I Quit

September 5, 2008

in Uncategorized

Today is my last day of work. I resigned from my job several weeks ago, and the day has finally come for me to say goodbye.

No, I am not sick of my job. No, I am not sick of the people  who work here. No, I didn’t get a new job with another company. I absolutely loved the work I did at KCET New Media, and  working with the people there has been pretty awesome. I used to get clowned in elementary school for watching so much PBS
(KCET, specifically), and so I sincerely have a soft place in my heart
for this station due to my childhood allegiance (haha). This place has a very fun work environment where I’ve had the freedom to come up with as many ideas as I could muster, and then see them through. I am often held in high regard as an expert on social media, blogging, all the stuff that makes me warm and fuzzy inside.  I also love the flexible dress code. Jeans and sneakers are very important to me. No, really.

Everything was great for me at KCET. Until one day I realized I have been coasting through life for the past few years. You see, I have been supposedly carving my way through life since I left Boston (and my job at WGBH–again I love PBS!) three years ago. However, I haven’t been proactive at much of anything. Yes, I completed graduate school, but I wasn’t initially looking to go to grad school. MIT was the most difficult thing I had ever been through–I was scarred for life academically. Grad school was the last thing I wanted to do. I didn’t research grad programs, and apply to different schools and go through a selection process. I worked at USC, heard about this program my co-workers were all in and signed up. Luckily, a program for online communities was just starting, so I hopped on board because it was perfect for me. This job at KCET? I wasn’t looking for a job. I was perfectly happy at my last job, with an awesome boss and free tuition. But KCET came along and created a position for me, gave me the salary I asked for–it was an open and shut case. The last four months I have been close to losing my mind because I have been consulting on the side, and working on starting up my own web properties. I am also the CTO of a startup. Again, these opportunities came to me with little to no effort on my end.

I didn’t ask or solicit for any of these things, but they have all been awesome experiences to add to my life path. I am thankful that these things have come to me when they did. But it still remains: I have been coasting through life. If I can happen  upon these great opportunities just by being fabulous me, what could happen if I actually put myself out there and took a risk? What could happen if I actually created some goals and planned for them?

I have to say, it feels enthralling to plan for something and see it through. I used to be a planner. One of those four year planners.  I planned my way into MIT. Freshman year of high school  I just woke up one day and decided I was going to plan my way into a top tier university. Nobody in my family has been to a top tier school and only one person (my grandmother) has actually  finished college. Nobody was pressuring me to go to a top tier school, especially at age 14. Truthfully, I didn’t even know what the top schools were, but I knew that’s where I needed to be. I had some nerve back then, thinking I could get really far, given the cards I had been dealt (un-rich, minority, female, single-parent household turned domestically abusive household). I was getting Ds and Fs in middle school, and had a shoplifting habit. I had every excuse to fall back and coast through life, but I made the decision to be proactive about my future and plan myself into a better, happier solution. The day I received my MIT acceptance letter felt so good because it was a long time coming. I had worked so hard for it, and it took a lot of risk and commitment on my end to think it was something I could accomplish. What ever happened to the 14 year old Liz who took a little bit of risk, thought outside of her given circumstances, did some planning and adjusted things along the way? That Liz sure had some guts and imagination. She didn’t know it at the time–and she didn’t broadcast it–but she had some audacity. I need to get that Liz back.

Anyway enough of my Only In America story. I am quitting my job in the middle of a recession so I can start my own new media company. I will be consulting as well as launching my own web properties. I have shelved too many projects over the last three years. It’s time I plan and put real effort into them. I am too fabulous to sit by and coast through life like this. I have some awesome clients I consult, and I enjoy the flexibility and the projects I am working on. I am at the point where I can’t manage both my fulltime job at KCET, my consulting work, and get my shelved projects off the ground. The money has been great (though I am too busy to spend it, thus I’ve been accidentally saving more money than I’ve ever had), but my sanity and health has been suffering. I have been flaking out on people and projects–and I hate flakes. So, the job had to go. I will miss my job and colleagues, but I am confident this is what’s best for me right now. In fact, it’s perfect timing. 

