“When it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump. Otherwise you end up staying in the same place your entire life.”
Here’s what I’ve learned from quitting my job….
I was terrified after I gave my notice at my job. I’ve quit jobs before, but this was different. I worked at the same company as my Dad and built a strong relationship with some of my co-workers.
Putting in my notice felt like I was letting them down.
Quitting this job was also different because I didn’t have anything lined up. Whenever I quit, I always have another job to transition to.
Not this time! I quit my job to pursue my dream of working for myself and becoming a freelance writer.
Now, talk about freaking terrifying.
But, I had reached a point at my job where I couldn’t see much of a future in it anymore. When I would wake up in the morning, I didn’t have any sense of purpose.
I worked in an industry that wasn’t the right fit. So I eventually reached the point of putting in my notice, for my own peace of mind.
My anxiety levels were high, and my motivation to get up every day was waning.
It’s interesting when you decide to chase after a dream, especially if you’ve had that dream for a long time. Everything you’ve built up in your head starts to become real, and it’s a strange feeling.
Reality has a way of making itself very present. Fear and guilt can start to settle inside your brain as you come to terms with quitting your job to pursue a dream.
But, don’t let these things get in the way.
Allow yourself to feel exactly how you feel. If you’re anything like me, you might feel fear from leaving a secure job for the uncertainty of starting your own business.
And you might feel guilt about leaving your co-workers behind who have been amazing while you work out your two-weeks. Let these feelings come in, but don’t let them change your mind.
Here Are 3 Things I’ve Learned From Quitting My Job
1. The “Oh Shit” Feeling Floods In Immediately
“What did I just do?” is what some people think when they quit.
Mainly the ones who quit their job to work for themselves. It’s different when you have another job lined up, but there are still doubts that sink in.
You are faced with a burden of change, no matter how big or small. And change is scary. The uncertainty of what comes next can be a little paralyzing.
Even if you can’t stand to work another day at your job, you might have conflicting feelings when you put in your notice. The “oh shit” feeling is strong for the first few days after dropping the ball.
But, it will fade, especially when you start to see that you are surviving all on your own.
I have to say that when I quit my job, even though I was feeling pretty crappy about work for a while, I didn’t feel much better after giving my notice.
Stuck in this mindset that I needed to be at that job, or else I’d end up on the street. I had just bought my first house (I know!) and I was literally chasing after a dream.
It felt like I was being selfish because I didn’t want to keep working at my job.
That’s such a funny way to think, though. If you ever feel guilty about pursuing a dream, that’s where your mindset needs to change. Sure, things might not work out how you expect, but at the same time you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Also, if you don’t listen to yourself once in a while and go after things you want, you will definitely always wonder.
And you might end up building resentment in others, the ones who do go after what they want, which is way worse than chasing after that dream in the first place.
2. You Don’t Have To Have It All Figured Out
I’m going to level with you. When I quit, I didn’t have any clients. I didn’t have a side income, or any income. I had a little bit of savings and big dream. And to a lot of people, that seems irresponsible.
But, I did have somewhat of a plan. Enough of a plan to go off of to keep me in check. I also believed in myself.
If you are at a job that is draining your soul and beating down your confidence, that is enough of a sign that your job is not right for you. And having a back up plan is good. I agree with the financial people of the world that having a good savings cushion for yourself is a great idea.
It’s unfortunate, but you won’t get very far without being able to pay your bills.
With that said, in my opinion I think if you have enough money saved up and strong will, you can make it happen. If you can’t stop thinking about your passion and want to pursue it, then do it.
Because your drive will get you there.
Try not to let the fear of doing your own taxes, or finding health insurance prevent you from trying something you are dying to try.
Keep these things in mind, but at some point you are just going to have to let go of all of the things holding you back, and try it.
3. Nothing Is Permanent
With how we are taught to see the world, it’s easy to think that things are permanent. We are taught to be grateful for what we have and not question it. That is a valuable lesson! But, as with anything, it comes with restrictions.
You might think you should hold onto your job because you were so grateful to have gotten it in the first place. Or that you’d be crazy to give up the pay and benefits to follow a “pipe dream”.
Something I have come to realize a lot lately is that nothing is permanent. Whether you like it or not, things change. For the better, for the worst, it’s all part of how life works and how life goes on.
When things aren’t working anymore, it’s life’s way of saying ‘time to move forward’.
But, since life likes to be mysterious and cryptic, it can be hard to know when that moment is or what is going to happen when you do let go.
So, when you are considering quitting your job to try something new, remember that nothing is permanent. Your current job obviously isn’t if you want to leave, and the future jobs you have might not be either.
That’s the beauty of it! And it’s a good perspective to have, because holding on so tightly to things can make them unbearably hard to give up.
If you can come to the understanding that your decision to quit won’t be the end all be all decision of your life, it’ll be that much easier to prepare yourself to move on.
Another thing I’ve learned is that life is short. I’ve been learning this for years now, but it never gets any less true. If you don’t take risks and force yourself into uncomfortable situations, you won’t grow.
You won’t see your full potential, and you might always be left wondering ‘what if?’ So go forth! Do something that scares you, and challenge yourself to embrace the change.