How I Lost my Job on Purpose

I quit my job two weeks ago.

I didn’t quit my job because I hated what I was doing. I didn’t quit my job because I wasn’t making great money. I didn’t quit my job because I wasn’t good at it.

I quit my job because I wanted to do something else more. I quit my job because I missed my family. I quit my job because time is more important to me than money.

Here are a few other things that are more important than money

  • Calmness
  • Excitement
  • Creativity
  • Connection
  • Love
  • Laughter
  • Possibility
  • Opportunity

While I am 10% concerned that I won’t be receiving a regular paycheck, I am 100% confident that I made the right decision. It’s only been a few days, and I feel different. I feel better. I feel free.

While I don’t think you have to quit your job, some of you may be interested to know more about how it happened for me. I’ve prepared a little Q&A and welcome other questions anytime.

  1. When did you know you wanted to quit your job? From the moment I received a comment on this site, I knew I wanted to have more time to write and connect with people like you.
  2. Did becoming debt free help you make the decision? Absolutely. It was essential for us to be debt free first. It took consistent budgeting and a commitment to spend less. It didn’t happen overnight, but it was worth the wait.
  3. I didn’t even know you had a job! What did you do? I never wrote about my job, because it had nothing to do with this blog or the message I wanted to convey. I worked for a magazine group in marketing and advertising for the last 7 years.
  4. What will you do if you can’t make money doing what you want to do? I’ll get another job or do whatever it takes to help support my family.
  5. What are you most looking forward to in unemployment? Working with 4 clients instead of 400. Tossing my to-do list. Learning to speak Spanish. Yoga classes (during the daytime). Making lunch for my daughter. Writing during the week instead of just nights & weekends. Traveling with my husband on business trips. Collaborating. Creating. Contributing. Oh, and doing laundry and household stuff whenever I want, instead of saving it for the weekend.
  6. Are you going to start writing about “how to quit your day job” Oh no, I have too much to tell you about simplicity and living life on purpose. While my point of reference may be slightly different, this blog will remain the same. I have started to write about simplicity in business because I think it’s so important, but on a separate site. If that is important to you, please subscribe.
  7. How will you make money? I’ll make money by doing things that I care about. I have some exciting projects underway and look forward to telling you more about them soon. My income will come from consulting, writing and speaking, along with photography & other creative projects.

I quit my job to do meaningful work. Through simplicity and a desire to live with less, I was able to quit my job without disrupting my family. I know I am in the honeymoon phase of being self employed but I am ready for the challenge. I am ready for the unknown. I am ready to say yes to things I care about, and no to the things that don’t matter. I have had so much help and support in making this decision. My friends and family have been incredible, and you have made all the difference. You let me know that my message is important and this work is my calling. Thank you. 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Courtney,
    I don’t know if you remember me, but I was in the A List Blogging club many months ago. I am so happy for you. Congratulations. Life is too short to spend on things that don’t make our soul sing. We can always make money, but never make more time. It takes courage to break out of the status quo and live the life you were meant to live. I look forward to the day that I write that kind of post. I wish you the best on your journey. :-)

    • Courtney Carver says

      Hi Lisa, Of course I remember you! You will write this post. I’m sure of it. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  2. says

    Awesome!! Congrats on such a major life change! It’s precisely why I haven’t entered the working world as of yet (plus the cost of childcare is outrageous!). I hope you’re able to accomplish everything you hope to :)

  3. says

    Congratulations on making a great, brave decision. I’m sure you will love it! I’m a stay-at-home mom and artist and I love the freedom. I will take living smaller and simpler any day over working nine to five and never having enough time to spend with my own child. I know it’s not always possible for everyone to do this, but if one really wants to, then they should start “working” towards that goal just like you did by eliminating debt and living simpler. Change the mindset first and the rest will follow…

  4. sarah says

    Wow – what a coincidence! I actually put my resignation in today, for almost the same reasons – but also including our reason of trying to start a family – which has thus far been unsuccessful. We are so excited to be simplifying our lives and being happier. I couldn’t believe it when I got to work today and saw this article. All the best with your move, and I completely relate to the jitters!

    • Courtney Carver says

      yippee yoo Sarah! Keep in touch and let me know how it’s going. We can help each other get through the jitters and onto important things.

