Why I quit my job to jump into the unknown

Three weeks ago I quit my job.

I left my full-time, well-respected, comfortable, coveted, Vancouver PR agency account manager position without a new job lined up.

If you’re reading this right now and are thinking:

“WHAT, WHY?! She’s crazy, I’d kill for that job.” – please see response A

If you are thinking:

“Hell yeah! Good for you!” – please see response B

Response A

You’re right, I am a bit crazy. I’m also a bit irrational (as in, I don’t put up with irrational crap just to make others happy), sometimes overly optimistic (I’d rather look forward to the future than have the energy sucked out of me dwelling on the past) – and always passionate about what I’m doing (passion creates energy, which then inspires others to take action).

Response B

Thank you! As confusing and scary this new adventure is, I’m staying true to my values and even though I don’t have it all figured out, trusting that the universe will provide what I’m looking for along the way.

The real reason I quit my job

Every morning when I wake up, I think about what my day has in store. I go through my mental to-do list, think about how much time I have before I actually have to be somewhere, and determine whether or not I can fit in a workout. Generally, I have things to look forward and people to be accountable to, so getting out of bed is effortless – almost exciting even.

Recently, I woke up one morning and realized I couldn’t remember the last time I felt excited to get out of bed. After laying there for a few minutes, I realized I actually couldn’t recall what that felt like anymore. I knew at that moment, I needed a change and I knew it had to start with my work*.

*One important thing about me is that I’m a pretty passionate person. When I get excited about something, I’m told I radiate energy. I love that feeling. When I’m in something, I’m 100% in – I didn’t feel like that about my work anymore, which meant it was time to get out.

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The next day I walked into my boss’ office and gave my two weeks notice.

I immediately felt relief. Relief that I no longer had to deal with the internal struggle that was my loyalty to my job and the fact that it was holding me back from reaching my fullest potential.

Now what?

I have big dreams. I’m not sure what exactly I’m capable of, but I know that every time I’ve applied myself and put all my energy in one direction, I’ve never failed to thrive and prosper. I’ve registered my business as a PR and Comms consultant (yes, I’m open for work!), have a short term plan (to get as much experience and work with as many incredibly talented people as possible) and a long term plan (TBA, can’t give away all the good stuff in one post!) – and most importantly, to feel inspired and excited about getting out of bed again.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that last week I felt anxious, nauseous, alone and scared… but this week I’ve put those useless emotions behind me and focused on my support system and the opportunities in front of me.

I don’t know everything about this next chapter, but here’s what I know for sure:

1. I’m going to trust my gut. It sounds really cheesy, unjustified and unprovable (yes, that is a word) but your body tells you more than you might realize. Think about that feeling when you see a $20 bill that an elderly lady just dropped at the cash register and you watch a middle-aged man pick it up and put it in his pocket. You are conflicted because you know you should rat on the man, but he’s an adult. He knows right from wrong. What will he say, what will he do? Most importantly: What does your stomach feel like? Whenever I feel THAT feeling, I know whatever situation I’m in, it’s wrong and I need to get out or change it. This is a tried and tested philosophy that never fails.

2. I’m not going to under-value myself. This is one of the hardest obstacles any entrepreneur has to face. When you’re starting out on your own it’s a natural tendency to think ‘once I get enough experience and do a good job, clients will see how valuable I am and pay me more’… that’s like saying you’ll tip your pizza deliverer more every time they do a good job in delivering your pizza. You won’t. People want to save money. They won’t give you more unless you set your value and ask for it.

3. I will not stop learning. I’ve realized a lot about myself thus far in my career, and if there’s one thing I know for sure – I thrive in the unknown. It’s definitely a strength of mine which I’ve learned to leverage in both personal and professional ways. The day you stop learning is the day you die. I’ve got a lot more days to live which means bring on the new experiences!

