Why I Quit My Job


Is there anything more terrifying in this day in age as not knowing when your next paycheck is coming in? Money isn’t everything. Well – it’s not everything but it is something. It’s debated at lengths right from parliament down to the Smith’s household dinner table on life is perfect avenue. It can make or break your relationship and very often is the cause of all your daily woes. How do I afford rent? How do I pay for the replacement high-pressure fuel pump for my car? Can I afford a soy chai latte this week or skip it for an instant Nescafe sachet? We indirectly or directly make decisions that involve money on a daily basis so why would I give up a guaranteed monthly income stream for daily stress on how my bills are going to be paid? There were a number of factors that played into my decision for leaving my corporate Sally job and I’ll run through each below. 

Family Expectations

True to form, I grew up with a tiger mom and tiger grandmother whose sole purpose in life was to turn me into a child prodigy. Struggling in mathematics? No problem, I was enrolled in a coaching college the following week and dedicating half my weekend to tuition from the ripe age of 8. Grades were so important that having a childhood was secondary and this fed right through to my teens. When I entered tertiary studies with a near perfect admissions index, I thought I had really found my calling with a double degree in Actuarial Studies and Applied Finance (ha).

It only took one statistics lecture on binomial and normal probability distributions to plant the seed that this wasn’t the right path for me. At the instruction of my family I begrudgingly completed it with blood, sweat and many tears. Fast forward five years and I was wearing my graduation robes and throwing that hideous square hat in the air whilst holding that plaque. Add another 18 months and I’ve landed my first corporate banking role in a company known as the ‘millionaires factory’. And before you ask, the answer is no, I was making nowhere close to that sort of money.

I spent the next year working from one division to the next and all the while telling myself that I was on the right path – establish yourself in the company and claw your way through the ranks. As each month went by, I found myself dreading the thought of work on Sunday afternoons and started the countdown to the weekend from Mondays. It wasn’t long until I started planning my gradual exit and decided to hand in my resignation to my manager (who was incredibly supportive – bless his soul) and held off telling my family until the time came for me to pack up my desk.

I shared the news with my brother and dad because they for the most part don’t place pressure on me nearly as much as the matriarchs of my family. Being the ditz that I am sometimes, I snapchatted my entire last day at the bank forgetting that my mother religiously trolls my social accounts. Of course there was a tremendous uproar resulting in a cold war stand off in the household where we refused to acknowledge each other’s existence for a week. Harsh words were thrown around, questions of self worth were posed and tears were shed. They’ve since accepted my new job and embraced that the path I’ve chosen in blogging. This was something that I was truly passionate about and being stuck behind a desk and yelled at by unhappy financial advisors was in no way bringing me any joy.

The spirit of entrepreneurialism is something that is still foreign to my grandmothers generation and to some extent my mothers, which was essentially what I needed to educate them on. Its not hard to understand my family’s intentions that all they want for their kids is financial security and with the increasingly unserviceable costs of property in Sydney – being comfortable with your fiscal position has never been more important.

Having lived my entire life to my family’s expectations from what I should study, where I should work to whom I should marry – I was ready to do something for myself.

Freedom

I’ve always been a free spirited soul; choosing to give the proverbial finger to guidelines, processes and controlling environments outside of my family confines. Having a boss will always mean doing things their way, answering to them every single day if you’re unlucky enough to land yourself with a micromanaging ponce and doing things on their terms. You could dedicate your entire youth to working for someone but doing this only makes them rich and though I respect the institution behind big corporates; working to line the pockets of CEOs is not something I wish to waste my youth doing.

I remember when my doctor made the recommendation for me to book in an MRI on my head and coordinating this with my then manager proved to be harder than solving world poverty. Did I book in that scan? Nope. The concept of having to ask for permission to perform tasks that contributed to my potential livelihood is something that still confounds me.

Time

This played in two different ways for me, having a full time job meant that all my blogging activities needed to occur before, after hours or on the weekend. It was manageable in the beginning but as my business and profile grew I was finding less and less time to even sit down let alone sleep. Whilst December is known as the silly season for a reason, my weekly days looked a bit like this: wake up, work out, go to work, uber to a lunch event, rush back to work then rush to an event after work, go home, work and respond to emails, sleep. Rinse and repeat for three weeks straight. Leaving my job was to create more space for me to breathe and take time off to myself – whether I have taken time to myself is another question for another day.

The second element was the fact that if I didn’t take the risk now then when was I going to do it? If I had waited an additional five years then it would have been an even harder decision to make given I had invested half a decade to the business and would have felt it a waste to just give that up.

