Quitting for Winners
Hi, my name is Krystal, I’m 30 years old... and unemployed. A far cry from the expectations I had for myself and yet entirely my own doing. 2017 was a year that led me to do the unthinkable; I quit my job. A job I loved and dedicated five years of my life to. Why did I do it you ask? I was eighteen when I picked up my things and moved halfway across the world from Miami to London. So maybe it’s just in my nature to shake shit up a bit.
I got my career break in 2010, a fresh college dropout with a sink or swim attitude to work. I was hired as an intern at a top London fashion agency and quickly worked my way up. I’ve always felt super grateful for everything that led me to having any job, let alone a dream job. It wasn’t always a glamorous journey, working my way up from interning, but it forced me to keep my head down and my sense of entitlement in check.
Having spent more of my life with a job than without, my mother recently asked me, how was I going to feel? The answer was lost.
Am I insane? What have I done? What am I doing? These words ring in my ears like a bad case of tinnitus to this very day.
The feeling of leaving job security and being left with nothing was slightly overwhelming in the “do I or don’t I” phase, but finally I committed to my decision and handed my notice in. After a lot of crisis talks the freelance seed was planted by my friends. Truthfully, this was something that had never occurred to me; freelancing felt unattainable, like a career option for other people, not something anyone could decide to do.
Despite my amazing support network showering me with encouragement, the feeling of failure was something I just couldn’t shake. It’s that nagging insecurity that as proud human being you are programmed to feel. Why are we as people so afraid to fail? Type ‘failure’ and ‘success’ into Google and you’ll see about a hundred different quotes about how failure leads you to success. A hundred quotes on Google can’t be wrong, can they? One sentence out of them all really resonated. “Don’t do what doesn't terrify you."
Which brings me to now, in 2018, officially freelancing. My old job has kept me on to work on an app we had been building, I'm working on this like helping friends market and expand their sunglasses brand here in the UK, planning a charity dinner, and helping out at another agency, and writing this column of course.Each day brings something new. I personally hate feeling bored, so I’ve forced myself to wake up, get out of the house and work from different places. I am treating it like being newly single after a long term relationship; saying yes to everything, going to meet new people, getting set up by friends, and so far it’s been great. I’m testing the waters to see what I like doing, laying the groundwork and I'm only three weeks in.
There are plenty of inspiration articles out there on successful people, this is not one of them, at least not yet. This is the story of a girl making it up as she goes along. I’m here to let you know that the world doesn’t end if you decide to take a step back and reassess what you’re doing, if you’re temporarily without a job, or need to take up some bar work for extra cash. Thanks to poor money management by the government, us millennials are not going to retire until we are nearly ready to croak - we can afford a few chops and changes.
Success has the tendency to feel like an illusion; you forget the defeat, hard work, blood, sweat, and tears that got a person to where they are. Kind of like skipping to the final chapter of a book and forgetting everything came before. In my (maybe biased) opinion, there is no greater success than making a risky decision for the chance of betterment and that in itself is a victory.
You can learn more about Krystal via her Instagram.
Have freelance questions for Krystal? Comment them below.