About 8 years ago I decided to quit my corporate job. I had been working for 13 years and it was a big decision to make. I am an arts graduate and had started my career as a customer service agent with a telecom giant. Through the years, I worked hard and handled many job portfolios. Each one offered me great learning opportunities and helped me grow as a professional. The hunger to try something new led me to explore career options with another start-up telecom company after 8 years. This gave me an opportunity to work with different departments and understand aspects of the business in detail like I never was able to before.  Helping set up the critical processes for departments was a new high. Things were looking good and soon it was 5 years in my new company. I was due for a promotion as well. Then why did I decide to quit?

Andreas Klassen on Unsplash

They say that one doesn’t decide to quit a job for any one single reason. The same was true with me. I was starting to near a state of burn-out. The honeymoon period was over and there was unnecessary stress due to unrealistic expectations. I lived approximately 20 km away from the office and so I was traveling a total of 40 km every day, which was taking away a big chunk of my time. Even after coming home, because of the nature of my job, I sometimes needed to be on call to handle work crises. I also was able to spend time with my parents only on weekends. I am an only child and attached to my parents…so, one-day visits were not my thing. Being creative by nature, my earlier communications profile was very interesting. I had recently moved to an operations role relevant to my promotion, which I didn’t quite enjoy as much. Also, there were some recent restructuring in the organization which meant job insecurity was high amongst colleagues. So where earlier where everyone was working to showcase their own worth, now many were working to prove that the other was wrong in the hope that their job would be secure. All this contributed as building blocks to the potential burnout that I could see on the horizon.  Where earlier I would be energized even after 10-12 hours at work, now I was mentally exhausted by the end of the day. Obviously, this started taking a toll on my emotional and physical health.

And finally, my husband who ran an event management company wanted to reinvent it and take it to the next level. So he asked me to join him as a partner and look after the creative side while he handled the operations part. So after much deliberation, sorting out finances and the complete support of my husband, I quit after 13 years in corporate life.

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

It was not an easy decision to say no to an assured fat salary every month, especially when one had loans to repay. Many people told me I was foolish to quit now when I was tipped for the next big promotion. Often the time never seems right – a promotion is around the corner, or it is appraisal time which will result in a salary hike, or it is bonus time – so one has to draw the line somewhere. Ultimately the choice was mine to make and I took the leap.

In my new life as an entrepreneur, I started a new event management company as a creative partner. We also sold our house and moved closer to where my parents lived. Since I was now the mistress of my own time and could set my own hours, I explored my creative side as well. I learnt photography, sketching, dancing, knitting and also started a community library.  Here I read stories to kids and also taught them craftwork. My husband and I traveled quite a bit and satiated our wanderlust. Being the eternal learner, I also upgraded my work-related skills by joining new courses. This helped me formally put together my content creation company and led me to explore a new field of teaching at a college to equip young women with vocational skills. And of course, I also share my experiences and thoughts through my blog.

This journey of 20 years has taught me many things. I would like to share some work-life tips that worked for me.

  1. Try to find a role that you really enjoy and are interested in. Chances of it becoming mundane or a chore are much lesser.
  2. If your job doesn’t feed your interests, consciously make some free time and look for activities to indulge your interest. It could be helping others, learning, teaching, or creating.
  3. Where possible, explore other job opportunities that suit you. If not, rethink the way you look at work. Maybe take some time off or look at a sabbatical.
  4. Make a conscious effort to engage and build a relationship with your co-workers. Having work-friends helps handle the stress and makes your work-life more enjoyable.
  5. Learn to identify work-fatigue before it turns out to a full-blown burnout. Look for ways to de-stress yourself, including asking for help from family and friends. This will ensure there is no emotional breakdown.
  6. Set some time every day for meditation, yoga, or exercise, and make time for any activity that brings you joy.

 

Have you had a complete change in the line of work you do? Have you had experiences of work-related anxiety or burnout? I would love to hear about it. Do connect with me through the comments below.

This blog post is part of the blog challenge ‘Blogaberry Dazzle’ hosted by Cindy D’Silva and Noor Anand Chawla, and generously SPONSORED BY Bugshield Clothing – Enjoy Outdoors More!

