Two weeks ago, I resigned from my 9-5 job, with no intention of getting another one.
The 9-5 life wasn’t for me anymore.
I used to thrive off success in my PR and TV career – the late nights, early mornings, media events and various PR crises I had to manage used to pump me with adrenaline, and I loved being the person always connected, on-call and on the go, with a story to tell of the latest ‘talent’ drama.
I loved it. Until I didn’t.
Even when landing my dream job at the BBC in London, I quickly found myself questioning… what was it all for? They were the same issues, same deadlines and emergencies, just with an organization I had always dreamed of working for — and was thanking my lucky stars every day for. But still… I wasn’t happy.
I Just Quit My 9-5 Job, and Here’s What I Learned
Two years later – after climbing more of the success ladder and still feeling drained, tired and empty (although it was packaged to look successful) — I finally decided there needed to be another way.
So 12 months ago, I started a side business. I had been thinking about for years, but had never had the courage to actually do it.
Until I did.
It’s been a challenging, exciting and at times hellish journey.
But I did it.
It was finally time to go full-time into this business I have been building. My time was reaching capacity with my client load, and it was time to go all in. So two weeks ago, I handed in my notice — to the shock of my manager and colleagues.
It’s been interesting to see how people around me have responded to my life-changing decision. Here’s what I’ve learned since quitting my 9-5:
1. Be honest as soon as you can
When you are fully honest about who are you and what you want, and not in a permission-seeking way, people around you respect you a lot more (even if they don’t understand it).
2. You being YOU can be inspiring
Being unapologetically yourself gives those around you permission to dream big for themselves. Since sharing my decision, I’ve had no fewer than five people at work tell me that they’ve also been “thinking about” what they could do on the side — including my manager.
3. Don’t let the doubters sway you
As soon as resigned, I felt relief. Then peace. I am a resourceful person and can handle anything that comes my way. I have seen others doubt my plan and the likeliness of success, and project their own fears about what is around the corner. People stress out about my decision and wonder how it’s going to work out, but for me it makes perfect sense, so I just don’t even go there. Don’t let the doubters make you question the decision you made.
4. Your plan is your business
I had a plan in place, I have a clear vision, and I know what I don’t want. I had been preparing my exit strategy for a long time, but I don’t need to explain it in full detail to those around me. It’s my business and my life. You don’t need to justify your decisions to those around you just to make them feel better about their own decisions.
5. If it’s a must, then do it
If there is something you are truly passionate about and are willing to sacrifice for in order to make it happen (and totally go for it like your hair is on fire), then just do it. Sometimes the next step is all you need to get started. I never knew what the outcome would be when I moved to London – but I knew I had to do it. The most successful results don’t usually come from a fully-fledged life strategy, but a simple ‘knowing’ of what you must do next. I made the best decision for me and my family, and for what I desire from my life.
Success is inner peace
Comedian Johnny Carson once said: “Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that… you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.”
That’s the success I am working for now, and I couldn’t be happier.