job or a job you love for the job you need; you should not feel compelled to excessively apologize. If it’s short notice, then yes apologize for that aspect but don’t over-explain why it’s the best choice, don’t inflate the issues it will correct in your life and for the love of all that is millennial DON’T APOLOGIZE for seizing your moment.


Ohana Means Family

Having bonds with co-workers can make it that much more difficult to lay on the news that you’re leaving but staying in a job for others is never the right choice. Just as you wouldn’t pass up a great opportunity when it comes to your blood family; you also shouldn’t do it for your work family.

When I first realized I was really leaving I focused heavily on how my boss and co-workers would be effected professionally and personally in their relation to my position and presence in the workplace. I’m not going to say that how they feel should be none of your concern but it shouldn’t be all of your concern either. If the bonds you built with your work family are strong then you will ensure that they will continue even after you’re gone if possible but if say, you’re moving across country, then you still shouldn’t feel that losing a work family diminishes what you built with them in the workplace. Appreciate what you had and hopefully they’ll do the same.


When Short Notice is Imminent

It is important to provide your workplace with enough time to adjust and take the needed measures in response to your exit. In some cases you may not exactly have control over getting little to no real notice of another job opportunity available to you. This makes exiting your beloved workplace stressful. When you keep your mind on the “why” behind your decision to leave it will help to alleviate much of the anxiety you feel over a hasty exit. The greater good may not be in the greatest good for your current workplace but doing your part to translate the why, when and how you’ve come to your decision to leave should allow your workplace to adjust from there. Do what you can with what you have and don’t try to control how others react to the news.


Builders, have you ever left something you wanted for something you needed (jobs, locations, relationships?) Comment below and Let’s Talk about it!



11 replies
  1. Scribbles and Tostitos
    Scribbles and Tostitos says:

    Five years ago, I landed my dream job at my dream organization. I could not have been happier. I felt I was really making a difference in others’ lives with the health and wellness program I ran for children. Well, my happiness faded in 3 months. The job ended up not being a good fit for me. I enjoyed working with youth, but the organization was experiencing some financial challenges, which eventually made it an unhealthy workplace.

    I left the role without having a job lined up. I endured a 2 month “vacation,” where I wavered between regretting my decision and being relieved that I no longer had to work there.

    Six weeks later, I landed a job at a tech company. That job led the way to my current career path and motivated me to earn another master’s degree in a budding field, where the opportunities are endless.

    Thank you for this post. You’re right. Millennials get a little short-sighted sometimes and I’m guilty of that too. I don’t know why we believe that life will be easy all the time. That’s never true. Not even for people who are wealthy, or heir to the royal throne. No one is immune to life’s challenges. We all gotta to do what we gotta do: sacrifice, work hard, suck it up and make a way.

    Any reason why millennials feel so entitled? Is it the way we were raised?

    • letsbuildfutures
      letsbuildfutures says:

      Oh wow, It’s amazing how you went through something like but it brought you into a wonderful career in your life that you possibly wouldn’t have pursued otherwise.

      I’ve always been a job-hopper simply because I worked blue collar jobs and the fit was never right; and like you I’m not one to stay in a job that just doesn’t fit. I started this last job a year ago and have truly been able to exercise a completely different side of my intellect as a result of my position. But this opportunity for my part-time job will meet many of my needs and well as my wants.

      As far as entitlement goes, I actually was having a conversation about millennials in the workplace with two older individuals the other day. I think that view does merit some truth however; unions were formed in the days of our grandparents and parents simply because they needed to ensure they got what they felt they were “entitled” to from companies. Many millennials, not all, are starting off with many financial responsibilities or in a deficit that those before them didn’t necessarily have due to the workforce been oversaturated, no real unions to ensure workers are taken care of and of course student debt. I was by no means raised with a sliver spoon in my mouth so now that I’ve gotten a handsome amount of skills I expect wherever I work to meet my wants and needs just as they expect of me as an employee. Yet, many of us are conflicted, on one hand we want to make money doing what we love and sharing it on Instagram on the other we want to not struggle like our parents and we want to eliminate any financial hardships quickly so that we can play catch up on getting financial freedom. I also think when we hear the term “millennial” we get a particular image of a young adult that isn’t true for the entire spectrum of us. I was actually working on a piece about this…what is your take on it?