  5. says

    Congratulations.

    Not what one usually says to quitting a job, but it seems appropriate. Congratulations for knowing what you value and arranging your life around it, not the other way around.

  6. Paula says

    Wow, Courtney! i didn’t even know you had a job either! well done!
    i live the simplest life (i.e. i live on my own, don’t have kids, don’t shop, don’t overspend, don’t travel as much as i’d like) but i don’t think i’d ever be able to quit my job. I’m debt-free but i’m not a writer or a public speaker… so… i gotta work a 9-5 kinda job in order to survive… :) what suggestions do you have for people like me in order to be less dependent of a pay check or to have more free time? i like my job but at times it’s exhausting and don’t get to see friends/family as much as i would like or do the things i love in a more relaxing way…
    I’m envious (in a good way) of writers… they get to be able to manage their time and they can write wherever and whenver they feel like it!
    i love reading your blog! it’s very inspiring!
    PAULA

    • Courtney Carver says

      Paula, That’s a great question and I want to think about it a little. I wasn’t a writer or a public speaker either…until I was. There are so many opportunities now to build your own career, but you need to know what it is that you want to do. I think the first thing is, if money was not part of the equation, what would you spend your time doing?

      Writing is not typically a lucrative business. Most successful writers earn income from other things, but their writing is a platform for that.

      • Paula says

        Thanks for your response, Courtney and JT Clough!
        Yes, just like you said, i have to get creative and think of ways and opportunitites for me to build my own career, to be “my own boss” and manage my time the way i want… and do the things i love! like running :), doing triathlons (funny JT mentioned that), yoga, reading…
        Thanks for your inspiring words!

    • says

      Paula,

      I have been self employed for 24 years now. Doing what I love most of the time. And it has not always been the same thing. What are you passionate about? Take for instance the idea of dog training. Never thought I’d be doing that with my 2 college degrees. But I made great money, I got to work with dogs and I was outdoors. That lead to training trainers, to speaking, to writing…

      Another one of my interesting niches; triathlon.

      How about jewelry or something else you can make? Get creative.

      What are your passions? And they certainly don’t have to be what everybody else does.

      Have fun and let the colorful parachute open wide and land where it should!

      Aloha Wags!

  7. says

    Wonderful news Courtney! I’ve come to your blog somewhat recently but you’ve established a connection over here. I will be doing what you just did in 2012, March 2nd to be exact. It’s a bummer waiting for something that’s so exciting and that will create such a fundamental change in your (and my) life. I’m glad the planning and discipline that went into seeing that this day could come paid off.

    I’m looking forward to hearing about all your adventures and in less than half a year I’ll have more to share as well.

  8. Heather says

    Hi Courtney, I’ve followed your blog and tweets for a little while now but didn’t realise just how similar your goals were to mine. I am currently stuck doing an office job and mourning the time I don’t get to spend with my young son and doing the stuff that’s important due to our current financial situation. But myself and my husband have been working hard towards a simpler life and we are beginning to see that there might just be light at the end of that tunnel! I’m so pleased that you have managed to achieve your goal and am looking forward to the day when I can say the same! Thanks for an inspirational blog and keep up the good work!

  9. says

    Congratulations. I wish you all the best.

    I want to quit my job, but only because I want to move away from the state that I live in and start over. So, I have wrestled with that issue since I like my job.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Kristi, You could find a job in a new state that you like even better. Once you open up to possibility, your life will change in ways you can’t even imagine. Go for it!

  10. Cathy says

    I want to work in advocacy, but with my husband losing his job, our son just beginning college, how can I afford to follow my dream? I can’t find anything in what I want to do, I am not anywhere near the breadwinner, but every little bit helps. I hear what you are saying, Courtney, but I don’t know how to get to where I want to go…..

    • Courtney Carver says

      Cathy, I couldn’t make the leap when I knew what I wanted to do either. It takes time. Can you do any type of volunteer work to get your foot in the door? It may help you find other solutions. One thing I’ve learned in this journey is that typically solutions aren’t linear and there is more than one answer. Stay determined, and you will find your way.

      • Cathy says

        Thank you, Courtney. I appreciate your encouragement. That is what I am doing by volunteering. It’s just that I need some part-time employment as well with my husband’s situation. I will keep forging ahead knowing others are on my side and going through similar situations. Thanks for that.

