Quitting My Dream Job: Letting Go of Fear

The last three months have been a rollercoaster tornado blur. Yes, that is a real thing, and I lived to tell the tale. I started a "dream" job in April while still in design school, and on top of that I rehearsed, opened, and closed a musical. After returning from Cardiff and London, I hit the ground running and threw myself into the deep end, as usual. Before I knew it, I was burnt out and hating life.

Fast forward to two weeks ago when I quit that dream job and withdrew from school. Did I go crazy? Maybe a little bit, but in the end, it was the best decision I've made in a loooong time.

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Now, I've never been a "quitter." Probably has a lot to do with the immigrant parent thing and natural type-A personality. But there I was, working for a company I had been eyeing since October, actually working as an interior designer before even finishing my design degree! Sure, the role was combined with sales because that's retail life, but I didn't mind.

I gritted my teeth and stifled (as best I could) my frustrations because this job was part of a greater plan to become an independent designer. Only one more year I kept telling myself . . . one more year of school and working for someone else and then I could be on my own as an interior designer. I kept thinking how grateful I should; how lucky I am for the opportunity; how all of this seemed to be fitting into a goal for a stable, financially lucrative career as an interior designer. But eventually happened was my forced interest ran out, and I reached my wit's end. I had to admit to myself that as much as I wanted a career in interior design to happen for me, it didn't fulfill me.  

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Without realising it, I had let fear rule my life. The pursuit of an acting career had shaped me so who was I to become if not an actress? That's an unkown I've been drifting in for a couple years, and instead of wanting something and just going for it, I doubted myself before even starting.

I was choosing to suffer in pursuit of a "career," one I had an "in" with thanks to my dad. Working as an interior designer was safe and certain. Sure, I was good at interior design, but it felt like a chore. With every project, I increasingly struggled to make myself feel motivated, and if you have to regularly convince yourself that you should like what you're doing, that's a good sign you shouldn't keep continuing.

So two weeks ago, I essentially handed in my notice as an interior designer on the sales team. I said that unless changes were made, and I moved to a marketing role immediately, I'd be looking for opportunities elsewhere. And you know what? They listened, and I got what I wanted!

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So what am I doing now? Well, my exact title and responsibilities are being shaped by the first month in this role, but I'm essentially working in marketing and branding. This is uncharted waters for the company as I help them develop their marketing strategies, oversee branding, and direct their online community building. Ah! It's so exciting!

Now, don't for a second think I've got this whole thing figured out. There are so many pieces moving right now and so many unknowns, but despite all of that, I want to go to work every morning. I have to be careful because I could easily become a workaholic so please keep me in check!

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This marketing route makes sense to me, and everyone I've spoken to about this change agrees. I've been blogging for so many years now and worked as a freelancer in publications, web development, and social media management. This just feels right. What I learned in design school directly ties into marketing and branding, but I'm able to help foster connections through my work and support a local business. I've only been in this new role for a week, and it's proven itself so rewarding already!

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If you're an entrepreneur/small business owner looking to take the next step in marketing your product or service or refining your brand/message, I would love to create some magic with you! I'm building my portfolio as a Brand Consultant (or something along those lines), and I'm looking for opportunities to help family, friends, and friends of friends at a heavily discounted rated. If you're interested, send me an email at hello@uglyasiangirl.com, leave a comment, or DM me on Instagram. The sky's the limit when we support each other!

I'll be seeing you soon,

 
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Vintage Dress: UXC Tacoma | Photography : Olivia Bidleman Carson