Why I Quit My 'Dream Job' -- Without A Safety Net

<b class="credit">Chris Guillebeau</b>
Chris Guillebeau

"What the hell are you doing?"

That was the tweet I got from a friend when the press release went out announcing I'd resigned. It was a typical and understandable reaction. I'd spent 20-plus years in public radio, eleven of them as a host for public radio's business and economics program Marketplace. It was a great job, my dream job, for a very long time. But I knew I had to go, and I left in November 2012 (after giving three months' notice.)

How do you know when it's time to go? It was an extraordinarily hard decision for me. Partly, I was tired of the subject matter. There are only so many times you can tell people to save for retirement and college and not to rack up credit card debt or buy things they can't afford -- before you feel like a broken record week in and week out.

I also left for internal workplace reasons that I'm keeping private. I will say, though, that you know it's time to go, when you have too much self-respect to stay. And when you're so stressed out that you start losing your hair. Yes, that actually happened to me.