Last week I handed in my resignation letter to my part-time job. It was the scariest and most refreshing thing I’ve done this year aside from putting in my application for graduate school.
For over a year now I’ve worked part-time at my town music academy and full-time at my library. That means working five to six days a week for at least eight hours. Two days out of the week I worked for twelve-hours, literally leaving one job at 5:00 pm and making it to the other job by 5:15 pm.
It wasn’t hard work; sometimes it was overwhelming, but overall I could do it and did it with a passion. I was proud of myself for not only working a full-time and part-time job, but for also writing a novel in the span of three months. I’m still editing that novel and I will continue working on it even when I go back to school.
But despite my pride, at some point in time I began to get weary. I’ve been tired and angry that I couldn’t completely focus on my writing or my reading. I started fiercely hating both of my jobs, because the work was similar.
At the library I’m a clerk in the Human Resources department and simultaneously a receptionist for Administration. At the Academy I’m a receptionist. While at one job I deal more with answering phones and scheduling, overall my jobs are the same. I am to be at the beck and call of everyone around me. On my double days it was a double dosage of working for other people and never working for myself.
So, in April I decided I didn’t want to do it anymore. I’ve been putting off school since last November. Always saying it wasn’t the right time or I didn’t have enough money. I’m still paying off my undergrad student loans. I can’t afford more debt. Will I enjoy being a librarian as much as I think I will? Will it be a waste if my main priority is to write? Et cetera. Et cetera.
I made excuse after excuse. Thankfully, my boyfriend convinced me that that is what I’ve been doing – making excuses and not trying to change anything.
On June 1st, 2017 I will have worked at my part-time job for two years. My last day working there is officially August 12th, 2017. The date is both refreshing and weird to think about, because the Academy is my second longest job. Some people at the library or even other places of work would laugh in my face at that. You think two years is long?! What a baby.
Maybe that makes me a baby, but I’ve never been one to stay at a job if I’m unsatisfied.
I loved and love my receptionist job at the Academy. I love the people I’ve met, both staff and customers. I’ve seen some of the kids and teens there grow into amazing performers and know that for most it’s only the beginning. I’ve built amazing relationships; even met the love of my life, who supports me sometimes more than I support myself. The Academy has brought music back into my life and even inspired a crucial part of my novel.
All of these amazing reasons are why I’ve been terrified of leaving since the thought of going back to school crossed my mind. How could I leave a place that’s been so kind to me? How could I leave a place that’s adapted and adjusted to my changing schedule like no other job would? How could I leave a place that’s helped me pay off a good chunk of my debt and let me live in a moderately comfortable way?
Here’s another excuse and reason. I’ve gotten used to the routine and the money, a.k.a the comfort.
I’ve read plenty of personal finance articles over the past three years and all of them usually say the same thing: If you have a full-time job, get a part-time job, especially if you’re in debt. That’s what I’ve done for the past year. I’ve worked a full-time and part-time job. Before that it was always a series of part-time jobs. Usually two, but at one point I had three part-time jobs; three part-time jobs and no quality of life.
Over the past few months my energy has started waning. Don’t get me wrong, there are aspects of my life that are exciting. Even my jobs. It’s a blessing to have one, let alone two. Yet I realized that I don’t want to be a secretary or receptionist for the rest of my life.
The funny thing is that when I was in college I told my friend I wanted to get a job as a secretary while I wrote my first novel. She thought I was insane, but I wanted something stable and not physically draining, like some of my retail or food service jobs. That way I could come home and have the energy to write. I’ve done just that. Yet, it’s not my physical energy that’s going, but my mental and emotional energy.
Giving my notice brought a light to the end of my tunnel of comfort and despair. Yes, having only one source of income is terrifying. I’ve gotten used to working and getting a paycheck every week. My full-time job pays bi-weekly, and the part-time job pays weekly. If ever I used more of my full-time pay, I knew I’d be okay, because I’d get paid that same week from my part-time job. That way I could cover my funds without dipping into my savings. My savings are for outstanding emergencies, not I accidently over ordered Chinese food and pizza.
What will I do after I leave? Well, I plan to stash all of my checks from the Academy away until the end and try to live solely off my library checks. That means budgeting! I know, I probably should have been doing that from the beginning and I was! It was just a very….loose budget. This time, I have a budget that I absolutely have to stick with.
Overall, the goal in my time of terror is to not focus on the fears, but it’s to focus on my hopes and the positives that can come from one job and more time.
With one job I can mentally focus on school. I will have more time to write. Also, hopefully I can start querying agents before school starts. One author, Roshani Chokshi, who I admire, did that before entering Law School. My hope is that I can do the same.
So, here’s to a change of pace and embracing my hopes. May this be the month to bookmark as the start to my beginning.
“There is nothing more harmful to ambition than comfort.” – 5 Invaluable Career Lessons I Only Learned From Quitting My Job by Jessica Edgson http://thefinancialdiet.com/5-invaluable-career-lessons-learned-quitting-job/