Oops, I Did It Again! I Quit My Job


If there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s quitting.

Jobs that is.

I’ve quit four in the last two years alone. Well, one I got fired from after five days but they simply beat me to the punch by about a week. The other ones, I managed to hang onto for either months or years but it’s always the same with me. I start out really excited about the potential of a place and then slowly, I become frustrated with the way things are run until I’m completely miserable and not fun at all to be around. At this point I feel it’s my duty to spare my coworkers my horrible attitude and so I move on.

This time was no different.

Regardless of the fact that I actually did like the people I was working for, in fact, my most recent former bosses are the best I’ve ever had, at the end of the day, there were some fundamental differences between us that proved too difficult to overcome, so I split.

In the past, around this time, you could usually find me scouring the internet, looking for a new crappy situation to take the last one’s place. However, I think after seventeen years of never feeling satisfied with where I end up, it’s time for something new. A little while back I wrote a post called How To Have A Productive Day. It was birthed after reaching a breaking point in my “career” where I decided I no longer wanted one.

Careers have never been particularly appealing to me. If ever I pursued one, it’s been because it’s what I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to do. Careers mean working for other people. Paying your dues. Waiting your turn. Hoping for a promotion. Lobbying for a bonus. Years spent climbing your way up one, long, professional ladder for people who don’t care about you and only treat you well enough for you not to leave.

I do not want a career.

First, the idea of only doing one thing for the rest of my life seems somewhat daunting. Life, for me, is about experiences and to limit mine to one particular area of interest would be doing myself a disservice. Especially when that area of interest is removing unwanted hair from people via lasers that cause them a great amount of discomfort. I’m not knocking it. Being an esthetician has allowed me the freedom and financial stability to be able to travel whenever I want and live a considerably cushy lifestyle but recently the amount of pain I put my clients through on a daily basis is wearing on me. I can’t take it anymore. The squirming. The whimpering. At the end of the day I just want to shout at them all to sit still and shut the fuck up! which is really not the state of mind you want to be in when handling the most delicate parts of another person’s body.

Also, and I’ve said this before, but I can’t work for other people anymore. Quitting this last job was not something I did impulsively. I gave it a lot of thought because I knew that if I left this place, I would be leaving the spa business for good. Why? Because I’ve held several jobs in this industry and I’ve never been happy. Finding another one wasn’t going to fix my problem. Quite frankly, the problem isn’t with my employers. They’re all doing what’s best for them, which I can hardly blame them for. The problem is with me. I’ve never been able to fit into the models that my bosses have established for themselves. Which is why I need to establish my own. While I don’t necessarily want a career, I’ve always wanted to work, doing lots of different things. And that was only going to happen if I cut my losses immediately and moved on. However, coming to that conclusion wasn’t easy.

One of the toughest things about quitting my job was the thought of having to curtail my spending. While I’m not a person who’s careless with money, I’m really bad at being poor. The last time I quit my job I was seriously depressed about having to buy the cheap shampoo instead of my fancy brand. Not going to restaurants and having to drink at home instead of out with my friends was making me question whether or not I had made the right decision but over the last couple of months I’ve been doing some reading which has shifted my whole perspective. Thanks to David at Raptitude.com and the early retirement advice of Mr. Money Mustache I started to see things in a different light. For years, I had placed a huge importance on being able to buy expensive makeup or get a massage whenever I wanted to yet all the while I was giving away my most valuable possession day after day:

My time.

I had been devoting hours upon hours every week to pursuing someone else’s dream when the whole time, I had plans of my own that were being left unattended. And I was so unhappy doing it. Sunday evenings became the bane of my existence. The dread I would feel over having to go back to work Monday morning became overwhelming to the point where I was having weekly anxiety attacks and drinking just to get to sleep at night. That’s when I asked myself, if someone told you that you didn’t have to go to work tomorrow morning but it meant you couldn’t go out to dinner afterwards, would you stay home? The answer was so simple. I would kill to not have to go to work the following morning. I would do almost anything. Besides work that is. So why was I putting myself through this? So I could shop at Sephora instead of CVS for lip gloss?

