Why I left the Corporate World

Why I left the Corporate World

This is my 1st installment of my Work Series Wednesday. Every Wednesday I will be sharing stories from my work journey and another work lesson I learned. This series is called WhitXWorkSeries!


WHY I LEFT THE CORPORATE WORLD

I left the corporate world in May of 2017. Initially, when I left I did not have a plan (which I do not recommend). All I knew was that my life was moving in a direction I did not want and I was unhappy. I needed to hit reboot. It was now or never! It was rather ironic – I had moved up the corporate ladder quite quickly in my career. I was a Director for a global media agency running multiple teams all by the time I was 30, but I was miserable.

Let me give a bit of background to what I did in the corporate world…

I spent almost a decade working in the corporate marketing world. My job was to create advertising campaigns for some of the biggest brands in the world. Previous clients included: Pottery Barn, Williams -Sonoma, Avon, Sprint, Intuit etc. I organized National and International programs including TV, radio, search and digital ad campaigns. My job required very long hours. There were technical meetings, supervising & training teams, and a bevy of clients to keep happy. I spent years working my way up at different agencies. I learned so much along the way. But the long hours and grueling pace caught up with me.  My typical hours ran 7am to 10pm daily and often on weekends. I traveled a lot for work:  New York, Kansas, Texas, Singapore, London etc. It may sound glamorous but it was stressful. Rushing off a 17-hour flight to make a presentation than to turn around and head back home again was exhausting.

As my 30th birthday approached  I took a step back and examined my quality of life. After a deep and honest look I realized:

               ○ I was unhappy

                                                      ○ I was in a toxic work environment

○ I was burnout

○ I was not valued

 

Initially, I struggled with the idea of leaving.  Would I  be abandoning my teams?  Am I ready to walk away from it all? Could I be doing more? I dug in and work harder, tried to be more committed.  It only made things worse. I was feeling depressed.  So I focused on building up my savings. And with no concrete plan, I finally made that drastic change: I quit! I had to save myself. I need to go find the better version of myself and grab the life I really wanted!

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OUTFIT DETAILS: Blazer from Banana Republic (old), Blouse from Nordstrom, Citizen of Humanity Jeans, Sam Edelman heels

Starting over is painful. I had lived in the same city, worked in the same field for almost 10 years. Where would I go next? How would I find my way? I would like to give you a few suggestions I learned along my journey:

1. Make sure you have adequate savings – It is a luxury to walk away. Try to have at least 6 months of salary tucked away.

2. You do not have to have a  specific plan. But be prepared. You are in transition. It is painful and frightening. But be patient as your new journey unfolds.

3. Starting Building Your Network – Prioritize relationships in your industry. Reach out to others in your field.

4. Work on your Resume – You might not be ready to walk away but be prepared.  Update and polish your Resume. Have ideas where you might want to send it.

 

Unfortunately, I quit after a nasty showdown with my VP. I should have left sooner.  I will cover that experience next week.  Appropriately titled: Rage quitting my job.

 

Do you work in an unhealthy environment? What do you struggle with in your job? Share it with me online with the hashtag: #WHITxWORKSERIES

I would love to hear about your work experiences! Email me! 

 

photography by Michelle Moore

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32 Comments

  1. August 29, 2018 / 7:23 am

    Sounds like you made the right decision by quitting. Sometimes, we all need to hit the reset button, myself included. I may not be where I expected to be by now but I am much, much happier.

    • Whitney
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 4:09 pm

      I couldnt agree more! So happy a hit reboot – it maybe not be where I thought I would be but my quality of life is SO MUCH BETTER!

  2. August 29, 2018 / 7:32 am

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and tough choices you had to make! It is very inspiration to hear for those that are unhappy in the current situations. I look forward to reading more:)

    • Whitney
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 4:08 pm

      ahh thanks so much! I am excited to share more with you!

  3. August 29, 2018 / 11:06 am

    I had a lot of my friends put years into their corporate careers and they were so unhappy. Happiness is so important. Change can be scary but you look like you are killin it! Love your outfit with the pop of pink!

    http://www.withlovefromkimberly.com

    • Whitney
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 4:00 pm

      Thanks babe! The change was a hard one but SO WORTH IT!

  4. August 29, 2018 / 11:21 am

    I love your style, Whitney!

    • Whitney
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 3:59 pm

      Thank you so much!

  5. August 29, 2018 / 1:27 pm

    I really related to your experience- my journey is somewhat different in that I am sticking it out (for now) while I start to build my side business. All your advice is spot on – thank you!

