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What really happened when I said f*ck it and quit my unfulfilling job

So so many of us hate our jobs, as well as resent the hell out of the fact that we need them at all (or think we need them, at least). We are desperate to quit… but can’t (or think we can’t, at least).

Maybe your job started out great, with lots of high hopes for creativity, satisfaction, security, good pay. Most of the time when we begin a new job, we look at it with excitement and positivity for the future.

I mean, when was the last time you took a job that you hoped would end as soon as possible?

We want our means of earning income to be fulfilling. We want to make a meaningful contribution with our days and we want to be rewarded accordingly. We want the time we spend at work to feel good, worth the effort, and be a good trade for our sacrifice. We also — ideally — want those feelings to last. There is nothing wrong with that!

But what happens if all that goes away? What do you do when what started out great, ends up turning to crap?

What if everything you were promised in the beginning, changed into something unrecognizable and not at all what you signed up for?

Maybe you’ve had lots of jobs, all hoping each one would be the ONE, the one that would keep you challenged, excited, and highly rewarded until you could retire (but why would you retire?! You LOVE your job! It’s the ONE!).

And it has yet to happen, and now you’re pushing 50. Or 40. Or 30.

Or maybe you are just DONE with working for other people. Being told what to do every day, someone else always controlling your time and income.

Whatever, you’re just done.

What now?

That was me. ☹️ I’d had enough, and I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Like many of you, I had a “good” job on paper: paid reasonably well, I actually got to work from home 100% of the time, quite secure, got health insurance, some paid time off, yadda yadda yadda.

I get it, a lot of people might kill for a job like that. I know.

And for a year and a half, the job was pretty great! I was proud of what I did, loved the people I worked with (and I loved my boss — still do, we’re friends!), and the work itself was quite interesting and challenging.

But as forever always, it changed. It turned into something I hadn’t signed on for, and while I kept telling myself it would change back or by some miracle get better, of course… it didn’t.

And you know? I had intended to stay in that job until retirement. It was actually a job I had left five years before, and went back to, because I had such fond memories of it.

Yeah. A lot had changed in the five years I had been away. Believe me, I was extremely disappointed.

Not to mention, a little embarrassed! When I did finally hand in my resignation after three years, a few people actually laughed. They couldn’t believe I had wanted to come back, and what — you’re leaving… again?!? 🙄 🙄

Sigh.

But I needed the money, right? RIGHT??!??

When the job started getting bad, naturally, I blew it off. You know, it was a blip, a bad period, temporary — all the things we tell ourselves to convince ourselves the Universe isn’t telling us it’s time (or coming time) to move on.

Plus, I needed the money.

Well, I thought I did.

And I did, for a while. When I got the job, I immediately moved out of my modest but very nice rental house and moved into a $3000-a-month gorgeous dream house on a golf course (it wasn’t worth the money, but it was spectacular).

I paid off my brand new truck in a year. No other debt. I was free!

I started going out, having vacations — paid in cash — doing all the things I’ve longed to do for many, many years. I had finally come into my own!

FINALLY!

I mean, at 46 years old, it was about damn time.

It was bliss for nearly two years. I met the love of my life, we went out all the time, took vacations together, enjoyed the view from my awesome house. I had thousands of dollars in savings that I never had before. I was enjoying my job, and the fruits of my labor!

And then slowly but surely, it started going down the toilet.

Everything has a cost. It’s just a question of what price you are willing to pay.

I was so sad, and so incredibly disillusioned, when this job turned out like all the rest. I was sure this one was it! I was too old for this to be happening again!

APPARENTLY NOT.

Was I ever going to have the life I have dreamed of since… what… I was a zygote? Was it always going to end up like this?

But alas, gradually feeling unappreciated, used, taken for granted, being expected to work day and night, and eventually feeling like I was not being paid enough or getting enough vacation for my years of experience and contributions were costs I was not willing to pay for a gorgeous house and fancy vacations and a lifestyle I do still want, but apparently wasn’t going to get to keep. At least not right now!

No way, no how.

There HAS to be more than this.

But what was I going to do? Get another job? I’m 49 years old now for fuck’s sake! How many times am I going to have to do this??

That job was supposed to be my ideal job (and my last one)… and it had been.

For a while.

It was everything I had asked for when I sat down and created [what I thought was] the perfect job four years ago.

Until it changed.

