The Great Resignation is a movement that shifts the mindset of life to work to a work to live culture. Its goal is for people to focus on their mental health. Being the child of a first-generation immigrant family, my parents spent most of their lives working blue-collar jobs.
They came from Spain with nothing including an elementary education. I love them dearly. They provided me with an education and pursued the American Dream. They went from having almost nothing to owning a home and fulfilling their dreams.
It wasn’t easy for them though. They endured difficult jobs to raise my brother and me. My dad worked almost 16 hours a day in blistering heat, rain, snow, and other outside elements. They were laborers by trade.
They sacrificed their well-being to save enough money for my brother and me to go to university. For my parents, an office job meant that I’d have an easier time working. I could work in an office with air-conditioning and heat. I earned my master’s degree in marketing and the rest became history.
When I was hired for my first office job, a typical 9 am to 5 pm job, my parents felt accomplished. It didn’t take me long to be promoted to a Marketing Manager and then a Marketing Director in charge of the marketing operations at this company. I felt excited. During my five years at the company, I enjoyed the luxuries of weekends. It became a dream job for me.
Sadly, as much as I loved the job, it wasn’t sunshine and rainbows. My parents recognized that it had its unique set of challenges.
I wasn’t as free on the weekends as I liked. I checked my phone constantly for updates. My job became my life with constant interruptions from emails, passive-aggressive behaviors from co-workers, and last-minute deadlines.
I started my job as a healthy, happy girl who recognized boundaries. After five years though, I recognized my mental health had steadily declined. I found myself crying from lack of sleep and burnout.
It turned into a never-ending struggle between needing to stay loyal to my parents’ vision of an American Dream and finding my own way. I loved the safety and perks of the office job. The nine to five served me well. It taught me many skills.
At the same time, I recognized that the toxic environment wasn’t healthy for me. What could I do? I walked away after realizing that I could not prevent the type of bullying I witnessed firsthand.
Why did I decide to quit? There were three main reasons I considered joining.
Every Day is like a Friday When You Have Freedom
I wanted freedom. I remember walking in the park midday and seeing other people outside having a great time. Though I wasn’t sure if they were on vacation or retired, I was happy for them.
I wanted to be like them too. What if every day felt like a Friday? I’d skim through countless motivational videos on YouTube. I wondered why
No More Traffic. More Time to Enjoy Life
This is the great secret, isn’t it? How do we enjoy life when life is like a hamster wheel? I am someone who thoroughly likes working hard. When I am determined and passionate about what I do, I don’t stop.
The few times I had a moment to breathe which were normally during drives to and from work, I had time to think too.
I remember being stuck in traffic for almost 3 hours because of a snowstorm. My company let us out later than usual. As stressed and angry I was, I had a turning point. Why couldn’t I be home safe and sound?
Why did I have to be stuck in traffic for 3 hours? I didn’t like the idea of wasting time in a car when I could do something better with my time.
Stop Giving Your Hard Work to Others
Being compassionate and helping others, is an excellent feeling. I am guilty of being selfless to the point that I forget to work on myself. The hard work that I spent both in the office and at home would fall victim to office politics.
I remember spending many sleepless nights working on projects that were meant for me to manage. After I finished those projects, office politics stripped me of the final product I created and given to others less deserving to manage.
I even built an entirely new business only for it to be handed over to someone else.
Everyone has a unique skill they can use on the internet. Similarly, I grew tired of working for others. I often received little recognition and didn’t reap the benefits of creating simpler processes for my co-workers.
Furthermore, my efforts transformed the company from a small business to a larger business that had automated systems.
While I liked helping the owners, I wish I had the opportunity to sit back, relax, and manage what I put together.
This last reason motivated me to find my purpose in life, and I did. It scared me to make a drastic change to my daily routine. However, I understood this dark path had the possibility of being far better.
I had a fire in my belly to start and own a business. My genuine goal focused on helping start-ups and small businesses with their marketing. I thought that if I could help more people find their freedom, it’d make more people happy and enjoy life.