Maybe I was a different type of teenager, but to be honest, when I finished high school I had no idea what to do next. What made the choice even harder is that with the right amount of work and dedication, I could be good at pretty much anything. Putting so much passion into what I do, got me from one field to another, in just a few years, confusing me even further about what I really want to do in life.
After getting my first paid office job (previously I worked as a volunteer for almost 1 year), I was extremely excited to finally earn my own money, learn new things and meet new people. I was lucky enough to start working in a multicultural company, which gave me the opportunity to improve my language skills, interact with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and broaden my horizon. Even if I was a bit disappointed with myself for not getting a job in the fields for which I studied for (I first started learning programming-since 5th grade, then I went to Law School and got my degree which offered me the amazing opportunity to work for an NGO and finally UNHCR), I was very happy, and didn’t doubt my choice.
The problem with working in such a company is that while increasing the number of employees(which more than doubled since I got hired) the company turned from friendly, to ‘Romanian’. When you put the power to run the company into the hands of locals, the company’s culture goes very fast from foreigner to national, which means a dramatic change in vision(the change happened in approximately 1 year after I got hired). Different managers, different teams, different rules. For me, this meant not enjoying the same rights as other colleagues did, and being constantly brought down about my work performance.
Working in such an stressful environment for about 1 year, brings your spirit down and kills your enthusiasm and motivation. The question is…. What do you do?
The solution I’ve found
Being intellectually active since as long as I can remember, I really constantly feel the need of a challenge, of gaining other skills and applying my knowledge. After thinking about what I can do to keep this up, I turned back to computer programming, my first passion. For months, I’ve studied after work, on my own, but without any concrete results. The high level of stress, combined with lack of time, didn’t get me that far, but I never gave up. In the end, even a bit of progress is better than no progress!
The questions which were always on my mind: When do you take the plunge? When is the right moment to switch jobs? When are you ready?
The answer: You are never ready, and you will never be ready if you keep on waiting for things to happen.
So, about 2 weeks ago, I’ve decided to go after life, instead of waiting for life to come to me.
The decision making
At the beginning of the company, this would have been a very hard decision for me: to quit the job I’ve worked so hard to get. Even when it got difficult and stressful, I’ve postponed this moment for as much as I could, thinking about what will the company do without me, how will my colleagues manage without me(silly thinking process). Also, I had no idea how to do it, even if it sounds stupid. I felt like I was putting the company into a difficult position and also showing them that I am not loyal. One day though, my boss made it easier for me, saying ‘no one is irreplaceable’. A mix of these words and the constant stress factor made me realize I am doing it wrong. Being 25 and wasting time on a consuming job, isn’t the right way to go about life. I am loyal, but I shouldn’t allow someone to constantly take advantage of this. Loyalty is great, as long as it’s directed towards the right persons, which wasn’t the case anymore.
The right moment for anything is NOW!
But what if NOW is the moment in which you are left without an income, and a fat chance that you won’t make it into the field you want to switch to? Well….what other better moment to find out, if not now? Investing more time into something which doesn’t bring out the best in you, which doesn’t help you grow, and evolve and become someone better than you are today, it’s simply just time wasted. You might lose an income, but you might gain something bigger than that: peace, balance, time, yourself. Once you are at peace, you can focus on your real passions, and improving your skills will become so much easier than it was when being in a stressful environment. This will get you to the point where you grow, improve and, most likely, earn more than you did before. In the end, our most precious possession is our TIME. This is something we won’t ever have more of, only less, and you can’t buy it, at any cost.
Even if the new career won’t earn you more money than the previous one, I wonder if it’s all about the money. Stress is such a huge factor in your mental and physical health, that we end up working to earn more money, to get loans, to live a lifestyle we can’t really afford, to get even more stressed because of the financial issues, to alter our health, and to work more or get more loans to fix out health.
I’m sure it has to be a better way to manage my time. So, keeping this in mind, I went ahead and quit my job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still very happy I had this job. This experience taught me so much, much about what I shouldn’t do if I ever have so much power in my hands. Also I’ve learned a lot about myself. Being in an office 8 hours/day or more, with the same people, all with different worldviews, with different problems and mentalities, for months and months, gives you a chance to see them at the highest and at the lowest moments of their life. For some persons, the lowest moments, bring out the ‘best’ in them, and this got me to realize a lot of times, that’s not how I want to be like. Many times, such experiences were like a mirror, in which I got to see all my faults, and realize where I go wrong in the relations with my friends and family. This helped me very much with changing things about myself, which I’m very thankful for, and also proud.
Getting ready for the career
With a whole new way of seeing things, a new set of skills(still work in progress), and a brand new attitude, I get ready for the future. Before quitting my job, I was full of doubts and fear. Now I am confident, positive and excited! In my head, sky is not the limit. Not even close. I can conquer the sky and more, through programming…This is what I really want! I want to be able to not only tell the computer what to do for me, but also to show it how to do it.
If I will succeed or not…I guess it’s just a matter of time until we’ll find out. All I can hope for, is to not waste my most precious resource: TIME, on anything else, but what really makes me happy. With a lot of work, dedication and a lot enthusiasm, there’s no room for failure.
Keep your fingers cross for me!