So really…. how much different would another job be?

For how long?

I realized, for me, a new job wasn’t going to change anything. So it was time to change EVERYTHING.

If you really want to change your life, you actually have to change your life.

Now while that might sound like a cute little quotable quip, it’s damn true!

No change=no change. Conversely, change=change.

So you have to change shit, if you want shit to change!

Doi.

And that’s what I realized and decided to do. I didn’t want to give up the gorgeous house that I felt I had finally earned, nor did I want to give up the lovely vacations (when I could get the time, dammit), and, quite frankly, the freedom to buy most of what I really wanted with cash. I didn’t want to go backwards, for the love!

But seriously, I didn’t want even more to have to log on at six o’clock every morning and be demanded to do things I really really hated for eight hours a day for the rest of my agile life.

I had to find something else. Life is way too short.

So… what then?

It was at this time that I finally woke up.

For me, I realized that it was time for a very, very long held dream to become a reality. There was simply no other palatable option anymore!

Like many folks this day and age, I’ve been toying with having an online business (my dream since about year 2000), and had worked for myself before on and off, but it had never gained any real traction. Why?

Because I never would commit the time and effort towards it. I would always allow myself to get distracted by seemingly shinier things.

And as a website developer by trade, I’ve put lots of other people’s businesses online. How ridiculous was it that I hadn’t put my own out there?

I had even started taking online business classes a while back, writing classes, marketing classes, all these wonderful things, but had no time (or energy) to finish any of them. I loved all of it, but my job(s) always sucked the life and motivation out of me.

Why was I bothering at all with any of these things, if not to do something with them?

I knew I wanted my time back. I wanted my freedom back. I wanted my life back.

Sigh, even if it meant I was also back to not making much money. Argh!

This time, FINALLY, I was willing to make the sacrifices to make what I really want happen.

Are you?

So what did I do?

Well before I officially decided to quit and not look for another job, I evaluated what I had going for me, in great detail. I looked at my assets, and my liabilities. How did they weigh out? Were they any better than they were six years ago?

Actually, yes.

  1. Even though I was giving up a guaranteed stream of income (for a while), by the time I quit, I would have two years+ of income in my savings account and no debt. I didn’t have that before.
  2. I have somewhere I can live very comfortably for free — the only expenses I would have to fork out for are food, gas, and internet. Any other expenses are elective. I didn’t have that before.
  3. I have a wonderful support system now. I’ve got Allen who believes in me (although, he’s nervous), lots of friends who are excited for me (and a little envious), and a few family members who, while skeptical, know this is what I really need to be doing. I didn’t have that before.
  4. I have a product to sell. I actually know how I am going to make money online this time. I didn’t have that before.
  5. I can always get another job if everything goes to shit. I have always been able to get a job, so it’s not like I’m going to end up in the gutter if this endeavor doesn’t work out (but it will, dammit!). Admittedly, I did have that before.
  6. Lastly, and possibly most importantly (Allen, you’re still important!), I know a HELL of a lot more about building an online business now than I did six years ago. All that education I shelled out for was so, so worth it. I didn’t have that before.

 

So what are the liabilities?

  1. I’m scared. I’m scared I’m not going to start making money online before my savings run out. I’m going to be 50 this year — what the fuck am I doing? Everything I read says it takes years before you start seeing any money — am I crazy to use nearly all the money I have to do this? Maybe.
  2. Allen doesn’t understand any of this, and I need him (I live with him, he’s my home, and we’re not married yet). He’s had the same blue collar job for over 30 years. He’s terrified I’m not going to have any money for retirement and that he’s going to have to work forever to support us. Making money online is very alien to him. I’m scared his patience might run out.
  3. I have never succeeded — so far — with making a decent living online (I’ve made a living and I’ve been able to support myself, but it’s been meager). I have failed in every attempt. I know how to do it in theory, but I have yet to make it happen in reality. Why should anything be different now?

 

In the end, the assets far outweigh the liabilities. Jeez, the liabilities are all fear, anyway! And like I said, if this doesn’t work out, then yeah, I’ll have to get another job. Oh well.

But I HAD to try.

So six months before I quit, I gave up my gorgeous house with the wonderful view, moved into Allen’s small townhome with a view of the back of someone’s house where I didn’t have to pay living expenses, and instead of blowing it on “fun” stuff, I saved all the money I needed to save to have over two years of living expenses available to me in cash (including having enough to get my own place if that were ever necessary).

