It’s been two weeks now since I quit my great job, with a great team, doing really great things.
I suppose I better start at the beginning. First of all, there’s my Dad. He’s one of the wisest, most wonderful men I know, and he’s quite unique; I describe him to people as a violence-hating-anarchist/entrepreneur/philosopher. (I’ll probably talk about him a lot.) He raised my 3 siblings and I with the perspective that the best work for any individual is doing what suits you and doing it for yourself. That entrepreneurship is the ultimate challenge and the most exquisite freedom. So I’m simultaneously blessed and cursed with the insatiable need to draw outside the lines, look for challenges, start businesses/projects and never be satisfied with comfortability.
Anyways, back to quitting. The role I just left was as Communications Manager for the Downtown Yonge BIA (you should check out their site, cause they do awesome things AND it was the last thing I finished before I left and it’s beautiful *end of promotion*). For two years I developed their strategy and did the day-to-day management of their branding, stakeholder + public engagement, media relations, web + graphic design, and event advertising + marketing. It was (as mentioned) great. I had a ton of responsibility and learned about everything from managing budgets and people to building strategies and doing city/neighbourhood building. On top of all that, I got to work with a phenomenal team.
So why leave? Well, I’d learned my role really well and it was time for a new challenge.
I’d been considering what I wanted to do next work-wise for a while and was getting nowhere, because I am interested in so many things. I would quite enjoy exploring project management or getting involved in other city building initiatives or doing a second masters degree in economics or sustainable development practice (FYI, if you’re interested in the latter, check out this cool new graduate program).
I tried to narrow down what I wanted most by talking about it with mentors/loved ones, writing many overly-introspective journal entries, doing research on the pre-requisites to study economics (dear god, so much math!) and contemplated moving to Dubai.
Then my (now-former) boss and I had a good conversation where he told me that I was dwelling, over-thinking and needed to let go of trying to answer every question in life. He was right. So I did.
I wrote a really simple list of the things I knew I wanted for sure (I love lists): the challenge of working for myself, being able to explore a few of the things I’m really interested in and work on a flexible schedule, preferably in cute independent cafe’s. I also wanted to be available for opportunities to be involved with inspiring people and projects.
Basically, I came to a conclusion I’d known all along: I needed to try my hand at working as a consultant. It’s a fancy word..sometimes when I try to sound less pretentious I use “freelancer”. Either way, I’ve quit my job, am writing a business plan and embarking on the big, scary, exciting world of working for myself. I absolutely love it.
p.s. I’m writing this in an adorable independent cafe, La Merceria.