The Day I Quit My Full-Time Job

Mar 10, 2016

When it comes to questions about running my own business, this is one I get pretty frequently: “How did you manage to muster up your courage and leave your full-time job? What was that experience like?”

Let’s get down to the details, shall we? We all know that I’m a freelance writer now. But, needless to say, I haven’t always been that. I’ve mentioned it in numerous different posts, but I actually started my career as a Marketing Assistant for my local Convention and Visitors Bureau, helping to promote travel to the area in order to bring more visitor dollars into our economy.

I liked what I did. My reason for jumping ship wasn’t necessarily that I hated what I was doing. I’m a major creature of habit, so I likely could’ve stayed doing that exact thing for years.

But, I wanted more. I’ve loved writing since I was old enough to grip a pencil. And, beyond that, I craved more flexibility in my daily life. After moving in with Ty, I had about a 45-minute commute to work each way, and I wanted more than a 7AM to 5:30PM, Monday-Friday schedule filled with the same things day in and day out.

I thought there had to be more than that—that this giant portion of my life didn’t have to be taken up by the same thing over and over again. Perhaps that all sounds very selfish and “Millennial-ish” of me, but it’s the truth.

Even though I knew exactly what I wanted, I still wrestled with what to do for months. Deep down, I knew that I eventually wanted to sail off into the sunset and do my own thing. But, that whole idea seemed so insane and terrifying to me. So, I spent months trying to deny the inevitable and find loopholes to allow my current situation to give me exactly what I so desperately needed.

Eventually (with much encouragement from my loved ones), I knew that I needed to bid adieu to that comfort and security of my full-time job in order to give this whole “working for myself” thing a try.

So, what was it like the day I actually quit my job? The day I put in my two weeks notice, I was a complete and utter mess. My stomach was in my throat, and I felt both sweaty and shivery all day. I knew that I wanted to have “the conversation” with my boss at the end of the day—meaning I got to survive that entire workday feeling like I was waiting to drop a bomb on my unsuspecting office.

Finally, 4:30 rolled around and I tentatively tiptoed into my boss’ office. I sat in a chair across from his desk and explained that I was going to be hitting the road in favor of working for myself. He seemed surprised. But, honestly, the whole encounter wasn’t nearly as terrible as I had convinced myself it would be.

He then called in my two other direct supervisors so that I could break the news to them—which was pretty much the worst part. It was like breaking up with someone, only to have to repeat the whole heart-wrenching spiel all over again a few minutes later.

All in all, I’d say they were pretty confused by my leaving. Nobody quite “got it”—why would I leave a full-time job for a life of uncertainty? And, those nuggets of doubt and sideways glances definitely had an impact. I’d love to practice what I preach and say that I threw all concern and self-doubt to the wind and carried out my plans with sheer and utter confidence. But, when you know that everyone thinks you’re doing something insane, it undoubtedly makes you feel a little edgy and self-conscious.

So, if you’re thinking of leaving your full-time job in favor of doing something else, I definitely won’t lie to you and tell you it’s easy. Physically quitting my job was tough—and things really only get tougher from there. But, if you’re committed to and excited about what you’re doing, it’s more than worth it in the end!

Until next time!