I Quit My Corporate Marketing Job During A Pandemic: This Is Why It Was Worth It

A lot has changed in my life in a short period of time and I want to share it with you guys. I recently did the one thing I have wanted to do for the past year: I quit my job. For those who don’t know, I have worked as the marketing program specialist at a small healthcare consulting company in New Jersey for the past year and a half. This was my first marketing job since graduating college and I took it at a time when I was very “desperate” for employment. In reality, I was not actually desperate. I had a part-time job at Anthropologie, money saved up, and I lived with my parents. Even with that, I felt pressured to “get myself together” and find a job before the end of the summer. I was hired for this position in mid August 2019 and although it was less than ideal (under my desired salary, not the industry I had been hoping for) I took the job because in my mind I thought having a bad job was better than not having a job at all. When my journey at this company first began I felt content. I was proud of myself for finally being hired after submitting hundreds (literally hundreds) of applications and I was finally starting to feel like an independent adult, something I had been craving for quite some time. I had an expectation of myself (that I needed a corporate job before the end of the summer) and when I met that expectation I felt purposeful and fulfilled. I did not really consider why I had this expectation or if that type of lifestyle was something I even wanted. I saw everyone else doing it so I thought why not me?

I was basically just living in autopilot and not considering anything. Things just happened to me and I allowed it. I have grown so much since then. I have a greater understanding of what I want in life and what I will not stand for. I was working in a toxic environment and slowly becoming more and more miserable. I prioritized status over happiness. Spoiler alert: that never ends well.

Photo by Rafael Barros on Pexels.com

Red flags

As soon as I started this job there were red flags. For example, on the first day of my second week of work my marketing director (who I love and if I worked for her alone I would not have quit) was surprised when I walked in saying “oh you came. I thought you would be fed up by now and not show up.” I (stupidly) did not look into that comment. I chalked it up to be corporate humor, you know how people joke about how they hate adulting. I thought to myself this job isn’t so bad she must be exaggerating. About a month into the job she stormed out of a meeting with the management team and left for the day saying that she couldn’t take it anymore. My coworker (who was hired the same day as me) and I stared at each other in disbelief. We had been trying to be optimistic but it was becoming clear that this job was clearly not what it seemed to be. Slowly the red flags started to show: gaslighting, angry outbursts, lies, and throwing one another under the bus proved to be common practice. At this point I was a couple months in and wanted out. Everyone I vented to told me the same thing: it will look bad on my resume if I don’t stay for at least a year. I wasn’t happy with that but I felt pretty hopeless. The last thing I wanted was to ruin my chances of finding another job. I decided to suck it up and wait for the 1 year mark.

Photo by Julia Volk on Pexels.com

COVID and a shift of perspective

A couple months later, COVID rolled around. Suddenly I no longer had to physically go into this job. It seemed to be a pretty perfect opportunity to stay at my job without having to deal with the drama up close and personal. At first I felt good. I enjoyed being at home and in my own space and I still kept in touch with the coworkers that I felt close with. After a couple months of working from home I started to feel miserable all over again. I dreaded logging on for the day, even though I could log on in my pajamas. The chaos persisted, this time through Zoom. The people closest to me started telling me that they knew it was awful but what could I do? We were in the middle of a pandemic, I couldn’t quit my job. I continued working and felt grateful to be employed during such uncertain times. Every time it got hard I reminded myself of those around me without a source of income. The security of a job felt good and it was so easy for me to convince myself that what I was doing was best.

Like everyone else in the world, the pandemic gave me a lot of time to think. I used this time to “find myself” and delve deeper into who I am and what I want. This is a never ending process and I am so grateful to start this journey of wellness and spiritual and emotional health and healing because it has brought my closer to my purpose. As I practiced the law of attraction, positive thinking and goal setting, I came to understand I have no room in my life for a toxic work environment. Seeing people I know get sick and die from COVID brought me to the same conclusion. No one can know how long they have left on this Earth. I would not be happy to know I spent my life working at jobs that I hate. The change I had to make became abundantly clear.

Time for change

Quitting my job was not an overnight decision. I knew I did not want to be there long term, but I also didn’t know when the right time to quit would be because in reality there is no right time. My original plan was to start looking for jobs nonstop and leave once I found something new. As I began the application and interview process I realized that I had underestimated how challenging it would be to find a new job during COVID. I was applying and getting rejection after rejection. I did not see an end date near but I knew I couldn’t stay much longer. At this point I started to entertain the idea of quitting without having a job lined up. It seemed scary and all my friends at the time thought I was crazy to do that. Everyone said “it’s better to look for a job when you have a job.” Well, everyone except my sister. She was and has always has been so supportive of me throughout this entire process. Never underestimate the power of having someone who believes in you. Always keep those people close and remember to be a support system for them. As time rolled on, I could no longer ignore the feeling that I needed a change. It has it happen. Two weeks ago I called my supervisor and told her my decision. I can’t begin to tell you how nervous I was to take this step! I was so scared. When we spoke she told me that she didn’t want me to leave. She told me to take some time to reconsider and that everyone is feeling COVID fatigue. I totally understood what she was saying but I knew that this was something different. I agreed to take a week off to think about everything. My goal for the week was not to just relax and have fun. I was already 99.9% certain that I was going to resign, however I wanted to take time to consider where I wanted to go on this next chapter of my life. Would I apply for new jobs right away? Travel? Get my Masters? I knew I wanted to leave this company but I did not know where I wanted to go. I felt pressure because whenever I told anyone about my decision their first question was “what’s your plan?”

The Plan

My plan is to have no plan. I don’t know exactly what I want to do at this point. All I know is that I want to shed every expectation that I have of myself, and be who I am at the core. I do not need to do what is socially acceptable, all I need to do is be me. Working in a negative work environment has dimmed my creativity and caused me to feel stifled. I want to take time to be who I am, a fun, vibrant, confident woman. I cannot be all those amazing things if I am not putting myself in situations that will bring me joy. I went back to my boss and told her that I would be officially resigning. I am nervous, yet excited for this new stage of my life. I feel in my gut that this will be a life changing journey and I am so excited to start. When you know what you have to do, don’t look back.

Let’s grow together.

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. Melinda says:

    It’s great you are stepping out on faith to see what your next phase in life will bring you. I have been living through uncertainty as well. I have no clear plan about my life right now. I take it one day at a time. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. VitaminC-GreenTea says:

      Hi Melinda! It’s nice to hear you’re going through something similar. I’m sure in a year from now we will both look back and at this uncertain time and see that everything worked out the way it should have. I wish you the best of luck and I hope to hear how it turns out for you!

      Like

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