And that’s when I quit.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting this is for everyone. I took serious inventory of my financial situation before making this decision and decided that I could get by for a considerable amount of time before seeing what I had done as irresponsible. However, since making the decision to leave my life in the spa business, a surprising amount of doors have opened up and I believe it’s because I’ve more fully committed myself to my own endeavors. I’ve felt more energized, creative and awake than I have in years and it’s led to some pretty exciting prospects. It’s funny, but I didn’t even realize how much my job was draining me until I didn’t have to do it anymore.

I’ve always been proud of my ability to quit a situation that wasn’t working for me. Granted it’s bordered on ridiculous over the years, with my tendency to jump from job to job becoming a source of amusement, if not high blood pressure, for my family. But at the end of the day, I think quitters get a bad rap. Life is too short to be stuck in something that isn’t right for you, especially when you have the opportunity to move onto something that is. In the past I’ve always felt a little scattered when I quit a job. Like I knew it was something I had to do but was still nervous because I wasn’t quite sure what I should do next. This time is different though.

They say luck is where opportunity meets preparation. I’ve spent seventeen years learning that working for other people isn’t for me. The last few, I’ve discovered what’s possible when I invest in myself.

I think I can confidently say, I’m feeling prepared.

  • Betty Gauthier

    It takes a lot of courage to make a big change in life. Congrats Kelly… I hope that this opens up a world of possibility! Excited to see where this takes you next. ;o)

  • Awesomely Over-Zealous

    I’m reading this while at work and kudos to you for saying “F IT!” I agree with you wholeheartedly about not sticking to the same ish for years on end. I’ve dabbled into SEVERAL fields and it’s helped me become a more well-rounded individual, and moderately more interesting. 😉 You didn’t “quit,” you’re “pursuing other, more viable options” :) I have a “career” at this time and I plan to use the money to pursue other “viable options” including blogging, and DJ’ing, and Neuroscience, and one day maybe Interior Design, or Dancing, who cares; the skies the limit. YOLO damnit, YOLO. I love Sephora but I’m happy with Cheap Ulta products (more affordable comparatively) and men don’t see the difference so why should we 😉 Have a great one and best of luck Kelly, you got this! -Iva

    • RheelDaze

      Thanks Iva! DJing, neuroscience and interior design all sound fantastic, if not totally random. But that’s the beauty of having time to devote to yourself. Today I am going to look at real estate for a possible business I may be opening. Yay! Who knows?

      • Awesomely Over-Zealous

        That. Is. Awesome! Can you share what kind of business you intend on opening? Umm do I forsee an opening party 😉 If so I will travel to NYC just for that! Best of luck, you’ll do great! Hopefully, finding a place is the hardest task you encounter! And yes, all random but I love that – no relation means I have to think differently with each hobby and target different skills. Happy Hump Day! -Iva

        • RheelDaze

          Gonna keep that under wraps for now just so I don’t jinx myself but you’ll see for sure as things progress!

  • Martini

    Good for you!!! Without taking a leap, we’ll never reach a diffrent plateau. Good luck!!!

  • Lydia

    I wish you the best of luck! It’s crazy where life can take you when you suddenly decide to live it for yourself. I don’t know you personally but from what I’ve read on your blog I know you’ll be just fine.

    • RheelDaze

      Very sweet Lydia. Thank you!

  • http://www.chimerikal.com/ Erika

    Ah, speak to my soul! I’ve been having a lot of thoughts similar to these in the past few years, but recently. I want to write a full post about it, but I think that some people will be happier doing a bunch of different things and for some people, their work will never be the center of their life — other things take precedent. And for some of us, we have to think about what we REALLY want. I make less money now (or no money, as I am a grad student) but my schedule is up to me MOST days. I get to decide how I want to do things, I get to stay in my pajamas way longer than I probably ever should, and I love that flexibility. The thought of actually getting back into a grind or schedule right now where it’s 40+ repetitive hours is just not an option for me anymore. That said, I think outside of the blogging world/writing world/academic world, I think I would really enjoy maybe a part-time job that’s like one day a week — something where I am not dependent on it, but it’s fun and maybe caters to a skill or two and gives me an extra little bit of change. I have just come to realize that there hits a certain point where I mentally check out — and part of that is the amount of hours a week where I am somewhere. If it’s under, like, 10, it can remind a pleasant little thing I do. More than that… and… if it’s not something I would do for free, then I’m done with it. OKAY, this is becoming longer than your actual post.

