Today I did something I never thought I’d do: I left my job… without another one lined up.
That’s right. I put in my two-weeks notice first thing this morning.
I haven’t talked much about my “real” job on this blog, partly for privacy concerns and confidentiality reasons, but also because lately there hasn’t been much of anything good to report on.
Up until about 7 months ago, I loved my job. I loved my coworkers, I loved the writing I did on a daily basis, I loved the company I worked for, and I LOVE LOVE LOVED working at the same company as Andrew – this I am going to miss more than words can begin to express. 🙁
But around March of this year, my 3-person department (Corporate Communications) adopted a new function – a function that became my counter-partner’s and my sole responsibility, trumping all other tasks we had previously been responsible for. The new function, or “project”, involved 24 hour a day monitoring of the news. My work hours went from the standard 9AM-6PM on weekdays to 9AM-11PM on weekdays and 5PM-11PM on weekends (plus an additional ‘on call’ status at all times). If you’re wondering was I at least paid overtime or compensated in any way to reflect my new hours, the answer is Hahahah, no.
I absolutely believe in the value of hard work and paying your dues, but working those insane hours, and doing the same repetitive task over and over and over again really got to me. I was no longer learning new skills, and I was no longer able to spend quality time with Andrew after work or go out for impromptu drinks with friends on a weeknight. And if my counter-partner went on vacation, I had to be up at 5AM every morning in his absence, even after working until 11PM the night before – something that would absolutely be okay once in a while, but not long term.
My breaking point came when I overheard my boss telling someone that he could easily run the department by himself, that he could easily find 100 people who would kill to be in my seat. And let me be clear: I did not complain about my hours to him, not once. Did I complain to Andrew? You betcha! But never at work. So it felt like the ultimate slap in the face to realize all of my hard work was completely unappreciated.
I was undervalued, underpaid, overworked, and over it.
Andrew helped me realize a crucial point in all of this. Paying your dues is worth it… if the end result is your dream job. Nothing personal, Corporate Communications, but you were never going to be my dream job. I’ve mentioned it a few times before, and it’s become increasingly clear to me: my dream job is working in the Health & Fitness industry.
That was like a light bulb moment for me. I realized I was wasting my time in a miserable job, when I could be pursuing something I was truly passionate about. It might be uncomfortable to be unemployed in the short term, but I’d be WAY better off in the long term.
Even just coming to terms with the fact that I needed to leave my job was a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I can’t say this morning’s conversation was fun, at all, but I know it was the right thing to do.
So what’s next?
I’m excited to say that I will be taking a couple weeks to re-calibrate and collect myself, something I haven’t done… ever! I jumped into the working world 2 weeks post college graduation, and 5 1/2 years later I am more than ready for a breather.
After that, I’m planning to start pursuing my actual goals! I’m thinking I’ll start by signing up for the NASM personal training certification program and work my way through that while hopefully working at one of the many local gyms near my house. After that, I’ll tackle the nutrition side of things. I have my eye on a couple different nutrition programs, but I’ve got some time to figure that piece out.
I think I’ve officially exceeded the appropriate word count for a blog entry, so this is where I’m going to cut things off for now. For those of you who made it this far, THANK YOU for reading.
And I’d love to hear from you in the comments…
Have you ever had a job that made you miserable? What did you do about it?
What is your dream job? Are you already doing it? If not, what steps are you taking to get there?