I Quit My Day Job
These days, the internet is full of success stories of entrepreneurial self-starters who abandoned a reliable income in favor of pursuing their ultimate dreams. This story is not one of those.
About a month ago, I quit my day job as an email customer service manager without another opportunity lined up. If you knew me personally, you’d know that this terrified me. I am that quintessential type A personality that wants to know how my entire life is going to unfold along with my exact next step. If I can’t control the outcome, there’s a much slimmer chance of me trying something new.
Fear-based thinking is precisely why I had to quit my job without a safety net to hold me up.
In the past, I’ve let this unknown interim period between work spell the downfall of my mental and physical health. I’ll sink back into the comfort of my homely isolation, procrastinating the job search with little — deceivingly meaningful — projects that take up more time than they’re usually worth. I’ll awfulize the future, focusing not on what I already know and can efficiently utilize — but on what I don’t yet know and won’t devote the time to learn.
Not this time.
This time, I chose to see the unknown as an open space of limitless potential — instead of a gaping chasm that would never catch my fall.
I focused primarily on the skills already in my arsenal — writing, editing, teaching, coaching, learning ability, work-ethic — and I placed my value on earning as much as I possibly could, as quickly as possible.
I finally realized that it was 100% my job to increase my earning potential. That epiphany lit a proverbial fire under me and got me hustling. I placed ads for tutoring on Craiglist and answered as many of them as I could. I signed up for another year of coaching with my life coach so that she could teach me how to do what she does, and create a sky’s the limit business out of it. I pitched my writing ideas to paid publications and advertised myself as a freelance writer and copyeditor on LinkedIn. I reached out to my existing contacts to see if I could offer any of these services to them or their extended communities.
I was only able to do all of this when I accepted the following:
No one else was going to save me from underearning.
I had no way of knowing how this was going to turn out.
I am entirely responsible for creating my future.
And — I do that by taking daily positive actions; instead of relying on hopes, wishes, or dreams.
Getting stuck in fear will never pay my bills or accomplish my goals for me. Letting myself fall into pity and desperation won’t inspire anyone to save me. Wishing or praying for the career of my dreams won’t bring it to my doorstep.
That’s on me.
Quitting my job allowed me to change my perspective, and it’s the best decision I’ve made in years. I would have been wholly complacent in remaining resentful and passive-aggressive in my previous position — blaming my higher-ups for not being able to pay me what I felt I was worth. Ironically, this mindset was preventing me from prioritizing my worth — by making someone else responsible for determining it.
I am not an overnight success, nor am I making significantly more than I was — yet. Still, I feel as though I’m right where I’m supposed to be. Yes, I have more time to write, spend time with the people I care about, and take care of myself. But I also need to properly utilize that time to create the life that I want for myself. For the first time, I’m choosing to see this time as a gift.
I’m not saying you should quit your job without a safety net. I’m actually advertising against that.
I am telling you to entertain the possibility of taking responsibility for your career. Stop blaming external forces for your lack of recognition or repeatedly denied requests for pay increases. It’s 100% your choice to stay where you are, or start creating something different for yourself. Utilize skills that may have been gathering dust for a few years, take side gigs, trust your instincts, stay in your integrity, and don’t say no to opportunity when it comes knocking unless you know something better is around the corner.
I know how much it simultaneously sucks and rocks to realize that your career is entirely in your hands. I also understand that this realization can lead to an unshakeable sense of ownership, personal responsibility, and freedom that no one else could ever provide for me.
Now is the time to identify which thought patterns have been holding you back and begin to question them. Are they still serving you? Are they even true?
What do you truly want? Money.
To do what? Spend more time with my family. Travel. Fix up my home. Buy a home. Pay off my debt.
What would that give you? A sense of security. The ability to think abundantly instead of fearfully.
How would that serve you? I would take more risks. I would open myself up to more opportunities. I would have more time throughout the day that was previously used up by worrying.
Why do you want that? Because I want a life filled with joy, love, and fulfillment.
Why don’t you have that already?