I quit my job 2 months ago
In May 2021, 3.6 million people quit their jobs and I am one of them. It’s been two months since I left my job as a nonprofit executive director.
I was clear with myself (and my husband) that I did not intend to scour the job market for another position. After the pandemic year, like all of us, I needed a break. After a few budget conversations, my husband and I decided that we could afford for me to take off for the rest of 2021. What an incredible position to be in!
The goals of my six months off are to (1) rest and recuperate (if you didn’t know, leading a small under-resourced non-profit that faced financial crisis four weeks into the job, spending two years trying to stabilize the organization, while flitting around talking to any and everybody about what this niche thing you’re doing is, and then finally seeing some success and stability is exhausting! The pandemic year wasn’t even the hardest part.); (2) reflect on what I learned, how I grew, what mistakes I made and the lessons from them; (3) enjoy time with my family and specifically my young daughter; (4) imagine and dream up what would be next for me in the world of paid work; and (5) keep my skills sharp and my fluency in industry happenings up-to-date by doing some paid consulting work.
So how’s it all going two months in? Here are some observations.
The paid consulting goal is going the easiest. Once I announced that I was leaving the job and open to doing some consulting, my friends and colleagues began inviting me onto projects. The requests keep coming in too! I am so grateful for the relationships (personal and professional) that I have cultivated, particularly over the last decade.
While I don’t have to earn right now, I want to. It’s hard to say no to money that comes without having to give up a lot of time. I’m doing values aligned work with my friends, people I actually enjoy being around and doing work that is really important to me. Having only worked 10 hours in the month of July, I will earn the equivalent of my old bi-weekly take home pay. What?! Of course, this speaks in part to the sub-par salaries offered in many non-profits, but that’s another story.