I’m sure we all have distinct memories of pivotal moments in our lives. You know like the day you graduated, the day you get married, the day your kids are born, the day you decided to quit your job……
No? Only me?
Last year in March a left a job I’d be working for two years to find a career for myself.
I sat wriggling in my chair, fidgeting with a piece of torn upholstery that had come lose towards the bottom of the seat. I sat next to a woman who had been my manager for just a over a year in an office she shared with the entire management team which for me meant NO PRIVACY.
As the other members of the team kept walking in and out of the room, the letter I had written for her burned a hole through my pocket, desperate to get out and to be read!
Despite my best attempts to look confident, cool, and collected, I’m sure my manager at this point could see through my act as sweat gathered on my forehead and my voice started to tremble as I spoke. Quitting your job is a pretty tough thing to do as it, to look confident, cool AND collected at the same time is just asking for too much from a human as small as me!
“I have something for you..” I said as I reached into my pocket and took out the neatly folded paper I stashed in there when my shift started. “I guess you can consider this my four weeks notice,” I told her while practically throwing her the piece of folded paper.
“Well, this is a surprise,” she said, with a forced smile on her face. “Where are you going? Have you found something better for yourself elsewhere? You sure you know what you’re doing?”
I swallowed nervously, took a deep breath and attempted to keep my voice from trembling. “No, not exactly,” I reply to her, while trying to stifle the nauseous feeling that was slowly rising from my stomach to my throat.
“So, why are you leaving?” she pressed, “Why are you handing in your notice when you don’t have anything planned for yourself?”
“I need something more challenging, a job that will help me grow further. I’m ready to take the next step on the ladder,” I quickly responded.
Her face said it all. Like so many others, she was puzzled as to why I would leave the comfort and security of a full-time job, that a paid relatively well for a life of uncertainty. As much as I wanted to justify my reasons for leaving without having a plan I kept my mouth shut instead.
Why you ask?
Well, truthfully I didn’t really have a plan to share with her. I had no idea what career I wanted to go into or how to get there. I had no idea what direction I was supposed to go in, all I knew was that I wanted something new, I wanted to grow, I wanted to take the next step on the working ladder. I wanted to do something that demanded more intellect and drive. I had absolutely no idea how I was going to get where I wanted to be in life, all I knew was this was time to do it and if I don’t do it now I may never do it.
It took me the best part of an entire year to finally kick a door down and force my way into a job I now love waking up every morning to do.
I applied to umpteen jobs and attended the same amount of interviews. I received hundreds of rejection emails and several letters explaining why I was not suitable for the role. All the doors I tried breaking through pushed me back into the cold, and after 7 months of rejection I was beginning to lose my hope.
So here I am bringing my salt and pepper back to the table with lessons I learnt when I finally took control of my own life and quit my job!
The most dangerous job you can have while in your 20s is a comfortable one. Think of “The Comfortable Job” as being quicksand – the job you never wanted quickly becomes the job you’re unable to escape. For me, there is nothing worse than a job that no longer demands anything from you, stops pushing you to grow and no longer contributes anything to your skill set. When you’re in this position, you lose sight of your own capabilities and the comfortable job you’re in only serves you by removing your growth and gives you absolutely no room for self improvement.
I know that many of us loath the idea of change and absolutely adore the bones off routine. In today’s society, it’s simple and easy to establish a set schedule: wake up, go to work, get home, eat, go back to sleep, and repeat until its the weekend! This is a routine which is followed religiously as it is one without any problems, difficulties or stress. People don’t bother changing this part of their lives as it takes more to make the change then it does to keep your life the same. This type of thinking will eventually seep into your career. You will find yourself one day looking back at the last four years of your life with the sudden realization that you are in the same job, performing the same duties day in day out.
I am the same! I absolute abhor change and cling to my routine. The job I was working paid well, I loved the people I worked with, I was good at what I did – it doesn’t get much comfortable than that! I became complacent with my life and my job ad I considered a life with no immense hurdle to overcome a life of bliss. A direct result of this was my work, my performance started to lack and I started to do just enough to get by. It took a while for me register that self-growth and introspection are so critically important – they empower you to take control of your life!
When I quit my job I was no longer reacting to life but started moving through it wilfully, with purpose and power. I needed to reclaim that power by taking personal responsibility for my growth and since making that change I NOW live a life of bliss!
