I quit my full-time job on May 22, 2017. When I quit, I hoped that I’d never have to go back to working in an office setting ever again. Here I am, writing about this one year later and I have had to cave and get another full-time job yet.
Quitting wasn’t easy. I never quit a job without having something new lined up. It was kind of a reckless but at the time, it was the only option. Without getting too deep into the reasons why I’ll say this. The office I was working in was a toxic environment. One that I didn’t need to subject myself to any longer than I already had. That’s why six months after joining the team, I completely erased the company from my social profiles and resume.
Besides leaving behind a terrible company, I learned a few things that I wished I’d learned sooner. Even though I can’t go back in time, I figured it would be nice of me to share with anyone who might also be struggling in a workplace that isn’t right for them.
1. Know Your Worth
For as long as I’ve been in the workforce, I’ve always been a “yes” woman. I constantly did tasks outside of my job description. And that meant that I was doing more work and not getting compensated for it. I guess that’s just part of being a salaried worker.
But that meant I was underutilizing my skills while also selling myself short. Now that I technically work for myself, I can say no to projects I don’t want to work on. I can charge clients what I deserve to be paid for a project due to my experience. I can do work that makes me happy.
Before quitting, I mainly had to grin and bear it which in the long run made me miserable. Instead, I get to showcase work that I’m actually proud of and that feels pretty darn good.
2. Life is Too Short to be Unhappy
I haven’t worked a job that I haven’t complained about incessantly. What made crappy jobs bearable were the people I worked with but there comes a point where those people aren’t a big enough reason to stay. It sucks waking up and dreading the day. It sounds so stupid to complain about having a job, even a shitty one when there are so many other people out there that are struggling to find work at all.
But in the end, it’s about giving yourself the best quality of life. If you can change your circumstances, why not go for it?
3. Career versus Job
When I was contemplating quitting I realized that I was no longer looking for a career. I wanted a job that I could complete and get paid for that would support my eating, drinking and traveling habits. I wasn’t looking for the path to the top of the ladder anymore. I don’t want to be in charge of people.
That job could really be anything as long as it paid the bills. It’s not beneath me to take a job that won’t utilize my skills or further my experience if it pays enough. While I’m lucky to be able to continue working within the digital marketing realm, I’m not ruling out things like waiting tables or bartending to make a quick buck when I need to if it means never working in an office again.
4. Where You Work From
There are some people who have full-time office jobs that have the luxury of working from home at least some of the time. There are even companies that are completely remote. I, unfortunately, have never worked for those kinds of companies, which makes no sense to me. Since almost all of the work I do is online anyway, I could’ve technically worked from anywhere. There was no benefit for me to be in the office. If anything, I was less productive then.
Now I have the freedom to work from anywhere. Sometimes it is distracting to be at home since there are a million other things I could be doing. Mainly Netflix but still. The beauty of working remotely is that if I need a change of scenery I can head to a cafe and bang out my to-do list for the day there.
I know that I’m very lucky to have been able to quit. And I understand that quitting isn’t an option for everyone. However, if I knew what I know now, I might’ve quit my jobs way sooner. Eventually, I might have to go back to an office job and if that time comes, I’ll be on the lookout for a job that’s perfect for me. But until that day comes, I’ll be conducting conference calls from the comfort of my own bed.
Back in the day, I made a video about the 25 things I wanted to do in my 25th year. It was a video bucket list, of sorts. I posted the video right after my 25th birthday and if I’m being honest, I never thought about it again. Which is really a theme for my life.
Since I recently turned 29, I decided to revisit said video to see exactly what I’ve accomplished from that list over the last 4 years. Rewatching the video and transcribing the points was difficult because damn was I annoying. For some reason, I didn’t come up with 25 things, which is also on brand for me.
So let’s take a look at the bucket list I laid out for myself to see where I’m at and what I should have crossed off by my 30th birthday next year.
1. Watch More Netflix
I know this was a joke, but it’s one of the only ones I can say I successfully accomplished. I’ve watched so much Netflix it isn’t funny. I should get paid for the amount of time and effort I put into it. Or I should be committed because it’s not healthy.
Even though, as I mentioned both in this post and the video, this was a joke, I’m leaving it in here because I needed to make this list as close to 25 as I can.
2. Commit to Making Videos Regularly
It took me a year to really get started with this one, but I did consistently post one video a week for a little more than two years. It was on a different channel than this video was posted on but, it was by far my most successful time on YouTube. Until it wasn’t anymore.
