Saturday, 10 September 2011

I Quit

I had been working on a series of posts about the Scottish Parliamentary elections earlier in the year, analysing the manifesto promises made by each of the main parties and how they stacked up on various issues.

Then I realised that these posts were incredibly long and boring, so I scrapped them all.

See what I mean? - Politics is boring.


I'd rather blog about something a bit more interesting.  Such as the fact that yesterday I was on the observation deck on the 124th floor* of the tallest building in the World.  This was possible because my company have sent me to Dubai on business.  I'm staying in a very nice hotel, with satellite TV and internet access, I order room service for breakfast every morning, my laundry is done for me and strangely even sometimes arrives back with each item folded and individually sealed in cellophane and because it's for business I'm not paying for any of it.  I have also just quit my job.

The tourist brochure image of Dubai is something like this.

The reality is more like this: A giant building site in the desert.

I don't want to get into the nitty-gritty details of why I quit, suffice to say that I didn't see my career panning out quite how I'd hoped and felt that a move was now necessary.

This was a difficult decision to make, it's the first job I've formally quit.  Previous jobs I've had were either temporary positions, where I was neither fired nor quit, but simply reached the end of my time in them, or were less formal arrangements (i.e. working for a friend's parents).

It's an awkward conversation to have with your boss, when you tell them that you don't want to work for them any more.  It's also quite an adrenaline rush and gives a strange sense of freedom.  Freedom in the sense that you realise that there are always alternative options to what you're doing with your life at this point in time.

I've also been listening to the audio-book version of "The 4 Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss.  I'd usually consider a book like this a bit too self-help book-esque for me, but there's a lot of useful stuff in it, like resources to help you out in setting up your own company, planning International travel and quitting your job.

One thing I have taken away from it is the distinction Ferriss makes between mistakes of ambition and mistakes of fear; the former being a mistake of action, the latter being a mistake of inaction because you are afraid of the consequences.  His advice is generally along the lines of thinking through what really is the worst-case scenario and you'll realise that it's not necessarily that bad.  Consequences of bad decisions are rarely fatal or irreversible.
He also makes a point which I think is very worthwhile noting if you're considering leaving your job, that is:
"Thousands of people, many of them less capable than you, leave their job every day."
If you're thinking about quitting, but fear is holding you back, bear this advice in mind - I may well be one of them.

* As I've noted the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa is on the 124th floor.  It's called 'At the Top', but with over 200 floors in the building it's nowhere near the top!  In fact it's only the 3rd highest observation deck in the World, despite the fact that the building is by far the tallest by any measure.  Seems like they missed out on what would have been an easy World record for them to take.