How I Quit My Job (and how you can too!)

Friday, September 14, 2018

It wasn’t that much time ago when I was spending my days camped out at a desk behind a stack of legal briefs and memos, clocking upwards of 60 hours per week trying to make my billable hour requirement. I was a new associate at a pretty decent sized law firm in Boston and, like people always told me in law school, was “making it.” Why then, did I feel like I was drowning? That feeling is actually the beginning of the story of how I quit my job!

If any of this sounds at all familiar you to (which, if you clicked on this post in the first place, I’m guessing it just might), I’m here to tell you that these feelings are far from extraordinary. Whether you’re pulling all-nighters as an attorney like I was or you find yourself trying climb up a similar rung on the corporate ladder, the sad truth is that this way of life just isn’t for everyone. In fact, I would argue that this kind of stiff and overly-structured way of living doesn’t work for more people than those that it does. 

How do I know this? Ever since I took a leap of faith and quit doing “the lawyer thing” altogether, I have been receiving hundreds of emails, texts, direct messages, and calls from folks who, just like me, feel stuck in their 9-5 lifestyles. 

People from all segments and from every corner of the world with a common, shared reality: this just isn’t working. 

How I Quit My Job?

One of the most common scenarios with this problem is: "I want to quit my job, but I'm scared!" Of course, the uncertainty is scary at most times, but this feeling is also the one that will move you forward towards achieving your dreams!
One of the most common scenarios with this problem is: "I want to quit my job, but I'm scared!" Of course, the uncertainty is scary at most times, but this feeling is also the one that will move you forward towards achieving your dreams!

The most common question I get from folks that hear my weird story of going from lawyer to writer and yoga teacher by far, is this: how I quit my job and manage to do this transformation? And look, as much as I wish that I was this sage, all-knowing guru with all of the answers, which just isn’t the case.

Read more: The Importance of Work-Life Balance

What I do know though is that I felt just as lost, confused, and down-right terrified as you do right this very second. Probably more so, if you can imagine. After all, I was staring down a road that sure, might lead to my wildest and craziest dreams…but also meant that I made a $60,000 mistake by attending law school and devoting the better part of nearly a decade to a dream I thought I wanted. 

That’s the thing about following your heart and taking that big leap of faith: it’s never easy.

Anyone who tells you something other than that is just pulling your leg. They say that if it doesn’t scare you, then it isn’t worth it and, in many respects, that couldn’t be more true of a drastic career change. The stakes are usually at their highest (both personally and financially), and yes, it would be a whole lotta easier to just stay put. But I have to ask you…

At what cost?

You can make this dream a reality and enjoy in the freedom of freelance business. Of course, this business model won't make everything simple for you, but you get freedom to do what you've always aspired to do!
You can make this dream a reality and enjoy in the freedom of freelance business. Of course, this business model won't make everything simple for you, but you get freedom to do what you've always aspired to do!

For me, the late nights away from my family and crippling anxiety were too high of a cost to keep on doing what I was doing for the rest of my life. I wasn’t sure how or when or really even why, but I just knew there had to be a better way. So I offered my two weeks notice, was promptly escorted from the premises that same day, and walked out on my 10+ year relationship with the law for good. 

Read more: How To Work Remotely and Travel

I won’t lie to you and claim that it was all smooth sailing from the get-go, from far it actually. I worked a series of random odd jobs and went to a heck of a lot of therapy before finally realizing what my true calling was as a writer.

But after a solid six months of floating through life without any real direction, I had a crazy idea: maybe I can write. 

As is the case with most outlandish dreams, I turned to Google. I spent the next few weeks frantically searching for a roadmap for becoming a writer and, unsurprisingly, that roadmap is pretty darn simple…you write. My journey began with a blog and then grew to freelance writing and then, eventually, towards building my own brand and working on my first book. It has not been an easy journey, but damn if it isn’t the single greatest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. 


So, that's the story of how I quit my job! I share all of this with a single goal in mind: to tell you that you can do it too. Whatever your crazy, out-there, far-fetched, incredible and scary dream may be: go for it. The only thing keeping you tied to that office chair or cubicle is yourself, really. Sure, it’s not going to be easy and there most certainly will be times when you start second-guessing yourself and your decision. You might even fall back on your old career a few times (I certainly did). But maybe, just maybe, it’ll all work out in the end. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll find yourself sharing your story with thousands of other people all around the world while getting paid to do so. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll wake up one morning without needing to put on that tie or those God-awful pantyhose and live the life you’ve always wanted! So the answer to the question of how I quit my job isn't that much complex. In the end, we are our own limitation! If we manage to get past that, we're a step closer to achieving our dreams and aspirations.

Elizabeth Murray freelance content writer at aSabbatical.com
Traveling is about expanding your mindset and challenging every custom, tradition, and way of life you thought you knew.