It wasn’t an easy six months getting it all ready, but when that last work day came… ahhhh.

Bliss.

So what are the results?

Well, so far, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve only been out of the job for two and a half months, so all the results aren’t in. I haven’t made one red cent yet, but I’m so much happier and I’m getting so much done I can barely contain myself.

know it was the right thing to do. Absolutely NO regrets.

Now have there been moments of panic?

Fuck yeah, there have!

There are days when I feel so pulled in different directions, I don’t know what to do first. And those directions aren’t necessarily even for my business!

  • I worry I should be preparing my resume and online portfolio now, in case I need to find another job sooner than later (I hate that I’m even thinking that, but it’s true).
  • I wonder if I should be finishing the classes I paid for and started first, or if I should be creating a lead magnet.
  • I wonder if I should be creating a Facebook ad so I can sell website templates first, instead of building the class I was thinking of selling.
  • And if so, then I need to build more website templates. Should I do that first?
  • And what about blog posts? I need to get my website going and some blog posts on there so it won’t look anemic when traffic starts showing up. Should I do that first?

 

I swear to God, I’m busier now than when I had a job. 😉

But I love this SOOOOO much more. 🥰🥰🥰🥰

In the end, I do a little of all of it each day. I’ve created a lead magnet. I’m investigating Facebook ads. I’m finally finishing the classes I started two years ago! I’m writing blog posts. I did update my resume and my online portfolio, so if things do get dire, I’m ready. I’ve built eight website templates, and started building the online class to go with them.

I’ve even found time to go on two ski vacations and a trip to England to see my mom.

All in 2.5 months!

So yeah. I may not be making money yet, but it’s on the way. I’ll be fine.

And I’ve never been happier or more free! Or more excited about the future.

So if you’re thinking of quitting your unfulfilling job, I say go for it — but do it wisely and with thought

It’s okay to quit a job that you think is shit. Anyone else’s opinion on that is just that — an opinion, and it’s always based on their own fears and conditioned filters.

Their opinions ain’t gospel. You have to do what’s right for you.

However, there are two things you need to do first:

  1. Know what you want to do next
  2. Have a plan for income
 
Decide what you want to do after you leave the shit job, before you leave the shit job

If you want to take six months off to figure out what’s next, great. Do it.

If you know you want to find another job, great. Do it.

If you want to start your own business, great. Do it.

Just know what you want to do next before you quit. Quitting aimlessly will lead to all kinds of stress and fear, and if you wanted that, you could have just stayed in your shit job and continued being paid for it.

Having a sense of direction feels much more calming and steady and will get results faster.

Make a plan for income

The thing is, we all need money to get around in this world, dammit all to hell. I wish we didn’t, but it is what it is.

How much you need and for how long is up to you, and in order to make this transition, you need to figure out and decide how much you need and how you’re going to get it, outside of your current shit job.

Why do you need a plan? Why not just wing it?

Because for most of us, plans make us feel more secure and less scared. Even if it ends up changing or going awry, having a plan makes us feel more in control, and when you’re thinking of ending a source of income, it can feel a little out of control.

We want to mitigate that feeling as much as possible.

So, you need to have a plan. A plan that makes sense and feels good to you.

My plan took six months to achieve, and it included

  • being willing to stick out my shit job for six more months,
  • being willing to give up some things I really loved,
  • being willing to move house,
  • being willing to be somewhat dependent on my love relationship (this was HUGELY scary for me, as I’ve always been extremely independent),
  • being willing to save money I would have otherwise joyfully spent,
  • being willing not to have income for a while and basically risk it all.

 

That was my plan.

Yours will probably be different, based on your personal list of assets and liabilities.

Maybe your plan includes getting a part-time job to keep you afloat while you do whatever you’ve decided you want to do next.

Maybe your plan includes moving in with roommates or family to reduce expenses.

Maybe your plan includes cashing in your 401k and living on that for a while (I don’t really recommend this because the penalties are astonishing, but if it works for you, it works for me!).

Maybe your plan includes marrying someone rich who wants to support you!

It doesn’t matter what your plan is. There is no judgement here about your plan for income until the next source comes along. Just have a plan.

And now you’re ready! Get rid of that shit job! A new — hopefully beautiful — horizon is waiting for you!

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