Why I Changed My Life Instead of Changing My Job.

Updated: Jul 27, 2021

Think switching jobs will make you happy?

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

I always feel like I’m just one job away from “finally being happy”. To be honest, it’s exhausting. I was tired of being caught in a perpetual cycle of all of my free-time going towards my next career move. So last year, I decided to stop focusing on my career for a while to see what else I could put that energy towards. I gave myself permission to step away from work being a priority, and that decision has changed my life for the better. It’s reframed not only how I look at work, but also life and money in the process.

It’s an experiment I’m glad I ran.

I’ve done a fair amount of job-hopping since college. This last time, I taught myself UX Design and got a job at a top tech company. I tripled my income over that year, my days were filled with interesting activities, and I loved my coworkers. So why was I started to get that empty feeling again? And what could I do about it? When I felt it, I started to dread what would come next.

Surely, there were things that I could do besides dedicating all of my time after work to job hunting and picking up new skills. Did I want to throw myself back into prep mode to find a UX job at another company? Did I need to make another career transition?

(I knew that would basically be another part-time or full-time job)

Honestly, I didn’t want to; not really. I was tired. And even if I did, how long would I be happy in the new job until I wasn’t again?

Spoiler alert: I didn’t quit my job this time. I decided to overhaul my life outside of work instead. Over the past year, I focused my energy on deciding what my ideal life would look like and started building it. I became nomadic, sold almost everything I owned to move into a 300 sqft RV with my Fiance and our dog, have been traveling the US while working remotely, and have drastically changed how I view money to build a life I love.

During this time, I’ve found myself asking these questions over and over again:

  • What if I’ve been focusing on fixing the wrong thing?

  • What if it was my life outside of work that needed attention instead?

  • What if I reframed how I viewed my job to see it for what it really was: a way to get the resources that I needed to live the life I really wanted?

… and they’ve changed everything for me: It’s been a massive success. So I wanted to share what I’ve learned in hopes that it might help others struggling with the same dilemma. Here’s what I’ve learned:

We’re Obsessed With Our Jobs

From very early on, the idea of our happiness and success is wrapped up in the answer to the ever-present question: