I just quit my job!
But before you assume that I hated it, I didn’t. Quite the opposite, in fact, I think it was an ideal job for me. As much as I am looking forward to my new adventure, I will be sad to leave.
For many bloggers, quitting the 9-5 lifestyle and hitting the road, was a way to ditch a job they hated, to leave a monotonous life and seek adventure. I have read many accounts of travellers leaving their loathed cubicle jobs to become full time nomads. While I understand this is great motivation to travel, I found myself in quite a different situation: I loved my job.
I was lucky enough to fall into my job while still completing my degree and have worked (and more importantly enjoyed it) for seven years. That is not to say, of course, there weren’t parts I disliked or stressful days but on the whole I never awoke dreading going to work. I liked the majority of the my colleagues, the office was in a great location and the work itself was diverse enough to keep me in engaged. I worked in an industry I was passionate about and with enough autonomy that I never felt oppressed by ‘the boss’.
So why then, being in this rare position, did I quit?
I wanted a different challenge. My job did present me with challenges but generally I felt I could complete it to a good standard with relative ease. I didn’t want to become complacent. I couldn’t imagine sitting at that same desk for another ten, twenty, thirty years. I could easily imagine having a comfortable life doing so but I wasn’t convinced that was enough. In a few years, I’m sure I’ll long to be in that position again but for now I need to push myself outside of my comfort zone and see what else the world has to offer. Perhaps I’ll regret quitting but as I’ve said many times: I’d rather try and fail, than sit at my desk wishing I’d done it.
I’ve seen many motivational posts and quotes about leaving behind the job you hate.
There’s little encouragement for the people who don’t hate their jobs to try something new. Perhaps it’s easier for those people to sit at their desk quite contently before they realise life has past them by? Perhaps it’s easier for people who hate their jobs to imagine a world beyond their desk? Whatever a persons situation, I think we should always encourage people to follow the path they dream of, rather than the path that may fall at their feet.
I’m not suggesting that everyone who likes their jobs should quit, of course not. But if having a job you enjoy is holding you back from pursuing other ambitions, maybe a little encouragement is all you need. It was for me: a little push into following your passions rather than a job. As employers or colleagues, maybe encouraging staff to take on new challenges and gain new experiences will give them a new outlook on their current position. Travel can enrich people in many ways, ways which could benefit future employers. There’s a common assumption that leaving a job, in order to travel, will have a negative effect on job prospects. I have found that on many occasions that is simply not the case. Travelling can increase many transferable skills and increase self-confidence which are advantageous to employers. I hope my experiences will benefit not only my own development but also future employers.
Whether you hate your job or not, if you have that itching desire to see the world, why not follow it? Whether that means taking a holiday, taking a career break or quitting all together, there’s a big wide world out there for the taking.