On Quitting Your Dream Job
Today was my last day at my dream job.
When I gave my two weeks notice, I frantically reached out to my favorite friend/fellow writer Ally and asked her if I could submit a guest piece to That First Year because a) writing for this blog made me much less manic and b) however, I still am manic to my core and needed an outlet to vent through.
Coming out of school, working in the marketing world truly wasn't even on my radar. I was so dead-set on finding a career in journalism/writing/starring in my own TV show on HBO that I totally pigeon-holed myself into only working within an atmosphere that had to do with my major (which also taught me that your major doesn't always need to directly apply to what you end up doing in the long run... I changed mine three times). And when I found this perfect little office on Bow Street in Portsmouth—and somehow managed to convince them to trust me enough to take a shot at marketing for the very first time—I honestly thought I would never leave.
You become a different person than the one you were right after graduation. Sometimes, I feel like I become a different person every single day, and with each day, I try to reflect on what it is I truly want or need. And at the time, it was a job that fulfilled both.
But after a while, and in my classic twenty-something fashion, I began to feel restless. I wasn't sure exactly what it was I wanted anymore. Because my heart is similar to Augustus Gloop in that it's greedy. It wants to know all of the outcomes. It wants to know which path to take before I have to take a single step. It wants freedom. It wants travel. It wants stability. And more often than not, it wants chocolate.
Letting yourself grow (and growing up in general) is so hard when you feel so comfortable. Here, I was writing every day, I was working with a team that put up with my never-ending stream of mistakes, questions, and sometimes-quirky, often-annoying anxiousness, and on paper, it was everything I could have hoped for in a job, and was a place that shaped me at such a critical and vulnerable part of my lifetime. But I was outgrowing comfortable. Maybe, what I needed at the time wasn't what I needed anymore. Maybe, somewhere along the line over these past few years, my dreams began to change. Or maybe, I was the one who was changing.
It's okay if you haven't found your dream job quite yet. And it's okay to quit your dream job. And it's okay if you're not even sure what your dream job is. Maybe there is no such thing. Maybe you can grow and thrive and fall in love with a million different places and people, which I learned after—with a racing heart and clammy forehead—I told each coworker, who had all become family to me at a time when I needed it most, that I was leaving and got nothing but total support, understanding, and encouragement. And, as hard and as heartbreaking as it was, I had to let myself accept the fact that it was okay to let certain places and people change and grow and evolve, even if it meant that it was without me.
If there's anything I've taken from this experience—or any experience, rather—it's that you should always, always listen to your greedy heart. Learn from it. Trust it.
And how lucky was I to have people in my life telling me to follow mine.
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