It’s true, after all that time of me preaching about doing what makes you truly happy, I quit my own job. I quit for a number of reasons, and staying true to myself was just one of them. I could go on and on about what a difference that quitting my job has made for me, but I will suffice it to say that I am truly happier making less money than I ever was being in the office for eight hours a day just because it was what was expected of me.
I quit because I was miserable. I quit because the atmosphere was toxic, to say the least. I quit because the communication was terrible. I quit because I dreaded going to work every day. I quit because it took 10 hours out of my week just to get to and from work. I quit because it seemed like everyone wanted me to have ownership of my position, but would get bent out of shape when I did things the way I saw fit. I quit because there was a strong case a favoritism floating around. I quit because I refuse to kiss anyone’s ass just because they have a hefty wallet. And ultimately, I quit because I wasn’t happy.
I could go on. The main thing is that my list of reasons for leaving was longer than my list of reasons to stay, which only consisted of one, lonely, sad word: money. I ditched $50K a year to do my own thing and put my degree to use in a way that would actually make me happy. I had thought about quitting for about a year before I finally threw in the towel. When I finally put in my notice, I had expected to feel panicked and afraid; but much to my surprise, it was actually quite the opposite. I was overjoyed. I felt like a had gained something back. I didn’t worry about money at all. I have my side business and I do work here and there for other companies that need marketing assistance, and I can’t bring myself to fret too hard over something as petty as monetary issues.
Now I get asked all of the time, “how did you just quit your job”? And maybe I’m not understanding the question clearly, but I just…quit. There is no strategy to quitting your full-time day job. You either have to guts to do it or you don’t. I decided I was done, so I made that my reality. I don’t have to drive to an office five days a week now, and that makes me happier than anything. I do lots and lots of computer work now, so I have the freedom to take my things to a coffee shop and work in a more calming atmosphere, should I so choose. I was wasting my days away and ultimately wasting my time (my boss use to HATE when I said “waste of time”, ironically). When I quit, I was at a place in my career where I felt unappreciated, which contributed greatly to my unhappiness. It didn’t really surprise me when I submitted my notice that I was asked to stay by the very person making me feel unappreciated. Yet, I still quit and I am proud of myself for doing so.
*Let me just pause to say this: don’t use this article as an inspiration to just up and leave your job unless you have strategically planned to do so. I spent my entire career saving money. I still try to use only what income I do have for things such as bills and inventory for my shop, but having a nest egg savings account goes a long way in terms of comfort and peace of mind when your salary gets severed in half.*
What you see on Instagram and Tumblr, all those traveling bloggers who just travel for a living – they have sponsors. There are requirements and serious stipulations and qualifications for becoming a travel blogger, so don’t think you’re going to be able to quit and hop on a plane to the Virgin Islands just because you can. It’s just not like that, and they make it seem like it’s a breeze, and for them it really might be easy. But I can promise you that travel bloggers likely started with either lots of capital or connections to excellent sponsors like Dasani or swim suit apparel.
I travelled quite a bit after I quit. First, I went to Dallas, where I was able to cover an incredible concert by my favorite artist, BORNS, then I hopped on a plane the next morning to head off to Arizona. The biggest gem show in the nation is held each year in Tucson, AZ, and I had saved up quite a bit to make a haul out there. I spent a weekend amongst the saguaros and desert plains and came home late on a Sunday night. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted to go back to Arizona, so I booked another flight the following Tuesday and spent three more days galavanting around the West. It was liberating and everything I needed. Again, I had budgeted for all of it. I continue to budget my time and my money in order to balance work and play.
If people would just understand the importance of balance, I think we would have a lot less people dedicated to work and more people dedicated to their own well-being. I feel like we are taught to go to college, get a degree, get married, have kids, and do all the things or whatever. So what kind of BS is it that you can only have one week of vacation a YEAR after spending your whole life in school to learn how to work? Out of 365 days in a year, your already-under-paid self gets seven days to do what you please with. Oh, and they grace you with, like, three sick days. Hallelujah!
What a scam. It is a shame that this is what our economy has come to. I am all for those who genuinely enjoy office work or people who love their jobs, I have nothing but praise for your work ethic; but I just don’t get it. I felt so trapped and so unhappy. I felt so pressured at all times. I hated the condescending emails, the lack of communication, and most of all, I was beginning to hate myself for putting up with it all. There is nothing worse than forcing yourself to withstand something you’d normally put a stop to in a heartbeat. I don’t know why I all of the sudden feel so strongly towards such structure. Maybe it is because I spent the majority of my adolescence bussing tables and serving fried food in order to make ends meet. I have always been a hard worker. I still am. I work every single day, whether it be my marketing gig or my side business, I bust my chops every day, I just don’t have anyone telling me when or how to do it and that’s how I like it.
I take what I do with the utmost seriousness and I am dedicated to fulfilling the needs of my clients, there is just something about actually being free from obligation to commute every day or be somewhere everyday just for the sake of being there. All of my work is now remote. I make trips to visit clients as needed, and I also draw up my own contracts.
A year ago, I would have never had the guts to go forward with quitting my job and quite literally jumping headlong into God-knows-what. I don’t know what will become of my decision, but for now, I can’t seem to find a trace of regret anywhere.