I admit, it’s a little scary. But the worst thing that could happen is I have to go back on the job market. That’s not a bad worst case scenario, if you ask me. Even though we are in a recession, there is no shortage of head hunters contacting me out of the blue about new opportunities. So, I’ll be aight. Trust.

Wish me luck.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Manny September 5, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Good Luck Liz! You are going back to what made you successful in the first place. Taking the risk. Making the move. It worked before and Im sure it will work again. Good Luck again and I’ll be watching for the next chapter!

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digitalsleep September 5, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Wow, Good for you. Good luck as well, I’m sure you will be doing big things. Chance favors the bold.

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DJ Diva September 5, 2008 at 11:59 AM

I wish the very best of luck Miss Go Getta.
Sky’s the limit!!!!

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Wise Diva September 5, 2008 at 12:00 PM

This inspired me in more ways than I can tell you. Good luck! I am wishing you all the best. We are all pulling for you!

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Herb September 5, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Good luck!

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Shey September 5, 2008 at 12:03 PM

Wish you the best of luck and nothing but success!

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Fredric September 5, 2008 at 12:05 PM

Good luck!
I definitely know the feeling of making a big transition, especially when it comes to passion vs. paycheck. Glad to hear you found a little of both in your previous career.
Now onto great things!

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Markus September 5, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Gone with ya bad self!
Coasting is something that i know all too well. I have been debating my next steps in life and sometimes I get so caught up in losing what I have that I end up forgetting about what I can get. (That kinda doesn’t make any sense). Anywho, you are very inspiring and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store. Please keep us posted!

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digitalsleep September 5, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Wow, Good for you. Good luck as well, I’m sure you will be doing big things. Chance favors the bold.

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Kevin D. September 5, 2008 at 12:28 PM

Liz — I really, really hope we get a chance to work together again sometime. In the meantime — I’ll be over here, cheering for you & your new path.

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Sa'id (Amir Said) September 5, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Liz,
Great move. Sooner or later, we all revert back to type. Reading your post, I did get the sense that you’re a big time planner, and an even better strategist. I think that your self-realization of this fact let you see how much you thrive on actually making something happen, as opposed to “letting” something happen. Maaaddd respect to you for taking that leap; I think you’re dope!
- Sa’id

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Herb S September 5, 2008 at 2:07 PM

Congrat’s! Going out on your own will be one of the most difficult things you ever do – not MIT-hard, but hard. There will be lots of bad times: dry-spells, clients not paying you on time, etc.
But if you’re doing something that you love, you’ll find that even during the rough times, you’ll have a lot of fun. And when times are good, you’ll be happier than you’ve ever been.
Good luck!
P.S. Three pieces of advice: 1) never turn down work, 2) get an up-front payment for new clients, and 3) work out a revolving credit line with a bank *right now* if you haven’t already done it.

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Intellectual Hedonist September 5, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Congrats Liz, I wish you all the best on your new journey. I wish I could be the 14 year old Liz.
You are Amazing and will be even more so! (that is all redundant)

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Latoicha September 5, 2008 at 4:56 PM

Hi Liz!
This article was so inspirational. I have been feel the same way about my life…just coasting. I remember as a teen and pre-teen, I set a goal and then took the necessary steps to get what I wanted. I always accomplished the goal! There is so much I want to do and am capable of..so I need to get moving. Thanks again for sharing this article!

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TheJennTaFur September 5, 2008 at 6:12 PM

Liz..
Welcome to EXACTLY what I am going through now too..as of the end of the month I am out of my job too..leaving..why?! Similar situation but to the point that I am not seeing progress with the things I am going through with what I see online and these other companies are not seeing either.
We will talk 8)

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Mirth Nadir September 5, 2008 at 8:22 PM

Congrats on taking that one step that many of us are scared to do (myself included). I look forward to watching your journey and perhaps getting some of your courage through osmosis … keep us posted and keep me posted.
I admire your courage.

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Kenya September 5, 2008 at 9:35 PM

Congratulations! Anything work having involves risk. I’m planning my exit from the 9-5 world myself.

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Laura September 5, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Dang gina! I love this. Joan Didion wrote that ‘we should be on nodding terms with the people we used to be.’ The 14-year-old go-get-’em, never-flake-on-you Liz is still the core of who you are. Go get ‘em tiger.

