Why I Finally Quit My Corporate Job
I FINALLY DID IT.
I quit my corporate job. Two months ago.
I’ve delayed shouting it from the rooftops because I’ve been going through my internal process, and to be honest, for the past few weeks I haven’t really felt like being vocal. I find it really easy to write about the uncomfortable stuff, but when I’m really happy and things are going great I find it much harder. Call it tall poppy syndrome or reverse narcissism or whatever you like -- it's odd.
Several people at work approached me after hearing the news of my impending departure (I’m not leaving till mid April) to enquire “so what are your plans?” and I have to tell them that - for maybe the first time in my adult life - I don’t really have any and I’m so okay with it. I just know that my plans don’t involve being sat in front of a computer for 8 hours a day, putting out fires and basting my pores in office air-conditioning. I was born to be barefoot and not brush my hair for weeks on end.
The lesson here is that you don’t need to have everything laid out in front of you - a contingency plan or a safe little security net - in order to leave something that is out of alignment. Yes, your parents will probably have concerns and your friends will cast a judgemental eye (which is most often envy), but it pays to remember that people will always project their own limitations on to you, and I don’t ever think it’s on purpose; they just don’t know better. We are the by-products of our parents' upbringing, and times were really different then.
Other people have asked “Do you have enough clients to leave your job, then?”. And my reply is well no, but that’s why I’m leaving. I choose to adopt a growth mindset, not a fixed one. I can either carry on as I have been with one toe in each camp, spending my days context switching; spending my lunch-breaks typing up client notes, and my night-times writing, or coaching clients. Or I can just go balls to the wall with this side hustle of mine, change some lives and see what happens.
I have every belief that the world will conspire with me, if I give it half a chance.
On a more emotional level, my health was taking a massive hit working two jobs, and spending the bulk of my focus and energy on something that didn’t have a deep resonance. My anxiety was increasing, so much so that my doctor prescribed medication a couple of weeks ago to take the edge off.
Over the past year I’ve held space for clients and friends to: leave a job they hated, change their perception of themselves, heal body image issues, find joy in their day to day, change their relationship with stress and food, rediscover what’s important, strengthen their relationships -- and this is what I’m meant to be doing. It’s soul work. And everything I’ve experienced over the course of my life has been setting me up for it. Every breakdown, every breakthrough, triumph, regret, pain, discovery - it’s all been bringing me closer to who I am now.
It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my job. For the past two years I’ve been working at - what I consider to be - the top media agency in NZ. Possibly the world. I work for an incredibly passionate, inspiring female CEO, a ridiculously fun and talented team, and, if you watch my insta stories - we have way too much fun for an 'office'.
But it wasn’t enough. And it was also too much.
About a year ago, I decided I needed to get out of my own way. I realised that I could do with my life whatever I wanted; even if it scared the shit out of me. And it does. But I allow that feeling to pass through me and gently guide me where I need to go.
I started this whole health coaching thing as a bit of a side-hobby, not knowing where it would end up, but I’ve realised that I have a purpose and a mission on my heart that is much greater than me. I have just received my health coaching certification with Institute of Integrative Nutrition (you can check out the curriculum here) - a school that I cannot recommend highly enough and I'm grateful to be joining 100,000 other IIN grads creating a ripple effect in the world. The obesity and diabetes - not to mention depression - statistics genuinely terrify me, and there’s no way I can not act on this assignment I've been given.
When I said earlier that I didn’t really have a plan, I do have a bit of a plan. I have some corporate coaching in the pipeline, and then I’m heading to Bali for a month at the end of April to run my first Bali Retreat. Running a retreat was something I wrote down as a goal almost a year ago, after returning to NZ from a retreat I’d attended - also in Bali - and now it’s actually happening. There’s a lot of power in writing down what you want and I definitely don’t do it enough. I’m enormously proud and grateful that some beautiful people have signed up to join me on this journey to discover their ‘best life’. (That’s what the retreat is called and it’s going to be full of the lessons that I’ve uncovered on my way to living my best life. I have one room left if you'd like to join!)
Bali is quite the haven for digital nomads, coaches and ‘lifestyle entrepreneurs’. Not only that, it’s a place where you go to lose and find yourself all at the same time, so I’m excited for the catharsis I’ll get to experience there this time. It was a pretty unspeakable experience last time.
Then, I’m back in Auckland for a few days to gather my thoughts, give my Mum a birthday kiss and repack my bags before I’m off to LA for the month of June. I’ll be dog-sitting in Santa Monica for a couple of weeks (just casually!), catching up with some friends, and attending a Soul School reunion. The beauty of having an online business and working for yourself is that you can literally work from anywhere. I fully plan to be taking coaching calls from The Butcher’s Daughter in Venice. (Holla if you’d like that to be you on the other end!)
So my advice to anyone looking to take the leap into the unknown:
Be clear on what it actually is you want. And ask for it! Whether you speak it into the universe or write it down, it can’t gain legs if it only exists as a thought in your head.
Be your own cheerleader. Stop waiting for external validation, or for someone to give you the push. BE that for yourself. Do whatever the fuck you want, but don’t wait for someone to come and push you off the cliff.
Surround yourself with people who support your goals. And remember, if someone expresses worry about how you’re going to make a living doing “that” -- that’s a projection of their own worry. Stay grounded in your belief and don’t meet their fear.
The world is so much bigger than your insecurities. And the world needs what you’ve got to offer. We literally have this ONE LIFE. Live it as if it’s your second chance.
Expect and embrace failure; it’s where the greatest lessons and growth opportunities come from.
And finally, make room for who you are becoming. Say no to things that don’t fit your vision. Say yes to things that support it. Stop watching House of Cards and anything else that is distracting you from what it is you really, truly want.
If you have a big mission on your heart, and you're not sure how to take the next step, or you'd like support in bringing yourself into alignment, shoot me an email. I'd love to help. xo