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THE REALITIES OF QUITTING YOUR JOB //

I left my design career last year and following that, left a job in project management entirely. For almost an entire year I found myself hating getting up every morning and feeling like I wasn't achieving very much in return. Ultimately, I made the decision to change my life altogether and get out of the rut I found myself in. Working full time meant it was difficult to have interviews during work hours and if I'm completely honest, I wasn't even sure what job I wanted anymore.

After a final couple of months of misery and an incline into what I actually wanted to do - despite it not being a solid plan - I made the decision to leave my job and start afresh, with no other job to go into for the foreseeable. I've always been taught to ensure you are never 'unemployed' if you can, or ensure you have a Plan B when Plan A doesn't turn out so well, but the level of unhappiness I felt had made such a negative impact on my life, I knew I needed to bite the bullet.

Here are some of the things to consider if you are contemplating taking the leap and the things you may not have planned for.



The lack of money


An obvious one.

So you've upped and left a steady and stable salary, or set number of hours, and now you'll be waiting between pay day to pay day and varying wage slips. Whether you've decided to freelance or like me, just change your career direction, it can be daunting to have to budget every penny.

I would advise saving up for at least three month's responsibilities - rent, bills, things you know you already have planned like holidays and days out. Being able to budget for months with scarce work becomes such an important skill, but with the right organisation and being a little thriftier in every day life, you can make it easier.


Marching to your own beat

Now bearing all this in mind, I'm under no illusions that I'm in a very privileged position to do this. I'm lucky enough to have somewhere to live, cheap rent as I share with my other half and a great circle of friends and family to get me through it and share their support. Most people I know have been wonderful about my decisions and finally, I feel like I'm on the right track - albeit a pretty skint one right now - and will get to where I want to be.

However, I have saved some money and have actively rooted out jobs and opportunities that I really wanted. Unless you are prepared to work hard and constantly be in search for jobs or, put your all into an ultimate end goal, you will struggle. It's vital that you know this is your own responsibility, and although I do have a fantastic support network and it's absolutely okay to ask for help, I try to make decisions without taking this into account and remain independent.


You are judged

This is something that I certainly hadn't factored in. Although I made the decision confidently after months of feeling lost and believed in myself to be able to make the change, not everybody will agree (and I'm not solely talking about those millenial-hating 'we did it in my day' generations on Twitter.)

Still now, there's an air of disappointment from certain people I know that I spent so much time studying at university, four years in a steady career, only to now be working part time in retail (what is this stigma of shop work? Retail has it's perks!) and in their eyes, back to square one. Even some of my family were subtly judgemental at first but now they can understand I'm much happier, they completely get it.

As long as your decisions result in your own personal happiness, you can ensure you can keep up with certain responsibilities (e.g. mortgage payments, family) or help on your way to your final goal, then that's all that matters. It doesn't matter what strangers in real life, or on the internet, or indeed the people close to you, think about your choices. If it's in your best interest, be proud of your decisions.


Elements of doubt

Leaving a job without any forward plan is certainly NOT the first option you should have. Although it may not be easy, if you are unhappy, there is no excuse not to change something about your situation. Is there another job in your company you'd prefer? Would making a change to your hobbies or spending your spare time differently make your work life better?

There are lots of things that could be lending themselves to your miserable days at the moment, so please look at every avenue before making a snap decision. My own experience came after a long time of not feeling comfortable where I was and it certainly wasn't a decision I made lightly.

When I did finally leave, in the following few weeks I'd flit between feelings of 'Wow, I feel so free' to 'Shit, what have I done?'

In retrospect, I know now the change was absolutely the right one but I wouldn't judge you for at times thinking you might have been wrong. The sudden change in income, routine and general lifestyle is a lot to take in and naturally, big changes may make us want to retreat into our beds and never come out and acknowledge them.



I am no expert in this, or can pretend to be the perfect life coach, however I do know that I am much, much happier in my life than I was at this time last year.

If you have these niggly feelings or are unhappy in your job right now, I hope this has given you food for thought. If you're making a leap, I'm also wishing you the best of opportunities, support, and hoping all positivity comes your way.

leanne

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