Why I quit my job at the peak of my career
I’ve been in Advertising for 5 years 4 months and 23 days. I knew I wouldn’t be in it forever but I always thought I would last longer.
It was a fun job but highly stressful with dramatic it’s-the- end-of-the-world deadlines and quick turn arounds. As a former people pleaser with an obsessive A-type personality, I gave 120% in every project I worked on. Disregarding my health, my sleep, my meals…Which led me to constantly burnout. I was getting sick all the time, always tired and my mind was just a chaotic never-ending to-do list of next steps and deadlines.
But that wasn’t the reason I quit.
Because somehow, I was still growing in my career. Getting more responsibilities along with opportunities for bigger projects and praise from my colleagues. On the outside I had it all, yet something didn’t *feel* right. I was out of alignment, I was feeling anxious. I ignored it for the most part… Until insomnia paid a visit that lasted a couple of months. Which forces you to confront the inevitable.
Those anxiety inducing nights of being so exhausted yet not being able to shut down were agonizing but I knew I had to stop running.
I didn’t like what I was hearing: it was time to quit my job.
You see, the desire to do something different starts like a minor itch and as you ignore it, it gets more and more annoying until you can’t deny it and you just HAVE to scratch it. I had a million reasons for why I should stay. I was consumed by fear and anxiety. I was in denial and felt like I had SO much to lose. A friend told me I was in golden handcuffs. I was making good money but still wasn’t happy. I have more than before but I still feel trapped.
She was right, I was ‘successful’ under society’s definition of success but I wasn’t fulfilled.
I was denying my life purpose: to be of service. To help people, to heal, to guide. This was always meant to be a stop-over, not the final destination.
So I surrendered completely. I was going to quit my job and enlisted my trust to the universe’s plan for me. As I opened up, I reconnected to my intuitive side and I could hear my voice again. Here are some of the lessons I’ve learned along the way:
- Change is uncomfortable but it’s necessary: For us to become who we want to be, who we’re destined to be. There is no right or wrong, only different ways to get to your goal. Every mishap comes with a lesson. Instead of saying why me think of why this? What am I holding on to? What are my true desires?
- If you’re good in doing what you like, imagine how great you’ll be doing something you love (sweet bonus: sense of fulfillment!)
- You don’t have to wait to reinvent yourself: You don’t have to wait until your late 40s, 50s, 60s. If you want to make a change, go for it. The moment you start feeling you’re not aligned with your purpose, start by looking within. Small steps moving towards the direction of your desires. Like Simon Sinek said “Fulfillment is not a priviledge, it’s a right”
- It’s not going to be easy: But it’s not impossible. Whatever situation you’re currently in, you’re not stuck in it. You may feel like you are but you aren’t. I know it’s easier said than done but if you’re commited to living a more fulfilling life only you will be able to make it happen. Again start with small shifts. My path to living authentically has taken me a couple of years and that’s ok. It’s not about how long it’ll take you, it’s the why you’re doing it
- Get ready to work hard: This applies to everything you do. But the most important factor in working hard is also working smart. Be strategic, be authentic, set short term/long term goals. What are you setting out to do? What shifts can you add in your everyday to move towards that direction? Who can support you in that path?
- There will be a lot of noise: From your loved ones, peers and friends (and that’s ok). They’re all just trying to help. Everyone will try to offer a piece of advice. There is no right or wrong, just what’s right for you and no one other than yourself will be able to recognize that. So how does one deal with all that noise? For me it’s been meditating and journalling. So I can connect to my intuitive side and my why.
- Expect detours: You rarely get from point A to point B without detours. We learn our most precious lessons in the most unexpected circumstances that life puts us in. So embrace it, because this is where growth takes place.
- You will feel lighter: The moment you start living authentically, when you start aligning your why with every aspect of your life there is a sense of ease, of comfort and inspiration.
- You will start attracting your tribe: And new opportunities you never expected to. We’ve all heard of the law of attraction, you will start meeting people who have similar values/passions to yours. The energy you put out will come back!
- Make sure to take care of yourself: Either you’re going through a career change, travelling the world or checking off your bucket list the initial adrenaline will wear off and it’s easy to fall back into old habits and lose motivation. To keep that momemtum going make sure you’re making time to connect to yourself everyday. Morning journalling and night yoga routines help me to be more mindful and disciplined.
“For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start all over again.” ― Eric Roth, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button Screenplay