Why You Can't Quit A Job You Have For A Job You Don't Have

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Let me set the stage - it was the fall of 2012 and I hated every single itty-bitty thing about my job.  I was working as an Administrative Assistant for a logistics company and it was the most stressful and unrewarding job.  Employees were hired and fired on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis -- the only positive was we were all in our early 20's so there was always someone to grab lunch or after hours drinks with.

The pay was crap, the hours were crap, and I knew I was soon getting outsourced.  Frustrated with my life, I threw down an ultimatum -- either they gave me a raise or I was gone.  They called my bluff, so I called their's (I don't play poker, so I'm not sure if that's the right terminology).

A week later, I was unemployed of my own volition.  If this job couldn't pay me enough so that I didn't have to live at home...well, I was going to something even more drastic and move to New York.

With a decent amount of savings to continue paying my student loans, I was able to stay with my Grandpa (SPOILER ALERT: I ended up staying 3 years with him) and help him out while he recovered from a nasty fall he got around the time I quit my job.

What did I do next? I went to Hawai`i.  Yeah.  Instead of applying for jobs, fearing they would want me to start before/during my trip, I sat around my Grandpa's and watched a butt-load of Storage Wars.

After my trip, which now left me unemployed for two solid months, I started applying like crazy with the determination to stay in New York.  Previously having worked at a university, I applied to every college/university within driving/train radius.  Then I started applying to any Administrative Assistant job.  Then temp agencies.  Then Craigslist job postings.  I set a goal of 20 applications a day.

By the time summer came around, I picked up a part-time job with a taxi company who had a bus shuttling people from the local train station to the local ferry terminal.  It kept me from defaulting on my loans and I was able to go to the beach when I felt like it.

By August, I was 9 months into unemployment.  With summer fading, the taxi company would no longer need me and as I really sucked at answering the phones (I didn't know the streets in the area, so I regularly sent drivers to made up addresses--wow I'm realizing just how bad I really sucked at that); it was time to consider going back to my parent's.

I applied to my last resort and got an interview.  They offered me the job for less than I was making in my previous job (when you factor in cost-of-living).  I took it and was so desperate for work that I didn't even try to negotiate the salary.  When I look back now, I think I could have managed to squeeze out a little bit more. 

Either way, I didn't see a lot of the warning signs because I couldn't afford to see the warning signs.  I felt like a loser and I just wanted a job.  For two years I suffered in an awful job in an oppressive atmosphere.  I was no better off than where I started.  From that job, I ended up escaping instead of straight out quitting and happily landed in a much more productive and fulfilling environment.

Because I was scared, I was forced to accept less than what I wanted.  It's so easy to dream about grander adventures, but if you don't plan and prepare yourself, you're setting yourself up to fail.  In my mind's eye, I saw the job I wanted but I didn't take a risk and jumped - I just quit.

In my stubbornness, I fled a situation I hated into an even worse situation.  At the end of the day, I'm stronger for it, but I hate that I wasted four years of my life figuring it out.  I love blogging, I love reselling, but I know I can't jump without a plan.  I'm not afraid to fail, but at least I'll go down trying!

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