I have been working at my current job for 5 months. Previous to this job, I was a teacher. My current job description was for an educator who would reach out and collaborate with teachers in order to help support their science instruction. Since my background is in science, this seemed like a great job- a combination of teaching and science. Perfect!

That said, I have not been happy since my first week. First of all, I am not teaching. At my core I am a teacher, and the job description was clear that the organization was looking for a teacher. However, I have not taught in a classroom at all since being at this job. Instead, I respond to emails, help with anything my supervisor asks, organize events, mail materials out to customers, and work to maintain some of the programs that occur onsite. I have very little say in what I do during the day. I have no benefits, and went through a huge decrease in pay. I am payed $13/ hour. I hold teaching certifications and a B.S. Constantly asked / told to work hours that put my over time, and am only 'allowed' to put down 8 hours/ day on my timesheet - 40 hours / week max. no matter how much I work.

Lastly, I do not believe in the heart of this institution. It seems to me that they do not treat their employees as well as they should/could. There is certainly a hierarchy. Last year, the organization asked employees to go on unemployment in order to save money.

These are all things I found out only by working here. I am very unhappy and desperately wish to leave. I'd like to find a long term sub teaching position or childcare position and return to that field next year. I feel quite bad about my desire to quit, and don't want to burn bridges. I would like to do things gracefully, but know that I am suffering personally & professionally the longer I remain. I am confident that I could find an alternative job in less than a month, as I have good references. I know that my supervisor will be incredibly upset and feel as though I am betraying the organization and her.

How do I quit with grace? Should I quit? I am certainly not growing professionally and truly miss teaching.

Thank you for your time.

  • I was incredibly excited at the opportunity to work for this organization. I had no idea that they were struggling as much as I now know they are. It was all kept very 'hush hush'. I was told the pay rate during the initial offer conversation. However, I assumed (wrongly) there may be the possibility of a raise. I never knew that they had asked their staff to go on unemployment, and that they would ask my to work more than 40 hours consistently. I had stars in my eyes and was not being realistic. Is my confusion and desire to leave unfair to the organization? – Harriette Nov 16 '14 at 23:04

Long hours. Low pay. Job does not meet expectations and is way underskilled. Usually, I am looking for another job the minute I realize my position meets the criteria I just listed and the longer I hang on, the more people are going to ask themselves if there is more to the reasons I left then the reason I stated.

They wanted a teacher. But I never got from your narrative that they specified that they wanted you to teach at the time they hired you - It looks like it is a case of you filling in the blanks with the wrong assumption: "They want a teacher. Ergo, they want me to teach" If this is the case, it is your mistake not theirs.

Nothing wrong with bailing out on an organization that does not execute the mission you believe in or executes the mission you believe in but in a way that's unacceptable to you. The French Army of 1940 was certainly fighting for a just cause but the fight that it was fighting for a just cause in no way justifies its performance back then.

Nobody wants to burn bridges. However, you are in a situation where you are burning through your bank account, your energy level, your morale and your sanity. And you are working for an organization that may be defining the very act of leaving as burning bridges and a betrayal of its mission. It's time for you decide what you'd rather burn going forward.

If I were to work for a non-profit, I'd work for a non-profit whose mission I believe and whose execution of the mission I agree with. If both of these conditions are not met, I would not hang on. There are other outfits out there with the same or similar mission that are better run.

If you believe that by leaving, you're taking back control of your life, then that's a pretty good indicator that you are making the right decision.

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