Walking away from a gauranteed paycheck is the hardest thing to do.
When I accepted my job as a Human Resources Assistant Manager at a Fortune 500 company last October, I never imagined that in six months I’d be looking to leave it. The pay was the highest I’d ever been offered, and there were ample benefits and paid time off. The only problem was, it drove me crazy. And not in the way my beloved husband does.
Things started hopeful, with me eager to have my own office, do my generic office tasks, and make a good impression. I even imagined getting promoted within a few years. But soon, negative vibes, a few mistakes on my part, and a culture that rewards those who put themselves first got to me. I was distraught with anxiety and fear. My heart rate would skyrocket as soon as I stepped into the building. I couldn’t focus on my tasks. My short-term memory evaporated and I often forgot to complete simple assignments.
Within two months of starting my job, I was on a disciplinary action. This was unheard of for me. In school, I was the straight-A student who completed projects days ahead of deadline and almost never missed a homework assignment. What was going on that caused me to make so many silly mistakes at this job that, on paper, I was overqualified for?
In mid-February, my husband and I took a weekend retreat to Cape Cod. There, I had time to see my life in perspective. I had never planned on working in HR, I never wanted to work at this specific company, and the work in general was boring. The highlight of my day was talking to my coworkers. In short, I hated 99 percent of the job. Add to that the mounting anxiety of knowing that I was under-performing.
I needed to get a better job for the sake of my mental health and creativity. I dreaded the thought of starting the job search all over again. Deep in my heart, I knew that getting a different job working for another boss at another company wasn’t the solution, either. This is when I began to seriously consider starting my own business.
But as plenty of wise, successful entrepreneurs will tell you, you don’t just quit your job because you hate it. Many entrepreneurs keep their full-time jobs until well after they’ve started their business and made millions from it.
Instead of abruptly quitting, I returned home and started freelance writing. Within a week, I had a couple of writing jobs to do in the evenings. I was also still making YouTube videos and trying to grow my following there. Two months later, I had a stable freelance contract and a part-time writing offer lined up, and my YouTube was consistently getting over 100K views a month. That’s when I knew it was time to leave.