What Being Jobless & Broke Taught Me About Life

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This is a user submission to IRL. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author, and do not represent the opinions of IRL or its affiliates. 

The memory of the whole experience is still crystal clear to me.

It was one of those days where I have been in the working industry for quite a fair number of years. It has always been back to back without much rest.

I Quit My Job Without Securing The Next One

We have all been in a situation where we were so busy chasing deadlines, firefighting projects on hand to the point where we neglect our own needs at times.

Have you felt lost in the midst of all these hustles in life, and asked yourself: “What is it that I’m actually trying to gain from all these overtime that I’m working?”

“What do I want to achieve after all these sacrifices for my physical & mental health?”

“Is this all worth it and is this the life I was searching for?”

It was then I made a decision not many would have done: I quit my current job without securing the next one.

Needless to say, many around me, including the ones who are close to me were skeptical about my choice.

“How could you have made such a decision, and what is your plan after that?”

“Did you think that you could land the next job successfully, anytime you would want to?”

Many doubted my decisions, and found that I was too reckless in making such a decision.

With loans on my shoulder, they were sure that I would be financially burdened by the coming months.

Of course I weighed all possibilities before making such a big decision. But all I wanted was to take a step back from work life and focus on myself for once.

I wanted to explore myself in ways I couldn’t imagine, doing things I never had the time to do so. I wanted to re-adjust my life to a direction that I want to go.

So I handed in the resignation letter, and I started off my life as a jobless person for the coming months.

What being jobless for the first time was like.

I did not search for the next job immediately after my resignation.

During the months of being jobless, some might think that it’s the stuff of their dreams to live life to the fullest.

However, with all the insecurities building up inside me, I was living the complete opposite life.

My self-esteem dropped to the bottom ground, and I lived as a couch potato for a long period of time.

I was not only losing money, but also losing myself. It was one of the lowest points of my life, where I could not even face some of my friends.

I was lying to some people that I was working because I was ashamed to tell the truth.

It got to the point where I only lived off Food deliveries like Grab or Foodpanda because I did not want to face anyone — sometimes even my neighbors or anyone outside, fearing that they would find out that I was jobless.

Anxiety and depression kicked in during that time; and nothing interested me at all.

All my life, I have never had much failure, where things would always go my way. You see, I was always a good student in school, following rules and being someone who will play it the safe way.

Arriving at this point, I felt nothing more than a loser, feeling that everyone else was moving forward in their life, while there I was, moving backwards… or so I thought.

There’s a saying: “If you hit rock bottom, the only way to go is up.”

At some point of your life, you know that you could not continue being that way and it hits you really hard.

You know that change will only come to you if you make the change yourself. All it takes is for one person to believe in you.

If you have just that one person, be it a stranger, friend, family or your spouse, you can then build that belief inside you.

Take baby steps; one at a time, exploring what you wanted to do, what you are interested in and what you were looking for, for the next job.

Take a step outside of your comfort zone, making a consistent effort and challenge yourself in ways you would have never imagined.

With that kind of mindset in me, I explored on events I was interested in.

Almost every day I was occupied with attending events, meeting new people and gaining knowledge in things I was interested in, even outside of my job nature.

With the exposure I was getting, I slowly understood what was personally most important to me.

My confidence started to come back, and I was then more than ready to face people, face job applications/interviews, and putting my head high up again!

Today, I am grateful to say that I have indeed landed on a job or company with the things that I wanted to focus on.

Things have since gone up all the way to one of my happiest times in my career.

What works for others won’t always work for you.

The point I’m trying to make here is not to encourage or discourage any sort of job quitting decisions before securing the next job.

I am here to sincerely let you know that if you are going through tough time in life, always remember that this too shall pass.

The lowest point of your life teaches you life lessons that you cannot gain during your higher times in life.

It is a valuable lesson which is an eye opener to many things you could never have imagined.

If someone asked me if I’ve ever regretted my decision to quit my job, my definite answer would be “NO”.

I may have suffered, be it mentally or financially, but those were the kind of decisions that I needed to make for my everlasting curiosity and doubts during my work life that I needed that time-off for myself.

I was solely responsible for my own decision, so I had to face any consequences that came with it. All of these came with a reward called life experience.

What I’ve learned is that everyone’s life is different. What works for others won’t always work for you.

Instead of comparing, questioning and judging others, why not be kind, and lend a helping hand in any way, or even be an active listener to those in need?

Let’s all make the world a better place!

For more stories like this read: I Still Haven’t Found a Job for past 6 Months – What Should I Do? And I Took Five Years to Get My Dream Job – Here’s How You Can Too

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