What I Realized after Quitting My Job
What I Realized after Quitting My Job! For my friends and acquaintances, the term “unemployed” would seem impossibly relatable to me. Since I was a student, I have been financially independent. Starting off as a Freelancer during my tenure, and then I became a full-time Translator right after graduation. For a stranger or even some Facebook friend who would only know about me through virtual posts and photos, I seemed to have a picture-perfect life. But, there is nothing perfect, huh? For 5 years, I took the same route, to what has become over the years, a dull office. For 5 years, I saw the same people, carried out the same tasks and had the same problems. What kept me going all that time was some side-tasks, outsource work and of course my baby, Sans Retouches.
So, what happened?
Just by the beginning of this year, I got myself questioning everything I have been doing. “Do I want to do that for the rest of my life? Is my work actually adding value to anything or anyone? Do I feel motivated like I used to be when I was younger? Am I happy?” All of those questions have been going on in the back of my mind for a couple of years, but with a destructive relationship combined with too much stress, I finally broke down.
I quit my job after 5 years. To my greatest surprise, nobody seemed to discourage me from what I did. Maybe they all saw how stress was slowly eating up my soul, or maybe I gave them the impression that I was in some “Hell’s Kitchen” kind of work environment. It’s been 8 months since I finally made the jackpot decision, which I do NOT regret by any means. I have had my share of trying another workplace along with few freelance jobs, but I am not as busy or financially stable as I used to be. In my dictionary, this is “unemployed”, and I am not feeling very good about it, but then I took some time to reflect and see what this period has made me realize.
Living the Moment is Bullshit
Okay, this sounds harsh and shocking, but come on! The internet is filled up with hippie-style articles about what it’s like to live the moment and not care about the future. This is the stupidest thing I’ve done. After 5 years, I have discovered that I got caught up in the “moment” with all its hype, ups and downs. My learning curve was at its worst state just because I didn’t feel the necessity of bothering about the future. Thankfully, I’ve come to realize that taking some time to consider your options, or even worry about how life is unfolding is good for you. The trick is, I believe, is not to get too attached to a certain state. Don’t get too laid back or too worrisome.
Be Wise with Money… ALWAYS
When you have a stable income, there is a great possibility that you might get into a spending trap. Back in the day when I got a fixed pay, buying a new fancy watch or walking into a fine restaurant seemed like the normal thing to do. Just because you can afford something does not mean that you can act like a spendthrift and get away with it. No matter how big your income is, make sure you set aside a good amount of it into a savings account or some small investment that will get you an income every now and then. Rainy days are mainstream in Egypt, especially with the ongoing inflation and uncertain future.
If You’re Unhappy, Break Free
I’m 27 years old and 80% of my friends who are of relatively the same age and have full-time jobs act like zombies. I cannot think of one single hangout or a conversation where a friend has not actually complained about his/her work. Okay, problems are inevitable, and we are grown-ups and dealing with shit is supposedly what we do best. But, there is also a line between feeling fatigued and drained. Like I mentioned above, I do NOT regret quitting. However, there is only one thing I do regret is making the decision pretty late. Maybe, I am not doing well financially these days, but I can definitely see how I can now rise and shine that I got rid of a huge part of my stress. The same applies not just to work, but typically to any situation that is making you distressed.
The Only Person Who Knows What You Want is YOU
Something that I’m trying to work on since forever is keeping my mouth shut. Back in the day, I would complain to every single person I know about whatever problems I was going through. I would tell all my friends about any ideas that would pop into my mind and ask if they could offer advice. Do NOT do that. I repeat, keep your shit to yourself, not because some people would get jealous, envious or any of the superstitions your mama has been telling you. The thing is people would give you subjective opinions based solely on their own mindsets, perceptions and past experiences. They are not aware of your capabilities or might not even grasp what you are talking about or going through. If you listen too much to what people have to tell you, you’ll be as lost as Tom Hanks in Castaway; you’d end up in a messed up isolated mental state that would just drift you away from what you really want and you’ll lose track of your own dreams. So, keep your mouth shut. Instead of talking to others, meditate, pour your thoughts onto some diary, have some faith in yourself and most importantly, keep moving.