A lot of people dream of quitting their miserable 9-to-5 gig but can’t muster the nerve. Maybe their pay is excellent. Maybe the job market is too shaky. Maybe they don’t have something else lined up. Sarah Knight finally said “screw it” and walked away from her senior editing position for the best reason I can think of: to pursue happiness.
Twenty-two years into my working life, from two dollars-an-hour to a six-figure salary, I finally came to the realization that my happiness is contingent upon a number of things, including spending more time with my husband, avoiding a soul-crushing commute, not working traditional 9–5 hours, and being my own boss. And I realized that it was eminently possible for me to have all of these things — not some, but ALL — if I left my current job.
Amen! It takes guts to walk away from a steady paycheck and a hard-earned professional station, but sometimes the best thing to do for yourself is make a clean break. Forget what other people define as success. Do what you want to do — not what your peers, mentors or bosses think you should do.
Many fantastic women I know have given the middle finger to other people’s expectations:
- The high-paid business consultant who quit her job to become a massage therapist
- The trained lawyer who chose mediation and restorative justice over a more lucrative legal career
- The high-powered corporate attorney who left her firm to spend time with her parents and reflect on what she really wanted in life (she later shipped off to East Timor to help with United Nation’s efforts there)
- The journalist who chose dog training over editing at a big-name paper
- The adventurous spirit who left her marketing gig to travel the world with her boyfriend (she now holds a director position at a promising startup)
And you know what? They’re all happier now because they wrote their own scripts. I’m pretty sure Sarah will be, too.