Not everyday do you wake up and say “Hey everyone, I’m quitting my job today… you know the one that pays the bills, keeps you afloat, new shoes, happy hours…” — However when you do get to the point of actually leaving it can be an overall high strung situation. You’ll never know if the grass is greener on the other side until you get there. One of our Founders recently left her job in a literal pursuit of happiness—We got as deep as we could into her mind to see how she’s dealing, especially in times like now; where we don’t really know what to expect.
“I think sometimes we are so wrapped up in what we should be doing and what the people around us may think of our new transitions that it stops us from truly following our hearts, I had mentally checked out well over a year ago but couldn’t bring myself to just leave. .” —Shauna
Why did you leave?
S: Well, I was initially laid off, while millions of other New Yorkers were able to work from home and thousands in industries like mine, my friends included were afforded that option as well, I was not. It was a complete shocker, and I wouldn’t say I was blind to everything going on around me but being laid off was the last thing I thought would happen. Going through all the emotions, angry, scared, sad, and then finally I adjusted to it. This was probably better for me anyhow. I hated the company, I wanted and needed more time with my son, and I had to look at the upside of it, he was in my care and no longer in danger of what was going on around us.— After sitting in the initial feelings of being laid off I had to come up with plan B, yes there was a huge possibility of being rehired but for my families sake I also had to think.. what if I didn’t get called back and that’s where it all started.
Was this your dream job?
S: I wouldn’t say this was my dream job, I guess in the moment— who and where I was in my life at the time made it a dream of being put into this other financial bracket… it wasn’t a job that I yearned for all my life, you know. I’ve always wanted to do something exciting, in the moment, getting your hands wet. This position was more so a financial space I thought I deserved.
Who did you call first?
S: When I was laid off I went straight to my family’s house because everyone had already been there and I couldn’t go home and sit in that feeling of not knowing what’s next alone. The craziest thing is I happened to bring my son in to work with me the day I was laid off. So in a sense I felt like all of me was already there that day and I had to carry my whole life back home and figure out the next step, if that makes sense. It was scary.. being the bread winner and losing the bread haha. I was legit hysterical at first, an hour drive to my family calmed my nerves. Seeing family, familiar faces and being surrounded by genuine energy just made me make a joke of it all. I’m still waiting to grow up, bare with me.
How did you get into that career path?
S: I was an Assistant Shoe Buyer. I started my career out in fashion, I interned in the shoe industry throughout college and the wind led from there I guess.
When it comes to jobs, what are deal breakers?
S: I never really thought of this before when taking a new position; But now I’d say health insurance needs to be matched at a high rate and I for sure look into the work space culture because for me work life balance is major. I need to be in a place that respects me both in and out of office.
Is salary a leading factor in determining where you work?
S: It was, that’s what landed me in my last position. But not entirely, I am very big on self growth so if and when I feel there’s a position that will help me and feed my soul I’ll go for it.
How has the culture at this job affected your personal life?
S: It was draining, honestly. After leaving a long days work to go home preparing to return it just makes you miserable. The drive in makes you cringe, I knew very early on it was not a space for me.
Did you take your work problems home with you?
S: Yes and no, I’d take my feelings about the job home, did I take the actual work concerns home, absolutely not.
Was there a work-life balance? If so, did it come with a price?
S: I came from a place that was very understanding to going to a place that pretended to understand but really just bad mouthed employees for dealing with real life personal situations. This is probably not the best advice for young ones starting out in the real world but I think my thing with anything is just like you either love me or leave me alone. If I have a personal situation to attend to I’m going to do it, and it’s just like fire me if you don’t like that because I’m giving you my all by being here so how dare you haha. Yeah, don’t take my advice in this instance Gen Z, but no really you’ll know when to step away from a toxic work environment. That’s what I did.
What fears did you have about leaving with no plan?
S: All of them! For one I’m a single mom so like that was my main concern. Making sure I could afford my rent, car payments, food, you know. The very basic things to keep my life as is. I also left without having a back up job which is not something I’d usually do so I was literally looking for my next pay check. I don’t think I was super fearful, I truly felt things would fall into place for me and so far it has.
Was your eagerness to leave stronger than your fear of the unknown?
