When Quitting Means Growth

I wrote in my last blog that I have been feeling relatively stuck. I have had this mental battle with myself because I’d been feeling unmotivated, bored, underestimated and like I wasn’t staying true to myself, causing a huge feeling of dissonance between who I am and what I was feeling.

Four weeks ago, I quit my job. I’d lost the challenge and appetite for my work and was in a position and place that I was feeling stale. So instead of twiddling my thumbs, complaining about not being happy and living an unfulfilling life, I set out to find a role and organisation that made me excited again. Something that aligned with who I was and what I wanted to do in this world.

I didn’t know if what I wanted even existed but I wrote it all down in my journal (literally everything from location, salary, responsibilities and culture) and willed it into the universe anyway. I was applying for roles that kind of fit what I wanted, interviewed for a few that didn’t feel right but I knew I could do, and got a heap of rejection emails without anyone even speaking with me.

But the one that came through aligned so clearly with my strengths, interests and the bullet points that were printed in my journal that I thought it was almost too good to be true (more on this later).

Throughout this process and fairly stressful time where my motivation was dwindling even more, I learned to trust my intuition more than I have ever before. Sometimes I just know whether something is meant to be or it isn’t and it was so strong while I was speaking with people about opportunities that I just knew weren’t right.

Quitting was hard for me. Even the word ‘quit’ connotates that you’re giving up.  I like to fight for things that I have invested time and energy into and have a deep-rooted sense of loyalty. Whether it be to a job, project, relationship, friendship, company, or even a meeting I’ve committed to – I find it hard to let go, give up or walk away from, even if I know it isn’t serving me. Saying ‘no’, is not one of my strengths.

We live in a world where it’s so easy to look on the other side of the fence and want what ‘they’ have. To always be looking at something else, thinking there are so many other options out there, which creates a sense of dissatisfaction with what you have. I’m very conscious of making sure that I don’t just want the ‘next best thing’ or have the grass is greener syndrome, without working with what I have and really trying to make the most of my current. So in any situation that I find myself not aligning with, I try to fight, try harder to make it work, try to be appreciative and grateful and really try to understand what is not working – whether it’s me or ‘them’. Especially when it’s something that I worked so hard to get in the first place.

So you can imagine the internal battle I was having with myself about trying to make it work or cutting my losses and leaving. I felt like I was going against who I was, leaving something that’d I’d put four years of my effort into and like I owed it to the company to not give up, I owed it to them, right?

Well I finally realised that I owe it to myself to be happy. I wasn’t being a happy person. I was irritable, short, uninspired, demotivated and I didn’t like the person that I was acting like. This isn’t me. I know, happiness is a choice but sometimes there might be something so significant in your life that isn’t serving you anymore that sucks energy from your essence. And for me, spending nearly 50 hours weekly in a role or company that wasn’t serving me anymore, was unhealthy.

But everything you have encountered has a purpose. I worked for four years at a global organisation and developed my career from practically no experience when I started. I made lifelong friends and met people from all corners of the globe. I developed business acumen and skills that will help me in my next role and roles after that. I’ve grabbed every opportunity I have had to learn, to grow, to get involved in events, charities and initiatives and I have really made the most of my time and grown a new-found confidence in myself that will be hard to waive. Everything serves a purpose and as long as you have learnt something along the way, it was worthwhile.

I’m excited about my career again and am literally itching to get my hands stuck in, which is a feeling I was growing unaccustomed to. Letting go of something that you’ve held onto for so long isn’t necessarily giving up. It’s moving on. It’s saying “Thank you for what you have taught me. Thank you for the lessons you have served and the growth you have provided but I don’t need it anymore. It’s gotten me to where I need to be in order to let go”. It’s putting yourself first and ensuring you are giving yourself the best opportunity to continue learning, growing and being happy. Whatever that looks like for you.

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