OK, sorry for being a little dramatic but I have been keeping this HUGE secret for around a month now and am SO excited to finally tell you what I’ve been hinting about for a while!
I QUIT MY JOB! Friday was my last day at my “grown-up” corporate job, and your girl is UNEMPLOYED (in the traditional sense, that is). **insert all the crazy eye emojis in the world here**
I really don’t even know where to start with this post because my mind is racing in 1,000 different directions. I decided to try to think of all the questions I would personally want to ask a friend who up and quit their career after a decade of doing the same-ish thing and being pretty successful at it.
Why the heck did you quit your job?
There are a lot of reasons, I guess, but I will say it was a REALLY difficult decision for me. I’ve worked at the same company for almost seven years (with a brief hiatus, but that’s a story for another day), and the people there really did become like a second family to me.
Over time, while I liked my job and loved my colleagues, I began to feel that I was missing something. My career and my purpose didn’t feel 100% aligned, and deep down I just knew I had to make a change.
I began to brainstorm what my ideal career would look like and consistently came back to a few key things:
- helping others
- constantly learning and growing
- centered around my interests – AKA things I want to do even when I’m not getting paid
That’s obviously pretty broad, but I really just knew I wanted to create something of my own that I could be really proud of and passionate about. It turns out that while I appreciated the stability I had, I eventually realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur and be more directly responsible for my own success or failure.
I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My grandparents owned a grocery store and a furniture store, where I was practically raised. My Dad owned his own small business for years. My mom and step dad own a construction business still today. It’s in my blood. Some of my earliest memories in life involve sitting in one of the row of recliners for sale at the furniture store watching Price is Right on one of the TVs with my Grandma between customers.
For years, I said I never wanted to be an entrepreneur because I saw all of the blood, sweat, tears and LONG hours that went into all the small businesses I had seen in my family. I wanted an office, a steady pay-check and a 9-5. That’s it.
Then, after college I went out and got that stable 9-5 that I longed for. I wasn’t exactly changing the world but I had stability, a good income and a comfortable life. What more could I want, right?
Of course it’s only fitting that after a decade of pursuing that path, I’d long to follow in the footsteps of my parents and grandparents that I thought I wanted to avoid.
What did you actually even do for a living?
I kind of “fell into” my career path. I graduated college with a business degree (double major in Marketing & Management) in the midst of the economic downturn in 2008. The job market was at its worst, and I was terrified. A lifelong overachiever, I never expected I would have any issues finding a job after college, but struggle I did. I didn’t have clear direction on exactly what I wanted to do but really had my heart set on the advertising and marketing world.
It was one of the most humbling experiences of my life going from Salutatorian of my high school class and graduating college with honors to being unemployed for months after graduation while I searched for jobs day and night.
Falling into my career is a story all on its own, so I’ll save it for another day but I eventually accepted a job with an engineering and construction company on a Department of Defense project supporting a team who wrote and managed contracts. I later was promoted from that role into a position on the company’s field procurement team where I was responsible for sourcing tools, equipment and materials needed for the multi-billion dollar project’s construction site.
I learned SO much at that company… a lot about government regulations and requirements, a lot about how to negotiate deals and save money, and definitely a lot about how I like to work and the types of people I like to work with.
I eventually knew it wasn’t somewhere I wanted to be long term and after a few years there I decided to start looking for jobs in New York. Real talk, the New York move was 95% motivated by wanting to be closer to my then long distance boyfriend (and now husband, Kevin) after we reconnected. Thankfully, there are a zillion great opportunities in New York for career growth too so I didn’t have to sacrifice my career for love. Haha.
The job I found in New York (on Long Island) was the job I kept for nearly seven years. The job was also in procurement, as one of the first hires on a newly formed team for a consumer products company. I loved being able to use the skills I had learned at my previous job to help my boss and team implement all of the good things from our prior companies and leave behind a lot of the red tape and things that didn’t actually add value. I thrived and enjoyed the work, and I think a lot of that was due to the entrepreneurial spirit of the team while we started something new although the company had been around for 30 years.
I worked my way up the ranks of that team going from analyst to senior analyst, then manager and senior manager over my 6+ years there. I worked on SO many different projects that it seems like I’ve touched every corner of the business in some way. I’ve worked with marketing agencies, facilities management companies, staffing agencies, etc. It’s been a great way to learn about a LOT of different aspects of the way a large company operates, and I think that experience gave me an insight into running a business that I would have never known had I jumped straight into the small business/entrepreneurship world from the beginning of my career.
Are you going to be a full time blogger? Do you actually make money being a blogger?
