5 Things I Learned from Quitting My Day Job

Quitting my 8 to 5 job (sometimes 8 to 6 or 7 or 8 – geesh, 12 hours of work?) has been one of the best yet scariest decisions I’ve ever made. The idea of not waking up early, missing the rush hour traffic and of course, no more boss to please sounds too liberating that I didn’t have to think twice about my resignation. My intention since the start had been to create a more independent and flexible lifestyle and I thought the best way to do it is to get out of the office life. But as soon as I made my final “professional world” exit, a big question popped into my head – Will I survive this kind of setting?

I did not mean to be a bum but I must admit I didn’t have concrete plans that time. I already had my Shy Shop running but it was just a small-scale online business based solely on Facebook. I sell a variety of stuff from trinkets to purses and some marikina-made bags and wallets and just like any other start-ups, progress was kinda slow. I was also taking up a short marketing course in CSB and was not even halfway through the program when I gave up my job.

It wasn’t easy. Being the family’s bread winner, financial security has always been a concern and I knew that my decision of leaving my full time position with no firm back-up plan in place probably wasn’t the smartest thing.

I want to do something that I love and I wanna be the best girl boss ever – I remember this used to be my favourite line because duh, MILLENIALS. But seriously, when I thought life will be easier after that 8 to 5 conquest, I was, apparently, wrong. Being an entrepreneur and working on an online 24/7 business means I have to deal with customers as long as I am awake. It also means doing all the work from marketing to inventory up to the actual selling. While I get a lot of help from my family, I still shoulder the biggest chunk of the task load.

There came a point when I felt too exhausted that I thought I should go back and get a real job. This is when I saw the possibility of taking freelance works. I took everything I know I can do (or at least I thought I can do) – wedding coordination, hosting, freelance writing etc and I worked really hard on each and every project.

So I continue doing my regular Shy Shop work while I do some happy freelance jobs on the side. From then on, I never stopped working.

Four years later, here I am, still juggling a lot of things but I can say that I feel more fulfilled and happy. I got my Shy Shop business growing steadily with online and physical stores present. I am also doing a lot of freelance stuff – marketing and PR consultancy, event hosting, fashion styling, blogging – all these while I finish my Masters degree.

While I believe quitting a job without a stable and specific plan wasn’t a really good idea, I do think it was one of the most enlightening career experiences I’ve had so far. Call it crazy, stupid, impulsive, or brave—at the very least, it was educational. Here are a few of the many things I learned:

1. Taking the leap isn’t as scary as you think it will be.

It is true that there are things you simply cannot risk such as security. You want that medical plan, 13th month pay, free birthday merienda or that Christmas grocery pack but bes, security isn’t everything. If you’re not happy with your job, go quit. If you want to set up your own business, make it happen. Remember, there are so much things that you can do in life and one of them is to ALWAYS try something new – or at least something that will make you more fulfilled.

2. Stick to your guns and make it firm.

Yes, I had doubts. The opportunities in the corporate world are too tempting that I had to reaffirm my decision a number of times. I had several interview invites from companies I’ve once dreamt of working with and turning their offers down wasn’t really easy. There are moments when I had to ask assurance from others but I know that I’m the only one who knows what’s right for me.

The secret is, once you’ve made that decision, deal with it, trust your decisions and never ever look back.

3. You can create a life for yourself.

I remember I once rant about life and work on Facebook and my former professor messaged me privately just to tell me that I can always make a (good) choice. I guess he’s right because after that I realised I have to make a move otherwise I’ll be stuck forever.

TIP – If you think you’re not becoming a better person because your job is hindering you from growing, then pack your things up and leave. Remember that in the professional world, people get fired, departments are restructured, companies fold. Don’t let fear of the unknown keep you in a job that makes you unhappy.

4. Networking is best.

Meet new people and learn from them. Remember that you do not know everything yet and there are individuals who are more expert in the field. Create new friends because chances are, they can open more opportunities for you.

5. It doesn’t have to be always perfect.

Hope for the best but expect the worst. Failures are part of the learning process and remember that as long as you’re giving out your best and you’re progressing in the right direction, a step or two closer to where you want to be, then consider it a good move.

Looking back, I must say that quitting a job without a specific plan sounds foolish but I’m glad I took that risk because it made a lot of difference in my life. Now, I challenge you to assess your self from an outside perspective and ask these questions:

Am I happy?

