Quitting my Job!…in my thirties.
“Hard choices, easy life. Easy choices, hard life.” ~ Jerzy Gergorek
They say we make a few life altering decisions where the ripple effects will forever change the outlook of our lives. It’s deep, bear with me lol. For me it was deciding to quit my comfortable six figure job as an operating engineer to become a cab driver….Yes! You read that correctly. Being a first generation Indian and second generation cab driver, my parents weren’t exactly applauding my decision. My dad was forced to be a cab driver because nobody else would hire him in the early 70’s. Me being born here…. I had options. What was so bad about my old job that quitting and becoming a cab driver felt like a great option? Let’s take a ride down memory lane to the events that caused me to quit.
The truth was that I had been fantasizing about quitting for years. I just never had the moxie to create a side hustle or invest into businesses. In hindsight relying on only one source of income was actually pretty risky. My genius plan was to quit and become a cab driver. I would drive until a better business opportunity presented itself.
Quitting that job was by far the most terrifying things I had ever done. As soon as I made up my mind, the decision all of a sudden became irreversible. Then came the dread, fear, crippling self doubt and anxiety. I’m not sure what it was? The uncertainty, the giving up a cozy union job or a metaphorical breaking of the golden handcuffs. For about a month post quitting, I felt extreme stress and anxiety. Though deep, deep down inside I knew I made the right decision.
There was apart of me that was slowly dying at that job. To put it nicely I felt like I was dying a slow spiritual death. I just could not see myself sitting in that chair for the next 20 to 30 years counting down until retirement. There wasn’t really any part of that occupation that I enjoyed. I was young when I picked the occupation based on the fact that it had the word “engineer” attached to it. Being young, naive and easily impressionable had its built in drawbacks. Even if I didn’t enjoy the job! I would at least impress women at cocktail parties and finally prove to my parents that I wasn’t a total failure. I had certain Indian stereotypes to live up to. lol
For my second time around I decided to take an hybrid approach to career development. I wanted to chase interest and curiosity while finding an overlap between an in demand skill set. This is how I stumbled upon a career in Data Science, where I would combine my analytical curiosity in a rapidly progressing tech industry.
In my next article….. I will elaborate more on my adventures as a cab driver and what led me to take a Data Science bootcamp.