Escaping the rat race and forging my own brand and business has been a tough decision but even through all the tears and near burnouts – I can still safely say that I made the right decision. Being your own boss and having control of your schedule forces you in so many ways to excel and work beyond your limits.

Is anyone else thinking about leaving his or her job?

 

Helen

Helen Chik is a Sydney based fashion, beauty, travel and lifestyle digital content creator and influencer sharing everything from unique style to her adventures around the world through her rainbow tinted lenses.

  • OMG, I am so happy you wrote this post!!! I totally get how you feel and have been debating leaving my day job for awhile now, to invest in ME. I feel like blogging is such a new and different concept for our parents and even the general society, so people would probably laugh at me if I told them I’m making the switch to full time. I adore your content and think you’re such a creative spirit! So happy to have connected with you girl!! Keep doing you! xo

  • Salihah young

    Wow! Such an inspiring post! I love that you were brave enough to quit your corporate job and pursue something that you love doing! Why stick around doing something that doesn’t make you happy when you can be doing a job that you love and is passionate about. I know the older generations still don’t get the blogging thing, but it’s still a job nonetheless, and you get to be your own boss! #bossbabe <3

    Salihah
    http://www.somethingglitters.com

  • I admire you so much . . . going after your dreams despite what everyone else was trying to tell you

    Life is just Rosie
    Instagram

  • Congrats to you, I hope you’ll kill it as a FT blogger. My blog isn’t big enough for me to quit my day job yet, but I’d like to at some point. I have started at a new job that gives me more time and freedom though, baby steps I guess!

  • Just when I thought I couldn’t look up to you more, you’ve blown me away, Helen! Similar to you, I come from a traditional Asian background and my parents had very high hopes for me to work a high profile job… in the medical field. They even sent me to a top university that offered competitive science programs, only for me to come out with a Communications degree because science was just not my thing! I worked a day job for a while too but luckily got out of it early enough after I realized it was extremely unfulfilling to me. My parents were not (and still are not completely) pleased with my decision to choose this path… I think it’s mostly because it’s such a foreign job to them that they can’t comprehend that this is indeed a full-time job requiring a lot of hard work and dedication — and that it IS possible to earn a living out of it!

    But, I’ve learned the important thing is to do what you love and you won’t really work a day in your life… as clichéd as it sounds haha 🙂 I am happy with my decision to freelance full-time regardless of whether I have the support of others (including my parents). Like you, I enjoy the freedom of working when I want and where I want, and changing up my schedule to keep things exciting everyday.

    So glad we’ve encountered each other during our journey even though you live all the way in Sydney! Come visit me in LA! haha #girlbosses for life <3 xoxo, sharon

    http://www.stylelullaby.com/fashion/all-about-the-flannel/

  • Wow, you are wonderful! Quitting a job is definitely scary, but it can be so rewarding! Way to go and good luck!!

    http://www.stylebymemory.com

  • Jessica Delmos

    You are such as inspiration! I love how you didn’t settle and went after what truly made you happy! I hope to have the same story soon!
    Xoxo
    Jess
    http://www.mustheartstyle.com

  • Kelly Alex

    This is such a great post, we both work full time so we understand the struggle of trying to balance to many things. We wish you the best and can’t wait to see you grow even more and hear new stories with blogging being your full-time job!

  • Marissa Pedersen

    Good for you! It can be so hard to make such a big switch, but it’s worth it for your happiness. When I quit my job to pursue blogging and working side jobs managing social media, I was so scared but I’m so glad I did it.

  • What a great post Helen! really enjoyed reading- I’m so happy for you for going for it, and doing this for yourself! I CANNOT wait to be able to full time blog/youtube, but I am no where even close to be able to do this financially 🙁 Hopefully one day I can quit my job to full time do what I love!:) – Mitra xo

    http://leopardcouture.com/

  • This was so interesting to read. I love hearing different stories about bloggers who left their job to pursue blogging full time. Since I wasn’t working when I began my blog, I’ve found it all the more difficult to get on my feet, but here’s hoping that my success story will looking something like yours in a few years. I’m so happy you’re doing something that brings you joy!

    Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com

  • Definitely an interesting read! I’m so glad that you were able to make the decision that was bedt for you and made you happy!

  • Jo

    What an interesting post! I am very familiar with “tiger mom” and Asian background! It’s so brave of you to quit your job and pursue blogging full time! I thought about quitting my corporate job as I am like you – free spirit soul and don’t really know how to play office politics! 🙂

    You are an inspiration, Helen!

    xo,
    Jo
    http://www.glamfashionbook.com

  • Pineapple & Prosecco

    You go girl! Leaving a job is such a hard decision, but for those who know it’s right, such a rewarding one. I left my career as an elementary teacher last year to pursue an entirely different career field, which I love, and I’m so happy I did. Hard to take the leap, but it pays off in the end! Keep doing you lady!

    xx, Danielle | Pineapple & Prosecco

  • Linh Dao

    This is so inspirational! I’ve thought about it so many times and I totally get the family pressure because I’m also coming from an Asian house hold so everything is strict and about stable lifestyle! So proud of you for doing this for yourself! Btw you look amazing!