Do I love what I do?

Quitting a Job
Note: I am not an expert yet and while being both a freelancer and entrepreneur worked for me, I must admit that I am still in that learning phase. I would greatly appreciate if you can share with me your insights and learnings too so I can also update this post 🙂

You may also like

14 comments

  1. I have read successful stories of people who quit their job to do what they love to do. You are such a brave soul to turn your back on the comforts you can have if you will remain in the corporate world. I do agree with you. Life is short and we should enjoy it to its fullest. I also do not see myself still teaching when I grow older. At the moment, I am trying to save money. I am also learning new things and yes, I love networking now. Someday, I want to travel the world but can still able to finance myself. It is the reason I made up my own blog too. 🙂

  2. I think you are doing pretty well. But even better, I like your mindset as can be seen with the 5 things you shared. You are right, taking the leap is not as scary but that can be easy so as long as you keep cultivating relationships. There are others who only network when they have needs. The right thing to do is to network just to have more connections, even with no plans for now. I share a link which can be accessed by tapping on my name, finding your life changing opportunity.

  3. Ah babe! I’m going through a similar situation. The past few days I’ve been wondering on what I should do with my life. I don’t really like the idea of working in an office 5 times a week. That’s why I took a home based job instead. But just this day I had to waive goodbye to that job… I want to follow your path to keep blogging and grow the business venture I’ve started just this year, hopefully I can work it out so I wouldn’t be tempted to find another job. This post really got me inspired. Thanks Shaira.

  4. I tried this once as well. I worked for a corporate company and since I felt that I am no longer happy and I don’t belong anymore, I decided to quit. Quit without having a backup plan on where should I go next. What I just thought is that go back to working online. It took me a month to settle for a new job and this time, it worked fine. I work on my preferred time and clients don’t mind just as long you give the output they are expecting, then you are good to go. The set up I have been dreaming of, you know work on your own time.

  5. Yes indeed at first it seems scary , but some chapters in our life will be closed but new chapter will be open, blessings comes in unexpected ways, ofcourse hardwork will always be there, I did thesame thing two years ago, but I didn’t regret it, now I can take care of my kids while working at home and do some freelance work.

  6. Good on you. I think when we end an era or step into a new lifestage, we are setting ourselves up for success, because we CHOOSE to see our lives in a different way. I did the same “leap” some years ago when I became a stay-at-home mom and started to do freelance work. Six years later, I still have a lot of struggles, but they are new ones that I am learning from at THIS stage of my life. I think having a lifelong-learning-outlook helps a lot, in this sense. Wishing you the best days yet!

  7. I quit my corporate job (night shift) as well after I had my daughter. It was something I dreamed of doing because I knew I was born to work and excel but I did the unthinkable almost 2 years ago much to the dismay of my parents. Like you, I am now managing an online business. I have also taught myself graphic design. I was also scared before I made the final decision but when I finally did it, I felt relieved. I knew that time that sacrificing my career will all be worth it – and I was right because I was able to witness all of my daughter’s milestones.

  8. Wow. Such an inspiring story for those out there still trying to figure out which path should they take. That is really a brave and bold move and I think you have been handling it well. Even if there will be those downsides but as long as you persevere, then you will be able to reach your goals.

  9. I truly agree with you on this one. I took the same path after 8mos. of resigning. I’m happy doing freelance but is truly slow it takes a lot of tenacity. but as millennials, I guess it’s just us to go for the things that make us most happy and fulfilled 🙂

  10. Im on the stage of deciding if I would also quit or not. Im thinking of a fallback first that woukd sustain my needs while im out of day job. I laughed when you said Duh, Millenials. Lol. i may need to find a freelance job though before deciding anything drastic. Haha!

  11. LMAO. Millenials. True.
    I am a breadwinner.
    I could make my life better without having a day job. I know it. However, financial security is at risk. We’re in the middle class and it’s hard for me to just let my responsibilities go without an official backup. I don’t have a shop, no anything. Though I am planning to. I’ll be taking the risk for happiness soon too.

  12. My partner and I absolutely love your blog and find the majority of your post’s to be what precisely I’m looking for. Would you offer guest writers to write content for yourself? I wo&nuld#8217;t mind producing a post or elaborating on some of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome website!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *