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This is what it looks like a year after leaving a corporate job.

Blog

This is what it looks like a year after leaving a corporate job.

Abigail Diaz

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“Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don’t belong.”

 

It’s been exactly a year since I submitted my two weeks notice on the balcony of an Air BnB in Mexico City. Where the week prior, I was in Seattle being told in a conference room with three individuals in upper management to either move to Dallas or essentially lose my job.  The truth was, that I had already planned to leave my job at the end of the year after despising the job I once loved, due to poor management.

So what does it look like to go out on your own and do your own thing? Well, for me it was a glorious bag of emotions and realizations. First, let's get the big question out of the way when it comes to finances. How do you survive when you are a single girl, with no inheritance or a have a partner to support you during this transitional time?  You hustle. Prior to leaving my job, I had started creating various streams of income for myself, which should be the goal for everyone in my opinion. Living off of one salary is great, until you lose your job and then you have nothing. I am a firm believer of the #sidehustle. So before I left my job my apartment was on Air BnB, I was managing social media for three brands, I had co-founded a dinner series called Aces of Taste and had Lush Puff my cotton candy mobile cart. All these streams of revenue helped me essentially stay afloat.

Within that time, I took a six month sabbatical to reassess my life. I took what many people would see as a setback as an opportunity to really go after my dreams. I didn’t have a mortgage, any children and I had my health.  In reality there wasn’t an excuse for me not to go after what I felt was my destiny, the only fear was fear itself.

Pictures from top left going clockwise. 1. After leaving my meeting from Seattle, I took a train up to Vancouver to reflect on the journey ahead. 2. Returning home to Houston. 3. The observation deck from the Newseum. 4. Girls trip to ATL, at Ladybird. 5. Snapped a photo of my mom in Tuscany, Italy during our pasta making class. 6. Attending a protest in support of the DACA efforts in Washington, D.C..


The following six months was a period of time working on my business plan, connecting with people I love, traveling and getting myself mentally prepared for the next chapter ahead.

On my return from Washington, D.C. I started working small gigs and saying yes to any job that would pay.  No job was too small and this was the time to put my ego aside. Once the new year started, I had secured a job with a local coffee company that gave me the “security “ of a regular job with set hours and pay, but as well the flexibility to pursue my goal. In my mind, I consider this the paid internship I never had.

So now I am a year in and although I have had to make major lifestyle changes I am actually doing as well as I was monetarily at my corporate job, but without the stress of being unhappy. It hasn’t been easy at times, but the payoff has been completely worth it.

1. My partner & co-founder of Aces of Taste Ahrif & I, visiting the University of Houston & speaking to the Hilton School of Hospitality about unconventional dinning & start up's. 2. My boyfriend Carlos & I creating his frame wall. 3. Celebrating the Houston Astros Championship with my friend Yari. 4. Coffee Training. 


My piece of advice is this: if you know you have the talent, work ethic and want to do something bigger than yourself- you probably should. Plan it out and be realistic with your circumstances. It’s always amazing to hear people leaving their job and going after their dreams, but there are a lot of moments where you will need the support of the people closest to you and to be ready for the challenge ahead.