I did it.
I quit my W‑2 corporate career job. I am now my own boss.
When I was a fresh-faced young professional in 2014, I couldn’t imagine quitting my job. Ironically enough, I was laser focused on amassing as much money as I could so I could retire by 35 and never have to worry about working again. My friend left the company and I couldn’t fathom leaving. Why would she want to leave? We were well paid, great benefits, and a pretty decent working environment.
Then.… then I moved around both in and for the company. Different locations, different divisions, different jobs. I began to understand why someone would want to leave. I didn’t have the greatest of jobs in 2016. The pay increases when I didn’t jump jobs were lack luster.
Then.… I met my amazing boyfriend. We enjoyed a few blissful months together until it became clear we wouldn’t be able to continue driving 11 hours in a weekend to see each other. Then we had to figure out who should move, which is tough with two motivated people with a bright future ahead of them at their respective companies.
Long story short, we decided I would move. My career, while going nicely, probably wasn’t going to advance as quickly as his, and Minneapolis is 10x better than where I was living. We decided this in November, and I saw no reason to keep it to myself (and I’m not sure I’d be able to keep that a secret!).
So I gave my leadership about 5 months’ notice I was leaving. At first they didn’t think I was serious but it was quickly apparent I wasn’t joking.
A job posting was created and put up for everyone to see, explanations to those I supported were given, potential candidates were interviewed, and my replacement was hired. I continued to put in hard work as very important meetings were held.
I was also told many, many, many times it wasn’t too late and I could change my mind. Since I worked with the top leadership of the company, they weren’t idle platitudes. Those saying that had the power to make it happen, including such people as all the IT Directors, the VP of IT, the CIO, and VP of HR.
It was incredibly difficult to turn down the offers to stay. I respect the people I worked for. They were kind, intelligent, and dedicated to the company. Turning them down any time I started a meeting for them was tough. They made some ridiculously good arguments for me to stay, but I knew if I accepted one of their reasons to stay, three things would happen.
One, my relationship would probably end. 5+ hours drive time or a $200 flight to see each other is rough on a relationship. Two, I’d probably regret not leaving and I try to live my life with as little regret as possible. Three, I’d probably never try to leave the company again. How could I when all the top leadership wanted me to stay? Working for such a great company made it super hard to leave now, and that would have only gotten worse the longer I stayed.
Mit einem lachenden und weinendem auge
I worked my butt off until pretty much the last day. Early morning meetings, training my replacement, not ducking too much new work, and finishing up my remaining projects filled my last days. I figured out how to do a mail merge, so I exported every email address in my inbox, sorted out the unique addresses, and crafted semi-personalized emails for roughly 250 people.
The responses I got were overwhelming.
I never knew the impact I had made on people until it was time to leave.
People came out of the wood work to say goodbye and I was completely overcome. I couldn’t read more than a few responses before I’d get overwhelmed and take a break from reading them. Saying goodbye to the people I supported was so hard. I will truly miss working for them. In a way, I wish I’d still hated my job. Leaving when you’re full of righteous anger and indignation at being mistreated is far easier than leaving a job where people like having you around and you’re doing good work.
A few of the people I supported either are native German speakers or speak German well. I asked one of them if the German language had a saying for the maelstrom of emotions I was experiencing. I was pretty much every emotion at the same time.
Turns out, they do have a saying for that. Good olé German. “Mit einem lachenden und weinendem auge”. It means: no worries for the rest of your days. Wait. Shoot. That’s Hakuna Matata.
It means “With a laughing and crying eye”. On one hand you’re optimistic about the future, but on the other hand you’re also a little melancholy about the change. The Germans nailed it.
I never expected to be so sad to leave. I thought I’d just waltz out of the office and go on my merry way.
Nope. Turns out I’ll miss a lot of things and people from the office.
Let’s Do All The Things!
I’m a chronic overachiever, so it’s not enough for me to do just one thing at a time. Nope, not me. In addition to quitting my job, I am also doing the following:
-running online endeavors like my blog, podcast, and digital download Etsy shop Mastermind (with help from my amazing co-host J for the last two!)
‑moving to a new state
‑moving in with my boyfriend
‑trying to find renters
‑hiring a property manager
‑selling my possessions online
‑getting the back stairs replaced
‑misc repairs for the rental
I’m sure there’s more in there that I’ve been doing, but I’ve been overwhelmed lately and those are the big things I can think of at the moment.
I needed to find someone to take over my unit in the rental property before I left. I found someone but they needed the space asap. I saw no reason to linger so I agreed to have the lease start April 1st.
Then I’m moving in with my boyfriend in a different city in a different state. We’re very much looking forward to this, but rearranging an entire house of stuff to accommodate someone else’s stuff and figure out how to live together is an experience. Even positive change can be stressful. We love each other and are dedicated to making this work but phew! So much to figure out. Where will this thing go? Do we need 3 toolkits? What time do we want to get up? What time do we want to go to bed? Do we want to set up a shared Google calendar so we don’t have to ask for our schedules all the time? Who is buying food? How much should each person contribute towards the bills?
So. many. questions!
I also decided to get some things fixed around the house before I left. Minor little things like putting the soffit and gutter back on the house where they fell off, completely tearing off the back staircase and rebuilding it, and any other minor little things that pop up like toilets that don’t work and leaking sinks. It also turns out there was only one key to the front door which I had to go make copies of.
I tried to find someone to fill the last open unit, but I’m not sure that will work. So, I have talked to a property manager and will be signing a contract on Monday. They are going to do pretty much everything for me which sounds amazinggggg after last week. They will charge 8% of the rent monthly and 50% of the first month’s rent to find a new tenant. Pretty standard stuff.
This also means that I’m busy coming up with copies of the lease, as many keys as possible, and trying to neatly hand off things before I move 5+ hours away. There are only so many hours in a day.
I think I did a decent job at all the things I had to do, but I know a few things slipped through the cracks. My unit won’t be as clean as I want it when I move out. I need to order blinds online and have them shipped to the house because a certain home improvement store wasted half an hour of my time while I waited for someone who knew how to cut blinds. No one showed so I left very angry.
I also didn’t get as much packed before I left as I wanted, but I don’t have that much stuff so it’s not that big of a deal.
The first thing on my to-do list is get unpacked! My sister and her family will be in town the first weekend I’m here so I want to get our house looking as nice as humanly possible. I have a LOT of stuff so we’ll see how that goes.
I will also be traveling to New York for a money retreat the first week of May. If you live in NYC/surrounding area and want to meet up, let me know! I will be free the 4th-7th so hit me up! I need to find all the good gluten-free restaurants and tea shops 🙂
The end of May I will be headed the opposite direction to Seattle for Camp Mustache 2018! I am super pumped J and I get to hang out with 50 amazing people for the weekend. We’ll record at least one podcast episode, drink some tasty drinks, learn things, and have fun hanging out with like-minded people.
After Camp Mustache, I’m headed to LA to enjoy some time with my boyfriend and favorite breakfast-monikered friends in the sun! We will likely organize a meetup there as well, so stayed tuned.
After LA, I’m not going anywhere for a long time! I want to explore all the things my new home has to offer when it’s not bitterly cold and snowy outside.
Phase one of my career is over, and the next adventure has begun! Wish me luck!
Thanks for reading! Are you in NYC, Seattle, or LA? Let’s meet up! If you recently quit your job, leave a comment below with some advice!
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