I Just Quit My Job of Nearly 5 Years to Live Off Savings For a Year.

February 24, 2020

Posted in  Funemployment, Thoughts

Day 3 of Funemployment:

As of Friday 21st February, I am no longer a Skyscanner employee.

I didn’t quit because my job was bad.

On the contrary, I have only good things, nay, GREAT things to say about Skyscanner.

Staying at my first job fresh out of university for 4 years and 7 months speaks for itself.

I was given incredible opportunities to learn, worked with fantastic people and don’t even get me started on the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious flexible working and benefits.

(I could go on with the superlatives!)

So, why leave?

Those were drum good times!

It was good, but it wasn’t good enough – SoniaMillenial1990@hotmail.com

I constantly had a sense of not feeling like I was giving my best self. Day by day, I struggled with a lack of motivation and drifting in a sense of meaninglessness.

This was huge for me.

I’ve always prided myself on being someone who can create meaning in whatever I do — Reframe! Change your perspective! Try a new challenge!

Positive psychology got me nowhere though. I couldn’t get out of that sinking, dead feeling in my heart no matter what I tried.

I felt like an utter failure in not being able to create purpose, and at the risk of sounding melodramatic, my very self-concept was threatened.

I sank deeper.

This went on for 2 years. I knew something had to change — but to what?

So why not get another job instead of taking a break?

Because the truth is, I have no idea what I want to do.

This may sound odd, but I don’t actually know what I like or what I’m good at.

Without that to guide me, I was looking at jobs that I thought I could get, rather than what I actually wanted to do.

When I got off a call with a recruiter from another travel company feeling frustrated, it dawned on me that I wasn’t exploring anything new. Same shit, different day.

And so I cancelled LinkedIn premium and stopped creeping on job postings.

Before deciding what’s next, I need to know what I’m looking for.

And to do so, I have to first answer two questions.

1. Who is Sonia? 

2. What problems do I want to struggle for in this world?

I’ve spent a great deal of my life doing things I think I should do, not necessarily what I want to do. 

Joining Skyscanner is probably a good example.

Here were my top 3 reasons:

Tech is the next big thing! It’s a sexy brand! It meets the minimum requirement for a “successful” salary!

You might have noticed that none of these reasons actually come from me.

I want to change this, and while there may be different ways to arrive at these answers, taking 12 months off was the best I came up with.

This is how big the questions feel.

One does not simply resign. I prepared for over a year.

Practical stuff like getting finances in order, making lifestyle changes to reduce spending, crunching data to come up with a realistic budget.

More importantly, managing my anxiety, committing to meditation practice, introspecting.

That said, I still wanted to see if I could make it work at Skyscanner and took on an entirely new role in my last 6 months.

I resigned at the conclusion of this, and while I can’t say I’ve given Skyscanner my best, I can definitely say I don’t see how it was going to get any better.

Is there a plan? Yup.

I have a rough framework for the 12 months, split into 2 parts:

Part 1: Focusing on myself
Part 2: Exploring problem spaces

Every month will have a particular theme, resolutions to keep and a project.

For example, Month Numero Uno looks like this:

  • Theme: Focus
  • Resolutions: Say no to distractions, Do one thing at a time, Use a timer
    (90 mins to write this post!)
  • Project: Post 3x a week

In part 1 ‘Focusing on Myself’:

Some themes I want to work on are:

  • Reconnecting with my body
  • Building my understanding of nutrition
  • Being a child again
  • Widening my community

As for part 2, ‘Exploring Problem Spaces’:

There are 3 in particular that resonate on a deeply personal level:

  1. People’s relationship with food
  2. Aging with dignity
  3. Mental health

So that might mean seeking out people making an impact in these spaces, getting involved somehow and attending conferences.

I have a plan, but I’m not going to pretend I have my shit together.

I’m terrified that I’ll waste this time.

I’m terrified that I’ll still feel the same way in a year.

I’m terrified of not going with the flow enough.

I’m terrified of The Plan becoming a source of anxiety in itself, instead of being a way to manage the anxiety.

But hey, one of my resolutions to not let my fear of failure limit me is to “make failure fun”:

Note the big smile despite face planting in the snow!

That said, I’m also excited.

I’ll be heading to Japan this week, have plans to spend a month in Bali taking up cooking classes and to move to Europe later this year.

Along the way, I’ve committed to documenting things in writing, photos and haikus, so stay tuned. 🙂

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I end this post with a song that came on during my morning jog, which starts with “Quit my job at the store”. Apt.

Did anyone else ever use their iPod on shuffle mode as a magic 8 ball sometimes?

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig3DogDAIUU&w=560&h=315]

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  1. Oh! I just did exactly the same! In fact Saturday was my last day at work. of course i did it for different reasons and we pronanly have different plan… but i am glad to feel less alone doing this. good luck with your sabbatical xx

  2. I guess i can relate to wanting to just leave your job and go on a sabbatical. For my case it would be i’ve been in the same company for 4 years and i just don’t like my job and don’t feel appreciated. Was ready to resign and take it easy for a bit to look for another job and maybe discover something that i really want to do but COVID happened so….

    Anyway right now am just a wage slave staying on just to get a monthly salary, definitely won’t be good for me in the long run and the CB/Phase 1 isn’t helping mental health wise. Hopefully fingers crossed the economy gets going soon and i won’t have to feel guilty about leaving and facing the what seems like gargantuan task of looking for a new job in the bleak economy.

    1. Hi D,

      Thanks for your comment. I appreciate you shared something personal with me here.

      Yes, COVID has thrown quite a massive curve ball…

      I’m sorry to hear things aren’t going well for you right now. It can’t be easy staying stuck in a job you don’t like when you’ve already made up your mind that you want to leave — also a difficult and brave decision to make!

      On the mental health front, please do take care of yourself.

      If you don’t already use the app Calm, I have a 30-day pass that I’d like to share with you. (no affiliation at all, I just personally find it very helpful)

      Here it is: https://www.calm.com/gp/tysndy 

      I particularly liked the ‘How to Meditate’ series and the ‘Creative Living Beyond Fear’ + ‘Peak Performance’ Masterclasses

      Wishing you all the best, and please feel free to reach out anytime.

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