I Quit My Job During COVID-19. I Regret Nothing

You can take all the sick days you want. It won’t matter if you don’t have peace of mind. That’s what I learned during this COVID-19 crisis.

I am a person who is driven and likes to succeed. No matter what new role I fall into, I usually end up in a leadership position at some point. I take on challenges, and most of the time I conquer them.

This was not one of those times, but I still made it.

What Was My Job?

I was a claims adjuster for a major auto insurance carrier. It’s a tough job, one that isn’t for everybody. However, true to my personality, I was determined. I thought determination would be enough.

Basically, imagine running a marathon every day while people shoot projectiles at you. That’s how my work day usually went. I’d leave with a mountain of claims only to return with even more.

It became increasingly discouraging, but I was told it was just the nature of the job. So, I stuck with it. I wasn’t going to give up. That was never the plan.

When I Knew It Was More Than Stress

When I began to wake up and have panic attacks, I began to reconsider the role. Pretty soon, I was only getting up to 4 hours of sleep at night. I was drinking heavily. And the claims only seemed to get more complex and more demanding.

I take antidepressants, but they seemed to have no effect in regulating my mood. I would get nauseated just after taking them. In the middle of obtaining a recorded statement, I had to excuse myself to vomit in the restroom.

I knew then that it wasn’t just stress. It was the job itself.

When I Knew It Was Time to Leave

To this day, I still can’t completely explain what came over me. I got up, got dressed, and sat down at my workstation in my living room like always. We had been working from home for about a month at this point.

I turned on my laptop, said good morning to my co-workers via Skype, and I paused.

Then, I started typing out my resignation letter and packing up my workstation. Before I knew it, I’d turned everything into our branch office and was without a job. I felt the most free I’d felt in a long time.

And I was terrified.

There Can Be Courage in Walking Away

I didn’t know what to think when I returned home jobless during the COVID-19 crisis. Then, I began to panic again. What had I done? How would I take care of myself? What would become of me?

But then I had to remind myself that I was driven, ambitious, and determined. Most companies had paused hiring, but there were still plenty that hadn’t. I applied for jobs vigorously until landed something a month later.

I was able to spend the interim catching up on sleep, focusing on self-care, and planning my next move. It was the most restful time of my entire life.

I write all this to say I don’t condone just quitting your job without a plan like I did. But I also understand those who do so in order to protect their mental health. Society expects us to be overworked, underpaid, and in perfect health at all times.

I don’t regret walking away from what I thought was an amazing opportunity. Panic attacks are no longer part of my morning routine, and I plan to keep it that way. I don’t feel shame for quitting a job during the COVID-19 crisis.

And I don’t regret choosing myself.


  1. I knew they wanted to get rid of me….. I sensed it for over a year. But I decided to keep at it because I loved my job and mostly worked independent of the team.
    The 3 others were mean bunch and always gossiping about others. I knew I was one of them!
    My boss kept piling on the work but I kept up and accomplished in 8 hours a day!
    The year prior I filed a grievance with her with HR due to some unsubstantiated acccusations. She fired me exactly 1 year later without backing up her reasons. That was in February of this year. She is still being investigated by Corporate Compliance with my former company.
    Now, I’m gladly drawing unemployment with the extra $600 per month. And, opted for COBRA for the insurance I had. So I’m still on their payroll! Life goes on!

    • That’s awesome!

      A non-conniving boss makes all the difference. It sounds like she isn’t fit to be a leader of any sorts, evidenced by how her team behaved and treated you. No good leader allows a culture of toxicity to fester. They nip it in the bud.

      I also opted in with COBRA for the health insurance. You simply can’t go without it right now, goes back to peace of mind. I’m happy to hear you were able to get unemployment with the additional $600. People don’t realize how hard it is to find a job right now given all the hiring freezes companies are implementing. They think “Oh they just want to sit at home.”

      Well, no. Not everyone wants to work at a grocery store or deliver food to make ends meet. It’s a lot more nuanced than that. Plus, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and people need to stay at home anyway. Not really their fault if they “get comfortable.”

      Keep on trucking! I hope your next position is leagues better than your last.