5 Reasons I Left My Corporate Job to Build My Career as a Writer
The following is a guest post By Jaime Boust. Her bio follows.
I was tired of working towards someone else’s goals.
My twenties were all about city life, newfound freedom, and scant responsibilities. I was working my way up the ladder, making good money, and I had a VP in my title. All of which conspired to convince me that I was fulfilled. But as I approached thirty, I realized that time moves quickly. That dream of being a novelist someday was at risk of remaining just that, a dream. I had a choice: continue selling my time to work towards someone else’s goals or sacrifice security for a shot at something bigger, something mine. When I looked at it this way, my decision was clear.
My job clashed with my values.
Turning thirty forced me to take inventory of everything that wasn’t working in my life and change it. It’s something everyone goes through. It’s astrological, and it cannot be denied. For me, it was all about aligning my work with my values. I was spending my days marketing companies whose products I felt ethically opposed to. I was contributing my precious time and energy to something I didn’t believe in. And I could no longer ignore it.
I wasn’t doing what I loved.
The goal of life is happiness, and a life comprised of love and fulfillment is what leads you there, nothing else. We live in a world that tries to convince us that status, beauty, and possessions bring fulfillment. But it’s not true. Fulfillment comes when we work to develop our abilities and character, pursuing goals that align with our values and purpose. The theory goes that money flows from there. My corporate job was not a source of fulfillment. I wasn’t doing what I loved.
I wanted to be a good role model for my kids.
“You can be anything you want to be.” My parents said that to me, and I would most definitely say it to my kids one day. The problem is, most people who teach this to their children aren’t living that truth. I wanted to be different. I wanted to be proof that if you set your mind to something, you can achieve it through hard work, passion, and commitment. I imagined what it would feel like for my future kids to look to me as an example of someone living their dream. That those words—you can be anything you want to be—would actually mean something if I was doing exactly what I wanted to.
Writing is what I’m meant to do.
Most people make the mistake of thinking that if they haven’t found their passion by now, they must not have one. Passion is something that grows over time. For me, writing was always there in the back of my mind. So it was how I imagined myself as a grown-up. But it wasn’t until I took the leap and started pursuing my dream that true passion developed. Today, eight years after leaving the corporate world behind to build my writing career, I honestly feel like I would die if I couldn’t write. That’s how much it’s a part of me. It’s what I’m meant to do.
Jaime Boust is a writer whose work ranges from literotica to magical realist alternate histories. She describes herself as an “energetic idea machine.” She is the recipient of the inaugural David Carr Prize for Emerging Writers at SXSW. Her fiction includes Book Club and Conquest. She got her wits about her on the hills of San Francisco, the streets of London, the sewers of Paris, and the suburban wilds of Oakland. These days you’ll find her dodging traffic in Los Angeles with her husband and two kids.
Images: Writing = breathing Joe Flood typewriter Marisa dreams BK