How I Feel after quitting my job in the middle of a pandemic

In the summer of 2018, I started a job at an organization that I aspired to be part of and in a role that I really dreamed of having. I was given responsibilities almost 2 weeks into the job. I was overwhelmed but also excited at the same time. I worked on multiple projects, learnt new skills, met some very interesting people and was performing fairly well. As I was processing everything that was happening, I almost touched the 3-year mark with this firm!

When I reached the 2-year mark, I began to contemplate leaving the firm, to pursue something better or bigger. Not necessarily a new job but, maybe even a masters. And then the pandemic hit and the world came to a standstill. I had multiple conversations with family, friends, even colleagues about quitting and out of concern, most of them suggested not to make the impulsive decision of leaving a secure job in the middle of a pandemic. I took their advice.  

I did not have many complaints with the job but did feel very inadequate as I wasn’t doing anything worthwhile alongside my job. The COVID situation definitely did not help, and my state of affairs started giving me anxiety about my future. This is when I began to prepare for the GMAT, which is a standardized test to get an admit for an MBA in good universities. I failed. Miserably. I quickly recognized that I wasn’t that person who could manage two things at a time, at least not a full time job and an aptitude test.

Cut to January 2021, I finally resigned. I still remember, after handing in the company assets, I woke up the next day walked up to my study to open my laptop and check my emails. In a second I realized I did not have to do that anymore. I am not going to lie; I felt a little empty and even more inadequate than I did when I had this job. I didn’t necessarily regret quitting, but I felt really deficient, like my identity had been stripped off of me. Today, when someone asks me “What do you do?” I still say, “I recently quit my job as a management consultant and am pursuing higher studies”. Because I don’t know what else I can say. How do I define who I am now? I don’t know. My job still follows me wherever I go. Who was I outside of my job? Leaving my job made me regard this.

The plan after resigning was to become an early bird, work out, study for the GMAT, upgrade my skill set, look for an internship and just keep busy. Things are definitely not going as planned. I am trying everyday though. What I don’t acknowledge but I wish to is that I did get into a regular habit of working out, journaling and even reading (1 book a month. Going well so far). This is definitely not sufficient to achieve my goals, but I am certain that it is making me a better individual.

On top of that there is a pandemic. My friends and family are busier than ever and I have no one to talk to on a daily basis. I am couped up in my house trying to study and get through the day. I fail most times but I also remind myself why I gave up on something (my job) that was so important to me.

I redundantly pressurize myself to do things I don’t want to because I see my friends hustling through the week. I sometimes lose sight of why I quit my job.  It will definitely take me some time to realize my self-worth or define who I am without a job. But I am very grateful that I have the luxury to quit my job and pursue anything that I want, big or small.  

Quitting my job, and not knowing who I am anymore, made me realize that I can be whoever I want to be. So I have been applying for part time teaching and writing jobs. I apply for any internship that I think I can even remotely be good at. I have also tried to become more consistent with writing on this blog. I will eventually get back to consulting but these are things that I wish to do temporarily just to understand myself and my skills better.

Honestly this article does not have any takeaways. Its just an experience that I really wanted to share and write about how I have been feeling and give myself some clarity on what the hell l am doing with my life.

I still don’t study regularly, haven’t even come close to achieving all that I want for this year. I am also that girl who quit her job without having another one. I haven’t heard back from the small jobs that I have applied for. I will also probably still answer to “what do you do” with “I recently quit my job as a…”. I got this rare opportunity of being able to do anything and everything that I want, with the 24 hours that I have completely and ALL TO MYSELF. So I can either turn it around in the right or the wrong direction. I am certain everything will work out in my favor. Taking one step at a time, and one day at a time. Wish me luck. 🙂

-N

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