  11. says

    Courtney,
    I’m so happy I read your blog today! I don’t know how I missed this. Congratulations! I wish you the best and anyone who hires you as a speaker will be blessed. You go girlfriend. And let me know if I can ever help you in any way. xoxo

  12. says

    I just wrote a post today that mentioned how much I DISliked making lunch for my boys – thanks for putting things into perspective. Look forward to reading about more of this new chapter of yours!

  13. says

    Congratulations on quitting, Courtney. I guess the prospect of freedom outweighed the fear of failure. You’ll be fine. Don’t worry yourself ovr where the moeny will come from. Hopefully you have reduced your expenses to the absolute minimum, so you need very little to survive anyhow. Time to begin your new life, and I look forward to reading about it.

    • Courtney Carver says

      Mike, I’ve reduced my expenses and will continue to look for other ways to cut. The less I spend, the happier I am, so this should be a great direction!

    • Courtney Carver says

      Diane,

      I used to think the very same thing. Remember there isn’t only one solution. If it’s important to you, you will find a way. Let me know if I can help. I’d be happy to brainstorm with you.

  14. says

    I am beyond over the moon for you, but you know that. Thank you for being a constant source of inspiration and determination. I wouldn’t be making the strides I am without you in my corner and your inspiring blog.

    XO HL

  15. Tammy says

    Congratulations! I am so excited for you, and a bit jealous too! I am debt free except for a house with a second mortgage that is underwater financially due to the bad economy here in Michigan. I dream every day of doing what you are doing. Enjoy it!!!

  16. says

    Great post! Thanks for sharing. I just left my job a month ago for very similar reasons and I’m loving it! Best wishes as you embark on this new chapter of your life.

  17. says

    This is encouraging, thank you for sharing this aspect of your life. My divorce is close to final and going forward my monthly income will be drastically reduced. After spending months agonizing over getting a full time job, which would have meant giving up doing the thing I love most — volunteering as an art museum tour guide — I realized I have other options. Living simply – what an epiphany! What a relief it will be to leave this house I no longer love and get rid of the debris of my life I no longer need. Again, thanks for this.

  18. says

    Firstly and most importantly many congratulations…
    I’ve commented here before that I quit my day job over 5 years ago now. It was before I discovered ‘minimalism’ as such. I must have had an inkling of where my life was headed. I became self-employed, and made a good living, then last year I downsized further taking an extended leave, which nearly 12 months on I haven’t yet returned from (should have been 3 months oops!). Here’s to a great decision! being debt free really is the key to such a decision! p.s. – Courtney be prepared it can take a little getting used to, the first couple of months after quitting I was euphoric then reality hit, it’s a really strange feeling making yourself redundant (I had a slump then snapped out of it). Be prepared for lots of people asking ‘So what exactly do you do?’…

  19. Ginni says

    Courageous – is what comes to mind when I read this. From what I know about you (reading your blog for about 5 months now) I covet the couageousness that you live your life every day with. More greatness to come your way.

  20. Sandi says

    CONGRATULATIONS! I was never happier than when I quit my job to stay home with my children. I was able to be there with them until they were both in school (at which time I had to return to work due to my divorce). I LOVED my time home with them!!!! Even now, we live with less so I can work part-time and be home with them when they are home from school. It doesn’t even feel like a sacrifice, but more of a blessing. Being able to pursue your passion rather than logging hours at an office is a wonderful feeling! I’m so excited for you.

  21. Gina from Jersey says

    I quit my job 5 months ago and I am the happiest I have been in my ENTIRE life. I took a hit in salary of about 60%, but I have no debt and distinguish between my wants and needs on a daily basis. Living simply is not that difficult if you choose to. This summer, my husband and I traveled in our motor-home for 2&1/2 months to 19 states and 4 provinces of Canada – I wouldn’t have been able to do that sitting in a box (aka: office) for 8-9 hours. I am free. I am focused. I am giddy with delight. And our two kitties were on the road with us, too!

  22. Obed says

    Unconventional Brevity! Freedom, time, independence and most importantly, undiluted happiness are the most vital and treasured elements of my life. I can fall out with anyone that stands in my way torwards acheiving them. I left my job in 2008 because I ‘ve never been an advocate of that line ‘do you like working under pressure?’ Most people unsatisfactorily and under self-inflicted duress admit they do because they are desperate to secure a job. I don’t like working under pressure period! I commenend your unconventional courage to change the course of your life.

