Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
– Bill Gates
I quit my job.
That’s right Precious Readers! I. Quit. My Job. But, I got another one.
Gotcha, didn’t I?
After approximately 11 years at my previous employer’s (7 years at that particular department) an opportunity that was almost too good to be true popped up. It’s a perfect fit blending everything I’ve learned (even my Copy Editing skills from college) and putting them to WORK.
If you haven’t noticed, I haven’t written much. Now you kind of know why.
After I went on a vacation, I had an interview at the New Place pop up. Do you have any idea what it’s like to go on vacation and then decide to quit your current job the day one is supposed to be returning from vacation?
I was a complete wreck. I lost sleep. Couldn’t eat. I felt sick and had terrible headaches. Worried all of the time…
But, wait a minute… Isn’t that what I was happening while working at said job? Isn’t that why I had gone on vacation in the first place? I had so much vacation time built up that I could easily have taken a week off and had plenty of vacation hours leftover.
Let’s take a look at vacations for a minute:
Pilot and I took an Alaska cruise for 7 days in July 2012.
That was the only vacation I had taken in 3 YEARS.
There’s something not quite right about that.
I reviewed the last 7 years. Even from the beginning there were late nights. We’re not talking about a 1-2 hours beyond normal work times. We’re talking about 4-5 additional hours each night.
Overworked, underpaid, stressed out, no personal life anymore. I was miserable all of the time. Add in the stress of a husband who decided to go back to school, and I was stuck. Completely stuck. Now I know this makes it look like I’m complaining about Pilot going back to school. But I am proud of him. I was happy to support both of us while he figured out what he wanted to do in life. At the time, I still didn’t have a clue for myself of the direction I was going in. So what’s the difference whether I was to stay where I was or get a new job?
Now that our married life has stabilized a bit, it gave me a LOT of time to think about what I wanted. I still didn’t have an iota. Sure, I knew I still wanted to be a writer, but that was an ambition I kept pushing down due to long years of conditioning being told I should do anything other than writing- or art-related.
Then I started this blog. Writing for this blog helped me tune into a large piece of myself that had been locked away for a very long time. Once I started writing for myself-
Sorry Precious Readers. As much as I love all of you and appreciate your support, this blog was started for selfish reasons. It wasn’t to share information to the world, it was about writing again, and practicing writing every day. The fact that I’ve gained a following – again a very hearty THANK YOU to each and every one of you! – is fortuitous and a luxurious bonus to writing here.
– I began thinking of other areas of my life that I had locked away. What about ambition? I really don’t have any ambition. As talented as I am at office work, working at a desk everyday is usually not what any child thinks about when they dream of their future.
Hi, I’m Katie and I have immaculate charting, data entry and collating skills. Have you seen my filing system creation ability? Whoo hoo!
But then I started thinking about my ultimate goal of being a full-time writer? How would I get there? How do I make that transition in my life without bankrupting Pilot and I and ending up in a refrigerator box?
Although, if I did have to live in a refrigerator box, I would pick one of those fancy ones with the French doors – the kind you have to shorten your countertop space just to make the thing fit. It would be the condos of refrigerator living!
Then, it happened.
An author I greatly admire, Ann Charles*, did it. She actually did it.
She had published enough work and made enough sales to be able to quit her job and write at home full time.
I have never been so inspired and green-eyed-jealous in my life.
Ann Charles* is actually a Washington local and writes hilarious mystery romance novels. You’ve seen me note her work on my Goodreads lists.
I started thinking about work/life balance. Sure I was working and making a paycheck, but did my current lifestyle meet my personal needs as a writer? Did it give me the time with my friends and family like I wanted? Were my bills getting met in a way that didn’t leave me scrounging for change in my couch cushions to buy food?
After taking some time to see if the theory of work/life balance existed for me, the answer was quite obvious.
I don’t have it.
I have work… But, I have no life.
Something needs to change.
I need to change.
What Ann Charles has? I want that. I want it a lot.
It was decided right then and there that I needed to not make it a goal to just “find a new job.” I needed to find a job that gave me my life back.
