A year ago today, I quit my job.
I did something so many seem to talk about but never do. I was unhappy in my 8-to-5. I wanted the ability to advance my career. I wanted responsibility and fulfillment. I wanted to not be bored after 9:30 AM every morning.
So I quit.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy the confused responses I got from coworkers and acquaintances at work. I had countless perplexed looks when I’d tell someone that no, I didn’t have another job lined up and I wasn’t sure when I would work again. Several members of management even asked why I didn’t let them know sooner so that I could work with them on finding a replacement. And honestly, that one still catches me off guard since I had given the standard two-weeks notice.
I wanted to travel. I wanted to see the country. I wanted to do it alone. And I wanted to do it now.
So I did.
I was gone for three months. I saw all 48 contiguous United States. And looking back, I wish I had slowed down. Some states, I passed through (Connecticut, Rhode Island, etc) without doing anything. Other states, I left some sights unseen (Chicago, San Diego, etc). But after several years working a job where I ran out of things to do, I didn’t want to stay complacent for too long. I enjoyed staying busy. Staying on the move. Always taking in something new every single day.
Looking back, I know there will be regrets. There’s always more to see and do. If I had gone too slow, I would have wanted to go faster. If I had gone faster, I would have wanted to slow down.
But at least I did it.
And looking forward, there are regrettable unknowns. I didn’t start seriously looking for a job until May. The tail end of August is rolling around and I still don’t have one. Almost every interview has asked about the gap in employment. It doesn’t bother me and I knew going into this, I would face that question. But I can’t help wonder how biased they become after getting an answer. I’ve had one interviewer ask how my skills have held up, due to the break. And another asked me if I felt like I would have a hard time adjusting to going back to a regular work week.
Thank you for your concern but I’m not sleeping in until 3PM just because I can.
I still have 43 applications open in Nashville, Tennessee. I had an on-site interview there two weeks ago and realized it wasn’t what I was looking for once I set foot in my future-would-be home. So now I have 24 applications open in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Not to mention the 30+ closed applications that have told me thanks, but no thanks.
An opportunity will eventually open up for me though. No worries. I got this.
Every decision and choice will have consequences, both good and bad. A year ago today, I just decided I’d rather live with the consequences that came from doing something I enjoyed instead of just following the norm.
So I quit.