I quit my job (again). There, I said it.
My last day at my old full-time job was the Friday before the super bowl. I've kept things (mostly) quiet because I wasn’t quite sure what my next move was. And because I made a big deal out of quitting entrepreneurship two years ago and people still email me and say how important it was for them to read that it's okay to go back to work if you want to.
I suppose I put off making any kind of announcement because I felt a bit like a liar. I also didn't say anything because I can’t answer a definitive “yes” when asked, “So are you blogging full-time, again?” I just can’t.
I had a lot of thoughts swirling around in my head about it, so I spent weeks typing up my thoughts into a somewhat coherent piece. I hope you like it.
I feel most comfortable describing myself as a “creative”
First and foremost, I consider myself a creative above all things.
No matter what I’m doing: acting, writing, blogging, marketing or starring in a reality show about a lady who runs a farm for puppies (obviously, my current backup career)…I define myself as “a creative” because I know I’ll always be creating something through the course of my work.
Whether it’s a performance, content, building out physical item, or working with a brand – I’m a creative first…and everything else second. If I can’t create something cool while I’m working, f*cking forget it.
My career trajectory has never been linear, and that's okay
I like working on different projects, mastering new skills, and trying new things. Being in a creative field is perfect for me because it means I’m always working on new things that light me up inside, learning as I go. Sometimes, working in 9-5 job lines right up with that. Not always, but sometimes. My last one did and that's why I took it and I am so glad I did.
Because being creative is so dynamic, my career path isn’t linear. Sometimes do I feel panicked that my job trajectory isn't growing like a line on a revenue chart?
Yes, but honestly I’d probably get bored if it did.
Having employees with thriving side hustles or opportunities outside of a 9-5 doesn’t make them liabilities
I’ll never understand this “old school” mentality many managers/companies have. They think if employees have side hustles, or want to eventually run a business, that they’re not engaged. If I have multiple streams of income and I still choose to work a full-time job, it’s because I want to be there.
And wouldn’t they rather I want to be there and be excited about the work I’m doing, rather than just showing up, phoning in, and collecting a paycheck because I “need the money.” Seems fairly obvious to me, but it isn’t to most employers. And yes, this was a big reason why I left my old job.
Last time I checked, you pay me a salary in exchange for my time, not my soul.
But so many organizations see it this way. And while it’s something I do believe is (slowly) changing, the evolution needs to continue. And at a much faster rate.
And sure, wouldn’t everyone LOVE an employee that is so committed and devoted to the mission and vision of your company.
But that isn’t realistic. There’s too much out there now to be interested in, there’s too much that’s now accessible. Having this narrow view is costing employers very talented, entrepreneurial, hard-working employees.
Wherever you work, make sure it supports your values.
One of the things I’ve learned while doing my own emotional self-study is that many of my formative childhood experiences made me feel really out of control and without options. As such, I’ve now built a life where I am in the driver’s seat and always have plenty of options.
Yes, this often prevents me from “going deep” instead of wide, but options and control over my destiny are two things I value most, so it makes sense that I’ve built my life to support these values.
This most recent evolution allowed me to walk away from a job that didn’t line up with my values without any financial worries or regrets. This is a privilege and I know it, but I also busted my bum while balancing a full-time job and a side hustle to ensure I always had the safety net of a thriving online brand and business to fall back on.
The future of corporate life looks promising
The reason I can't rule out never going back to work is that I just don't know. If I got a great opportunity that offered the same level of flexibility as freelancing, or feel like I need to get out of my own head for a bit, I'd take another job.
And I can see big changes from when I first entered the workforce ten years ago: working remotely is much more common now, and it’s expected to grow. This post isn’t sponsored, but I did recently do a sponsored collaboration with MetLife to promote their employee trends and benefits survey.
In the survey, it shows a strong desire from corporate employees for better work-life balance, more flexibility, and more opportunities for remote work.
It shows a great desire from employers to provide these new types of “benefits” in order to keep strong, talented, creative employees from leaving corporate life in order to pursue self-employment and life in the gig economy. Reading this is very exciting because it means the women of tomorrow may not have to choose between a side hustle full-time and a full-time job in order to provide more flexibility to their children and businesses.
Limit yourself and you limit gratitude
Anytime you put “only” or “just” in front of statements about yourself, you limit what is possible.
I don’t want to pick between candy or cake. I want both. I like both. But I can also accept I won’t necessarily get them both at the same time, nor that I should.
Largely I subscribe to the theory that every step along the path is by design of the universal intelligence (I talk about this “money faith” idea with my email subscribers). Essentially, there are no wrong steps.
Each chapter – even the painful ones – led me to where I am now, which is where I am supposed to be.
Sometimes this hard for people who have had a more traditional career path, or desire for me to have that path to understand.
I'm grateful I had the opportunity to go back to work a full-time job. I'm grateful the site kept going during that time. I met some amazing people in my last job and strengthened my content strategy skillset. I was able to dive deeper into what I like about working in an office vs. what I don’t and how I can better replicate the best parts of each as my own boss.
Working for myself the last five-ish months has gone much better than it did the last time I quit my job. It feels more sustainable now that I've been on both sides of the fence.
So, anyway. That's where I'm at. What have I been doing since February? Honestly, I'm kinda just hanging out. But yes, in terms of earning a living I am blogging and writing full-time again. It’s trending more like I’ll be self-employed for the foreseeable future. Something really, really great would have to come along and a lot of times I'm just not sure it exists.
To sum it up, I put all this down on paper (errr… the internet) … mostly to let others know that if your career takes weird twists and turns IT IS OKAY and your work isn't any less worthy than what someone else is doing.