Last week, right about the same time the first commenter was leaving her comment on my previous post , I walked into the office of my boss, and turned in my written resignation.
The truth is, he knew it was coming. I’d warned him it was coming about 5 weeks ago — I told him that I intended to leave the company, and while I wouldn’t leave him before September 30th (because my role becomes crucial to closing deals at the end of the quarter), my intent was for my last day to be October 15th. For this reason, last week’s conversation was merely a formality.
Our parting will be cordial: as insane as it seems, I’m not leaving for a competitor, or even a different employer. I’m planning on going out on my own. It’s the first time that I’ve ever left a company without a waiting job. And I won’t be practicing law.
I suppose I could point to concrete examples why I’ve decided to leave: the law department at my company is woefully understaffed, requiring long working hours, seemingly without making a dent in the workload. The stress level was pretty extreme. But really, if I’m totally honest with myself, my reason for quitting is simple:
I don’t like practicing law .
And ultimately, working hours that keep me from being with my family, combined with a crushing stress load seemed a huge price to pay for a career for which I never really had any passion.
So instead, I’m going to attempt to make a career around avocations where I do have passion: I’m going to go back to writing full-time, and photography full-time . I’m going to go back to writing articles, supporting them with images, but more importantly, I’m going to try to parlay both skills (combined with my passion for public speaking) to helping create multi-media digital stories for companies to use in the public relations campaigns. I think all my years in various careers, both in Corporate America and as a writer and photographer, prepare me for this next phase of my life.
It seems a crazy time for me to make this move: the economy is in the toilet, and for my family, this will mean tightening our belts. Still, we’ve "priced" our lives so that we can live on my husband’s salary, and we’ve saved enough for a (somewhat small) safety net. I have contacts who, bless them, have already been providing me work. And the feedback that I’m getting from friends and family is that I’m making the right choice: "You’re a great person when you’re not practicing law," said one friend, Dan. "You seem much happier." My goal is to see if I can make a go of this in the next 18 months — and if it doesn’t work out, I’ll go back to practicing law.
So it better work out.
Anyway, despite the nerves that obviously accompany a move this big, this decision feels right: it feels right to me, and it feels right to my husband, whose unwavering support has emboldened me to make this change. And the best part? Making this change will allow me to continue to work, which I feel I must do, but on my terms — and that, in my book, feels like freedom.