The Day I Quit My Job – A Reflection

Thanks to Josef Grunig on Flickr

“I notice such a big difference in you since you told your work that you’re leaving.  I think you handled it extremely well and I love seeing you so happy!”

I received this text from my girlfriend a few days after I let everybody at my job know that I had plans to move out of town.  I didn’t firestorm into my boss’ office, slam down my laptop, and stomp my feet out the door.  Rather, I went out to lunch with my boss, told him that I planned to move out of town, and that I would stay at work as long as he needed me, and then leave when he felt comfortable that business would proceed without me around.  I practiced the speech I was going to give over and over in my head, and then when in the moment, I pretty much just blurted out “I’m moving to California!” – I think I was almost as shocked as my boss.

And flat out – it was one of the most relieving feelings I’ve ever experienced.  Because I knew that I finally could start dreaming about the future realistically, and secondly I knew that I wasn’t burning any bridges.  Now there are 2 main things that drove me to leave a company that I’ve worked for since I was 15, and the only company I’ve really ever worked for:

How I Knew it was Time to Quit My Job

1.  I was becoming too comfortable.  Time started passing way too quickly.  Here’s my theory – time starts to pass more quickly after college because we WANT the time to pass faster.  Think about it – when you’re at your job, you’re always counting down the days until Friday, for your AMAZING weekend.  So for 5/7 of the week, you’re rushing the clock, eager for the next day.  But all the sudden, days becomes weeks, and months, and years, and next thing you know, you’ve been at the same job for 10 years and let your dreams slip away.  I didn’t want to become too comfortable.

2.  My mind was constantly elsewhere.  I’m not a personal finance expert, but I do know that nobody is going to get rich by saving a few dollars on that espresso, or finding the cheapest gas station in town.  There’s a limit to how much you’re able to save, but the amount of money that you can make is unlimited.  Once I realized this, and started focusing on new ways to earn money, it became more and more difficult for me to focus at work.  I knew that at work, I would earn the same amount of money each year, no matter how hard I worked, and then get a minimal raise at the end of each year.  BUT for my personal online ventures, my earning potential was uncapped.  So focus became an issue.

So now that I’ve had this conversation with my boss, and my plans are completely out in the open, there is no more elephant in the room.  I felt like I reached a place with my job where it wasn’t fair for me stay, and it wasn’t fair for me to leave.  By giving my boss the complete truth about my plans, and letting him know I’d stay on staff as long as he desired, I’m pretty sure that I’ve tackled both these issues.

Immediately once I let the news loose, my mind finally starting considering the reality of the situation.  Pretty soon, I was going to actually depend on my business for income.  Blind Surprise was finally switching over from a hobby to a profession.  Although this is what I’ve been dreaming of for the last couple of months, it became scary fast.  I basically just waved goodbye to those reliable paychecks that help cover my normal expenses and the dumb night-at-the-bar expenses.  But it goes back to feeling comfortable – now that I feel a bit afraid, I’m excited, and I haven’t been this excited in years.

Not only do I have a new-found level of excitement for the challenges ahead, but I also have a new push to grow my business faster than before.  A bad day of sales is no longer “oh shucks” but rather “uh oh”!

Telling my boss that I’m leaving was certainly one of the most significant days of my recent adult life. And, as my girlfriend apparently noticed, I haven’t felt better in quite some time.


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