So – five months ago, I left a lucrative marketing manager position with a major medical device company.
Most everyone thought I was being foolish, even with a booming economy and robust job market.
The job was a good one, and I walked away without a backward glance or second thought. AND I did so without another job lined up. Not even a hint of one.
I had simply had enough of hotel rooms, and airport lounges, late-night conference calls and evenings at the computer. That was not the life I wanted to lead; to me, the money was just not worth it.
I admit to being more than a little envious of those smiling, unstressed and apparently financially independent people flooding YouTube and Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest with images of their adventures. There they sit, on a beach or mountain top or lakeside bike trail, in the middle of the day, on a Tuesday, wearing sweatshirts and yoga pants and doing whatever the hell they please, whenever the hell they want to do it.
(Ok, so this IS me. On a small mountain, in Quebec, on a Wednesday. But I was on vacation. Doesn’t count)
Of course, I know it is not that simple. I know that every one of those relaxed and happy people has an income stream of some sort. But that seemingly carefree life beckoned to me, a clarion call of freedom, of renewed energy and enthusiasm, of a chance to do something outside the norm.
My people are not risk-takers. Like many people, we toe the line, get the job, pay the bills, climb the career ladder, grow our savings and do little that will challenge the safe and steady progression toward a well-funded retirement. If that routine proves to be mind-numbingly dull and uninspiring, well, suck it up buttercup. They call it work for a reason.
Financial security is important. I am with you on that one. But it has been five months since I walked away from that lucrative marketing position, and I have several irons in the income-generating fire and about 8 months of living expenses left in the savings as motivation. I have never, not for a moment, doubted that I will land on my feet.
Am I concerned about the lack of income? Yes I am, and I channel that concern into finding a path forward that will work for me. Will I be able to match the income I had? I hope so, but I will be happy if I can cover my bills, salt something away and have a bit of mad money each month. Money isn’t everything.
I took that leap of faith. Faith in myself and my ability to make a change, do something different, take a risk and see what comes of it. Because sometimes, you have to be a little foolish to get the big win.