I had lunch this week with two former co-workers. Of the three of us, only one is still working in the office I most recently left.
Chatting with her once again reinforced that I made the right choice in leaving full time employment to make my own way.
Before I get any further, please understand that walking away from full time and benefits in this Michigan economy is not usually a good idea. I only did it because the job was taking a larger toll on my physical, mental and emotional health than the paycheck was worth. We were no where near a balance. Also, I knew I could make some cash right away working as a freelance writer.
Still, I’m not going to pretend that I’m making tons of cash and working all sorts of glamorous jobs. It’s modest work for modest pay, and it certainly has its headaches.
But, I work for me, on my own terms. I am learning to hold clients to my standards because I know I deserve fair pay and respect as a professional.
My friend and former co-worker, meanwhile, is not generally treated as she deserves. She’s a smart, clever, motivated and attractive woman who I know will find a better position. But it’s hard to leave a job that is, albeit upsetting, stable. And really, who wants to work on a resume when you come home feeling like the job you have isn’t worth putting on there anyway? It’s endlessly frustrating.
I finally figured out that making quitting a short-term goal can motivate one to spend less time worrying about the bad job and focus on finding the good one. You have to free your mind: remove yourself personally from an unfulfilling position and think about what you do want. Connect with people through social networks and events to find the folks that share your ideals. They’re out there, and they want to meet you.
Happiness is a priority. Being your own boss might not be the magic bullet, but sometimes knowing what you don’t want is just as helpful as picturing that dream job.
I truly hope you have enough time away from work to enjoy your holiday. If not, start working on that resume…