There are those who acknowledge the importance of self-discipline but very few do something to strengthen it I can’t stress enough the importance of self discipline as it provides you with skills that are essential in every area of life.
It’s sad when people misinterpret self discipline as being harsh towards yourself, or living a limited and restrictive lifestyle. Contrary to common belief, self discipline means self control. To me, that’s the biggest indication that you possess the inner strength and control over yourself, your actions and your reactions. You have the ultimate power to stick to your decisions and follow them through without changing your mind. This is an imperative requirement if you ever want to achieve your goals.
Once in possession of this skill you have the ability to preserve your decisions until you accomplish them. AGAIN, this manifest your inner strength, aiding you in overcoming your addictions, procrastination and laziness so that you follow through with what you have to do.
I’ve found that one of the main characteristics of self discipline is the ability to reject instant gratification, in favor of a greater gain which requires spending time and effort to get.
You must find your purpose and continue to strive to fulfill them.
Now, I’ve already stressed not knowing what direction I wanted to go in after leaving my “Comfortable Job” an I’m sure many of you are sat at your “Comfortable Job” reading this and feeling the same. Deciding which profession is right for you can be a difficult process, and this process for me was made even harder when help was scarce and I barely had the right resources around me to aid my search.
There are countless career options to choose from and its a daunting task narrowing all professions down to one that is best suited for me. Instead of jumping head first into any job opportunity that came my way, I decided to take my time thoroughly researching various jobs fields and industries to get a better understanding of the requirements, general responsibilities, and, ultimately, its compatibility with my interests, strengths and personality.
Once I had figured out what industry I wanted to go into, I did what I could to get recognized. Once I got the first couple hundred of rejections I thought I needed to change my game plan. So I researched all the nearest companies to me, I then went on to finding out who the directors of the businesses were and then I contacted them directly. I sent each director a personalized email which stressed my lack of experience but showcased my thirst to learn and the lengths I can go to get the job I want. Because I had researched the company and their values I was able to include these things into my email evidently showed the directors of these companies how keen I was to work and how deep my interest goes.
My head could have burst from all the research I had done and all new knowledge I had learnt. I had information on the company, I had learnt new things about the industry, I had even researched who the company competitors were. All this information was evidence that I wanted to work for that company. I was able to back this up by referring back to the company values and how they match my own. I knew exactly what I was talking and I was able to convince my interviewers of the same.
This research further prepared me for my interviews and I was able to answer all questions with confidence. I managed to impress a lot of people & if I hadn’t gone to those lengths to secure a job, I would be without one right now.
The key is strategy.
During my time off work I wrote a piece which I posted on my blog called “6 Lessons You Learn In Difficult Times” which you can find a link to here!
During my time off work I wrote a piece which I posted on my blog called “6 Lessons You Learn In Difficult Times” which you can find a link to here.
I didn’t go into much detail about what I was feeling at the time and how much I tortured myself over not being where I need to be because I try my utmost best to write of only the most positive aspects of my life and as much as I shy away from exposing my most saddest and painful thoughts I am not afraid to shed light of wisdom on the chapters of my life which have been the most hardest to get through.
When I think back to that period of my life and study what was really going, I can tell you that a long with my own suffering I caused the people around to me to suffer with me. I was angry all the time and I couldn’t take the anger out on myself so I took it out on those I love the most. If I didn’t freeze people out, I was bitter and cold towards them and i did what I could to push them out of my life so that I can drown in my own misery. The words of consolations I got from those I loved did nothing for me, and I got angrier that nobody could make me feel better about my situation.
In 7 months my circle got so small I could practically cut myself off, but in hindsight I learnt that people will stay in your life just as long as you’re in a happy place and are full of positivity and you’re not constantly walking around with the darkest thunder cloud over your head. When you’re at a point in your life when you can speak of nothing but your unhappiness the people around you eventually get tired of hearing your moans and slowly but surely you’ll see the number of people in your decrease. These are the people who will make you feel like you have done something wrong and will victimize themselves as they are physically unable to look beyond their own walls.
That is okay though. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you, or that you need to hide your emotions away and keep them bottled up so that the people in your life are pleased. You have to let all of your emotions erupt and you have to feel each and every one of them and if the people around you can’t help you through this then they’re not the right people to have in your life.