    Love, Linh
    http://xcapewithlinh.com/im-so-into-you/

  • Thomas Falkenstedt

    Ok, seriously. I’m THIS close to following your footsteps right now and if my employer for some reason stumbles upon this comment, then be it, but that was exactly the kick in the behind I probably need right now as I’m in that spiral you’re talking about when I don’t even know when I’ll have time to sleep. 9-5 job, courses at uni (don’t ask me why, over achiever), voluntary work for organizations and the list goes on… AND on top of that blogging. Jeez. I admire your courage and I WILL quit my job!
    THANK you sweetie! This made my day!
    xoxo
    Thomas

    http://www.thomasfalkenstedt.com/2016/11/04/the-art-of-being-grateful/

  • You go girl!! Wow, what an inspiration. It takes such guts to leave a steady job, especially if not everyone in your immediate circle is on board with that decision. Cannot wait to see you accomplish everything you set out to do!!
    Xx, K
    http://www.jassamineelaine.com

  • Rachel Vogt (Rachel Vogt Trend

    You go girl! I agree with everything you said. I was self-employed for 8 years and I loved it. Right now i’m currently working with a tech company so once they go IPO I have the fund to start my own company (hopefully in a year or two). I hate reporting to anyone, thanks to god currently my job is super flexible and i don’t have to report to anyone.

    xoxo, Rachel


    http://www.rachelvogttrends.com

  • I love your honesty about the pressures of growing up and that sometimes expectations don’t meet reality when finding a job. You’re smart and talented so things will work out in your favor. Good luck 🙂

    – Bailey | http://www.hotdresshotmess.com

  • Paige Strand

    Good for you, its such a shame when the people around us impact our experience – glad you prevailed! 🙂

  • Bernice Abuan

    I loved reading this so much to hear about how you grew and paced the life you wanted in the face of adversity and struggle. I too have a tiger mum and my family hated that I was on social media and blogging. I am finding it increasingly hard to keep up with my pages, work, and a social life but I don’t think I’d become a full time blogger. What was the period between quitting your job and being secure as a full time blogger like? Was there a few months of struggling or by then were you already financially stable with blogging?

    http://www.bunnybernice.com/single-post/2016/11/04/Love-comes-in-all-sizes

    • I don’t think I’m secure yet even. I only decided to leave my job when I had a pretty good feeling that I would be able to secure income over the next six months and had a long term strategy of what work and creative direction I wanted to move in. Why don’t you want to do this full time hun?

      • Bernice Abuan

        That’s so cool! Do you think you will ever return to a 9 to 5? As for me,I love working in advertising. I’ve always wanted to be a creative strategist at an agency and I’m slowly but surely making my way up to that goal ????

        • To be honest I don’t think I could! I’ve always known that I need to be my own boss and I’m much to stubborn and headstrong to have someone managing me haha! But if I were to get a job again I would probably look into PR because I’ve been told I would be good at it… whatever that means! ;P

  • Wonderful post on coming to the decision of working for yourself! I think it’s absolutely awesome of you to pursue your passions and do what your heart tells you! Keep it up <3

    xoxo, Jo
    http://www.cutandchic.com

  • Good for you for doing what you want to do! You will be happier and your family will see you’re much happier and hopefully support you. I am just the opposite. I have always done what I wanted to do since I knew I wanted to work in fashion. Thankfully my parents have always been supportive. Good luck to you babe! I’m sure you’ll do great no matter what you do! ❌⭕️

  • Congrats girl! You did something for you and that you should be really proud of it takes guts!

  • Wow! Love your writing. I’m glad you got out of a situation that sounded toxic for you. Sometimes it takes a while and a little courage to seek a better path. I’m glad you found your way!

    xx Yasmin

    http://banglesandbungalows.com

  • I LOVE this! You are an amazing writer and I so appreciate your honesty. Absolutely perfect.

