I have wanted to write this post for weeks. I knew that I need to address the subject here because it is so central to what I write about. I aim to shed light on bold ideas that inspire you all to really think about the life you want to create for yourself. So here is my latest bold idea: No matter how “cool” a job sounds out loud, it’s possible for you to feel unhappy on the inside. As the months have tumbled on, I felt increasingly despondent and depressed about my 9-5. Sure, there were a lot of cool aspects to it (the free stuff, the celebs, the fun events), but the days I struggled to get out of bed out numbered the days I got up with a smile. I felt as if I was getting lost in the shuffle of misery.

So I decided to leave.

It obviously wasn’t as simple as that, and I do plan on writing another post about the thought process I used to make a change, but right now I want to focus on the top three reasons I decided to leave the 9-5 hustle in pursuit of points and places unknown. Perhaps you will identify with my words, perhaps it will shock you. I only hope to make you think, let you into my world, and give hope to those of you who might be feeling the same way.

So here goes, my list of top three reasons, Conan O’ Brien-style:

3. I was tired of trying to force myself into the box called “Corporate”
In many ways, workin’ for the man is all about playing games. There is the game of getting to work on time, the game of kissing ass, the game of pretending you are super busy when you really aren’t working on anything,  the game of leaving the office on time, yet feeling guilty about it, and the game of figuring out ways to be manipulative so that you can get ahead.

Some people rock at playing the game.  I’m not one of those people. And I was tired of trying to pretend that I am. For a long time I thought something was wrong with me. It was when I started this blog that I realized I am capable of giving anything my 200%. There is just one catch: I really, really, have to care about what I am doing.  I wasn’t finding that in the corporate space, and I don’t know if I ever will. The stupid rules annoy me. Frankly, there was no reason for me to be stuck at that desk every day. I could have gotten a lot more accomplished at home. But, because the corporate space is not really thinking about innovation (despite all those classes about work/life balance).  It just isn’t my cup of tea. My time is precious, and the minute I remembered that it truly is the one thing we all own for real, I vowed to snatch my time back.

2. There are alternative ways to make a buck that don’t require me to be chained to a cubical all day.
My job paid in coolness. Seriously, if I had a dollar for every time someone said, “Oh, your job is cool.” I would be rich. I got that statement all the time, but there was no money that came a long with it, and the money I got was shitty. I wasn’t raised to live paycheck-to-paycheck, but that is exactly what I was doing. In the first few months of working, I was extremely angry with the company for compensating me so poorly, but somewhere around the 1-year mark, I realized that the person I really needed to be mad at was me for thinking that I couldn’t make better happen for myself.  Filing my taxes was the final straw on that point. If I’m going to be low on funds, I thought, it’s better to be low on funds and happy, rather than poor and depressed.  Always remember that your worth is not calculated in the amount you get in that biweekly check.  You are priceless, and if you can figure out a way to harness your awesomeness to make things happen for yourself (i.e. money!), go for it!

1. Life is too damn short to be so unhappy on a consistent basis
There were many days when I wanted to walk out of my office building and just never come back. A nasty combination of realizing I had zero amount of passion for the projects I was working on and feeling stuck and dependent, had me feeling depressed daily. For a long time I could not see a way out. I applied for other jobs, but none of them really interested me. I didn’t want to just shuffle into another cube where I would be even more restricted. I wanted out, but I didn’t know how to make that happen for a long time.  Until one day, after a series of signs, I decided to just go for it. I formulated a plan of taking some time off to enjoy this summer, learn some things, TRAVEL, and work on some projects. I double-checked my funds, and then I made the decision to throw the deuces.

The result?
I’m so much happier. I get the pride that comes with knowing I made the best decision for ME.  And that is so important to me.  How can I began to build my fab life if I feel like my life sucks? I can’t. I had to change something. Now, who knows what will happen from this point, as I have learned that life does take mysterious turns, but this is when I remember one of my favorite quotes: “I’m not afraid to lose if it means I can win.”

 

Note: Tomorrow, I’m going to tell you all about my plans to TRAVEL (yes, it’s all caps worthy) and I might even include some multi-media action. Whoo hoo!

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14 comments

  1. Danny Lamas 3 May, 2011 at 12:24 Reply

    Beautiful Amber! I did the same again recently, it’s so liberating and empowering. But like you said, the ultimate benefit to me has been an increase in happiness and leaving behind that sucky worthless feeling of ‘working for the man.’ Rock on

  2. Miss Journey D 3 May, 2011 at 08:54 Reply

    It’s so comforting to read the words of someone who is so on the same page. I am so happy to hear that you made a decision to be happy. I so wish more people would take a moment to really think about it and have that conversation with themselves. Hopefully, this post will inspire someone to 🙂

    I cannot wait to see what else is in store for you. It will be amazing to see how your journey unfold.

    I’m really looking forward to hearing about your travel plans!

    • Amber J. 3 May, 2011 at 08:56 Reply

      Thanks Danielle! Deciding to chose my happiness over fear of the unknown and the cool factor was hard, but once I did it, I truly felt free.

  3. Laura 3 May, 2011 at 08:41 Reply

    Ah, I have been waiting on this post. Excellent, as always. Sometimes you gotta leave “the job a million girls would kill for” and go out and make YOUR living. Hear, hear!

  4. Keri 3 May, 2011 at 08:36 Reply

    This post is AWESOME. I feel like you’ve read my mind. It sounds exactly like me, except that my job isn’t cool at all. The first (#3) point really hits home for me. I’m just not meant to fit into this, to play these games. I hate them.

    I’m really looking forward to your writing more on this theme & exactly how you left =)

    Thanks so much for writing this. VERY inspiring!

    • Amber J. 3 May, 2011 at 08:41 Reply

      Thanks Keri! This is one of those posts that I dreamed about writing long before I could! It took awhile, but I just had to go! I miss my colleagues, though. They were awesome, but I’m just not cut out for the cube life.

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