This post is first in a new series called Accidental Entrepreneur.
Last January, my boss sat me down and told me the company was restructuring. We all still had jobs and they hoped I would do well in my new role. I was being moved from a fairly overarching position with a lot of different marketing responsibilities – which now would no longer exist – to what was essentially project management.
Let me just say here I have the utmost respect for project managers and they have made my life much easier on more occasions than I can count.
But my general reaction when someone asks me to book a meeting for them is book it your goddamn self, I’m not your mother. See also: why I would make a terrible executive assistant.
They made the transition in February. I lasted exactly three weeks.
I spent those three weeks alternately crying myself to sleep and trying to hide my rising tide of bitterness from my teammates. I threw myself into “being professional”, which essentially meant only ranting to one sympathetic coworker about how much I hated what I did and how adrift I felt.
The job market was tough and I felt I couldn’t leave. I’m actually very risk-averse, if you ignore the fact that sometimes I do things like zipline on a rickety Mexican “rollercoaster” course covered in garbage bags. REAL STORY. It was awesome.
I’m very anxious about money. I have no nostalgia for the days when I lost 20 pounds because I existed on apples my roommate “bought too many of.” (He bought too many because he and my other two roommates suspected, likely correctly, that I was dying of malnutrition.)
On top of that, I have no shame in admitting I want to be rich. In high school, “professional rich person” appeared on all my MASH games.
I went for a run one Sunday, and for a glorious half hour, I let myself daydream about walking out of my job and into some other life.
I have not read the book The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but if I had to tell you what the title feels like, it’s deciding you are quitting your terrible job while the wind whips your hair in a manner you are pretending is romantic and winsome.
Now, I had been half-assedly running Yes That Jill Marketing for about six years. I took clients here and there, but it was a side hustle without much hustle. At that exact moment in time I had a client paying me $3,000, which was more than I made with it any one year previous.
Three thousand dollars could see me through exactly one month of my life.
I walked in Monday morning, and around 10 a.m. I quit.
I’ve been flying solo for nine months, and in that nine months:
- I made more money than my annual salary at my job
- I worked on projects with clients who treated me like the strategic advisor I was
- I went to Paris for a week on a whim
- I made a plan to make six figures in 2017 and it didn’t even seem crazy
So what really happens when you quit your job with no plan? Sometimes, you fly.