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Axioms of The Quitstay

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This is the point where you shake your head. The point you realize taking a fake sick day *cue the Ferris Bueller music until the record skips* is not going to cut it any longer.

This is the point where you should look deep inside. In the unfortunate event you discover you are a quitstay a human resources term for someone who has mentally quit their job but keeps turning up for work anyway — do not panic. Instead, you should accept the primary truth of the quitstay: It's way too late to panic now. Only clever planning will get you out of this mess.

Of course, if you are unsure of what your quitstay status really is, it is important for you to determine it immediately. Yes, put down the breakfast burrito and get a hold of yourself.

If you're reading this while you're at work, guess what — you're a quitstay! People who love their job wouldn't be spending company time surfing the Internet. Sorry. But please continue reading, we're here to help.

If you are in the 2% of the population who actually love every aspect of their work, congratulations — it must be really exciting to be a porn star, hitman, or a CEO!

Now some of you out there may be saying, "But I love my job and I'm not in the adult film industry, mafia, or executive level." Yes, I know you said it, but do you really believe it? No, really — because your fellow quitstays know better. We know all about your little denial. It usually stems from one of three things:

  • Money – You make a certain level of income at your job, so you deem it worthy of doing something you've grown to hate, simply because you can afford to have a Hummer. Hello, quitstay!
  • Status – You talk about your job at parties like so: "Well, yes, I'm the [meaningless job title] at [corporate juggernaut with memorable slogan], it's really a great atmosphere." So you're saying that shoveling manure for Google is that much better than doing it for Sal's Electronics Shop? Riiiiiiiight. Hola, parar estancia!
  • Power – You define your purpose by commanding corporate drones to do your bidding around the office. Yet you somehow believe your company could not replace you next month? Uh huh. Bonjour, stoppez le séjour!

Look, let's be clear — nobody faults you for any of these three things. We know you were only trying to find the positive in an otherwise depressing situation. As young adults, we are thrust into the work world and search for any type of redeeming factor in a dead end career we can find. As life unfolds with more responsibility over the years, we often sink into a default setting. However, if you don't like when you boot your computer in Safe Mode, then why do so with your life?

The trick is, if you step out of the comfortably numb shadow of denial, you'll see that the real happiness lies in pursuing what you truly feel passionate about. Yes, if your passion is Rice Krispies, then you should be at Kellogg's door tomorrow, looking for a way to be involved. Sure, it's an exaggeration, but you get the point. Passion has no limits.

It comes down to a little perspective. When you look back on where you are now in 20 years, are you going to regret not having pursued your passions? Hell, that time could come tomorrow, because you don't know how long you're going to live. You could die from any of a billion things — choke on your baby back ribs, inhale toxic dust, have an orgasm-induced heart attack — anything.

So if you've got something you want to do, somewhere you want to go to live, then what's stopping you? Start planning, scheming, plotting. You're not going to get there sitting on your ass, stuck in the same routines, and just accepting it as your fucking lot in life.

The time to start is now. Consider this your wake-up call, free of charge. In case you're wondering, I say all of this because I, too, have made bad decisions in terms of career. But that's not stopping me from trying new avenues to get closer to my passions. It shouldn't for you either.

In case you needed them, here are some good starting points:

Entrepreneur – a plethora of information on starting your own business.
Springwise – a website totally devoted to fresh ideas and insights.
Monster – still one of the best places to find a new career.

And if you're really out there, you can always try the porn route. It might just be better than being a CEO. But maybe not.

Good luck, and thanks for reading. Cheers.

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About Mark Sahm

  • Mark Saleski

    ah, now there’s a label for my lack of career exit!

    p.s. springwise link also goes to monster.com

  • Thanks Saleski. Glad to hear you’re part of “the club”… now does that mean that you’ll be sending some of your ‘best-of’ writing samples to a few music mags? I hope so.

  • Mark Saleski

    sigh…yea, one single Guster feature is not a career.

  • One publish credit beats us losers with none, man! But you got a lot of indy music background you should be expanding on, IMO. You owe to yourself to keep putting it out there.

  • Mark Saleski

    thanks man. i’ll get to it.

  • Sir Saleski has been doing a little market research on a project of epic proportions. OK, so it means he asked some of us Mondo people about how to structure the project, but still. He’s got his eyes on a prize.

    I, on the other hand… I need some imagination and drive. I know I love doing the do… I haven’t put a lot of time or energy into finding a way for it to become an actual career.

  • This is a fantastic and amusing article, Mark! Thanks.

  • Phillip: Much appreciated.

    DJR: None of us would be here writing in the first place if we weren’t driving towards something bigger mentally. Desire is always the first step.

  • Mark Saleski

    not true! i’m thoroughly enjoying the meeting that i’m in the middle of.


  • Mr. Sahm: Stop writing about my work life…someone might actually read this!

  • All references of quitstay examples are purely coincidental. :o)

  • Mark, This article depresses me every time I read it. Yes, I laugh at first but then I reflect on our respective situations. What happens if the entrepreneur route fails us? Do you think we can make it as porn stars? 😉

  • Your comments frighten me. And I love it.