I miss making videos. I know I’ll start doing it again. If only YouTube would get it’s shit together, maybe it would actually be something fun to participate in again.
3. Do More Things That Push Me Outside My Comfort Zone
Could I have been vaguer? I don’t even know what I meant by this but I guess I’ve done plenty over the last four years that could qualify for this.
4. Keep Learning New Things
This is another vague one that I’m going to say I accomplished in some capacity. Over the years I’ve taught myself many things. I started learning ASL online. I’ve learned to code (minimally, but I get by). And there are a few other things that are also further down this list so I think it would be cheating to mention them here.
5. Write A Book
Nope. Not even close. I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for at least two of the four years since this video came out but I’m no closer to having a full-length novel written than I was then.
6. Blog More
I used to blog frequently here. But then I switched my hosting company and lost the content since I didn’t know how to backup my site. But I’m getting back into it now and that should count for something, right?
7. Learn Photography
While it’s definitely taken me longer to explore my DSLR camera, I’m finally learning more about photography. I’ve gotten more familiar with the settings on my camera. I’ve upgraded my lens collection to include ones outside the kit lenses that came with my T3i and 80D.
8. Volunteer for a Charity
Of all the things I haven’t accomplished on this list, this is the one I’m most ashamed of. I’ve definitely donated more of my money to different charities and causes that matter to me, but I haven’t given any of my time.
Please shame me.
9. Run a Marathon
Need I say more?
10. Explore More
This is another one that’s left me scratching my head. I don’t know what kind of content I was reaching for when I made my list, but cool I’ve done more exploring around the town I’ve lived in for the last 20 years or so.
11. Be An Honorary Member of the Holy Trinity
Does the Holy Trinity still really exist?
12. Get in a Relationship
But if I get in a relationship how can I continue my successful career as a Cat Lady?
13. Get Fit
I did get into the best shape of my life after this video and then somehow I ended up in the worst shape of my life and I don’t know how or when that happened.
However, I’m happy to report that I’m finally back on track. I did a stint with a physical trainer but I spent more time almost passing out than I did losing weight. Instead, I’ve been working out when I can but ultimately, intermittent fasting has been the answer I’ve been looking for.
14. Do Something Reckless
Seriously, Brittany? What did this even mean?
15. Travel More
By traveling period would’ve meant I’ve traveled more. Since posting the video, I’ve been to many different states. Some were for a reason I’ll touch on later and others were for vacation.
I’m also happy to say that I’ve got more travel in the near future.
16. Write a Screenplay
Why did I set myself up for failure?
17. Inspire Others
How does one even quantify this? If anything, I think I’ve inspired people to eat more burritos.
18. Teach Someone Something New
Does teaching your mother to use her phone count?
19. Build a Community
When I said this, I was in the mindset of becoming YouTube famous. While my intentions might not have been the purest, I think that over the years, I have built a small community of like-minded people. But as a 29-year-old, I realize that by a community, I really mean friends.
20. Try New Foods & Drinks
In my quest to become one of Yelp’s Elite, I’ve definitely explored more restaurants and cuisines in my area. I even went a little crazy in New Orleans last November because why would you head to a city like that and not taste the local delicacies. (Yes, I’m talking about turtle soup.)
21. Go to a Convention
Like Pringles, I haven’t stopped going to conventions. In my video, I mentioned VidCon, Playlist Live and comic cons. I can proudly say that I have done all of that. I’ll be head to VidCon in a couple of weeks and I’ll be back at New York Comic Con in October.
Yes, I have encountered and befriended new people in the last four years. And only a couple of my new friends are cats.
23. Start Working Outside an Office
Well, does quitting my job count as a success? Because I did that too. More about that to come soon.
So there you have it. The (almost) 25 things I wanted to do in my 25th year. It’s probably the saddest bucket list you’ve ever come across but I was young and naive when I created it. And clearly I wasn’t producing the best content when it came to YouTube videos. At 29, I’m kinda surprised I’ve crossed off as many as I have. But also, as an intellectual, I acknowledge that a lot of these things were bullshit resolutions that I would’ve accomplished whether I made a list or not.
As I’ve entered the last year in my 20s, I don’t really have much that I want to accomplish before turning 30. I’m pretty content with how life is right now so why fix something that ain’t broke?