      • Scribbles and Tostitos
        Scribbles and Tostitos says:

        I agree that many millennials start their career life in the red. The problem is we believe that we are super special and that employers should see our value asap and promote us immediately. It’s the belief that we should be recognized for our contributions, employers should be “kind” to us, and we should receive the same compensation as those who have more experience. It’s the faulty belief that we should get all the benefits, simply because we are educated without having to pay our dues.

        All of us aren’t like that. It seems like you might not have such beliefs but I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been talking with a peer and they complain about their job and how much money they should be making. Ma’am, you only have 2 years experience. You can’t be compensated based on that; no one knows what you’re capable of.

        Our parents didn’t have such mentality. They worked their asses off and it didn’t phase them if their bosses didn’t say hello. No. Cause they were only focused on making that paper. They worked hard, proved themselves and then got promoted.

        Sometimes, as millennials we believe that we can bypass life’s obstacles and get the prize at the end of the finish line. Life doesn’t work like that.

      • letsbuildfutures
        letsbuildfutures says:

        You are right on so many levels but you know I have to play devils advocate because I’ve honestly been on both sides of this. I did my first hiring about 9months ago and majority of the interviewees were my age or under being millennial nonetheless; we hired one and every week I understand why millennials as a group get the reputation we do when it comes to work ethic.

        Yet, I personally don’t fit into that box as I’ve always impressed my bosses with my drive and tactic in the workplace. And maybe I’m looking at this from a personal stand point but I believe it rings true for so many millennials that were told in order to lift themselves up that they must get higher education or go into a certain field but mainly attain education. For the ones who had the luxury of parental guidance and financial help they enter the workforce expecting opportunities to be laid at their feet because maybe they never really had to work hard for anything; then you have those who did, got educated, took on multiple internships and held jobs since they were teenagers only to enter a workforce that is unforgiving and not meeting the realities of the needs they have that their parents didn’t at the same age. Our parents and grandparents didn’t rock the boat, they worked hard and trusted that was all they needed to do to be alright but corporations and big businesses took full advantage of that loyalty and now expect a generation that watched their parents lose their houses or retirement to enter into a small cubicle gracious and with blinding trust. I think many millennials feel entitled yes, many never developed a work ethic or learned how to wait patiently or put in the time needed to cultivate a real work experience. But when the stakes are higher before you even get started good, you would expect the reward to rise to meet that.

        I think as a generation whether knowingly or unknowingly we are rightfully holding corporations accountable for the environment in which we work and the opportunities they are providing. It’s this culture of thinking that you don’t ask questions because it challenges authority or you work hard because it signals you’re an innately good person that has caused our workforce to devalue the very people who make the economy work. Millennials aren’t perfect but when we forget that millennials incorporate not only middle class Caucasian kids but minorities, kids from low income families and communities etc…when we look at the full scope of what we’re talking about when we describe millennials in the workplace then I believe the conversation will change.

      • Scribbles and Tostitos
        Scribbles and Tostitos says:

        I guess this has a lot to do with how we are raised. The ones who grew up with added luxuries feel more entitled than others. It affects their motivation and work ethic. It’s the reason that when I have kids, I will make sure they have what they need but not be too over the top with things.

        But you have a great point about our ability to negotiate and ask for what we want. It’s definitely a good thing.

        And I suppose we can’t paint all millennials with the same brush. So many different types with unique backgrounds

        Fun conversation as usual! I always enjoy reading and discussing various topics with you. 😀

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