Yep, you read that right.
I quit my job.
In the middle of a pandemic & during a third national lockdown.
I am fortunate in the fact, that leaving my job was a decision I could take, on my terms and leave at a time I was ready. I am aware that many jobs have been lost and many people have been made redundant in these uncertain times. I wanted to share my experience with you because I know there are people out there with a similar internal struggle and I just wanted to say “Hey, it a tough decision but don’t think about it alone, share your thoughts with someone, it’s okay to think about whats right for you”. I also want to mention that I am not going to sit here and bash the company I worked for, I am just going to share my headspace with you all.
For the first time in my life, I felt a strong need to prioritise me. I took a step back and thought about what is it that I want, what is not bringing me happiness? I felt like for a while, I haven’t been growing and I very much felt like I have been standing still but not really sure why and what I was waiting for. Eventually it dawned on me, I didn’t find my job fulfilling anymore.
Now for a bit of back story, I was in my job for just under three years and is started off as any new job does; it was great! The best place I ever worked in, I loved the environment & the energy, the people I met and worked with and the individuals I dealt with on a daily basis. It was exciting & it was something new!
Over time, it came to a point, where in my heart, I realised I wasn’t passionate about my job anymore, I couldn’t agree with the direction the company was taking and I craved something more. I needed something full-filling, something that kept me stimulated on a daily basis, something to help me thrive. I always imagined myself being in a job which I was able to continue to grow in, this is so important to me. A job which would continue to challenge me, helping me develop professionally and as an adult but also I need my job to provide enough stability for me to one day be able to buy a home, start a family, purchase a cute little pup and my dream car. Over time, I realised that if I wanted something bigger and better I will have to make a choice. I also realised the only thing truly keeping me there, where the people I worked with, because despite everything, I felt like we were a little family and it was hard to picture myself flying from the nest, so to speak.
It took me a while to have a very frank conversation with myself because leaving a job is scary. Especially in the world we live in now, but I had two choices, leave now and be scared but exhilarated by the possible opportunities out there, or be too scared to leave and stay in a job I don’t love anymore for the sake of comfort and familiarity. You can see which one I chose.
Making this decision was not on overnight thing, it was over a period of time, where I realised what I had just wasn’t aligning with what I wanted. I mentioned before, I had to take a step back and evaluate things, I thought about my life and I thought a lot about my mental heath too. I have always been the type of person, that if I am unhappy I don’t tend to share how I feel and I tend to hope it will go away on its own some day. I felt that if I leave, I will will be letting people down. I felt like I would be disappointing my parents because my decision might seem irresponsible. I felt like I would be letting my partner down, that it would be selfish of me to be the only one without a job in our relationship. I felt like I would be abandoning my team, my friends and my manager because we’re in a pandemic and I’m tapping out.
This feeling, this guilt, it wasn’t healthy and I just needed to stop. To stop over thinking and evaluating because at the end of the day you have to put yourself first. Sometimes unapologetically. What do you do with the people around you? Well, the rights ones will understand and they will stand behind you in solidarity. The wrong ones? They were never meant to be a permanent piece of your life.
Telling the people closest to me, outside work, I felt a collective but silent sigh of relief from them and received so much support for the decision I have made. I was wrong when I thought I would be met with doubt and uncertainty followed by questions such as “are you sure” and “maybe this isn’t a good idea”. Each person I told showered me with support and love and it only solidified my thoughts further; I was making the right decision.
Telling people that I work with, especially those with whom I have made deep friendships with- boy that was another kettle of fish entirely! Handing my notice over, had to be done over a video call, it was definitely not the most ideal way to have that conversation. The moment I saw my managers face, I started bawling, I think I gave her a fright to be honest! It was very difficult to say “I’m leaving..” to someone you care so much for. Telling my team? I barley managed to get my words out! See the one thing I will always be grateful to my old job, is that it brought some truly wonderful people into my life and created friendships which I will always cherish and hold close to my heart.
I think it was the moment I stopped putting pressure on myself that I realised I’m ready to let go and it was then that everything just started to feel right. I finally felt like leaving is the best decision for me and for the first time in a while something stirred within me. It sounds silly but it’s almost like there was a part of me that go so caught up in life and working and adulthood, that I’ve just shoved it down completely and me deciding to take control of my life again, resulted in this little part of me waking up again and I want to do everything that I can to never let that part fall asleep again.
I’ve also decided to take a little bit of a break in my life. I have pretty much had a job since I was 17/18, whether it was full time or part time, I’ve always been working. It seemed like the expected thing to do, having a break is such a foreign concept unless you’ve booked annual leave from work! To be honest, I probably would have tried to immediately find a new job right after finishing my old one, if it wasn’t for my partners friend who asked me if I’m taking a break. I thought to myself “A break from what? I need a new job, I need to make money”. We are so programmed to think we cannot take any time off, that we must have a job at all times and that something must be wrong if we don’t find one as soon as possible. The work life balance is so faint & we only take time off when someone allows us to!
So yes, in answer to her question I am going to be living life in the slow lane for a little while. I will read, I will take walks, I’m going to take beautiful pictures. I’m just going to live life for a little while and try and be in the moment. I will still apply for jobs, but I will not put pressure on myself to take the first one that wants me.
I feel so positive that there is something really good out there for me, I know deep inside that the next step I take, the next job I find will be what I have been waiting for. I know things happen at the right time and I am trusting the process.
Am I scared? A little yes, but I am thankful that I was brave enough to take this step. Sometimes you have to do what’s right for you.
Welcome to this next step of my journey.
Be kind to one another,
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