5 Invaluable Life Lessons Josiah Learned From Not Quitting a Job He Knew Was Wrong For Him

Over the course of your career, you will have a lot of different jobs. That means, at some point, you will most likely find yourself turning in that infamous two-week notice. Whether it’s to move on to something better or you can’t bear to stand another day at your work – quitting is something we will all end up doing at some point. Yet, too many people quit for the wrong reasons. They get frustrated or upset and leave without thinking much about it. Josiah, on the other hand, refused to quit a job that he knew in his gut was wrong for him. And what happened to him was nothing that he expected.

Josiah Ley and his family


Let me introduce you to Josiah. Josiah is 25-years old, and over the last two years, he has worked in a sales “hunter” role. That means he is actively hunting for new clients a la cold calling.

Over this two-year time frame, Josiah battled with his job because he knew wasn’t right for him. And it wasn’t just the cold calling that he battled with. It was the company dynamics, the leadership roles that were promised and never given, and the values of the company itself.

He would come to me upset, frustrated, and ready to throw in the towel more times than we both may have liked.

At one point he even gave himself a dead-date. If things didn’t change at this company by October 31st, then he would turn in his two weeks – no questions asked.

And yet, he didn’t quit.

He stuck with it.

He did something very few people are willing to do. What came from him sticking it out was nothing short of amazing.

While his story doesn’t have your typical fairy-tale ending, Josiah came out of that experience with some incredible life lessons.

Stories like Josiah’s inspire me to push through the tough times, knowing that I will come out on the other end okay. If you are feeling unhappy in your career or you’re not where you want to be, hopefully, his story can help give you some perspective.

When I sat down with him to ask him about this time in his career, he gave me some invaluable lessons that he learned.

But let me hand it off to him to explain that…

Insert Josiah:

I discovered the contents of my character

I was unhappy at my job for many reasons, but if I were to sum it up, it was because the company culture did not align with my values. I felt undervalued, undeveloped, and constantly discouraged. It felt like every positive was countered with a negative with sarcasm consistently prevailing over praise.

Instead of dwelling in defeat, I viewed this as a learning opportunity to sharpen the contents of my character.

Through the barrage of setbacks, I was committed to be responsible for my response and the attitude I presented to my colleagues, friends, and family.

Learning to endure and sharpen your character through difficult situations will help prepare you for future (and larger) challenges in life. If you are struggling with your company’s culture or how you are being managed, refocus your mindset to understand your value system and then strategize how you will do things differently in a future leadership role.

This strategy will help you better understand your values, strengths, and what it is you truly desire in your next career step. Scott has a great tool in the Definition of Success eBook that can help you easily determine your values.

I figured out that not everything revolves around me

I chose to humble myself by staying at my job because there were larger factors than my happiness at play. I chose the more difficult short-term path for the greater long-term good and it wasn’t easy by any means.

And it wasn’t easy, at all! As much as it may hurt us to hear, everyone is selfish by design. Think about it, being selfish is what helped you survive as a helpless infant, but the reality is many people never grow out of their childhood selfishness.

Staying committed to my job took everything in me. I had to push away the desire to quit almost on a daily basis and think about why I am doing this job in the first place.

And when I did that I was reminded of my son who was about to be born, my wife who I committed to providing for and my co-workers who leaned on me for support. In this process, I realized that while quitting might be the easy thing to do, it wasn’t actually the easiest thing.

I knew I had to stay committed

I hate the advice to quit while you are ahead. Not because I enjoy risks (ok that’s a lie, I am a total risk taker), but rather because life is not about winning all the time. I chose to see my commitments through despite knowing it would result in a short-term loss.

I think when people are unhappy in their jobs, quitting seems like an easy option. But that’s where most people are short sighted. They have an imbalance perspective. And it’s not easy. Heck, I was working for a company whose values were completely different than mine and it took everything in me to stay committed.

The good news is every respectable person deals with this at some point in their life. If you truly want to grow in your career and become a stronger leader, staying committed is about the long-term vision and not focusing on the short-term obstacles

This really tested my optimism

After years of collectively battling negativity, my family’s outlook on life changed tremendously when we adopted a new phrase: Speak Words of Life.

This phrase is taken from the Biblical principle of only speaking words helpful in building others up. It has changed the way I speak and think and has helped me gain an optimistic outlook on life.

By guarding the way I spoke about my workplace, bosses and career path, I developed a mental strength which helped me persevere through the most difficult, hopeless days. Through this, I learned to be more optimistic about my position and the blessings in front of me despite how I felt about my job. I chose to be positive in a difficult circumstance and find the silver lining in the clouds.

My career isn’t everything in my life

My wife and I have a sign hanging above our son’s crib reading: LIVE YOUR DREAMS. It’s a tribute to my late father-in-law as this was the inspiration he left his children when he passed.

I love this saying because my father-in-law understood something profound: You’re either moving forward or backward in life. There is no idle gear in living and living your dreams is a daily choice.

I stuck out a job I did not enjoy so my wife and I could build our family and establish ourselves in a new city. By doing so, I allowed my family to grow and prosper, even when it did not feel like it!

This taught me to embrace the other areas of my life, like my family, my spirituality, and my friendships. I learned that my career was only one part of my life’s purpose. While my career isn’t where I want it to be yet, I am absolutely growing in the other areas of my life and loving the process.

My suggestion to you is that if you aren’t where you want to be in your career, don’t give up on the other areas of your life. Life is more than just your career. It’s important, but not the end all be all to living a happy life!

Rejoining Scott:

Josiah’s story is something truly inspiring. He persevered in the face of adversity and came out the other end a better person because of it. And I’m so glad I was able to help him along the way.

That’s truly why I am committed to the work that I am doing, to help driven and hungry professional like Josiah to not only survive the tough times in their career but to help them redesign and transform their careers. If you are in a place where you are looking for a transformation, download a copy of my Success Toolkit. It’s the perfect place to start your journey.

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