Quitting a job or career field that you have been in for over a decade can be scary and a huge risk. You don’t know what is next or (for me) where the paycheck would come from. Yes, I had the broad strokes of a plan but had no idea where it would take me.
What I learned by making the leap has been invaluable and I am so grateful for this time in my life. Many of my friends and family thought I was CRA-ZEE. I built a successful and lucrative career so giving that up probably didn’t look like the most responsible decision. But I had a choice to make, stay unhappy in a career I was good at just because it provided stability, or set out on a new path to find a career that I could be great at and love.
During the last 18-months I became a life coach, I thought this was going to be it, building a business of my own and helping others in their growth. While I have enjoyed my time doing this, I realize that this is not the final career stop for me. Supporting others in going after their dreams brought me back to my own dream - going to law school. I couldn’t be more excited about my decision and am inspired by all of the support I have received. I will admit that going back to school after 12 years is scary, but I am more scared to not go after something I am passionate about.
Here is what I learned when I quit my career in hotel hospitality:
There is more than one way to make a living. When deciding to leave hotel hospitality the motivating priority was freedom. I wanted to have more control over my schedule and less micromanagement. I knew I’d be required to hustle. I landed a great freelance gig in skincare that has allowed me to travel and have more control over my schedule. As a freelancer, I get to say if and when I will work. Let’s be honest, I rarely say no because if I don’t work I don’t get paid. But knowing that I could say no was freedom enough for me. In addition, I work part-time at a salon. While my days are set at the salon, I can easily get my shifts covered when needed. As a responsible adult, I only get my shifts covered when I have another paying opportunity, because, well you know, money. But I love the sense of empowerment when in control of my own schedule. My 3rd source of income is driving for Lyft. This is completely flexible and I can do it if and when I feel like it. It is a perfect way to supplement my financial needs, so I add that into my schedule when I need to fill the gaps. Having all of these options has allowed me to make enough money to cover my expenses and support my lifestyle while I was building my coaching business, and ultimately discovering a completely new path.
A title doesn’t define you. This was a hard one for me. For so long my career was my identity. I was proud of what I had accomplished, but I was defined by my Title. In the beginning, my side hustles felt demoralizing because I was wrapped up in telling people my title. NEWSFLASH - no one cares, and if they do, rethink who you surround yourself with - seriously. My friends and family don’t care if I am a spa director or a Lyft driver. What they care about is if I am happy.
“What someone else thinks of you is none of your business!” - Rachel Hollis
Giving myself space to make a big future life decision. This was the biggest one. Having the space and time to really think about what I wanted for my future. Being a spa director I always felt like I had to be available, even on my days off. These last 18-months I work when I work and I am off when I am off. Even though I fill my off time with things like writing this blog or coaching, it is my choice with how I spend it. I was able to realize that I really do want to be an attorney, and while I am not of traditional student age it does not matter. My age is just a number and if I want to be an attorney I just needed to do it.
Better boundaries between work and life. Before quitting my career I was ALWAYS connected to my phone (even when I was off) and when it rang it would give me anxiety. I was constantly on call during operating hours, and even during closed hours if an employee called out or had an emergency. While some people are great with this, I was not. Now I know being an attorney is a lot of hours, but I am ok with it. This time around though, 1) I am more passionate about what I am doing, 2) I have had a break from a life of crazy hours and 3) I feel like I can better separate things. When I started out as a spa director I was young and had no concept of how to create healthy boundaries. Now I do.
Living on a budget. This one has always been difficult for me. When I was a working professional, I was a bit out of control with my spending. If I saw something I wanted I bought it. This last year has really pushed me to create a budget and stick with it. I am more conscientious about what I spend my money on and think twice about it before buying, I run through the need/want it scenario for non-necessity purchases. In the last 18-months, I have been able to get my finances more in order and have been able to pay off some debt. I am nowhere near perfect (or debt free), but I feel that I am on a good path to ensure sticking to a budget during law school and after.
Even though being a spa director was not my forever career, and towards the end, I was incredibly unhappy, I would not change it for the world. I learned so many lessons and met many amazing people that I still call friends. I am glad that I put off going to law school until now as I would have missed out on all these wonderful experiences.
If you are unhappy in your current career I hope you can find your way out of it. I know it was the best decision I made. If you need help with navigating what this would look like for you, I am still coaching, so email me HERE for a FREE discovery call.