4. I will not stop caring (aka I give a shit). Some call it perfectionism, I call it integrity. When I’m in something, I’m 100% in it. I see no point in pretending or pressuring yourself to do something or be someone you aren’t. That conflicting feeling is what generates self-doubt, insecurity and the feeling of being ‘stuck’ which I’m sure everyone can relate to. I care too much about things in general to become numb to my surroundings.

5. I’m going to be open to any and all opportunities. In my experience, the best experiences, the most growing and the biggest learnings have come when I’ve opened up my life to possibility. If you’re ever unsure or indecisive about the opportunity at hand, refer to #1 on this list.

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. . . . In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness.” – Henry D. Thoreau

Call to action:

1. If any of this sounds familiar, I suggest you check out the podcast Where There’s Smoke.

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I’ve listened to many podcasts and read many books, and the topics and stories pulled together by host Brett Gajda are BANG ON. From success, courage, visualization, accountability, happiness and so many more – it helped me so much to hear these ideas and realize I am capable of achieving anything I dream of – and I’m no different than any of you.

2. If you’re reading this right now and can relate to anything I said above, please feel free to reach out to me. Tweet, email, comment, send positive vibes – however you feel comfortable, I’d love to hear from you and chat about what you’re passionate about and what you’re going to do about it.

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7 Comments

Filed under Personal Records

7 responses to “Why I quit my job to jump into the unknown

  1. Wendy

    As always you amaze me! At first wen I started to read I thought, holy crap that’s a crazy hard decision to make. Then I kept reading and you are totally right! I think I’m in a similiar rut with work but haven’t the slightest idea what my “dream” is yet. Proud of you lady! Glad to hear your doing so fantastic.

    • Thank for sharing Wendy! I think everyone goes through it at different times and in different ways. You’ll figure out when it feels good to you and that will be the right time. Also, just because I quit cold turkey doesn’t mean that’s the way everyone has to do it – set up what feels right and follow through!

  2. A shout-out from Taiwan!
    You go girl, go for what you want!
    I came across your blog as I wonder if anyone jog down PR life as PR’s life is really busy and hectic.
    I worked in the PR agency and can totally relate what you mean about one-day your body and your mind isn’t happy and somehow your inner voice tell you something is totally wrong. Not sure how it works in VAN, however in Taiwan we overtime a lot, a common day with 14hours or above is normal around here for 5 days straight and sometimes work from home during weekends :(
    I am currently still recovering from the burnout but felt related to you of your personality and passion, I’m somehow like this as well, fire 100% into work and things I love, and yes, there is the perfectionist thingy twitching as well…ha!
    Wish you the best entrepreneur!
    Sending you positive vibes and case comes in and in!!!!!!!

    • Wow, thank you for taking the time to write me a message! Some industries require PRs to work those kind of hours, but it’s not exactly a ‘required’ or ‘forced’ culture in Vancouver. We have a pretty great sense of balance (we have the most incredible mountain and ocean terrain which makes it hard not to want to be outside) and that echos through to most places of work – but not all!

      As far as the perfectionism.. you’re speaking my language! It’s hard to let things slide or left undone.. but we need not change those qualities about us :)

      Again, it means a lot that you reached out and can relate. Looking forward to connecting more in the future. Good luck with the burnout recovery :D

      • Yes, I am glad I reached out and as I read more and more of your post….I felt so related to you of what you’ve been through and your personality :)
        Somehow I am like that as well
        The real working world really have me burnout, it burn down some of my bubbly personality as well, however I just read one of your post about a meet-up experience. I think I’ll go to one tonight that my brother kept talking about all day today, who knows who I’ll bump into, isn’t it :)
        And yes, i’ve heard of the beautiful mountains and oceans in VAN, wish I can travel there someday and embrace it myself :)
        Thanks for the vibes Amanda!!!

  3. Melissa

    You are so passionate and positive, Amanda. You will excel in anything you put your mind to…enjoy the ride!

  4. Pingback: What your PR boss will never tell you  | The PR Life

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