Before you get too excited, this isn’t one of those “I Quit My 9-5 and Made $1 Million in 5 minutes” stories — I wish. Instead, it’s my story on how as a millennial, I realized it was time for me to pack my talents at my current job & take them elsewhere in order to gain more experience and advance.
I moved to Texas in August 2015 and started my job in September. Ironically, I quit the week before my actual 3-year anniversary there. Over time in my position at this fortune 500 company, I learned a lot about corporate and myself, advanced, promoted, made a pretty decent salary, and gained a lot of management exposure. So what was the issue, you ask? Well sis, it was time for me to go.
I did a lot in my former role; always working on a project, was one of the highest performers on my teams and in my departments, and was apart of their “management program.” But, it wasn’t always that way. I remember when I first started, after the first few months the “gotta be employee of the month” surge wore off and I was just going to work to pay my rent every month. Then, out of nowhere, I began to get more involved and discovered I was actually good at my job and made a decent name for myself in a short period of time. Seemingly everything was going great — and for the most part, it was until I began to be burned out.
Everyday I would dread going to work. Seeing the word “meeting” in my email made me want to throw my computer. Management politics made me even more rebellious. All the while, I was still doing great at my actual job, though. Luckily, I didn’t let my now sour attitude affect my work product. The atmosphere just began to pollute my peace and made the hours between 9-5 seem like a never-ending bad dream.
So, what did I do? Dusted off and revamped my resume and began applying and interviewing. I knew I had talent, experience, and wanted to still be in corporate (at least for now). I just knew this was no longer the place for me. I’d met some really great people and ultimately did have a lot of support, so I honestly did go through some periods in making my decision to leave where I went back and forth and determining if it was the right move. Some days I told myself “Maybe it will get better.” or “Just give it a little longer.” all the while my energy, happiness, and work-life balance were still being drained dry.
Shortly after I began applying, I interviewed and was offered the position for two jobs that I actually really wanted. My deciding factor came down to salary, growth potential, and work-life balance. After accepting my new position, I learned that it didn’t actually start until a month later, so I had a month more to go to deal with my current mundane position. Or, so I thought.
After preparation, support, and faith, I put in my notice and took a month’s break from corporate. I had an entire month to myself to sleep in, pick my own personal hobbies back up, visit family, spend more time with those I care about, and simply just rediscover my life I had either put aside or been too mentally exhausted to pay attention to. Now, as I sit typing this, I am in the third week of my break and I feel completely reset and ready to pick back up and venture into corporate.
Don’t be afraid to stop & reset.
Now, although you may not be able to quit, take a month off, or even want to find a new job — never be afraid to stop & reset. Even if it’s just a weekend, take time for you and focus on only what makes you happy and protects your sanity and mental well-being. And, if you are like me and are considering looking for a new job, be consistent! Even if you never hear anything back or get a no, keep trying! For some reason we have been conditioned to think we have to endure corporate stress & unhappiness, when we don’t. Now, all jobs aren’t going to be unicorns and cupcakes, but they for sure don’t have to be dungeons and daily migraines. Take a self-inventory. Recap your experience gained in your current role and market yourself to attract a new job, even if it’s in a completely different field.
Life is too short to settle — on absolutely anything.