This post is for anyone who wants to find their way. I’m finding mine, and here’s what happened when I made a big decision.
I’ve never worked harder in my life than these last 18 months. In all areas of my life, applying myself, learning, growing, changing, and moving forward. It’s been a fantastic journey. It’s also been extremely difficult because change and growth is never linear, but I look back and I see who I am now, and I like the new me. I’m still me, many of the same things that make me tick are still firmly ingrained, but I’ve let so many things go, in favor of allowing space and time for new growth and change.
Although I’ve never worked harder, at the same time, I’ve never been more relaxed and ready and it doesn’t feel like working at all because I want all of this. There are many layers to the growing this year, for purposes of this post, I am looking at the job aspects and how I’ve grown professionally. I could write a book about all the other changes in my life and heart, and maybe I will someday. It’s been a profoundly beautiful experience, and I know I can’t be the only one who has had experiences like this.
For Anyone Who Has Struggled To Find Your Way – Especially Women
This post is for anyone (especially any women out there) who have ever discounted yourself, feared being ‘too much’, or tried to shove yourself into a box to please other people, maybe what I have to say will be helpful. I’m writing it for myself, but if it is of use to you or helpful, I invite you to read along.
It’s a journey, and I don’t fault myself for how I arrived at this place, all the seasons have been necessary. I do wish some of them had been less difficult, but those times are always the most beneficial for personal growth in my experience.
A little background on this journey before I get in to things. In 2003, my husband and I started a classic car business and that’s been his full time job ever since. I stayed home with our kids when they were young, and got a career job of my own in 2009. I wanted to branch out on my own and I never really knew my place in our business, I was always the bookkeeper and helper, and Jason ran the business day to day. In 2021, I decided to leave my career job, I was burnt out, tired, and overwhelmed, and it just wasn’t fitting with who I had become anymore. I didn’t really know what I would do when I quit, but it felt great. Since then, I have grown and changed more than I could have ever imagined, and I’ve learned so much about myself. Here’s a little of those lessons learned for you.
Leaving my career job 11 months ago was a huge change and I haven’t missed it, not for one day, not for one minute, not for one second. My career had its place and time in my life and I was so ready to move on when it was time.
I knew when the time came that I was ready, and Jason and I made the decision together. We both knew it was right, and that has proven to be true time and time again over these last 11 months.
Benefits of Making This Huge Life Shift
Instead of sitting in an office with a window to a parking lot and a bus station, which is what I used to look forward to (I had arrived! I was successful! lol), I’ve been buying and selling classic cars, traveling in Oregon, Hawaii, California, and road trippin’ whenever possible to buy more cars to sell.
I am able to be around our pets and enjoy the beauty of our property every single day. No rushed sunrises or missed sunsets because of meetings or schedules. No more commute or expectations from anyone else. I work from home and I love morning snuggles with my cats and lingering over my coffee.
Sunday nights’ sleep is peaceful and Monday feels the same as a Saturday or a Tuesday. We take trips when we want to, and because of the nature of our business, we often get to travel to other parts of the state to buy cars and that is a luxury that I never had, and a job that Jason always did alone.
Now, we accompany each other on buying trips and make a day or an afternoon of looking at cars, drinking coffee and talking as we take our time, no rush to get back to a schedule or work. The freedom of that is not to be underestimated. It’s been so good for the soul.
Every day feels like I am retired, despite working hard to provide for our family and the responsibilities that come with that. There are still stressors to be sure. We are responsible. We have to face up when things get hard and the bills need to be paid and customers need to be tended to. I don’t mind, it’s an accountability that makes me a better person overall.
We also get to enjoy the fruit of dealing with amazing customers, when the deals work out swimmingly, and being around classic cars all day. It’s really a nice way of life.
Things I Don’t Miss About Working for Someone Else
There are so many things I don’t miss about working in a career job. There is no one to tell me how to do my work, or what hours I need to commit to, or endless meetings that bear little fruit.
I was always a fantastic employee because I worked so hard. I worked tirelessly to get the job done, be the best, and keep moving up the ladder. It was a gerbil wheel at best, and I thought it would fill me up. It didn’t.
I also don’t miss that there is no one expressing praise or disappointment in me, critiquing my work, or giving feedback and I realize I’ve always needed freedom from those things in the first place. I really hate all the cliche’ terms of the working world now.
I don’t want feedback unless it’s a truly trusted friend who is helping me to be a better person, or a family member who loves me and wants the best for me.
I’m In Charge Now! (Jack Black)
In many ways, I am now un-coachable, un-employable, and probably unwanted in the view of the world. I could care less and that feels great. I wasn’t meant to be a follower, I was meant to be a leader, and I just never allowed myself to be the leader I have always been.
I do as little paperwork as possible, and zero meetings. I arrange communications and business gets done. There’s no waiting on others approval, timeline or budget. I get to decide all of those variables and I love it.
I see now that I should have always been my own employer. I’m strong willed and independent, and I’ve always needed freedom. I never allowed myself to have it because I tried so hard to shove myself in a box of what others thought or expected of me.
We’ve had this great business for so many years, and I embraced Jason’s freedom in being an entrepreneur, but never my own. I didn’t even consider that I, too, was an entrepreneurial risk taker and also co-owner of the business. It makes me sad to even admit that, but I didn’t. I saw myself as a bystander and helper, rather than a full-fledged partner and owner of this amazing thing we’ve built together over the years.
I helped start this whole business after all!! Hello?! Why didn’t I grab hold of the freedom of life it has afforded him over the years?
I am, and always have been strong willed and independent, but I stuffed myself in a box of a career 8-5 world with a pension, and ‘security.’ Don’t get me wrong, I loved climbing the ladder and achieving things. I’m type A, it’s what I do, and I’ll always be driven, it’s in my nature.
I just limited myself or didn’t want to be ‘too much’ or step out of line. I’m not exactly sure why, I think being a woman has something to do with it, and my upbringing in a conservative, but extremely male centered environment was a big contributing factor.
I wanted people to like me, and approve of me, and give me validation. I’m learning to get over that, and live the life I want to live, regardless of praise or accolades from others.
So What’s Next?
Jason is strong enough to be married to someone like me, and he has (and is) making space for me to partner with him in different ways. We’ve made quite a few changes in our business this year, and it’s a result of using both of our gifts and talents together. We both have different skill sets, together, we are an unstoppable team because we both bring things to the table that we could never bring alone.
We’ve seen the fruit of our collective efforts and are enjoying working with our customers together and forging ahead.
I plan to continue writing and growing myself and documenting the journey. It’s been a big year with so many changes and it’s been difficult to keep up with everything as we navigate new territory. Now that we are both getting used to the flow around here, I imagine I’ll have more time to write and create and grow my creative muscles.
I wouldn’t change a thing about where I am now, even though I do regret some of the paths I’ve taken that have gotten me here. But that is life, and that is the reality of our existence here, learning from the good, the bad and the ugly.
Want to Follow Along Our Journey?
If you’d like to follow along into 2022, there are several ways you can see what we are up to everyday.
Our business website:
We have 2 main social media accounts on Instagram. If you like cars, visit us at Denwerks Vintage Cars. If you want to see more from our family (and some cars too) visit us at Andersons of West Hills.
One thought on “What Happened When I Quit My Career”
I love it, best Partner in the World!!