I hated my job. But when quitting is too scary, what can you do?

“Are you happy, right now, in your job?” he asked.

Without even a thought I replied, "No. No, I'm not."

Last year I was working full-time at a company I’d been at since I graduated university. Like so many others, I’d sacrificed my career dreams for security.

I’d always dreamed of working with a charity, or a company that was working towards making positive changes to the world. Instead, I found myself in a management role, working for a company that was all about profit rather than something bigger.

I was content enough, or so I thought.

But then, all of a sudden, I was hit with one shock after another.

My aunty, Jenni died of cancer. She was diagnosed with breast cancer 20 years earlier and won the battle. Then it returned in her bloodstream. She was given 10 years left to live. She only made it to three. I was so caught up in my job and my life that I didn’t even see her in her last year.

I didn’t get to say goodbye.

She was someone who lived her life so fully and happily. When she died, I pulled out a note she left me on my 21st birthday: ‘Dream big, live life, be happy.’

It made me realise that I wasn’t doing her legacy justice. I needed to make a change.

Was contentment all I could strive for? What about joy in my work? Was I really happy?

Finally, I made the decision to quit, and my mind went into overdrive. What was I going to do after? I had no idea. My mind was a mess. “How will I pay my rent? What if I do something new and fail at it? What if I end up broke and on the side of the road with nothing?”

After months of late-night chronic overthinking, I finally shared my worries to my partner. It was a spiel of concerns, and for every logical answer he gave, I had another illogical fear. We went around in circles until he asked me:

“Are you happy, right now, in your job?”

Without even a thought I replied, “No.”

“Then it’s worth the risk.”

I was too caught up in the fall to even consider the reason why I was leaving in the first place; because I wanted to fly.

I did end up quitting my job. That was a struggle in itself. My one-month resignation notice quickly turned into three months. I had made the decision to leave, but my confidence had been shaken in many unsuccessful job applications. I found excuses to stay on.

When I found the job advertisement at Be., I felt more excitement than I had with any other job I had applied for. The company stood for what I believed in, and the role also gave me space to explore other passions. The day after I applied, I told my current boss I was finishing up at the end of January. No matter what happened.

This is why I wear the "What If I fall? Oh, But My Darling, What If You Fly?" bangle on my wrist. The positive message gave me the courage I needed to finally step away. I am so happy to have found my place but more so happy that I found Be. when I needed it most in my life.

Every time I find myself getting too caught up in the worst case scenario, I stop and look at this bangle. It gives me pause and switches my mind from the negative to the positive.

It's too easy to get caught up in the possibilities. Fear stops us from taking risks that can completely change our lives. So instead of thinking what can go wrong, consider why you want to do it in the first place.

Take the risk, and find your wings. I did. And it was worth it.

Check out the bangle here.

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