The question for this blog topic comes courtesy of Chris Brogan.  When I first saw this question I chuckled at the thought of the way I handled answering, even wrestled with, before actually making my decision.  If you love your job, your boss, your co-workers, your life, this is not for you.  But if you’re like most people, feeling a bit disappointed with the direction you’re heading, please, read on.  But, before I discuss the decision I made, let me go through a brief overview of my work history and what brought me to the idea of whether or not to quit my job.  

My very first job was UPS when I was 19 and could not go back to college because instead of making good grades I chose to have good fun.  I spent a year and three months slinging (literally) boxes of all weights and sizes, me a 5’4, 120lb girl making a decision to do something I didn’t want but needed at the time.  Then one day something changed.  I got tired of being tired, of being tired.  I didn’t see the worth in taking a nearly two-hour bus ride to work 3 hours like a work horse for $150 per week.  So I went to work one evening for the last time.  I let them frustrate me for the last time, deciding my last day half-way through the shift.  Not knowing what would become of me I quit and never looked back.  The only thing that kept me was the fact that I lived with my mother and she held up the household, I only suffered with the loss of money to buy needs and hang out.

Suffering only lasted about four months.  Just before starting a new college and trying my education success yet again (by the way, that didn’t work out either), I began working for a bank making a mere $7.17 per hour.  Not a lot for anyone, but enough for a 19-year-old with no money and no experience in banking.  I was glad to have another job and I thought banking was a big deal.  But again, four years later I ended up in the same position as before.  Bad management and horrible customers put me in a place of frustration, despair, anger, near hate and bitterness.  I put up with that job, mostly because it was a 15 minute walk from home and it was money, but it wasn’t as physically straining as UPS and I had learned a lesson about quitting without a back up plan.  Then one day my back up became a reality and I gave my two weeks notice only to work the new job for 3 months before getting fired.  Getting fired worked in my favor because I was able to stay home with my newly born premature son instead of running back to work in a month.

Living at home with my son his first year of life was great, but eventually unemployment ran out and since I had wedding plans in 2005, something needed to happen  So, on referral of a good friend, I applied to work in a group home for people with mental and physical disabilities, despite my resistance to personally caring for others.  But again it was more about my need to support my family than my desire to do what I wanted.  And just like my previous jobs, I allowed myself to get caught up in the thoughts that my wants didn’t override my needs, therefore, I couldn’t quit, and the thought of starting a new job was scary anyhow.  I struggled with those thoughts until one morning, four years after starting my job, I fell in a strange accident and tore open cartilage in my knee.  That incident put me at home on workman’s compensation for over a year ( a lot of time to think).  I spent that time, trying to make sense of it all and contemplating my future, my purpose, and my desires.  Once that part of my life ended, I had a decision to make; go back and be miserable at a job where people made it obvious how much I was worth to them, or make a leap of faith and open myself up to bigger, better possibilities.  Was it finally time to open my mind up to allowing my dreams of working for myself come true?

MY answer to that question was yes.  Although looking back it was not the most responsible thing to do, but having a working husband made the decision easier.  Yet, what I did was wrong.  Wrong because I found out the freedom I always desired could be attained while still working the job I hated.  Wrong because I scarcely thought about how not going back to work would affect my household.  I didn’t weigh all the options and discuss a plan with my husband before finalizing the decision.  The only thing that felt good was showing my job I needed work, but I didn’t need their work. Despite their continuous attempts to make employees feel that was the case I felt like I was one of the many smarter slaves who broke free from the plantation.  I always felt the jobs I had were compensated slavery and I was supposed to feel good about earning my keep; what someone else said I’m worth, but I no longer wanted that feeling.  I was drowning in a sea of disappointment, despair, frustration, lack of confidence, sadness, anger and more and I decided to throw myself a life-preserver.  I still was not capable of completely saving my future yet saving my future was completely up to me  if I were to learn how to experience more positive feelings and thoughts.

About four months after deciding not to return to work, another good friend introduced me to working from home.  When I looked at a presentation, I saw everything I’ve ever wanted for my life flash before my eyes and it made me all warm and fuzzy inside.  I felt joy at my new possibilities and an excitement no job option had ever given me, just from sitting in a presentation.  At that moment I patted myself on the back for deciding to leave my job forever.  But, what the presentation didn’t tell me, although too late anyway, I didn’t need to quit my job so soon.  I could still work towards my dreams and have a real reason to smile at my boss everyday.  To fulfill my dreams working from home only required a few hours of focus per day anyway.  There is no short cut to success, so while I learned successful business building, there was nothing wrong with keeping my steady income as a supplementation until my dreams began blossoming.

When it comes down to it, there are two types of people, those who believe there’s more to life and go after it, and those who believe what they have is all there is and leave it at that (I know too many of those people).  Most people don’t even get the opportunity to live life the way they dream.  I decided I wouldn’t fall into the category of the dreamless, unfulfilled and unhappy.  In my eyes, keeping my job would continue to hinder my nagging desire to find that something better I always knew existed.  When you go after your dreams, success starts slow and sporadically while you get the hang of it, but as long as you stay focused on your desires, you eventually find all menial activity has no place in your life.  At one point you’ll find your current job, or no other job fits into the success you’re having and that’s the point when you can go in and bid adieu to the master of your misery with great pride and confidence.  My greatest lesson from all of this though, whether I decided to go back to work or not, I walk a destined path and no dead-end job is in control of that.