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I Quit My Corporate Job And This Happened - Kim Duke

Life, in my opinion, is truly a try it as you go experience. I compare it to shopping, you know like when you buy something that doesn’t quite fit right, but you allow yourself to keep it knowing damn well you should return it and get your money back. It takes a while to let things go though, right? So instead, it clogs up your closet producing no benefits just so you can hold onto the thought of the item maybe being worn one day. Silly comparison but the concept is still relevant, let go of the things that aren’t beneficial to your life and move forward quickly to save time lost.

So, let’s talk about my job I worked in the exciting world of the copier industry. I hope you felt the lack of enthusiasm in that last sentence. I can’t say that I hated my job because it is not that simple, I have this blind loyalty to anything I commit my time to, seriously it’s horrible like I won’t even know that the building is on fire because I am too busy making sure it is going down beautifully as the smoke rises. I spent my 40+ hour work weeks managing a 3 customer care team, controlling costs, and hosting meetings with my executive team.

I truly thought corporate culture is what I wanted. It seemed like a great opportunity and an iron clad plan after high school and a couple years of college. After roughly 5 years of chasing promotion and target gross profits I discovered that a corporate career isn’t very sustainable. There is never enough money you can make or time you can put in where satisfaction is achieved. With that being said you can imagine that the excitement of developing processes to streamline workflows, increase profit, and build a solid team was very fleeting once I realized there was no reward worth having in the corporate industry. I felt depressed, mentally exhausted, and terrified about being stuck in this cycle with no options to escape. I found myself thinking, didn’t I want this, as I stared at my cubicle with awards proudly sitting on the desk, computer staring back at me with the endless “ping” of incoming emails, and the phone ringing until the end of my shift. Trust me when I say 5 years of that monotonous work will break anyone let me tell you.

I tried my best to “tough it out” and stay with the company. I had emotional and financial investments with the company such as a 401K, benefits, and so much damn time into crafting the department to become one of the best in the corporation. I took steps before actually throwing in the towel, I approached my direct supervisor and shamefully told them how I needed a transition that my mental health was declining in my current position. I was told to basically “hang in there” and my worth reaffirmed but I had already knew the company needed me. It was because of this reason that I stayed for another 7 months and slowly watched my mental health decline until I no longer knew who I was. It’s dangerous to be so narcissistic to think that if you leave a situation that the world won’t move forward without you.

By the time I handed in my 30-day notice I was having mental breakdowns at my desk having to run to the bathroom to avoid someone seeing me at such a vulnerable time. I had started to hate myself for allowing this to happen, for staying in that space and not believing in myself enough to move forward sooner. The workload was never the issue it was the lack of impact and reward that chasing profits failed to provide that made me realize there was no way I could stay for another year. I feel as if you are going to go through the stress and effort to the point of fatigue let the investment yield something worth more than money. Go hard to change the world, build your empire, or impact someone in need. It was a harsh truth that I left behind and swore never to put myself through again. With that being said, I set up arrangements to withdraw my 401K and other monetary investments and began to embrace what would happen next.

November 15, 2018 was my day of freedom. I worked overtime that day and tied up all my loose ends so that the company could transition smoothly without me. At 6:00 pm I walked out of that office and it felt like I was walking into the “Upside Down” (Stranger Things reference) and was surprised I was crying as I was pulling out of the parking lot. I didn’t cry because I was sad trust me, I was fucking thrilled! I believe I cried because I was venturing out into a world that I wasn’t used to. I was used to security and comprehensible ambitious career plan that I invested years into and now I had to start from ground zero.

I need to make sure that you, the person reading this, know that I do not have any doubt that choosing freedom over security was the right choice. During the following months, great things have happened. I took the time to focus on my mental and physical health which has improved drastically. Of course, there have been negative effects of the transition. My insecurities of not having a plan and producing a steady income overflowed into my relationship and caused me to take a hard look in the mirror and make conscious decisions to change my daily routine, habits, and mindset to transition from vacation mode.

The biggest lesson I painfully learned was to make your move when you realize you are not where you desire to be in life. Plan the necessary steps to be free and happy. Growth is uncomfortable as fuck but struggling to find happiness is better than staying in a place of comfort and security especially when you are forcing yourself to stay in the situation after realizing it is not for you.