Should I quit in the middle of a pandemic?

Hi Ranjani,

I joined my current job in the warehousing sector in February, at the end of my last semester of post-grad specializing in logistics (and before the pandemic started) as a fresher.

I don’t like the job and have realized I’m not a good fit for warehousing either. Also, working from home is impossible for a warehouse-related job!

How do I transition to another industry (preferably where remote work is possible)? I don’t want to quit my current job.



Hi S,

While trying to think of a ‘right’ answer for your question, I’ve been reading up a bit. And I found one thing that’ll help you immensely. It’s ‘The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)‘ by Seth Godin.

I’d encourage you to read it end-to-end, it’s less than 100 pages and a rather easy read. In summary, what he says is that you should regularly quit things that aren’t right for you. But you should also be able to identify if it’s really ‘not right’ or you’re just in an ‘inevitable slump’. Because tiding past that slump is integral to great success. Read the book for theory, it would change the way you look at quitting. And you can apply it quite easily to your current situation.

Now, coming to how to transition to another industry.

  • Get your finances in order. Calculate how much money you have, how much you *need* to earn, how much you want to earn etc. This will help a great deal in knowing if the new job is worth it.

  • Identify your other employable skills. What else are you good at, S? Writing, designing, programming, customer support, data analytics, organising, SEO, SEM. This blog post might help you a bit with that.

  • Build your profile. Once you know what jobs you want, make a CV and a portfolio.

  • Reach out to people and apply to jobs. If you know experts in the area that you’re interested in, send your CV and request feedback. Apply to available vacancies. This will be a long grind, S. Remember to keep at it. Make little progress everyday.

  • Move when you have a good one in hand. You say that you don’t want to quit. So, don’t. Find another boat to jump to and then jump.

I’d also like to give you a few warnings, S. Six months is too short to realise you’re not a good fit. Six months after college is especially not. Add COVID into the mix and I wonder if you’re giving it a fair chance.

I understand your frustration. But, is there a possibility that you’re just pissed in the moment? When warehouses become operational again — they will, even if it takes several months — is there a possibility that you’ll have work and learn to be great at it? Are you rushing to a decision in distress?

On the other hand, if your current frustration is because of not having to do anything *now*, is there a way you can make yourself productive? Reading, taking online courses, building something from scratch? May be all you need is an inspiring distraction.

Think about it, S. Perhaps even talk to a career coach, if it’ll help. Times are hard for everyone. Don’t be hard on yourself. Let me know what you decide.