It's Okay to Quit Your Job
Any artist who has spent even a little bit of time in the work force has discovered that the average job is not set up for people who do not fit a particular set of criteria. Generally speaking, those who can thrive in structure and routines, doing simple tasks repeatedly for hours at a time are not the same type of people who thrive on creativity, diversity, and flexibility.
As a result, the needs of the creative, introverted, and highly sensitive are often ignored or belittled in the workplace, being chalked up to laziness or ineptitude when in actuality, it is the environment these kinds of employees are placed in that causes them to wither.
For many creatives, being self-employed or working from home is the ideal situation. With more flexibility, calm, and quiet, the more sensitive among us can find a deep source of motivation and productivity, blossoming in to their full potential.
If you are a creative considering taking the leap in to self-employment, or simply need a reprieve to figure out your next step, read on. Ultimately you are the only one who can make the decision that is best for your life and circumstances, but it never hurts to get some input from those who have walked the road before you.
It’s Okay to Quit Your Job
We’ve become a culture that defines ourselves and each other by the title next to our names. But guess what? You are first and foremost, now and forever, a human being containing a whole unique universe inside yourself. What you do in exchange for a place to live and food to eat is not who you are and never will be. You are more than your paycheck. You are more than your job title. You are more than the education it took to get you that job title. Letting go of this view of yourself is very, very difficult and will cause many people—including yourself at times—to think you are simply crazy. Don’t believe them. It is okay to quit. It is okay to choose yourself and give yourself the best possible shot at the life you want.
You are Not Less-Than
Because you may not be achieving what is outwardly considered success at the same rate as some of your more extroverted and analytical peers, you are in no way defective. The majority of the population do not share the traits that make you unique, so many people do not understand them. However, this is in no way a reflection on you and your worth. Recognizing that a typical office environment or a structured 9-5 work week is not healthy for you is a tremendous step towards building the life of your dreams and does not make you weak, lazy, or defective.
The World Won’t End
It is true that many are laden with massive debts and have dependents who rely on them for everything, causing a paralyzing fear at the thought of losing their reliable income. However, it’s also true that you will find that when push comes to shove and necessities become do-or-die, many things are possible that you didn’t think were possible before. You can live on a lot less than you think, and many more avenues are available to you than you may have believed. All you have to do is be creative and think outside the box to find them. If you are constantly searching, work hard and plan well, you’re going to be fine. The world will turn as it did before, only you will be free and pursuing your dreams.
Your Reliable Job is Not Actually That Reliable
You can be let go at any time. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked at your company or how much time, talent, or ideas you’ve given away, at the end of the day you are expendable in the eyes of your employer. Not only are you expendable, but your earning potential has been capped at a rate someone else has set for you. Whether or not you ever earn more is entirely in someone else’s hands. If that wasn’t enough, the majority of your waking hours are also eaten up by your employer, so even if you wanted to do something else, you don’t have the time or energy. Doesn’t sound like a good deal, does it? Because it’s not. Employers bank on your terror of losing everything to keep you shackled to your desk at the same wages you’ve made for 5 years because you’re too scared to leave. Maybe you’ll see a 2% pay increase at the end of the year if you’re a good girl or boy. But then again, maybe not.
Quitting Your Job is Scary
It is. It’s scary and hard and there will be times you doubt yourself so hard you’ll wonder how you’ve gone your whole life without anyone mentioning what a huge idiot you are. Shut this voice up immediately. Bottom line is no one will ever care about your success as much as you will. You are the architect of your own life and you can build anything you want. Of course it will be scary. Of course you’ll have hard days. Building a kingdom happens a stone at a time, not at a snap of the fingers. You’re building something here, give yourself a break.
Make a Plan, Then Jump
Plan well, but know you can’t predict every eventuality. At some point you’ll have to close your eyes and jump. There will always be a reason not to do it. Always. There will always be a million ways to talk yourself out of it. But if you’re going to do it, make a plan, then trust the plan. More importantly, trust yourself. Trust that you know what is best for you, that you know what your reasons are and that this is the right thing for you. Know that you are smart and resourceful and you’re going to be okay. You have one life. You owe it to yourself to make it your best work of art.