Taking control of my life

I’ve been writing this post in my head for about 3 months now but I still don’t really know what I want to say. But to put it in black and white, Friday 27th November 2015 will be my last day as a Junior Designer at gpstudio – I’ve quit my job.

I’m sure there are many questions (as I’ve probably already asked myself all of them a million times), so let me try and explain why I’m taking control of my life. Maybe grab a cuppa because this is going to be a long one…

Taking control of my life

First of all, this has not been an easy decision in any way. For some people it might seem like I have just packed my job in to run away with the fairies, but sadly it’s not the case (fairies don’t exist guys)! You might have read my struggles after graduating, my exciting move to London and everything else that has followed in the past 2 years? Nowadays I’m being paid to be a Graphic Designer at a studio and I’m living in London – finally all of my dreams came true… er, not quite.

I don’t know if it’s come across via my blog/twitter but I haven’t been happy for about 6 months now. I’m a fan of cryptic tweets so some people might have cottoned on, but it’s taken me this long to think, plan and act. At the end of October I handed in my notice without another job to go to. WHAT WAS I THINKING? AM I CRAZY? HOW WILL I PAY MY RENT? And the list of alarm bells continues, I know. But I can promise you that whilst I’m writing this I am 90% excited and 10% scared.

I’ve been working as a Junior for 2 years now and I have learnt so much. I’ve developed both as a creative and a person – my confidence has really grown. I’ve also been a part of a studio family (dysfunctional, but still a family) – respecting, observing and learning from the elders. I know that I still have SO much to learn… but there comes a point where I have learnt all I can at this studio; I feel ‘comfortable’ and everyday is ‘meh’. ‘Comfortable’ is such a horrible word for me – it’s fine for some people, but it’s just not me. It’s not good enough! I don’t feel challenged. I don’t feel like I’m learning anymore (if anything I feel like I’m going backwards). I don’t feel inspired. I don’t feel excited to go to work anymore.

So, what are my options?
– I could do nothing and just stay ‘comfortable’ – I’m being paid quite well to do ‘easy’ work (By easy, I mean that I’ve been doing it everyday for 2 years now so it’s nothing new or challenging – my brain feels like it’s disintegrating!).
– I could start looking/applying for jobs and hang on until I can move.
– I could lose my creativity, happiness and sanity waiting to find a new job.
– OR I could take control of my life and quit. So, you already know which I chose.

Now, I understand that just quitting a job is not something that everyone is able to do but just to put your mind at ease, these are the reasons which make it possible for me to do this right now:
– I’m still (quite) young and able to easily change my path/direction/career
– I haven’t really got any ties/obligations in terms of children, mortgage, debt etc
– I have 2 years industry experience as a Designer under my belt (enough to tick the ‘must have 2-3 years experience’ box which basically every job asks for now)
– I have been very good with my money & have a good amount of savings to support myself
– I have a really supportive network that believe in me; boyfriend, housemates, (soon to be ex-) colleagues and friends
– I have grown some balls and now I believe in myself

I have been battling so many demons in my head; What will everyone think? How will I explain this to my Mum/ to my friends/ on the blog? Why am I such a Millennial cliche? What if it’s the wrong decision? What if I’m an idiot to quit a job which so many other graduates would kill for? Why can’t I just grin and bear it? What if I regret this when I’m older? What if…

What if I regret not doing this when I’m older? What if I can do something really exciting? What if I can change the world? What if I can get paid to do what I love? What if I don’t care what other people think is the right thing? What if I’m the only one that can do it?

Maybe I’ll be writing another post in 2 months saying that I miss my job? Maybe I’ll have a new job? Who knows? One thing I do know is that I won’t know unless I try it!

You might be thinking ‘why did you need to quit your job right now though?’. I spend a lot of my time balancing my work/life/blog routine. For me, to properly decide what I’m going to do with my life, I need to fully focus on me. I have been applying for jobs over the past 2 months, but the problem is that I’m applying with a portfolio that isn’t really ‘me’. Yes, it’s work that I have produced, but I’m not proud/excited to share it if I’m honest. Which makes it hard to promote myself, because right now I wouldn’t give myself a job if I saw my portfolio, so why should anyone else? This is why it had to be now. I’m effectively taking December ‘off’ to find myself (oh so cliche, but true)/my style, just be creative and work on a portfolio that I want to send out into the world. It’s just something that I have to do.

Since handing my notice in I have noticed a dramatic change in my mood; I am SO much happier. I should be scared, but I’m not really because I’ve told myself that I can do this and I know that I can make it happen (whatever ‘it’ might be). I did have a wobble and almost chickened out, but handing my notice in has been a positive change which opens new doors and shines light into a dark world.

