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 haven’t 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.