  • Atsuna Matsui

    OMG thank you for this post Helen! I’m actually at my full time job and blogging part time but I’m trying to transition into doing blogging full time after I feel like I can make enough money to pay the bills and such. Unfortunately in my case, I don’t have much chance to attend events since they’re usually on weekdays, but how important do you think they are for a blogger in terms of getting paid opportunities?

    xoxo
    http://www.atsunamatsui.com

    • In terms of attending events – the benefit you generally get from that (as with all events across different industries) is the networking and the different people you will meet from them. They were a huge part for me at the start but I’m finding less and less time now to attend. I generally will pick the ones that I think are important to me or are with brands that I want to align myself with at some point in the future. Hope this helps? xx

  • Wow this was such a great read and so amazing how honest you are about your situation and reasoning. Dealing with the pressure of expectations and reaching a certain pedestal is so difficult. I can definitely relate in that sense that sometimes reaching the point of expectations wasn’t even good enough. Even though they have the best intentions, I’m so glad that you were able to discover what you didn’t feel was your future just to find what you’re truly passionate about. Quitting a job and career path that you worked so hard for is an extremely tough decision but in the end it comes down to your happiness! I know for sure that I want to work for myself as opposed to being under someone else. I’m not sure when that will come but I know it will when the time is right. It’s also so heartwarming to see that after the cold war has blown over, you’re receiving the support that helps lift you higher! Such an inspiring story. Keep going girl, you’re doing amazing!

    XO Jenn
    http://www.jennsemble.com

  • This post is amazing! I’m a full time student and I’m finding it incredibly difficult to manage blogging and school all the time! I wish it was easier, but it isn’t sadly…There are so many pressures on us these days, but sometimes they make us better people overall! Do what you feel is right and you’ll always make good decisions.
    xxx
    Jordan
    http://www.thehatlogic.com

  • I’m so glad you followed your heart, girl! It can be extra tough when familial conflicts make you second-guess a decision like that, but in the end you have to live your life for YOU, right?

    Chelsea
    Chow Down USA
    Instagram

  • Great post, and so raw. Blogging is truly full time and then some, and making the decision to follow your heart is always a better decision, in my opinion. Living with regrets is the last thing I want, but it is never easy. Usually there’s always that nagging fear, but people never think of how hard it is to tell family what a big step that is. A job will always be something we can go get, right? But having financial means is the scariest thing. At the end of the day, money really matters… I mean, how else do you pay rent or mortgage? No one is going to feed you, right? I hope that all my work pays off some day. Keep up the amazing work. You’re doing great things.

    Xo,
    Miki
    http://mikialamode.com

  • Rachel James

    I loved this post so much Helen, it resonated strongly with me as I’m currently where you are when you were working full time and juggling blogging in all other waking hours. It’s hard, but I’m hoping one day I’ll be able to make the leap too.

    Such a great post and beautifully written xx

    • Girl – if you ever need advice just holler! It was a tough decision and you need to have a 5-10 year plan in place before you do it. But once you do then don’t look back!

  • Christine

    What a great post! I think coming from an Asian family it is hard not to have the expectations weighed down on you for a stable job and one that is acceptable in the community. But being in this new generation where creativity and adventures and experience prevails, you made a right decision in the long run. Life is about the experiences we have and it is far better to do it when you have the opportunity. You are so creative, beautiful, and have much to share and we are all benefitting from your decision! xoxo, Christine
    http://dailykongfidence.com/

  • Deddeh Howard

    This is so inspiring. I remember when I quite my job, I was so happy. You did great love.

  • I’m so proud of you for having the courage to pursue your dreams and you’ve been doing so so well! I’m lucky my job is pretty flexible so it allows me time to blog on the side! I can’t imagine having a 9-5!
    Kyla
    wanderlustkyla.com

  • Yuena

    Awwww so proud of you! I did the same a few years back!

    With Love,
    Yuena

    http://simplyyue.worpress.com

  • I am totally with you girl friend, totally with you! Happy and proud to hear that you took the bold step quit your job and pursue what you love. Good luck babe, wish you all the success!!

    xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com

  • Marcy Yu

    Omg babe really love this post! I’m living something very similar too and will share it soon

  • kandja sylla

    This is an amazing post! Again you were so honest and inspiring. I just love how you shared your apprehension and fears. Continue being awesome Helen. xx

    http://www.prettyweirdbombshell.com/big-voluminous-pony-irresistible/

  • brownpaperdoll

    Such an amazing read, and your honesty is so refreshing to see in this space! What an inspiration… thanks for sharing! xo

  • loved reading about your experience. such an inspiration!
    francesca
    Frank Vinyl : A California Fashion Blog

  • wow! I definitely love the vibe of your photos babe! great post as well 🙂

    Xo, Shaine
    Bad Habits

  • JT

    QUOTE: “wake up, work out, go to work, uber to a lunch event, rush back to work then rush to an event after work, go home, work and respond to emails, sleep. Rinse and repeat for three weeks straight.” Man, do I know what that feels like right now. Loved this post Helen, super inspirational. WATCH THIS SPACE, I may be next.

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