I will definitely be spending more time blogging and connecting with you, but I’m not quitting my job to pursue the blog full time. People are often mystified and very confused by blogging and how people make a living doing it. The reality is there are some people who make a great living as bloggers but I’m not there yet. I AM starting to make an income from the blog, and I’m SO excited about the possibilities here. From what I hear some bloggers often work for years before they start to see any financial rewards from their blogs, and I was prepared for that to be the case for me too.
I’m thrilled that in just a few short months I’m already starting to make progress in monetizing the blog. The fact that it IS starting to bring in money is part of the reason I’ll be able to focus more time on it than when it was just my hobby. That’s really exciting to me because the journey of starting this blog has been so rewarding and fun… and I just want to do it more.
The blog is a passion project for me. I do it because I love it and more than anything, I just love connecting with all of you. I’m happy that I’m starting to make a bit of money here to offset the investments (both time and money) I’ve made and hope I can continue to devote more and more of my time to it in the future.
What the heck ARE you going to do now?
Good question! Hah. First, I’m going to take a little break. My life has been a whirlwind of non-stop chaos for years… in a good way. Even good chaos is exhausting, though! In the past few years I’ve moved multiple times, gotten engaged, gotten married, traveled, become a landlord, renovated and sold a house from 12+ hours away, bought a first home with Kevin, etc. Not to mention he finished his MBA, became a CPA, started an entire new career path as an accountant, ramped up his photography business, etc. at the same time. It’s been a lot and I need a minute to catch my breath.
I’m putting the “take a break” message out into the universe hoping I’ll actually follow through, but in reality I have a LOT of things I want to do.
I started making a “quit list” of all the things I wanted to do once I was no longer tied to my 9-5 job and it has become several pages long. It ranges from chores I just never had time for to pushing forward with a new business idea that’s been stewing.
So, for now, I’m focused on getting settled into our new home (don’t worry – I’ll be blogging about all of my projects) and on relaxing a bit…. then I’ll hit the ground running on a couple different ideas I have and share more with you once I have a bit more direction. I’ll also be doing some consulting work in the meantime to help pay the bills.. haha.
One thing I’ve been doing for a while now is helping small businesses and entrepreneurs with social media, primarily Facebook ads. I’ve always been inspired by entrepreneurs like those in my family pursuing the American dream and have LOVED helping a few businesses with their strategies so far.
I’m going to be accepting Facebook ads clients for businesses who want to completely outsource ad strategy and development. I’m also offering a FB ads overview and strategy consultation for small business owners who want to manage their own ads. I’ll be developing a new website and social media presence around this business (it’s on my “quit list”), but have already begun teaching the class as part of my soft launch. I’ve been REALLY encouraged by the positive feedback I’ve received so far. People who have taken the course keep sending friends my way which is also very exciting! If you are interested in learning more about this, please feel free to contact me to discuss! (PS. don’t worry – I promise the blog won’t become a constant self-promo mechanism for my other businesses… they will be part of my life and journey so I’ll be sharing about it from that perspective but I could never and would never want to be the pushy salesperson type!)
Are you absolutely terrified to not have a stable job?
Yes and no. Yes, because I’ve never NOT had a job and it’s scary to take a leap of faith into the unknown.
No, because Kevin and I have been preparing for this moment, and I know I have to free up space in my life for the things to come. We’ve cut our expenses drastically, have been saving money as much as possible for quite some time, and I’ve been working “side hustles” for a few years now to make sure I can make an income to continue contributing financially to our household even without a steady paycheck.
Thankfully, I have a saint of a husband who is so supportive and truly believes in my abilities. He’s pretty practical (hello, he’s an accountant!) so when I first mentioned that I’d like to pursue my entrepreneurial dreams, he was a bit surprised, and I know he’d love for us to have my stable income. Ultimately, once we determined we’re OK to do this financially he was 100% on board. He also sees what a crazy workaholic I am and knows that I am relentless in pursuing the things I want… so he knows I’ll do everything in my power to make this work.
How in the world can I quit my job and start my own thing too?
This is going to look so different for everyone because we all have different circumstances to overcome. I’m no expert yet but I do hope to share my journey with you as one facet of my blog and hope you’ll learn from my mistakes and be inspired by my wins.
I have a new post coming soon with the top 10 things I had to do in order to make this leap, so be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram or subscribe to my email list to be notified of the next post!
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments…. have you ever considered jumping into something completely terrifying but thrilling? Did you do it? How did it go? If not, are you working toward making it happen?
Also, feel free to ask any questions you may have about my journey or plans for the future and let me know what you’d like to see in future posts related to this topic!