Monday, 9 April 2012

Goodbye Career, Hello World!

Goodbye Career,Hello World Have you ever thought of quitting your job to see what else you can do in your life? You are not alone!  

Many days and nights I would find myself wondering "is this it?", was I destined to spend the rest of my working life doing the same job for the same company. We only have one life, therefore we should be happy with how we choose to live it.

I am writing this because I have no doubt that there are many people who have similar thoughts and therefore wish to give my story in the hope that others' will share theirs, no matter where along the path they are.

I am 33, just about to hit 34 and have worked for the one employer for the last 12 years. This employer was basically my first employer out of University and college. I can’t say that I ever planned to move into the world of Underwriting. Even when I had to choose a topic to study at Uni and college I really had no idea what I really wanted to do so I picked something that I thought I would be good at, not necessarily something that I would enjoy. I guess, I fell into the job which became a career.

Around the 8th year I felt that my interest had disappeared. I was bored with the job, and frustrated with the lack of opportunities that one experiences when they are not in the Head Office. This made me feel depressed.  I was really over it, so I handed in my resignation to pursue an interest in film making.  My manager however talked me out of it by offering part time work which would allow me the scope to pursue film making whilst still earning an income. I spent 12 months studying, and making a couple of not so good Indie Films. It was good to have the freedom, but I also was realistic that I would not be making an income from film so needed to seek full time work. Nonetheless, it had given me a mental break from the daily grind.

A position came up in another department at work so I took it. I spent two years in a fraud prevention role and then I moved into a newly created senior underwriter role. My motivation to move back into underwriting was not only as a career progression step, but also to help provide a smooth transition into the office for the soon to be appointed underwriting team leader.

Over one year has now passed and whilst the transition was smooth and I have developed a great working relationship with my manager, I was again asking myself in no particular order;

  • “Do I want to stay employed as an Underwriter until retirement age?
  • “What are my real interests?
  • “Can I gain employment in an area that interests me?
  • “How do I get there?”
  • Where do I want to be in the next 5-10 years
  • “What else does the world have that I want to experience?”, and most importantly 
  • “If I leave to re-educate myself, do I have enough funds saved to keep me going? ”
I never planned on when I was going to hand in my resignation, there was always the thought that I could just continue on and go through the motions even if I am bored. The money is good, the people are friendly and I can do the job with my eyes closed.

However, when I woke up to go to work on Monday 27th March, I made the decision – if I want change I must act. So I drove into work thinking “just do it!”. Over a morning coffee with my manager I advised him of my decision to resign.

After advising my manager of the decision to resign I had the following thoughts and feelings on the first day;
  1. Apprehension
  2. Numbness
  3. Unsure, have I made the right decision?
  4. Loss of good stable income
  5. The unknown, what if I fail?
  6. What happens if my studies don’t succeed and I go into a job that I don’t want to do? (Income less, not happy). 
To put an end to a successful career for the unknown is very difficult, and whilst I am very anxious and excited to see where the path takes me - there still sits a sense of loss.  A loss of identity, and a loss of belonging I guess.  I know however, that no matter where the path takes me - I will never look back wondering “what if?”

It would be great to hear about your experiences and thoughts so feel free to comment and share with everyone.

As I put one foot forward after another on this new path I will keep you updated with where the journey takes me.

An interesting blog that I came across while writing this 16 Signs It's Time to Quit Your Job


Fleur Aulelei said...

This is a great blog. Good on you for making that decision and following through. It takes a lot of guts and it is one that often others think about or say out loudly, "I'm going to quit", but never follow through with.

All circumstances would be considered when making that decision, some have families, others have major responsibilities that don't allow you to consider resigning. If you have the opportunity where you have the flexibility to be able to resign and look forward in life with no regrets, it is a decision well made.

I see many people sitting at their desk looking for jobs in Newspapers, Internet and Intranet with no intention of moving on. They admit that they come in to work day after day waiting for redundancy package or that they can't be bothered starting fresh elsewhere.

I am at a crossroads with my role and will be speaking with my manager about where I am at and what I want to do when I return from holidays. Sleepless nights has become my second occupation and is not by choice.

I am sure many people reading your Blog feel the same way or have felt the same way. It is the next step for many of us wondering "Am I brave enough to make that decision and walk away?".

Altim Hax said...

Thanks Fleur.
I completely agree with you that everyone has different circumstances in life of which needs to be taken into account before one resigns. There is definitely no set rule that can be applied. In an ideal world, a person would find a position elsewhere prior to making the move, however with a career change this can prove to be very difficult due to the knowledge that one may need to attain prior to entering the industry.
Good luck with the discussions that you have with your manager, I hope that whatever the outcome it helps improve your current position. Please keep us posted with how it progresses.

FWCorey said...

Compelling, insightful and interesting article. I'll be sure to follow your adventures in your new career. I took a leap of faith myself.. I'm in my second year of my new career, the money isn't great but I have high hopes and at least I'm doing something I enjoy.

Altim Hax said...

FWCorey, it is good to hear that for you your change in career has been worthwhile as you are enjoying it. Best of luck going forward with it.

Fleur Aulelei said...

I will for sure. Thanks again for sharing your blog.