How To Talk To Your Partner About Quitting Your Job

You might feel like you can be an open book with your partner while discussing just about anything. However, there are some topics that are downright difficult to talk about, and money is one of them. Whether or not we want to admit it, money makes the world go around, and most of us need jobs as a vital source of income.

That being said, not everyone is in love with their job, and many are uncertain about their initial career path choice. If you fall into this category, you're not alone. Statistics from online course provider edX suggest that after starting their first job, one-third of Americans eventually change fields. While some of this is fueled by a desire for a higher salary, 21% of people simply develop an interest in a different field or career.

Having an epiphany and realizing that you may be happy on a different career path can be exciting. However, it can also create dread and anxiety if you have a partner who financially collaborates with you to support your lifestyle. This might become an even more stressful situation if you hold the title of the "breadwinner" in your household. If you share your finances with your partner, you may become hesitant to broach the topic of potentially quitting your job, but this doesn't mean you have to put your career dreams on hold forever. Here is how to talk about this sensitive situation.

How to discuss quitting your job with your partner

When talking about a topic as significant as quitting your job, treat the conversation with your partner as you would during any serious discussion — make empathy a priority, as well as validation. Your partner may have several different feelings and opinions about your choice. Rather than immediately dismissing them, make it clear that you're listening, and validate your partner's emotions.

It's also important to come into the discussion with your job change plans fully outlined. You don't necessarily need to have a new job lined up, but having an idea of what you would like to do as soon as you quit can give your partner peace of mind. Similarly, the career resource site Après recommends being prepared to explain why you're quitting to your partner. If you're excited about the prospect of venturing into a new career field, for example, share that excitement with your partner.

Finally, don't forget about expressing your gratitude to your partner for being willing to hear you out. Continue to pour on the gratitude if they show their eagerness to hop on board and support you during this transition in your career. As you likely already know, deciding to quit your job comes with many changes, some of which can take a toll on your mental health. Showing your partner that you appreciate their support can strengthen your relationship during this transitional period.

Handling the aftermath of quitting your job

Once you have opened the door to the conversation about quitting your job, you and your partner can begin to talk about what this will mean for your life together. Will your partner need to take on extra work while you job hunt to pay the bills? Could your new prospective job require you both to relocate? The impact of a career change on a relationship goes far beyond finances.

Having a detailed plan as you make your job switch can not only hold you accountable but also help you relieve any anxiety stemming from unpredictability. Create deadlines for yourself, even for tasks as simple as updating your resumé — just remember to be realistic. For instance, you might be setting yourself up for disappointment by expecting to land your new dream job within one year, as explained by the Harvard Business Review. A big transition requires planning, as well as a series of reality checks along the way.

After you quit your job, don't forget to build in some time for self-care. You'll likely feel a wide range of emotions as undergo this significant period of change. Pay attention to your feelings, especially as they pertain to sadness and depression.

If you or someone you know needs help with mental health, please contact the Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741, call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), or visit the National Institute of Mental Health website.