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Bill Cammack September 7, 2008 at 4:59 AM

NICE! :D Great idea. I’m glad you decided to do it.
You’re one of the few that have the combination that made you sought after in your field by several companies as well as people who had ideas of what they wanted to do and no idea how to implement those ideas. Keeping working would have been a waste of time for you as well as a limitation, because you would have been creating whatever your job called for as opposed to working with whatever technologies YOU felt like utilizing for your clients.
I still haven’t written my series about TIME, and I guess I should just write SOMETHING about it to get the ball rolling, but like I’ve said before, Time is more important than Money. You can’t get any more time than the 24 hours in a day minus however many you sleep. Once you run out of time, people will always be willing to give you more MONEY to work on their project instead of someone else’s or your own.
Jumping off from work frees you up to stop wasting hours you could be billing at higher rates or lamping with your MacBook Pro at the beach.
YA HEARD????? :D
Congrats!

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Eysqueen September 8, 2008 at 8:45 AM

This is fabulous! Do the dang thing girl. It takes a lot of courage to step out on faith, move past what is comfortable and familiar to pursue the next great adventure. Too bad there isnt a manual about how to do this out there. I wish you the best of luck, I know you’ll be successful, you already are!

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Bryan Wilhite September 8, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Leaving KCET is in itself successful. When I think of “new media” I think of KCET Web Stories. I wrote about KCET in “Juan Devis and KCET Web Stories Follow Up”—certainly (either way) your experience will be better.

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Ray Abram September 8, 2008 at 1:12 PM

Liz,
Ever since I first “met” you I’ve wondered what you were doing with a Nine to Five. With your skills and creative mind you can accomplish whatever you want, without the limits set by corporate america. It is scary, but remember, success and failure are only illusions. It’s the lessons we learn along the way that make us rich. Good luck out there.

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Liz September 8, 2008 at 10:43 PM

Wow. Thank you everyone for your kind words of support and love! I appreciate you taking the time to give me some words of encouragement. I won’t let you down :)

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Yorkali September 9, 2008 at 10:30 AM

Great move Liz! Five years from now, despite any challenges you may face, this is for sure the right choice! To challenge your self is the best way to grow. I am also at a HUGE cross roads funny enough,I told Jentafur just 2 days ago, that I was thinking of going to MIT. She mentioned you. I know exactly what I want to study, but given the fact that they only accept 10 people each year, I am a lil stumped with an entrance strategy. Any guidance you can give in that regard I would so grateful!

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Clinton Schaff September 9, 2008 at 11:55 PM

Good luck, Liz. You’ll be great, do great and have a great time. Keep us posted!

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Shavar September 18, 2008 at 6:02 PM

Wish you the best–go for it!

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KayE September 30, 2008 at 1:45 PM

Hi Liz. I’ve been on your blog before, via Concrete Loop. I am so late. Am just now reading your September 5th entry. This might as well have been a passage from my own diary. I recently quit my job, and actually got a significant raise only about 3 months prior to my quitting, and with no job in sight. When I announced my resignation, everybody was shocked. But it was just something inevitable, in fact overdue. Like you, I was just coasting. But I realize that I have to take a risk. Yes, we’re in the middle of a recession, the car I got for my college graduation may get repossessed, but somehow I don’t care. I’m doing what I want to do,and if something should go wrong I’ll remember that for once in my life I did something that mattered to me. Please don’t get discouraged. Keep pushing, keep moving. You truly inspire me, and reading your entry today made me come to terms that I am not crazy, or if I am, there’s someone else equally insane! Take good care of your person.

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DP October 4, 2008 at 6:39 AM

Lizz,
I haven’t met you as yet but we are Twitter friends so that means something at least in terms of the internets. Congrats on your courage. Truth is that you will be aight. Reading about folks personal leaps of faith is inspiring to me.
Keep doing your thing sis.

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H.A. October 2, 2011 at 10:44 PM

!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m sincerly happy for you! Congratulations, Good Luck & God speed!

I’m 27 just finishing up my masters w/ no real plan. . .you threw a little faith my way

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