Very recently I decided that the best decision for me was to leave my job. I know, this sounds extreme and somewhat irresponsible considering I have to pay for rent and food on a monthly basis. However, I had been at my previous job for around 3 years and realized about a year ago that I was not happy. At first, it was enjoyable as a new experience and taught me a lot about working in the corporate world, such as the certain ways you have to learn to carry yourself and proprieties that become a part of your daily life.
As a new graduate this was enticing, much like it would be for anyone trying to figure out what they wanted to do with their life during their early twenties. I would show up every day, eager to learn something new, help get something done for my team or any others in need of extra hands, and wear my ‘business casual’ outfits I had been slowly accumulating for jobs like this. Very much like a new relationship, I’d found somewhere where I’d be spending a significant amount of my time, getting to know strangers.
Some of my best friendships spawned from this job and I am thankful for those, but after the excitement and adventure of treading this new terrain wore off I slowly (and then very quickly) began to realize that this was not the path for me. It’s hard to explain to anyone who isn’t striving for a career in business, but the lack of creativity in my 9-5 position was starting to wear me down. The daily tasks were very monotonous and left little to no room for experimentation. For some, this could be a dream job, but I began to feel stifled and waking up every day felt like a chore rather than a privilege.
It was hard to tell those around me about my decision, particularly my parents, as I assumed it would be. However, they were understanding of how I felt, but were sure to point out the obvious points of consideration before I gave in my two-week’s notice—rent, a prospective career, and financial security. As I’ve mentioned in another post, many people consider an office job the pinnacle of careers, as though you would be crazy to turn one down or leave (!). I proposed the argument that it’s not and the times, they are a-changin' when it comes to financial security and the means you take to achieve that.
Security once meant finding a job that you could comfortably stay in for 20-30 years until you retired. Does it still mean that? Does forgoing the experience to do what you want as a career also mean relinquishing any chances you have at being financially secure in your old age? I’d argue that it’s not and this mentality does a disservice to anyone that has the privilege and opportunity to experience something different, something more aligned with their passions.
There have been two kinds of people I’ve encountered during this process—those that are completely understanding and encouraging (because they have been in a job they’ve disliked for years), and those that are scared on my behalf. Surprisingly, the latter have been by people my own age. This fear, undoubtedly, derives from the unknown. What’s going to happen next month? Or next year?! However, anyone that has sacrificed pursing their passions (for significant reasons such as providing for a child or loved ones) seems to be more willing to admit that given a second chance, they would have done something different.
I guess I realized earlier than they did that I do not want to yearn for a second chance. And with this realization, this enlightenment, no longer cradled by the warm arms of blissful complacency, has lead to where I am now—taking some time off, with my finances in check and responsibly being used, to focus on writing. Blogging has also opened up a door for a new career opportunity as I discuss on this page for anyone interested in the endeavour. Maybe after this time off I’ll realize that I actually do want to pursue a corporate job and that what I thought was a passion was simply something I enjoyed as a hobby. I am open to the possibility of that happening. But at least now I can’t say I didn’t give it a shot.
Do you have a passion you’ve pursued or are thinking of pursuing?
I’d love to hear anyone else’s experiences with their career paths as this topic has consumed me the past few months.