The people who love you with no conditions will take your bitterness, they will take your rudeness and your outbursts with a pinch of salt because they know that underneath the misery you have a pure soul.
I am lucky to have the rare few who have seen through my gloomy days with me and are still with me today cheering me on from the side lines pushing me to achieve the greatest things. The greatest support system in my life are the same rare few who take it upon themselves to embrace all my high and lows with me. Keep these people close to you heart and never let them go. They understand you better than yourself and will never question your reactions. Love these people to the grave.
I had absolutely no experience in the field I wanted to a pursue a career in and a lot of firms and recruiters were only interested in the experience I had in the field rather than my hunger to learn. Every interview I attended I managed to win each interviewer over with my charm, passion and thirst for knowledge. I didn’t get the seal of approval however because I hadn’t worked a job in that field so it took me a lot longer than I had anticipated to get the job I wanted.
The people around me used this an excuse to let me know of their opinion regarding my situation. I was told to settle for a job that will take me. I was told to accept that maybe the field I was trying to pursue wasn’t for me. I was told to accept things for what they are and that everything happens for a reason. I was told to apply to any job just as long as I have a job.
I know that these people had good intentions in their heart for me and they hated seeing me stuck in a rut and torturing myself for not moving forward. They wanted to see me happy. I however, didn’t want a short-cut to happiness. I didn’t want to settle for less than what I felt I deserved. I was not going to accept anything less than my potential.
Legend has it, millions of years ago; in pre-historic times, rejection triggered fear. Humans shared an innate drive to connect with others, as they still do. If someone became isolated or was ousted from the group, his or her life would be at risk. The consequences of being rejected were so extreme, our brains and behavior adapted to avoid disapproval from others. In fact, research shows that social rejection activates the same brain regions as when you are in physical pain so at least we know why it stings!
We feel good about producing self approval because for the most part we’re counteracting our own self-doubts that pervades in our inner life. When we go hunting for approval, it means we’re living more at the surface of ourselves, dependent on our ego and personality to prop us up and provide a sense of substance.
YOU DON’T NEED TO DO THIS!
You can provide yourself with reassurance, self affirmation and approval. You don’t need validation from anyone else besides you as this is your journey, nobody should get their paws on it!
I’m not going to lie – I am among the millions of people who like to see things happen in an instant. If you’ve kept up with me since I first started blogging then you will know I much I detest waiting and would rather achieve a goal rather than later. I learnt, having this kind of mindset actually causes me more harm than good because in order to excel in life and achieve any goals I needed to utilize the power of patience first!
I am a woman of faith, and my faith strongly promotes patience as being the first weapon to use when faced with hardship. My faith advocates patience as it is a quality that brings about inner peace, and together with perseverance, brings about success in whatever endeavor we choose to embark on. On the contrary, impatience causes irritation, imprudence, wrong decisions, poor relationships and contributes greatly to personal unhappiness. When I am impatient I act against my faith, my faith in myself and more importantly my faith that divine justice will prevail in the long run.
No great achievement was ever created instantaneously by anybody at anytime. Great achievement is always a function of patience. The result of impatience is poor decision making. If you don’t take the time to gather the correct information and resources you can’t possibly expect to achieve your goal. If you are a person of patience you will know that the achievement of your goal will take time, which is the proper and the most healthiest way to view your goals. Because anything worth having does take time, hard work is involved, setbacks will occur. You can only feel that real sense of achievement when you know you have worked hard to reach it and you’ll feel a greater sense of satisfaction knowing you did what you had to do with quality.
There is a direct correlation between impatience and negativity and I found that the common denominator for both was me! I WAS THE PROBLEM! I had to open my mind to see all the positive opportunities around me instead of being miserable all the time over something that is not yet at my reach. I could choose to take the lessons patience have taught and become aware of how they can help me or I can force my mind to think of only the short term and quit in the moment where everything falls into place. The choice was mine. I now have the power of patience and boy, let me tell you! It is an emotionally freeing practice of waiting, watching, and knowing when to act. When people tell you to “Have patience,” don’t feel unreasonable and an as though the universe is giving you unfair stalling of aspirations. Instead, see patience as a way to emotionally redeem your center in the world filled with frustration.
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