  23. says

    I’m at that place where I too want to make a living by doing things that I am sincerely interested by. I will get the nerve to be free at some stage too.

    Good luck

      • Ms Pele says

        I loved the post, but I love this response even more. I am SOOOOO ready to quit my job, but I’m supporting my husband through school (in his last year for engineering) and maintaining the health insurance. It’s downright scary. I am grateful for people, like you, who are brave and willing to share their lives with those of us in a similar boat. Best of continued luck to you!

  24. robert says

    Last week I woke up with a strong feeling that I did not want to go to work I have had this feeling for the past 6 months but when I did, I would just take a sick day. This time though was a lot more commanding.
    The previous week I had paid of the majority of my bills and I had money in my a/c to last me months so I just made the call the boss actualy gave me two weeks to ponder it and after talking to people and praying I was sure that even though I have nothing lined up, I must cut the rope and grow wings before I hit the ground this morning at 8am I ll officially quit my unfulfilling job,take month of just reading and swimming and searching.for work I can.do.with passion

  25. says

    Well done for having the courage to quit your job. I certainly agree with your reasons. I recently quit my job too. It wasn’t a money thing or that I hated it. I didn’t hate it, I just didn’t enjoy it. It wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life. When you tell people you quit your job and if you live in a society like mine, then everyone will ask you how you intent to make money to survive? Well; the first thing is, there’s no point making money doing a job you hate and has no meaning to you, in order to survive, so that you can keep working that same job you hate in the first place. Whenever anyone asks me how I plan to survive without fixed income, I just tell them I’m going to become bigger than my problems!

  26. says

    I think living creatively is the key to our soul’s purpose. Every day that is lived with the intention of bettering our selves, our lives, and our communities will inspire others to do the same. Find what it is you are passionate about and make a commitment. The transition may not be an easy path, but the synchronicities and the timing of new opportunities will be flawless. Spend time alone, create, imagine, and dream like a child with no inhibition and with the promise of everything possible. Good for you! :)

  27. Jean says

    I just read this article and it has given me inspiration. I am really on the verge of quitting my job but what scares me is the financial instability yet deep down I feel as though even if I left right now I would be so happy I did. The sense of freedom I get from just thinking about leaving my job makes me feel at peace

  28. Laura says

    Just saw this post googling about quitting your job… You’ve helped to put things in perspective for me. I’ve been wanting to go on my own for awhile now. My husband works for himself and it is my dream as well. I just want to wake up everyday and be excited and happy about life and what I do for a living! Life is short, shouldn’t we do more than just exist?
    Hope things are working great for you! Prayers and blessings for your achievements!

  29. Lisa says

    I really appreciate you sharing this! I have a very good corporate job but am burnt out and am at a place in my life that I want to have more times for the things I enjoy and hopefully find work that I enjoy and find fulfilling. My husband is very supportive of my quitting but I still feel a bit guilty for wanting to leave a good job when so many are looking for one. It helps to read the perspective of others who share my thought that life is too short and money isn’t everything.

  30. Hassan says

    I was forced to resign my job today. I was putting off quitting until my company gave me no choice. I feel a bit angry but mostly relieved as I’ve been miserable for months. Now I’m going to make my next job adhere to my priorities and not the other way around. Way to take control of your life!

  31. Jenn says

    I quit my job yesterday. I am so relieved and scared at the same time. It was truly a dead end job at Whole Foods Market where I wasn’t even allowed to use my talents on top of barely making 900.00 a month in pay. Even though I was “supposed” to be part time they always found a way to spread me out over 4-5 days and I ended up “paying to work” because of all the extra driving I was doing. It was absolutely stupid for me to continue working there! However, my husband is freaking out that we’re “not going to make it” now that I quit and I just feel like there are SO many ways to make an extra 900 a month (and much more than just 900 a month). I also have a part-time business that I’ve wanted to take full-time for over 2 years now but couldn’t because of working at “Whole Hell,” lol! Sometimes I feel like God has to force us out of our comfort zone to get us to really “live!” :) Good luck to all you determined to “live an breathe” your dream!

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