My friend Obi-One-Pin-Obi (see earlier posts to learn more about her) had a position open at her company. I jumped at the chance-
Because let’s face it. The economy sucks.
-and guess what? The company liked me so much they called me the same day to offer me the position! They encourage a work/life balance.
No. Scratch that.
They encourage Work/Life Effectiveness. The CEO is a nationally-ranked Scrabble champion. The HR Director is a nightly stand-up comedian. The former CIO is a nationally-known golfer.
I don’t have to hide the fact that I’m an aspiring writer or the genre. They don’t care. They encourage it.
What is this mysterious spell they have on themselves? Oh, right. Happy employees.
Well, how do you like that? It turns out all of those years of no raises, not title change or anything at my old job – it wasn’t me. It was you.
After saying “Yes” to the opportunity (and pay, I might add) it’s been a whirlwind of adjustment and changes. I’ve been at the New Job for 3 full weeks it’s only getting better! The people are nice and the environment is good.
The thing that has probably changed the most is my approach to the job. I was able to start fresh and re-establish myself and my habits at a new place where no one (except my friend, Obi, of course) knew me. I can establish new ground of how this was going to affect me and my life. I refuse to let this one get the best of me. They will get my best work efforts, but I get to leave it on my desk and come home without a thought elsewhere.
I haven’t written Precious Readers, and please forgive me for not doing so, because I have been spending the last month prepping to leave and start work. I won’t go into the details, but let’s just say my ‘exit interview,’ if you can call it that, basically listed what my job description said versus the list of work I was actually doing. They didn’t match and my actual work greatly outweighed the job description.
My former co-workers were a little taken aback at how much I did for that office. I think it was something they all knew I did in the background, but I don’t quite believe it ever sunk in the sheer volume of work that I handled while employed there.
I think they realized they were a little screwed until the next person was hired to take my place.
After looking at the actual list up and down, the Higher Ups at my former employer’s realized the job description needed some (drastic) updating and the pay to increase.
Am I angry?
No. I have a new job that pays well.
Am I annoyed? Meh… I plead the Fifth on that one.
After a few frank discussions with Pilot-
Ok, maybe I did a mini-interview with him.
-I asked what changes he’s noticed in me and our lives since starting the new job.
He noticed I was sleeping more, I was happier, had more energy and wasn’t stressed out.
He also noted I was treating him and others nicely.
Not “nicer.” Nicely. Hmm…
After a loving swat on the arm and an additional hour’s conversation about what exactly he meant about the “nicely” comment, we agreed that life has definitely changed for the better.
I come home and actually feel like I have time to enjoy the evening before bedtime. I get to spend time with Pilot before going to sleep. We actually have time to do things together instead of me waving a wistful hand in his general direction with a watery smile saying goodnight before crashing for the evening.
The most amazing change and piece I look forward to in the near-future? After three weeks of transition, I feel ready to write again. Not just for you Precious Readers, but also for myself. I’m finding myself inspired again and thinking of new ways to torture my characters. Plot points are falling into place. I’m reading a lot again.
Also known as: the voices are back. Just kidding! (Mostly.)
I’m very excited at this new phase. I’m
I see myself working at this new company while having the ability to come home and write. This company even encourages it. This job has given me 2 gifts:
Time and Energy
I come home after a long day ending it with a feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment. This last week as I’ve been transitioning from Trainee to actual Employee, I’ve been feeling like I can come home to fulfill my life’s purpose.
This New Job has given me the time and energy to write again. I couldn’t ask for a more precious gift. This job is another step in the direction of being a 100% full-time writer. Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe not until 5 or 6 published works. But someday. This job created the opportunity for me to even hope for a Someday.
Not really a point to this one. Only that I now understand why God slammed doors in my face or drop-kicked me out of some opportunities. He waited for this perfect opportunity to present itself to give me my turn.
Well Precious Readers, that’s all I have to say for now. I’ve been given back the hope of my, “Someday” and I don’t intend to waste it by sitting on my ass.
Books don’t write themselves, you know.
*The above post is 100% of my own, personal opinion and is not connected nor endorsed by Ann Charles.