Edit: This post was written a week after I quit my 9-5 job after declining my law school acceptances on a whim. I was very nervous about quitting my job and leaving my comfortable life in New York. Only a week later and I was already am confident that quitting my job was the best decision I could have made.
If you’re reading this in the midst of COVID-19, first of all, my heart goes out to any unexpected and challenging change in finances or career.
I hope that my story brings some hope to what’s possible when your career path is in your own hands.
Here are the five biggest lessons I’ve learned a week after quitting my job (with no alternative job to go to):
People want you to succeed.
The nerve that comes with quitting your job (for me, anyway) was because I thought my boss was going to be upset that I was burdening him by leaving. This was far from the case. While your boss may be bummed at the situation, she or he is probably not going to be bummed at you.
Don’t let the concern of their inconvenience ruin this special time for you! Plus, don’t forget that people have quit before and will quit again. It’s all part of business. It’s up to them to deal with it, not you. Your boss will likely be happy to see you doing something for yourself! You’ll be pleasantly surprised at those encouraging you.
You’re going to miss the Keurig.
It really is the little things, guys.
Not everyone is going to approve of your choice.
Not everyone will see eye to eye with your decision, but that’s okay! Some may think you’re irresponsible for giving up your job, or perhaps think that you’re acting entitled for feeling you “deserve” to not work, or maybe they think that you should be on a path and you’re a lost soul for not knowing what the path is. Ignore them, do it anyway.
Quitting without a new job to go to could benefit your career overall.
Though it may sound reckless to leave a job without having a new one to go to, quitting with no plan could actually be better for your career in the long run. When you go in to give your two weeks notice, your boss is likely to be happier for you if you’re quitting for, well, any reason other than going to another job that you prefer over the job you have for him or her. Y
our boss will simply take it less personally if you can tell him or her that you’re leaving for personal reasons (travel, family, freelance), rather than to go to work for someone else.
It was MUCH easier for me to tell my boss I was leaving to travel alone than to tell him I’d found another job. Because of this, he offered to recommend me when needed and will be much more open to helping me with connections (his and the rest of his firm’s) in the future.
If you’re unhappy at your job, don’t waste another day.
This is my favorite lesson. I can’t tell you how free I feel! If you’re unhappy, or even ambivalent about what you’re doing every day, make a change! I was
afraidterrified to make the change that I did, and don’t expect every day to be smooth sailing, but I’ve never felt more confident in what I’m doing than I do now.
If you follow what lights you up, you’ll be amazed at yourself kicking into overdrive to make it happen.
How did I do this?
You can read the details of how I made this happen in my article here on the Huffington Post.
The main strategy that got me this far:
Sounds simple, right? It wasn’t as complicated as it sounds!
Side hustling helped me two main ways:
Developed necessary skills
When I began this blog and freelance writing a year ago, I developed skills in writing, web design, and web development. Thanks to that experience, I made enough money to sustain myself without a job for 4 months thanks to those skills. I even found a family in Bangkok that hired me to privately tutor WordPress for them!
Start side hustling now. You never know the skills you can learn and how and when you can make real money off of them.
Make extra money
This is the obvious point, right?! Side hustling before I quit my 9-5 job helped me save up money quit a bit. In truth, I didn’t have tons saved up when I quit. But, side hustling helped make it happen quite a bit more. More importantly, after I came back from my travels and began working again, side hustling is how I rebuilt my savings again.
Start side hustling now!
Seriously, it’s the best. Let’s hustle, yo. Sign up below and get started.