35 Comments

  1. Agree with you Vasumathi. When we can convert our passion into work, it is a blessing and not all are blessed to have it. I liked the pointers that you gave. We should be able to understand the true purpose behind our work.

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  2. That’s a really brave decision Vasumathi..hats off to you. When I had spine surgery U was asked to give up a full-time job. I had no other alternatives then. I went into a deep depression as I had no income and no support. Even right now going through a lot of stress. Hope it ends soon.

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    1. Sending you love and best wishes. Dont stress….I know it is easier said than done. But you will only spoil your health further and stressing out doesnt resolve anything. Instead try to focus on something that brings you joy.

  3. Last time I had a burnout I met with an accident and then I changed my career. And today even I am doing the work I loved.

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  4. So glad you shared this, Vasu. Making a change is overwhelming by itself, and the one you made is a brave one. So glad you shared your thoughts, experience, and these points. They are sure to help anyone wanting to do the same.

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  5. Love your tips. As I had only an year of work life before I got busy with kids. But now, as kids, home take most of the time. I am.slowing getting back with writing.. Something I absolutely love.

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  6. Totally agree with you Vasumathi. Even I had quit my corporate job and started working on my passions. Though I am not a full-timer yet like you in that area, I am going mostly in the same route as what you mentioned. Only thing is that to date I haven’t seen or thought about the monetization part of it. But planning to work on it from this year.

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  7. I have faced work-related burnout and relate to your experience. I feel I am creative so I took up writing unable to give my 100% currently however, I wish to pursue my creative instincts.

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  8. It is so inspiring to read this. It was definitely a big decision. You are very brave and your each and every blog tells a beautiful story. Glad to have crossed paths through this challenge.

    1. Doing your own thing is so rewarding in so many ways and the right kind of support makes it all the more worthwhile. Glad you found your calling

  9. Glad to learn about your journey, you have embraced all your learnings so well. I am an MBA in finance and 6 years of the corporate and educational sector, I started with a personal blog “Virtual Siyahi” and now I am a full-time professional blogger. A long journey but I love what I am doing so I can understand your feelings 🙂

  10. I could so relate to this, Vasumathi. I launched my design agency at a time when “start-ups” weren’t really a thing. It has been quite a journey but equally rewarding too.

  11. I agree. Very few are able to follow their passion and take that risk. But they can pursue it side by side. You post is surely going to inspire many to take that leap.

  12. I couldn’t agree more on this that yes when passion become the profession; every moment of life becomes the bliss. Following your passion with utmost honesty accelerates your inner strength and brings out even more confident version of yourself. Great to know this Vasu that you are among those luckiest persons who listen to their hearts.

  13. Vasu what a delightful read it was!! Happy to know u r happier now 🙂 loved ur points on practicing yoga n exercises….we mostly forget ourselves in the longer run 😊 finding ways to make ur hobby or passion into work is the best thing to happen !!

  14. I worked for Seven years and then started traveling and writing. I am happy what I am doing. Now, I want to become become a full time travel blogger . Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Very motivational.

  15. Converting your passion into your work is the best thing. Kudos to u for managing such multifaceted roles and discovering where your true joy lies.most of the times people don’t even realise where their heart lies or some adversities make them ignore the facts.

  16. Wow, this post comes as a word of advice for so many young people out there. I agree with you 100% that one must pursue such a job that gives pleasure to the innerself and that itself makes the job less mundane . Also, I agree that if the person doesn’t have a choice to quit and restart, we must find other ways to rekindle our passion and embrace the job we have in hand. I always feel so happy and content after reading your blog.

  17. Your blogposts are making a special place in my heart, I love reading your posts and moreover I enjoyed them. Again a great piece of weaved words you have presented for us.

  18. These are the real inspirational stories that women need to read on Women’s Day. Salary Hike, Promotions, it is true an employee has to draw a line somewhere otherwise the work fatigue will just eat you up.

  19. Thats amazing post . I know it is very difficult to leave a steady job and i still do not have courage to do that . That’s a really brave decision Vasumathi..hats off to you.

  20. Your article gives hope to anyone on the wall about pursuing their passion. We have but one life right

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Vasumathi

Blogger, Content Creator, Knowledge Facilitator, Hobby Photographer & Mom To A Naughty Dalmatian.