Quitting your job without another prospect lined up is indeed incredibly risky and often something that is frowned upon by potential employers. Yet, in December 2017 I followed my heart and did just that.
Now, a few months later, I’m feeling back to my usual self and I’m ready to rock it!
Out with the old…
I started my career just a week after my final assignment had been handed in at Uni. Eager to get an industry job and faced with a “seems to good to be true” opportunity, I got a job as a Digital Assistant at a publishing house in Bath.
Just 8 months later, to the exact day, I said goodbye to that very same publishing house after handing in my notice without another job to go in to.
Whilst there was no workplace abuse, no sexual harassment and no breach of human rights there and 95% of the workforce were really nice people, I quickly realised that it wasn’t somewhere that I wanted to work and that it was probably the worst company I’d worked for so far after 5 years of working.
Publishing houses, as many will know, are notoriously tough places to work in. After a few months, I began to notice that my employers were a medium-sized company but were still very much in a small business mindset with an abnormal love for the “if it aint broke don’t fix it” approach. Pay was extremely low across the board, as is common with publishing houses and stress levels/work loads were high. However, one thing that I really noticed was how completely dissatisfied a huge majority of the staff were.
I needed more. More opportunities for training, more variety, more excitement, and a company that was striving for greatness.
I started getting seriously demotivated, despite discussing my concerns with management. My lack of motivation was absolutely no help to them in all honesty and definitely not good for my mental health, which had taken a nose dive. So, I handed in my notice because in my heart I knew that this would benefit both sides, and four weeks after leaving I found a position that is so unexpectedly right for me.
And in with the new…
For me there are four main things that matter in a workplace. Training, leadership, atmosphere, and support. Experience and money are things that can be earned in time. But without good training, leadership and support a company cannot expect their staff to grow or perform well.
I read an article the other day that said to find a job you love, you should start by doing one you hate because “You’re doing the work. You’re sharpening your skills. You’re gaining experience. You’re figuring out who you want to be — and just as importantly, who you don’t want to be”. After years of working in retail/hospitality and then being unhappy in my previous job, this spoke to me so much.
When I applied for my job at Varn, I was so intrigued by the role and I knew straight going in for an interview with my two bosses I knew that it was the job I wanted. I was in disbelief when I was offered the role at first, I never expected to get the position due to my lack of experience in marketing and going into it I was unsure as to whether a role so different to anything I’d done before would be right for me.
Now, one month in I am thrilled to say that I am certain that this role is right for me. There’s leadership, there’s communication, there’s encouragement and the team are all great. Employees are seen as valuable assets, not disposable ones. There is also the room for progression and learning which is a huge plus for me – oh and we have a pinball machine, a pool table and table tennis!
My new role as a Digital Marketing Executive is varied and busy but it’s enjoyable. I work on our off-site SEO team to develop and optimise content for the purpose of better site performance, usability, and ranking. On a day-to-day basis, I also think of creative content/project ideas, manage client projects and liaise with PR professionals.
I certainly don’t wake up and hate the fact that I’m off to work for 8 hours.
Quitting my job in December was a huge risk, but my happiness comes before anything else. I took a risk and it paid off. I’m now fortunate enough to be in an awesome company in Bradford-On-Avon where I can grow and push myself. I’m really looking forward to focusing on building a proper career and hopefully with enough dedication I’ll be a marketing wiz in no time.
I really think it’s a shame that employers see it as a bad thing. If you’re in a position where you can afford to do it and you haven’t had a shaky employment history otherwise I think it’s fine. You can take some time out to refocus and concentrate properly on finding your next position and preparing for interviews.
When I quit my last job, the publisher told me in a very patronising tone “I just don’t see how you’re going to get another job”. Yet, I did, because I know what I’m worth, I know what I’m good at and I know what I want.
I have my mojo back – I don’t want to just sit at a desk and do a job and moan about it. I want to be one of the best at what I do, and if I keep pushing and keep learning, one day I might just get there!
Always follow your heart – because it is trying to tell you something for a reason.