    • Whitney
      Author
      August 29, 2018 / 3:59 pm

      Ahh thanks babe! Really appreciate the message! Good luck on your side business!

  6. August 29, 2018 / 10:15 pm

    You go girl!! So awesome that you followed your heart and took this leap. Loved the suggestions too, so inspiring!

    Kileen
    cute & little

  7. adriana
    August 30, 2018 / 9:08 am

    Making sure your savings are in order is a huge part of it I’m sure! I can see why it isn’t for everyone – it definitely isn’t for me – so I get that 100%! Love your outfit, too!

  8. Tonya Tardiff
    August 30, 2018 / 10:24 am

    This was such an inspiring post to read! Good for you girl for knowing your worth and knowing when it was time to move on! And look at you now! Can’t wait to read next week’s post!

  9. August 30, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Are you doing full time blogging now?

  10. August 30, 2018 / 10:47 am

    This is such an inspirational post! Good for you to know when to say you have had enough. Cute pics too. #inspo

  11. August 30, 2018 / 11:16 am

    I admire you! Your post was really inspiring as I’m in a similar situation.

  12. Taylor Aube
    August 30, 2018 / 12:07 pm

    I love your honesty here! While I still work for a large corporation I work remotely so thankfully i don’t have to deal with office drama. I’m glad you found your peace! Oh and I LOVE these photos xo

  13. August 30, 2018 / 1:47 pm

    I think it’s really emotionally mature to be able to take a step back and realize when things just aren’t working. Good for you!

  14. Danielle
    August 30, 2018 / 3:00 pm

    Such an interesting read! 2 years ago, I left my teaching job FOR a corporate job and I’m surprisingly in such a better head space.

    xx, Danielle | http://www.pineappleandprosecco.com

  15. Kathryn
    August 30, 2018 / 5:51 pm

    Wow! I had no idea that’s what you did! Also, I love your blazer!

  16. August 30, 2018 / 9:02 pm

    Whitney this is genuinely inspiring to read, it sounds like you had/have a solid track record and putting your happiness first and walking away is a brave thing to do! I applaud you and low-key hope I have the courage to do the same if I am every in the same position.

    PS. Love your outfit!

  17. August 31, 2018 / 6:38 am

    No job is worth being unhappy/miserable! Good for you girl

  18. September 1, 2018 / 7:48 pm

    I have been in the corporate world for over ten years now and I am feeling the same things that were feeling — I am unhappy, burnt out, and I don’t make enough money. My dad frequently helps me with simple things like paying rent and bills. I want to leave and work for myself as well, but –as you mentioned– it can be quite intimidating.

    Great post! x

    Michelle
    dressingwithstyle-s.com

  19. sharon wu
    September 3, 2018 / 2:10 pm

    kudos to you for leaving the corporate world girl! i can totally relate to a lot of the points you’ve made and i myself am really proud to be a self-made entrepreneur where i can make sure my work is valued.

  20. September 3, 2018 / 2:29 pm

    I’ve been there – I used to work somewhere that was eating away at my mental health and I had to leave fast!
    I love your outfit here – the mix of casual and formal creates a great juxtaposition!

  21. September 3, 2018 / 5:47 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing your story! It sucks that you were in a toxic environment and I’m sure it’s so tough to start from scratch but I’m glad you’re happier now! Great tips!

    With love, Jenn
    https://jubilantdose.com

  22. September 4, 2018 / 11:12 am

    Kudos to you for realizing your situation was toxic and then doing something about it! I, too, quit the corporate world a little over a year ago and I agree with everything you have said! Sometimes it’s absolutely necessary, especially when your happiness & sanity is at stake! xo

  23. September 5, 2018 / 8:50 pm

    That must have been a tough decision and bet on your future but it looks like you are so much happier now!

  24. September 6, 2018 / 5:33 pm

    I left my 9-5 career in 2016 and can relate to the burnout! While I was happy with my job and really loved my team and boss, who was super supportive when I took my blog full time, but I knew in my heart of hearts that I wasn’t fulfilled and needed to make a change. After a year of planning I took the plunge and have never looked back! I’m sorry your ten year career ended on a sour note with your VP but am so happy you are on a much happier path!

    xo, Sara

  25. September 14, 2018 / 10:01 am

    Do you have any regrets about leaving your full time gig to go work for yourself? Is your blog able to sustain you now?

    • Whitney
      Author
      September 19, 2018 / 11:54 am

      It was definitely a hard choice and I did not set out to establish my own business – it just kind of happened that way. But I am 100% happier on this side than I was in the corporate world. I will be sharing more about where I am now soon in the Work Series!

      xo, Whitney

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