How many times have we seen in movies people going ‘I quit’ and feeling ‘wow I want to do that!’?
Of course in the movies they always have a hideous boss (almost a villain) and they go off to build an amazing-instantly-successful-business, or travelling the world and you don’t really know where their money comes from, but you are still happy for them.
In real life things are slightly different.
I had a comfortable job. Big company, highly respected brand, I had been there for 4 years. My manager was (and is) a wonderful person and my team and the people in the company were amazing. I even had the luxury of making friends. Real friends, the almost-family type of friends. However something was missing, something was off. I wasn’t passionate about it . I didn’t feel challenged or motivated. Most of all I remember thinking: “I am just wasting time. I still don’t know what I want to do, but this isn’t it.”
I needed more. I needed my life to have a bit more meaning than a 9-5 corporate job. Needed more than going in, say hello to my friends, seat for a few hours doing whatever it was, have meetings, have lunch with friends, stare at the PC for a few more hours and then go home. No, not for me.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s just I don’t have the right profile. I have always been extremely good at ‘self time-managing’ and my main objective was always the same: get more free time. So the fastest and most efficiently I can get something done, the better. Of course in Lisbon this meant going to the beach, but it’s always good to have more time. In a corporate environment you don’t usually get to leave once you’ve achieved your goals or when the work is done. And that is extremely frustrating for me. So I work better as a freelancer. Go in, get the job done, go out. Check.
During the last 6 months all I could think was ‘I need to leave; get out of my comfort zone and explore what else is out there’. But then your other voice (also known as your mother) says things like ‘don’t be silly, you need a proper job’, ‘what will you do’, ‘there’s an employment crisis going on, don’t be silly’, ‘what if you have kids, how will it work without a job?’. Of course it’s much easier (and reasonable) to go with comfort zone. But for me it just didn’t feel right. So the decision to leave was made.
Now the problem is how do you tell a manager and a team you love – who loves you back – that you want out? I won’t lie, there were tears. In a very sobbing conversation I finally managed to tell my manager I wanted to leave involving a ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ kind of talk. He was fully supportive. Told me he understood my reasons, that I was young, I had been in the company 4 years, and that he completely understood why I would want a change. The team was sad but very supportive as well.
So I did it. With no plans yet in mind I set myself free. What comes next? I don’t know yet. It’s now been a month and all I can say is I find myself busier than ever. But in a good way.
I start my days at 7 am with a nice (free) workout – thanks to the amazing Popsugar Fitness and Tone it Up girls – have a healthy breakfast, and kick-off my day. I am helping a friend with his business and I started this blog. I am researching and getting more and more creative every day, going to workshops and courses, so hopefully there will be exciting projects ahead. My main objective is to find something I love to do – find that dream – be more useful and happier in this world. And if possible help and bring happiness to others as well.
It will be a difficult journey, there’s ups and downs, days when I feel great and days where I go into panic mood, not knowing what comes next.
But the first step is taken – I’ve taken back control of my life, and at least for a while I’ll have the luxury to have some time to think what comes next.
At least until my savings run out, which in London shouldn’t be too long now.
I’ll keep you updated.