How Quitting My Job Transformed My Life


I’d spent most of my career working toward becoming an HR Director, and I was well on my way to achieving that goal. But, man, was I unhappy.



And I know—we’ve all found ourselves in jobs that aren’t very fulfilling, but this was something more. I was downright miserable. I struggled to get out of bed, I was grumpy all the time, and it took every ounce of energy I had to get through a day at the office. After months of muddling through, I had to face up to a radical idea: Maybe this wasn’t the right path for me.

But how would I figure out what was without quitting my job and having space to think?

Along those same lines, how could I quit my job when I had bills to pay, a dog to feed, and a husband who was supportive of my decision to explore a new career path, but rightfully concerned about how we’d manage financially. 

Knowing that I couldn’t last in my role much longer, we sat down and took a hard look at our budget and our savings. What could we do without? How much of our modest savings could we use to supplement my unemployment? We decided that we had enough saved up to cover about three months of time off. And, just to be safe, I lined up a part-time remote role that would supplement my income while allowing space for me to job search. I also made a timeline for myself. If I hadn’t figured things out within three months, I would go back to human resources.

I don’t want to downplay how scary or financially risky this choice was. I gave it a lot of thought, and it took some serious planning. It’s not something that everyone can do. I know that I was lucky to be in the situation I was in. And there’s no way I could’ve done it without a supportive partner (and I do mean that both emotionally and financially), as well as a savings account.

Not to mention, quitting my job and essentially walking away from the career I’d spent a decade building was really disorienting. How could I now not want something I’d spent so long working toward?

Even harder than wrapping my head around that was explaining this choice to my friends and family. Some of the people I was closest to just didn’t understand, and I struggled with feeling like I’d made a huge mistake. I kept wondering, was I crazy to do this?

Read the rest of this blog over on my column at The Muse!

Jaclyn Westlake