Taking the leap
I did it. I never thought I would.
I quit my job.
A little over 4 years ago, I walked into my first job out of college. I got to work with people that I genuinely love and can still call friends today. One of them ended up being my roommate. I got to grow my skills and learn to work with clients, work on a team and collaborate on projects. All of those things I'm thankful for learning there. But after corporate changes that shifted production around, my job changed. It was subtle at first. Less and less creation from our team and more rearranging of elements from other projects. Less risk taking, more boundary building.
One day I was working on a project and thought, what am I doing? I wasn’t challenged, but even worse, I wasn’t benefiting my company anything. They no longer needed the work that I was hungry to do. My design muscles had shrunk over the past year and I wasn't able to stretch them at work anymore. So, I decided to do something about it. I decided to work my way out of the company and create new things. After designing an app last year, I wanted to design more and have the ability to develop more apps. I made that decision 7 months ago.
In my case, there was a lot of work to do in order to leave and be in a good place. One thing I learned, in my case, was being wise meant being patient. Sure I could have just quit months ago, but then what? I would have been unprepared for all the work ahead. So, working on freelance projects, selling personal items, saving money like a crazy person, and studying nearly every night after work, I applied to Mobile Makers in Chicago in December.
I read Quitter by Jon Acuff last year, and it's been like a handbook for me in this decision. I highly recommend it if you're having similar thoughts as I was. There was a lot of planning involved with this. Can I financially afford to leave and pursue this? How does this affect my loved ones? If I just absolutely fail, what's the worst that could happen? If I succeed, what would I have the opportunity to do in the future?
I am a security lover. I LOVE IT. Don't mess with my safe, predictable, paycheck-every-two-weeks life. So this was hard for me. Really hard. But safe doesn't necessarily mean happiness or growth. Do I have all the answers for what my future looks like? Absolutely not. But comparing it with the future had I stayed put, it was clear it was time to move on. Think about what you want. What have you been gifted with? Are you able to use them effectively where you currently are? If so, great! Way to go. If not, don't think that you can't change. You can. It's hard work and be wise when planning it, but you too can take the leap.