    TL;DR: I relate to this so much! And congrats and good luck with your next phase! :)

    • RheelDaze

      I swear I don’t know how you blog as much (and as well) as you do with everything else you’ve got going on. I think a lot of us in this world feel this same conundrum. We want so badly to be able to devote ourselves to what we’re passionate about and we know that if we did, we could reach levels we never knew possible but it’s so hard to find that time when we’re caught up in these habits that aren’t leading us anywhere. It’s not an easy thing to take a leap of faith quite so drastic but there comes a point when you just know it’s right and even if it doesn’t succeed it was still the right move. If you don’t try you’ll never know. That’s the spirit of everything you write and it’s why I love your blog. Thanks for the comment and the support!

  • Quinn Read

    I LOVE this! And I totally identify. I quit my cushy office job last year, after having spent my entire twenties jumping from office job to office job (with a few random stints in between). It was terrifying and liberating. It was hard to not have regular income, but I got to spend my days as I chose (reading books, mostly). Now I’m working part time doing something I believe in and filling in with some contract work on the side. If I got offered full time, I’m not sure I’d take it. I get to dictate my own schedule and determine how I spent my time — I’m not going to give that up again. Good for you for taking the leap, and thank you for this awesome post!

    • RheelDaze

      I’m only just realizing that happiness is so much more important than money. I kept thinking of all of the vacations I was going to miss out on if I quit my job but now my whole life is like a vacation. And I don’t mean in the sense that I’m laying around. In fact, I’m busier now than when I was working because I have the time to pursue more things, but the stress is gone. It sounds like you chose what was the happier path for yourself even if it wasn’t the most lucrative. It took me a long time to become comfortable with the idea of doing the same but I am so glad I did.

  • http://voyageofthemeemee.blogspot.com/ Amanda MeeMee

    Hahahaha… “even diana” :)

  • Mcgyvra

    No way…. Rachel — remember Rachel, Nov. 8 dedication post– just sent me your article because I’m dealing with the angst you describe in your first paragraph. (I think she may be honing in on the horrible-attitude-bringing-my-coworkers-down part–hey… was that a hint Rachel?!) I TOTALLY get it… In fact, just last night my headhunter was talking me down off the ledge bc I’m so ready to di di mau. Unfortunately for me, I have mouths to feed and I long ago switched to CVS lip gloss….so for the time being I am stuck. But HOORAY for you! Enjoy your new exciting prospects! We’ll toast to you with a leftover pastry in break room today.

    • RheelDaze

      I love Rachel! Thank her for sending you the article and thank you for commenting. I feel this frustration from a lot of people right now. I see it everywhere. People just miserable in their jobs and plodding along because they feel like there are no other options. It’s most definitely harder when you have children. I doubt I would have made the same decision if I did. In fact, it took me two years (that’s how long ago I started developing this blog) before I felt the confidence from doing it to know that there was more out there for me. You can start in small ways with how the world works today. There is so much opportunity out there to build your own business or have your voice heard. It all starts with small steps. I hope you can find some that will keep you off the ledge. And thank you for the toast! Doing it with a pastry is all too fitting for me.

      • Rachel!

        Kelly! Not only are you a maven of hilarity, but you are also an inspiration! Good luck in your new endeavors! One day (I am also moving at my own pace through life) I will break off and do what you are doing. Thanks for another great post!
        PS – that pastry that we had for you was delicious. You totally missed out! 😉

        • RheelDaze

          What was it? I’m holding off on eating for the most part until Thanksgiving. Can you describe it to me? In detail? Ah shit, never mind. My friend left half a pumpkin pie in my fridge last night. I begged him to take it home but he didn’t want to carry it so he said he would hide it. It’s currently behind a Red Bull and some squash seeds that I’ve been keeping in a tupperware for what reason I don’t know. I’m fucked.

  • http://www.wanderlyn.com/ Eternally WanderLyn

    I’m so glad that you came to this realization. I think that our society sort of drills it into us that we should have a career and make oodles of money. It tells us that THAT’S the ONLY way we will be successful. Frankly, I think true success is having all the experiences you want out of life and living the life you want. My family doesn’t always see it this way, but I think they’re coming around. :p