Rewind six months ago and you would have seen a dark circle faced, black wearing, overworked lookin’ Jo. I was beasting through 16 hour days, five days a week at two different jobs, while trying to grow Shut Up and Go to eventually switch gears and become a real entrepreneur. That’s right ya’ll, I’m a serial workaholic; guilty.
As an immigrant, I was raised to take any job I was offered without even asking what I’d get paid. I was trained to milk every opportunity to grow and to slowly climb my way to the top becoming a star employee; the one who gets picked for the most difficult projects. What I didn’t realize is that these “honors” were simply titles that carried stress, anxiety, and heaps of depression for the sake of “looking good in someone else’s eyes,” and maybe, just maybe, a few extra bucks.
After realizing the obvious fact that I couldn’t afford NYC rent with just delivering groceries (the only job that allowed the flexibility to travel and still film, blog, etc.) and measly cents from our YouTube channel ad revenue, I started scouting for a new job. I landed a sweet gig as a part time receptionist at a coworking space for creative entrepreneurs, and because I couldn’t possibly just work one job, I found my second one at a corporate travel company as a part time admin assistant. Despite dreading the thought of corporate America and a cubicle, the job fit my financial needs and was a gateway into building travel relationships.
I remember flinching at the interview for the position; “So Joanna, you seem to have such an adventurous past, what makes you want to switch gears and work in an office?” Dang, now that’s a great question.
Truth was that I needed the money to start tackling loans, and I also wanted to absorb more about the corporate travel industry before jumping on the entrepreneur boat full-time. And plus, if I wanted to eventually play with the big dogs as a bo$$ business woman, I’d need to learn the rules of their game. My beauty pageant answer was, “I’d love to be around experienced professionals and gain as much as I can about the industry.” Hopefully my spritz of slight BS didn’t stain their nicely ironed blazers. The minute the words escaped my mouth, I felt like I was selling myself short from my visions of having my own company. But I also knew I had to do what I had to do so I accepted the job to get by until the time was right.
When you meet me, it’s obvious to know that I’m not a corporate robot, I ooze free spirited vibes. Because of this, I think even the executives who interviewed me knew that my days there were numbered. But for some reason they gave me a chance and I stuck around doing pretty corporatey types of tasks day after day. We’re talkin’ the highlight of my weeks would be getting to color coordinate excel spreadsheets, and alphabetizing RSVP lists.
Slowly but surely, I went through a roller coaster of false happiness at being offered a promotion, then a little bit of introverted depression from having at most two conversations a day, then financial comfort, followed by frustration, and then finally realizing it was time to go, but not knowing the right way to leave the company without deteriorating the relationships I had made.
My strategy was to get paid for networking, but the outcome was not as sweet as I had thought. Turns out that spending 16 hours committed to things that you don’t necessarily want to do is damaging to the soul.
So six months after accepting the position, I made the decision to not only turn down a second promotion offer, but to quit completely and go on a month long trip and pulling the trigger to live in LA to work out Shut Up and Go full time.
I reached a point where the fear of complacency became greater than the fear of instability.
I now look back and realize turning down that offer and quitting was by far the best decision I’ve made in my life, that and choosing to use men’s deodorants.
Here are 9 signs it might be time for you to quit your job and pursue your next career move:
You’re using food to get through the day
My old desk chair used to be a sea of crumbs. The floor was dusted with crushed nuts and other snacks I used to use scarf down to keep me awake and satisfied. Binge eating is only sometimes funny in rom-coms (aka romantic comedy), and even then it’s not ok. After I quit that job, I instantly lost five pounds because I didn’t need food to fill my happiness void.
Music is your lifeline
You could just love listening to music while working, but I know personally when I plug my headphones in and keep them in from the moment I leave my apartment, to the moment I walk back home at 10 PM it’s because my day has been so blah that I needed to use music to feel jazzed up. There should be other sources of happiness in your job beyond your Spotify playlists.
You forget you have an opinion
You often keep quiet in meetings because you feel like there’s no point in even expressing your blank statement. You’re so under stimulated that you honestly forget you have an opinion.
Sunday nights are your worst enemy
Nothing chills your bones more than thinking Sunday night is approaching. The act of physically setting your alarm for Monday morning makes your stomach flip, and the only thing to help that feeling is to grab a tub of ice cream and binge on Netflix for your last hours of freedom.
You can’t stand happy people
It’s not your fault, but you just can’t feel genuinely happy for happy people. After a few minutes of basking in their radiating smiles, you just need to remove yourself from the situation.
You know your skills aren’t being used
If you’re a marathon runner who can juggle while doing it – people actually do this – and truly believe you can make a career out of it, but instead, you’re coding for a tech company that undervalues you, you’re doing something wrong. Don’t let your skills go to waste, every one has a place to be appreciated, even if that means you have to create that place yourself.
You feel your life is flashing before you
You tell yourself time and time again, you’re going to quit. You just don’t find yourself actually doing it because of your belief that you need a stable job. You’re also afraid you won’t be able to find anything beyond this one job you hate. First of all, this is a massive lie, there are so many jobs out there that would willingly accept you, you just can’t be afraid to go out there and look. If you feel like your life is flashing before your eyes, you gotta get out of there. You’re not helpless, you just have to learn to help yourself.
You tell yourself you need $10,000 to quit
This is probably reason #1 why people allow themselves to tolerate crappy jobs that are simply not good fits for their lifestyle, financial fear. They tell themselves that in order to put in their two week notice, they need a massive lump of money. Face it, once you quit your job, financial stability goes out the drain, but that doesn’t mean money gets out of the picture all together. If you really wanna pull the plug, you can research hundreds of ways to make an income that will work around the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. This concept of needing “x amount of dollars” to quit is just a security blanket to prolong you finally taking the leap into freedom.
You’re afraid of what other people will think of you quitting
Guess what? Phil from the cube next door ain’t the one paying your bills, and he’s also not the one who has aspirations for much more beyond this job, so he’ll never know what’s good for you. In fact, no one else knows what’s good for you the way you do. It’s important to think about why you’re afraid of quitting. If it’s because you’re worried about what other people will think, that should be your first step into going against what people say. Of course people are going to tell you that you getting rid of a stable job is like suicide, but that’s because the people saying that are probably content with their complacency, or are afraid of going after what they truly want. Don’t let people’s self inflicted projections rain on your parade, if you’re craving much more you should probably go with your gut.