A story about what it feels like jumping out of a secure life and plunging into the unknown. 

How to quit your job.

Leaving my job is just an idea, a quiet whisper amongst a million murmurs bouncing in the back of my mind. 

Life decisions tend to be a combination pushes and pulls. Strong negative feelings push you away from where you are and the promise of happiness pulls you somewhere new. 

I find myself in a room, cloaked in darkness. Frustration has set in. I stumble around looking for a window to bring in some light. As if by fate, a sweetheart prises open the shutters. She leans in from the outside and whispers seductively how sweet life could be, clasps my hand in hers and begs me to come on an adventure. 

Capsules, pokies and sugar. The three biggest push factors. Three things I am fundamentally opposed. And yet here I am, selling capsule machines when their environmental effects are devastating. And there I am, talking up the benefits of my coffee over the whoops and dings of slot machines. My granddad lost everything he owned to a gambling addiction. He tried (unsuccessfully) to sell my childhood home to fund the habit. And then there’s the fact I’m being paid by a company that sells sugar drinks. Need I say more? 

I have moments of sobriety when I see clearly what I now represent. I'm afraid of myself, afraid that I can turn a blind eye to the red flags waving frantically around me.

‘Quit’, she whispers. ‘You’ll be happier out here’.

But is it that bad, really? I don’t want to sound like a puritanical bore. It’s been a good year. It’s taught me a million things about the coffee market. It's an organisation filled with good people who care for your wellbeing. The company is moving in a great direction - there’s never been a better time to be a part of it.

I’m chatting with my manager over the phone and before I know it I ask for a ‘catch up’ tomorrow. I still haven't decided to quit. Are capsules and pokies really that big an issue? 

My mind turns to what's holding me back from quitting.

It’s funny. The biggest concerns I had when I left finance don't bother me anymore. I’ve proved to myself I can drop everything, try something completely new and make it work. 

What if you run out of money? I find work somewhere. I’m an educated native English speaker with years of professional work experience. Had I left halfway through high school and smoked weed for 5 years while on the doll…well, that’s another story. There is always work, everywhere, to pay for food and a roof over my head. 

I find myself typing out my resignation letter on the morning of the ‘catch up'. It’s just a virtual document. It’s not real. I haven’t committed to anything yet. 

Why would you give up a good job for such a flimsy plan? Well, allow me to rephrase the question: what opportunities am I missing on out on by being rooted here? I'm not getting promoted for another two years. My life is marching on and I'm getting older. Second by second.  

Good jobs are everywhere and with enough persistence I can get them. There are hundreds of opportunities for me right now. I don’t know where exactly. But I know they’re out there. Right this second. What am I waiting for?

Tick.

Tock.

I press ‘print' at midday. Okay, it’s on paper. This is getting serious. But if no one sees it then it’s just a piece of paper with meaningless scribble, right?

You’re almost 30, when are you going to settle down? You’re making a big assumption here. You’re assuming I’m the kind of person that wants to settle for a cosy home and a cushy retirement. I’m not. I’m a venturer at heart, a novelty seeker. I know this about myself and I’m comfortable with it. If that means I’ll be 40 and still exploring, so be it. 

At 1pm my manager looks at me, shocked. ‘Please tell me you’re joking’. 

This is my last chance. I can still back out. 

I lock eyes with him, the eyes of someone who I deeply respect.

My heart beats so hard I can barely get any words out.

The sweetheart in the window grabs me with both hands and pulls me across the window sill. Green grasses of possibility dance under a splendid sun. 

I slowly shake my head.

‘I’m serious’. 

The window bangs shut behind me. 

So now what? What’s the plan? Where will you go to make money? 

There are answers to all these questions (I think). 

But that’s for another blog post.  

Another gamble.

A compromising situation