As Holly Willoughby quits her presenting job at This Morning after 14 years, Alex Noel asks how the rest of us know when it’s time to hand in our notice.


Source: Reuters

Holly Willoughby announced in an Instagram post last week that she would be leaving This Morning after 14 years presenting the show. Her decision to quit follows the news of an alleged kidnap plot against her, which saw her placed under police protection at home. Earlier this year, there was speculation that she might move on when long time co-host Philip Schofield left - following revelations that he had lied about his involvement and subsequent affair with a young male colleague. However, Holly returned after a short hiatus and continued to present the show without him. In her announcement on Tuesday, she said that the circumstances made it: “such a difficult goodbye”, but that she needed to: “make this decision for me and my family”.

We may not be facing a criminal threat, or the fall-out from a high-profile scandal involving a colleague. But in recent years it seems that more of us are finding reasons to leave our jobs. Various trends have emerged in the last few years since COVID - from “quiet quitting”, to the “Great Resignation” - that clearly show our dissatisfaction with the status quo. Trending or not, many of us will at some point face major disappointments and frustrations at work; in amongst the realities of negotiating toxic workplaces and difficult bosses. Plus the challenges that accompany them when our relationships, family responsibilities and home life begin to suffer.

Various trends have emerged in the last few years since COVID - from “quiet quitting”, to the “Great Resignation”.

These are hard things to deal with. Not only do they take their toll on our mental health, but can leave us feeling severely traumatised. They force us to weigh up, albeit reluctantly, whether it’s time for us to leave a job; to go in search of a better one or if we’re able, to take some much-needed time out to rest and recuperate. Either way, endings are rarely easy or straightforward. Sometimes they’re within our control, but oftentimes they’re not. In the end, there can be a catalogue of reasons and events that, at the point of decision, make it feel like an inevitability. It’s costly for us both personally and professionally. It’s something I’ve had to reckon with several times during my career.

Ecclesiastes 3 is very frank about endings - it describes there being "…a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun". This principle offers us a way to feel more positive, and provides a philosophical outlook on taking the decision to leave a job. It reminds us that there is a bigger story to our lives and always the opportunity to learn something valuable from our negative experiences. Even when they’re forced on us or out of our control, we can still find meaning and hope.

Ecclesiastes 3 is very frank about endings: "…a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the sun".

Knowing that God has a plan for us and is orchestrating our lives according to his timing frees us up and takes the pressure off. It brings clarity and prevents us from staying on unduly long in a situation that isn’t right for us anymore - for any number of reasons. It may still feel like a loss, or even a failure - but it’s comforting to know that when we do make those decisions, they mark the end of a season… and not just that, but also the beginning of a whole new one.