So I quit my full-time job just over 6 weeks ago now. Nothing much has changed yet, as I have a 3 month notice period to work through, but with under 2 months left and counting, the creeping feeling of fear of the unknown is very real.
So why do it?
A number of reasons, but mostly because:
- I knew that this was not the career path I wanted to be on.
- The higher up the career ladder I climbed, the harder it become to contemplate leaving and starting afresh. Waiting was therefore not going to make it any easier.
- I wasn’t happy with how I was prioritising my time on a daily basis (focusing on things which did not fulfil me) and did not want to live the rest of my life feeling like this.
Well, how did I get here?
(sung to the tune of Talking Heads’ “Once in a Lifetime“)
I have always worked hard to achieve “success”. The problem was, I was always working towards what my social environment defined as success, and not necessarily what I truly wanted or had a passion in. I studied math and science at school, went on to get a masters degree in engineering, got a second masters in Finance, decided to accept a position as an Investment Banker for my first full-time job post-university and well, that’s been my life ever since.
Sure, being a banker was exciting at first and paid well. I wasn’t bad at my job and got my promotions when they were due, working my way up the corporate ladder. Hours were long and intense however, and it was difficult to pursue my real hobbies and interests outside of work. With my job being the number one priority in my life since I started, to the detriment of many other (in reality) much more important things, I became increasingly unsatisfied with my career situation.
I felt stuck, not knowing what I could move onto (“but finance is all I’ve ever known!”) or how I would even start to go about it. Everyone else around me working in The City (as the financial services sector is known as in London) also seemed to be unhappy with their job, so staying put and complaining constantly about my job seemed like the done thing to do for a long time.
OK, so what’s the plan?
As I’ve only ever worked in finance, I need to spend some time figuring out what else I could realistically do in life. At the same time, I want to take this opportunity to do something I’ve always wanted to try – extended solo travel. I am also generally looking to live a healthier, more active lifestyle (less sitting, more running).
My plan therefore looks something like this:
- Develop an online business – I have already been working on this goal for a while with 2 other friends. With some good luck and hard work, this may transpire into something that will provide us with a source of secondary (or even primary!) income in the future. This will help fund my second goal below.
- Going on an extended solo travel trip – Travel is one of my great loves in life. Unfortunately, working in a full-time job has meant that I have only ever been able to go on a maximum of 2 week trips at a time. I have also never been travelling on my own. The thought of going solo scares me no end, but I feel that this is something that I really want / need to try once in my life. This is the inspiration behind the name of my blog.
- Acquire a new skill that will allow me to work in a job without location restrictions – I have an interest in technology and would like to learn more about web development programming. This will also tie in with goal #1. As a first step, I will be looking to try a range of short-term programming courses to determine which aspect of web development programming I would like to further develop skills in.
I am starting this blog to document this new phase in my life which is all at once scary and exciting. I would also be keen to connect with others in a similar position or who have gone through the process – support and guidance would always be welcome!
Have you ever thought of quitting your full-time job to pursue your interests? Have you ever been on an extended travel trip? Any thoughts to share?