What it really takes to leave your full-time job
Less than a month ago, I FINALLY left my full-time, government job to step into entrepreneurship full-time. This was not a decision that I took lightly. I’m generally a cautious, planful person, so the decision to leave my full-time job was not easy (or fast). I worked for the same federal government agency for almost eight years. There were ups and downs during my tenure with the government, and I learned so much about who I am and what I REALLY wanted in my life.
I was consistently frustrated. I resented sitting in a room all day being forced to extend my work to cover 8 hours. Why couldn’t I just LEAVE when my work was done? If I could accomplish a full work day in 4 or 5 hours, why did I have to stay? Why was I doing my workload plus at least one other person’s workload? Oh, I was supposed to be flattered that I could “handle it” or was a “high performer.” Sheesh. Thanks. The reward of doing my job + a colleague’s job was not the trophy that I was wanted.
I’ve never been particularly responsive to authority, and I do not like having a boss. (If you’re reading this, maybe you can relate?!) I remember announcing to my parents as a child that I never wanted to have a boss and I wanted to be in charge of myself. That is still very true. To be clear, I’m actually a pretty good employee, and I listen, respect, and implement what my boss is asking. However, it chips away at my independent nature to swallow my opinions, perspective, and desire to do something different. I felt like I was losing a little bit of my fire – my passion – every single day. I actually started to get used to losing myself. I figured that’s just what happens to people.
I struggled for YEARS with evaluating myself – why can’t I just be happy with a secure job? I should be grateful! Why can’t I just agree and do what I’m asked? Why do I have to have so many opinions? Why am I emotionally exhausted? It would be SO MUCH EASIER if I could just do what I’m supposed to do and be happy doing it.
But, I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.
I think of myself as an innovative person, and one of my strengths is to help people look at situations differently, to think creatively, and to be flexible in their approach. Unfortunately, these qualities were usually NOT WELCOME or encouraged in most of my government roles. My independence, frustration with authority, and innovative approach made working for a slow moving, risk averse, bureaucratic organization a nightmare – and exhausting.
So, what am I to do?
This is a choice point. I had three options. I could dampen my personality, my uniqueness, and my opinions to fit into my current organization. I could try to find a different job that welcomed these characteristics. I could leave my job and work full-time for myself. Hmmm. Each option has pros and cons, and my logical brain wanted to evaluate each option until my head was ready to explode.
But, my intuitive side kicked in – thankfully. The first two options felt heavy, tiring, and sad. Could I make it work? Yes. But, did I want to? Heck no. The third option felt light, exciting, and fun. I could be in charge of my time? My location? My work? My income? Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.
I had to STOP feeling guilty and negatively evaluating myself. I had to EMBRACE – really embrace – and own who I am. I’m wired a little differently. I’m intuitive, empathic, highly sensitive, opinionated, passionate, sarcastic, straightforward, innovative, rebellious, and staunchly independent. I’m also fierce in the pursuit of my goals. I had to DECIDE that I was going to embrace who I was and what I needed to do with my professional life.
During this process, one of the most valuable lessons that I learned was to embrace my square peg-ness. I’ve always felt like a square peg trying to put itself in a round hole, and that’s okay. That was such important information.
As my frustrations in my job grew, there were some circumstances in my personal life that reminded me how short life is. I could certainly continue to suppress everything I really wanted and force myself to conform. Or I could confidently step into the next chapter of my professional life. I could own my desire to grow my business, to work for myself, to show up – unapologetically – as myself.
That is exactly what I did.
It was scary, fun, exhilarating, confronting, and incredibly satisfying. I have not looked back, and I’d love for you to do the same.
If you have a nudge – a tiny intuitive hint – that it’s time for you to grow your side hustle so you can leave your soul sucking job, then make a plan to do it. Take action.
Don’t hold yourself back. Don’t be the one that puts the brake on your dream.
If you want to learn how to grow your side business so you can leave your job, register for my FREE webinar: The 4 Step Plan to Grow Your Side Business So You Can Leave Your Job
I’d love to share the roadmap that I used to grow by business so I could leave my job.
There is no better time to follow your passion.