SO, WHY DID I quit my job? The cogent question these days… The answer is simple and revealed in the photo above. But for all you curious folk, here’s the long 800 word version.
To most people it probably felt like a super sudden decision. And pulling the trigger was a very sudden thing. I made the decision a lot faster than I’d ever thought I’d make that sort of decision. But in reality I’ve been working through this internally for the better of 8 months. It just took me that long to decipher that the source of my unhappiness was the very thing that I, for a long time, defined as the thing that made me happiest.
The laundry list of reasons is long. I was uninspired, I didn’t think the role played on my strengths and I didn’t feel like it was setting me on the career path I wanted etc.
I once heard something like “if you don’t want your boss’ job, you should get a new job”. My boss’ job became available, I was essentially the only person in the pipeline and I didn’t even think about applying for it. It just wasn’t what I wanted to get up to in my life.
ONE OF MANY “OH, SHIT” MOMENTS
If you’re unfamiliar with lululemon’s manifesto I suggest you give it a read. I must admit that after working for the company for 3.5 years this little piece of brilliance has become a bit white-wash for me. However, whenever I do take the time to read it – and I mean to really read it, it never ceases to inspire me. Some might laugh in the irony that the company’s manifesto is what inspired me to leave it. I know better. I know that’s exactly why the manifesto exists.
1. This is not your practice life this is all there is. Shit.
2. Have you woken up two days in a row uninspired? Double shit.
THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL’S BACK
My breaking moment was when, due to the timing of an up-coming project, I was going to have to tell my family that I couldn’t go on the 2-week Hawaii vacation we’d been planning. A trip that I’d been dying to go on, Hawaii being the destination I chose.
How could I choose a job that I knew was no longer serving me over an epic vacation with my family? I didn’t think I could.
I went home from work that day and got all Beautiful Mind on my bedroom wall. I wrote down all the things I would do if I wasn’t spending 40 hours a week at my job. I wrote down people I could connect with, people I wanted to collaborate with, courses I could take. Heck, I even wrote down shops I’d work at if I needed cash flow. Suddenly the world felt like my oyster.
The most powerful thing I did was this exercise but pertaining to my job. The first two things I wrote in the middle of my circle were “creative” and “freedom”, two things I didn’t currently have. EYE. OPENING. MOMENT.
The second list I made was “Things I Will Not Do” which had items like “get discouraged” “eat my feelings” and “settle”. I figured once this all really sunk in I might need the reminder.
I felt really good about everything I had up on my wall so I wrote my resignation letter and handed it in the next day.
LIFE AFTER LUON
After telling one of my friends that I’d left my job, he asked why? I simply responded,
“life’s too short to do something you don’t like. And I didn’t like it anymore. So I’m changing it.”
“That’s the thing I’ve always respected about you.” He said. “Lots of people believe that but few people actually follow through. You do”. Whoa. Me?
Now. I have lululemon to thank for a whole lot of things. In fact, it is all the development work that this company has invested in me that made me be able to make such a tough decision with total confidence. And the support I have received since putting in my notice has been incredibly humbling. I still love the company and my coworkers, I was simply on the wrong seat of the bus, and I just didn’t see an empty seat I liked, so I decided to get off. I have no idea what the future holds for me, maybe one day I’ll go back, maybe not – but I’m excited to see what else is out there.
My current plans are to go home for Christmas, spend 3 weeks with my Grandmother in Florida, do some freelance work in February, go to Hawaii for 2 weeks in March and then start to really hunker down and figure out my next career move. Not a bad way to start 2014 eh?