Half of Canadian women regularly fantasize about quitting their jobs

A new survey of Canadian women by Chatelaine finds that many feel ambivalent about their careers, and 16% think about quitting every day

Chatelaine’s “This is 40ish”


Chatelaine’s annual survey of women just over and under 40 has revealed some interesting trends when it comes to work and ambition. The 2017 edition of “This is 40ish” asked 1,029 women about everything from salary ambitions to work-life balance.

One interesting finding was that 54% of women fantasize about quitting their jobs at least once a month, while 16% fantasize about leaving every day. Career coach Heather Petherick says that many women experience what she calls “career chafe.” “[It’s] when your health is being eroded, your relationships suffer, and there’s a real decline in your confidence,” she says. Her advice: “If your job doesn’t provide you with regular evidence of how awesome you are, it’s time to find another one.”

Still, even women who do sometimes find satisfaction in their jobs can experience what Petherick calls the “Sunday-night dreads.” “Our fantasies about quitting hold important clues about what career improvements we need,” she says. “If you fantasize about being your own boss, what’s the attraction there? Is it more spontaneity or autonomy? Is it being the expert? Look bellow the surface for what you really want and see if you can make adjustments in the career you already have,” she advises.

What many women want, it turns out, is more money. 44% of respondents said that more money is the biggest thing they want in their jobs, contradicting recent studies that singled out “culture fit” as the most important criteria for many Canadian workers. Lack of job satisfaction and a drive for higher salaries could be connected. “If you like where you work, and you like the people you work with, I’d advise you to stay where you are,” says Rowan O’Grady, President of Hays Canada. “Regardless of money, who you spend your days with is going to determine how happy you are in your work.”

Want to know more about what women thought of work in 2017? Read “This is 40ish” at Chatelaine.