Four words I never thought I would have the courage to say. I. Quit. My. Job.
How many of us stay in a job that makes us unhappy because we have bills to pay and simply just don’t know what else to do?
That was me for the last six months. Until today.
Let’s start at the beginning.
I’ve been in the Hospitality field for a very, very long time. It’s actually all I really know. I started around the age of 15 in different fast-food and restaurant/ banquet jobs. I quickly learned that I was passionate for making others smile and loved that I had the opportunity to do that through my work.
Fast forward to 2015, and after multiple years of serving in restaurants (which I mostly loved), I landed a Front Desk job with the Hilton. It was a small property, but an excellent location to learn. After 1 year, I moved to a larger location much closer to my house, still as a Front Desk Agent, although here the title became “Guest Services Agent”, which I MUCH prefer. Sounds less… blah.
Anyways, I stayed in this position for 2 years and for the most part, I loved my job. I thrived. I LOVED making my guests smile. Sounds cheesy, but I remember sometimes going home after a busy day and smiling all the way home because I knew I’d gone out of my way to make sure our guests were happy.
I was nominated for the GTHA Spirit Awards for Guest Services Ambassador in 2017 and felt on top of the world by the end of two years.
I began to feel slightly bored at my job and wanted more of a challenge. I had always assumed that “climbing the corporate ladder” was just the “right” thing to do when you did well at a job. I’m not sure whether it was because of societal expectations or if this is just a belief I had formed myself. I applied twice for a Front Desk Management job, but both times candidates with more experience were given the job. I was discouraged, but I still kept trying.
I started to explore the idea of going back to my roots, in Food and Beverage. I had always assumed that someday I would end up back in the Restaurant business, as it was something I had always been so passionate about.
The universe really does work in funny ways, because not long after, our Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at the hotel quit, and the position opened up. They renamed the position to Food and Beverage Supervisor. I still applied, and low and behold, I got my “dream job”….or so I thought.
The excitement from meeting my goal didn’t last for very long and I instantly wondered if I had made a huge mistake. I started the job on DECEMBER 25th. That’s right. My boss made my very first shift on Christmas Day. Lucky me. She then decided to take her vacation for the first few weeks in January….
For the first two weeks in January, although I was super upset that she wasn’t going to be there to train me, I immersed myself within the Restaurant and taught myself as MUCH as I possibly could about the menu, the team, and the systems.
When my boss came back from her vacation, she didn’t have much to train me because I had already taught myself most of the task related jobs I needed to know.
I will say, the team in the restaurant is PHENOMENAL. I really was impressed by such a lovely group of people who really did care about their guests and that has always been so important to me. Make your employees happy, and they will make your guests happy, right?
After about 4 months, most of the glory had worn away and I felt so discouraged that this “dream job” I’d been thinking I was made for, wasn’t actually made for me at all. I noticed my mood and energy start to shift, almost immediately, and I knew I wasn’t living my best life in this role.
It wasn’t unusual for me to work 7 or more days straight, work mostly all weekend, work back to backs, and work more than 10 hours per day. I understand some people can, and will do this for years and years. Their passion drives them and they will persevere for that “end goal” they dream of. For me, this wasn’t the case unfortunately. I would never complain to my boss directly, but I would complain to anyone else who would listen. I was tired, miserable, and very, very negative about almost everything in my life. I was in a really bad place. I have had a very limited social life for the past 6 months, and I knew this was probably playing a huge role in my low mood.
For months and months, I let it go on this way. I would say the last 3 months were by far the worst, and ultimately led me to this decision. I would go to work, complain about my boss and how tired I was, come home, think about work, sleep, and repeat. I know it is, and was, such an unhealthy cycle. Looking back, the way I let my attitude become literally makes me cringe. In addition to my shitty mindset, I was drinking way too often (and too much), eating unhealthy foods, and not doing yoga (which has always helped me SO much).
I started thinking to myself, “Is this really worth it to me?”. I think that is such a powerful question to ask yourself. To assess what you are getting versus what you are giving up. Are you fulfilled and passionate about your work? Are you making a decent salary? Are you growing and trying to climb the ladder? For me, I knew that giving up time with my family and friends for a job that I just wasn’t passionate about, was not working for me at all.
I had a conversation with my brother one night, about a month ago, and he gave me so much shit for “playing the victim”. He went on and on about how I was being a victim and that my negative attitude was getting me nowhere. I was mad and frustrated and kept telling myself that he just didn’t understand (poor, poor me.. ha).
Something must have gotten to me though, because I woke up the next morning with a completely different mindset. I realized that very morning that he was SO RIGHT. I could sit there and be a victim, complain constantly, and let my boss and this job have total control over my life and happiness, or I could CHOOSE to make a change in my life. I realized that I HAD THE CHOICE to quit my job. I could look for other opportunities. I didn’t have to let this woman control my mind the way she was.
Immediately, I started to make small changes that brought me into a place of gratitude, and therefore attracted more positive change in my life. I started listening to podcasts on my drive to and from work that inspired me. I MADE THE TIME to do yoga at least 3 times in that first week. I took a day and did meal prep for my week so that I would be able to eat nutritious foods. I started reading again. And then I quit my job.
My current employer is not thrilled with me, but sometimes you have to put yourself first. No one else is going to do it. As scared as I am to not have a full-time job in two weeks, I feel such a sense of relief. There is a weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders, because now I will never have to go back into a toxic environment that was bringing out a side of me that I just didn’t love.
I realize my situation is unique (I have a part-time job that I could fall back onto) and that not everyone is in a situation where they can just choose to quit their job like I did. However, I hope these words can at least help you to realize that ultimately, you are in charge of creating your own happiness. It is so easy as humans to complain and feel that we are so hard done by, even though most of us have countless things to be grateful for. Life gets messy and will always throw curve balls at us, but I think the most important thing to remember is that you are the only person who can choose and control your reaction.
If you aren’t happy in your own life, I recommend you sit down and get honest with yourself. Get out a piece of paper and WRITE DOWN exactly what makes you happy and what is making you unhappy in your life right now. Go one by one and assess what things you CAN change. When you trust your gut, the universe will surprise you and will always send you back exactly what you need.
I hope you have a beautiful day, and remember, you are in control!