This post is a follow up to I Quit My Job Today, which was originally posted on September 26, 2014.
I am up bright and early this morning because it is my first day at the new job(!), so I’ll keep this one relatively brief. (UPDATE: I did a terrible job of keeping this post brief.) Yesterday was my last day working at Do It Now! Fitness, but it felt like the end of something bigger than that.
About 8 months ago, I quit my job at Fox where I had been working in Corporate Communications, and before that Distribution Sales, and before that Affiliate Marketing.
For some context, I had been working at Fox since I graduated from USC – technically before, since I spent two undergraduate summers as an intern there, as well. After graduating, I didn’t do any adventurous traveling; I was too eager to start working, which would allow me to financially support myself and therefore not have to move back in at home with my parents. (Nothing against my parents, that’s just not what a recent grad really wants to do.) I traded my cap and gown for a pencil skirt and cardigan, and settled into my new corporate life at Fox.
Memorable moments (like meeting Andrew and getting engaged, then married) aside, the next five years were a blur.
The breaking point that led to my leaving Fox came as I was feeling incredibly overworked and yet no longer challenged in my current role. I looked around (read: broke down crying at the Alibi Room <- great bar, though) and realized that I had spent the last 5+ years barreling down a corporate path that I hadn’t given much thought to beyond “I need a job and this job is willing to hire me”.
What’s crazy is that if my role in Corporate Communications hadn’t turned into such an unmanageable situation, I would have likely continued plugging along down that non-path for quite some time.
I actually feel lucky to have been pushed out the way I was. I got to experience what it’s like to quit your job (hallelujah the world doesn’t end), and I got an existential crisis out of the way that was probably a long time coming. I felt like I had rushed into my career path without much deliberation, so I basically spent the next 8 months trying to exhaust any and every other option I had ever wondered about.
I tried a work-from-home independent contractor SEO job that I found by googling “work from home job + don’t have to talk on the phone”; I wrote a rhyming children’s book that teaches the importance of eating whole, nutritious foods; I did some hilarious freelance writing projects to see how feasible it could be as a full-time gig (not very); I baked cookies, pound cakes, layer cakes, and jam bars, and submitted the recipes to online publications with moderate success; I created a jewelry line inspired by Andrew’s tools called “Toolery” and put it up on Etsy.
I also blogged my little butt off! Sitting down to write something every day is a worthwhile exercise, but as much as I’ve enjoyed it and plan to continue doing it, I discovered early on that this site wasn’t going to replace full-time employment.
The endeavor that I pursued most whole-heartedly was a career in fitness. In the years since college, I’ve become a fitness enthusiast – I’ve tried every fad workout and stuck with a couple – so studying for a personal training certification during my time off made all sorts of sense. At the very least, I’d be armed with a wealth of knowledge to use on my own body, in my own workouts. And at best, I’d be a certified personal trainer with an awesome career, bragging about my non-cubicle work-life balance. I ended up somewhere in the middle.
I did get certified, and I even found a job fairly quickly, but surprisingly my new gig felt a little light on “work” and heavy on “life”. Believe me, sleeping in and working out for a living hasn’t been terrible, but it hasn’t been a perfect fit for me.
Unlike working in Corporate Communications where I barely had a minute to think about anything other than work, my job at Do It Now! allowed me ample time to figure out that while fitness will always be a passion of mine, it’s not where I belong full-time. I do think fitness would make a pretty great side gig or fall-back plan, though, should I ever decide to quit another job!
I’m grateful for my time working at Do It Now! Fitness (and the free gym membership that came along with it), but even beyond that, I’m grateful to have had the last 8 months to freely pursue some of the passions that would otherwise still be sitting in the “What If” drawer in the back of my brain.
I’m going back to work today (in marketing, not corporate communications, mind you) not just willingly, but eagerly. I accepted this new position knowing fully well what I was getting myself into, as well as what my other options were.
Wish me luck! And (holy cow that was long) thank you for reading.