A few weeks ago, I quit my job in TV news. I don’t know what industry I’ll work in next or when I’ll find a job – somewhat surprisingly, I’m OK with that.
I’ve almost always had a plan and now I don’t – Praise Jesus! So, I’m learning to take one day at a time. For someone so focused on being “productive”, I have a steep learning curve.
EGO= Edging God Out
It’s taken me a bit of time to get my thoughts down since I left my job earlier this month. I’m not going to lie, I’m really enjoying being unemployed (though I do miss the weekly paycheck)! I have not for one second regretted leaving, and I don’t think I ever will. This decision has been a long time coming, but I intuited through prayer that this was something I needed to do – to humble myself, to reorient myself towards God and to let go of my death grip on money.
More than a year ago, after a particularly long commute one night, I declared that I had “had” it and that this was finally, the final straw! Yet, I stuck with my job for about 14 more months. Why? Honestly, my own ego, which was constantly being fed.
Working with famous people, being privy to off-the-record information, and having people tell me, “Wow, your job must be so glamorous!” made me feel good. I felt confident at social functions, knowing that if someone heard what I did for a living, they’d probably be impressed. They would usually follow up with questions like, “Do you know so and so? I watch them everyday.” To which I’d reply, “Yes, I do. I work with him/her.”
I loved knowing that my family would brag about me to their friends and colleagues. Wow did I feel special!
I’d walk into work most days thinking, “I can’t believe I work here.” It just felt cool. PR people wanted to meet with me because they wanted to get their clients on TV. I would be invited to events for no reason other than the fact that I was affiliated with a major network.
I felt pullings to leave almost everyday, for various reasons. For one, I couldn’t see the value in what I was doing. I was creating television but had no idea whether anyone watching got anything positive out of it or if I was just adding panic to the world.
Then, I’d look around and remind myself, “You’ve made it. You got in here with no connections.” And I’d build myself up, making this job the foundation of my self-esteem, all the while knowing it wasn’t.
I knew I was a daughter of God. I knew I had infinite worth, but somehow, I felt like my job was what made me valuable. The proof was in the pudding (it seemed): people treated me differently after I got the job.
As great as the superficial attention felt, I knew it wouldn’t last. I knew one day I wouldn’t have a job in TV or media, so then what? Would I no longer be Victoria? Would I lose friends?
Time to Say Goodbye
I supposed I could fool myself by staying at the job and proclaiming to everyone that “money isn’t a security blanket” and “your job doesn’t define you,” but did I really believe it? What would happen when that was stripped away?
I had been waiting years to answer these questions and I was ready to find out. I wanted to live in the reality that my job and accomplishments were not what made me lovable.
Quitting my job became not only desirable, but also fundamental to my growth. When I felt God leading me this way, it didn’t scare me. It excited me!
But that didn’t mean there weren’t several hurdles. I really struggled with figuring out how much money to have saved. For me, the “comfortable” number came down to about a years’ worth of expenses.
I also worried about what my family would say about it. I notified work of my decision before telling my family because I wanted it to be 100% my choice. While I didn’t expect everyone to understand or support my decision, I was surprised (in both good and bad ways) by the reactions of some of my family members. When I was met with judgment/concern about my decision, it helped to remind myself that my family wants what’s best for me.
I realize that my decision is unconventional. My default is to defend myself when people say, “In my day, we didn’t leave our jobs unless we had another one we were going to.”
But I’m learning, day-by-day, that I don’t need to convince anyone. It’s hard to let go of wanting to get everyone’s approval or understanding.
One of my favorite quotes that reminds me of this is: God calls us to love people, not impress them.
I’m really enjoying this time in my life. I’m learning it’s OK to be joyful! It’s ok not to have a plan for every day of your life. For me, this is a great practice in trusting the ways God is leading me. I’m looking forward to sharing more about my journey with you all!