S: 100 percent. When I got the email to come back to the office I felt a strong sense of no come over me. Normally I think there would be a sense of relief you know, that wasn’t the case for me, there was no way I was going back to that environment. I’d rather figure it out before going somewhere and being unhappy.
If you could change one thing about what you’ve done in the past year and half while at this job, what would it be?
S: I would have left sooner. I get so mad with myself thinking about how unappreciated I had been. So much time taken away from doing anything else in this world for a company who could give two shits about me. Never again.
Did you create a financial plan before leaving?
S: I had already been planning for a move across the country— I did have a savings to fall on, not that I wanted to use this savings because it would offset my longer term goal. But the strong feeling I had behind not wanting to join this team again led me to just chance it. If all else failed I did have money to hold me over for at least 5 months max.
How did you prepare yourself for this leave or was it sporadic?
S: I spoke to so many people. In a situation like this having a support system was huge. I’d talk to my family and close friends, letting them know my plan expecting to be told I was crazy or looked at as if I had 4 heads. Instead I got the exact opposite. Everyone’s like; “Do it” “Go for it” “If you feel like that don’t stay” “Do whats best for you you’re young” and with that said I don’t think the people in my life truly know how much they’ve helped me mentally to survive.
What was your company culture?
S: Outdated, there was never really anything to look forward to. There was a clear system in place who was higher up and who was below, and it was made very clear in tone and title where you stood in the company.
What kept you there for so long?
S: My family that I had created. I have someone to look after and someone depending on me. I needed a steady income.
What made you leave?
S: True unhappiness, during covid I started sitting with myself more and seeing my anxiety for what it really was. When I got the call back to go in the office my anxiety skyrocketed, I couldn’t see that office space again.
What advice would you give someone looking to leave a job they may be comfortable at but not happy?
S: I’d say, and not to sound cliché, do what makes you happy, at your comfort in your time. I know there’s so many people that can’t see my future as I’m on this new journey and they may even be concerned if I’ll survive it, but I feel it in me and I know this is my new path I’m supposed to be on. You are the only one that’s got to live your life ands deal with the cards. When making decisions be ready for the punches, I’ve always been a hard worker and at this point its not even about proving to others I can make it out, I’m trying to prove something to myself. Do it for you.
What are you most unsure of now?
S: I’m unsure if I even have corporate career goals. I mean I for sure used to, but now I’m just in a space where I want the most out of my life. I want to enjoy it, I want to enjoy seeing my son go to school and picking him up, especially in these younger years. I’m unsure of income but you know I’ve never been down too long without getting up so I know I’ll survive whatever happens.
What’s the plan now?
S: Focus. Create new routines. Yoga for sure. Working on my time. I’ve always made to do list for companies, its time I make the to do this for my life and get to everything I have planned. I’m taking it day by day. People want to know the plan but there is no one set plan right now and sometimes that could be better you know, just go with it.
Why do you think you’re worth betting on?
S: I’m strong and reliable. I just quit my job with a 4 year old lol. Listen I’ve never been big on words, but I’ll do whatever to remain and maintain and I mean I guess if I have that much confidence in myself I think you should too. I’m not asking for anything of anyone, other then you not judging my discisons I need as much support as I can get.
As a mom, what example do you think you’re setting? What do you hope your son learns from witnessing this chapter of your story?
S: Never settle, your happiness is truly the most important. I think I’m showing him not to fit inside the box which he’s been teaching me. He’s a wild child, I ask myself on a daily where did this kid come from. He literally just yelled at me for the way I spoke to him and I’m like you know what you are absolutely right if you feel you don’t deserve to be spoken to in such a tone or manner let people know that. You teach people how to handle you. And he’s not even taking the bull from his mama so I know he’s going to be a beast. I love it.
What does a regular day for you look like 3 years from now?
S: Ah, waking up to a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee, having at least the first one of the morning to myself. Then waking Daniel up to get him ready for his day, making him breakfast, getting him dressed, and being able to drop him off at school— coming home to work on my own brand *Barelyfinished* and I think by then there will just be so much going for the brand that my day to day will be filled with exciting and creative surprises, everyday being different. Hopefully I’ll have moved to La by then *fingers crossed*