There are so many horrible things happening around the world everyday that make this post seem so #firstworldproblems, I know, and that is exactly why I have to do this. LIFE IS TOO SHORT! I don’t want to look back in 50 years and regret not trying something new. I’d rather fail and learn than take the easy route of being ‘comfortable’/normal/traditional.

Which brings me to the next thing… so I’ve spoken about this before, how we’re supposed to go to University, Graduate, get a job as a Graphic Designer and live happily ever after. Well I think I’ve known all along, but I’ve only just realised – I’m just not that girl. I don’t think I fit in the traditional ‘Graphic Designer’ box because I have a lot of other skills; organisation, writing, photography, networking etc. Maybe I’m not supposed to sit at a desk 9-6 all day – maybe I can do a few different things using all of my skills? (I’m writing another post to discuss all of this because I have SO MUCH more to say on this!)

I want to do something amazing with my life, so I need to go out there and grab it with both hands.

1200 words later, I feel like I’ve only begun to explain, but I hope that has helped to clear a few things up. I have so many more posts to write from this story; things that I want to discuss and expand on. The next few months are going to be tough, I know, but I am SO ready for the challenge. Now I just need to know; are you ready to support me & follow my adventure…?

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P.S. If you could send words of encouragement please and thank you <3

36 Comments

  1. emma@emmainks.com' 23/11/2015 / 1:40 pm

    I am not good with comfort and feel like I need to be constantly challenged to really be making the most out of my life. People think it is crazy but we all find happiness in different places and sometimes the biggest, scariest decisions are the best ones as they show us what we are capable of. I am sure that lots of amazing things will come your way soon and I can’t wait to keep up with your next adventure.

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:12 pm

      Glad that you’re similar to me Emma – comfort SUCKS! It’s suffocating and awful and I’d much rather be loving life and with just £5 in my pocket ha Thanks for the support & continuing to follow my adventures 🙂 x

  2. Naomico80@gmail.com'
    Naomi Cowen
    23/11/2015 / 1:41 pm

    So brave Tasha!
    I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose to do. I read this on my lunch and thought “you go girl!” and you CAN do it!
    I know how it feels to hit that wall that is stopping you going further, and being as talented and amazing as you are, I’m sure you’ll have no problems finding out what your next move will be!

    Naomi 🙂 xxx

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:10 pm

      He he I’m imagining you shouting that whilst enjoying a sandwich 🙂 Thanks for the support Naomi – sometimes you gotta do something scary for something good to happen, right? xx

  3. lizmmosley@gmail.com' 23/11/2015 / 2:54 pm

    You go girl!! I really enjoyed reading this and I think you are super brave – and now is totally the best time to do this while you don’t have loads of commitments/dependents! I am so excited to follow your journey and I feel confident it is going to work out great! 2016 is gonna be an awesome exciting year for you!

    Liz xx

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:08 pm

      WOO – one good thing that came out of this (if nothing else) is empowerment and the support of lovely people like yourself! Thanks for the kind words and encouragement; it means so much 🙂 xx

  4. alittletwistof@gmail.com'
    Meg Siobhan
    23/11/2015 / 3:05 pm

    Good on you I say! Best of luck for whatever you do!

    I hate staying still for too long…I really do!

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:07 pm

      Thanks for the support Meg – it’s scary but I feel so much better 🙂

  5. mattshiggins@gmail.com'
    Matts Higgins
    23/11/2015 / 7:09 pm

    This post pretty much follows every thought I had early this year. It’s interesting how the notice period changes how you look (and feel) about the job, gives you plenty of perspective!
    I did in fact quit my job with nowhere to go, my ‘only’ tangent was that they offered me three days a week instead. Best decision I have ever made! I now have the opportunity to work on projects that I want to work on, couldn’t stand going back to the monotony of a full time job!
    I have never understood the people who are content with working their job and that’s all the creative things they do, it’s all to monotonous! That work becomes in no way a depiction of yourself, where’s the beauty in that!?

    Anyway… You are great a networking, and will have no issues finding work. You’d be surprised the number of people who know someone who needs some work doing, once you have got comfortable with that the sky is the limit!

    Best of the luck, you will love it!

    Matts

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:06 pm

      SO glad that I’m not alone in these thoughts as I think for a while thats what had been holding me back – the fear of being ‘abnormal’ or ‘difficult’ I guess.
      It sounds like things are working out for you and I’m happy to hear that… now I just need some of that ha Thanks for the kind words & luck – I’ll find my way in the end 🙂

  6. jasmincharlotteblog@gmail.com' 23/11/2015 / 10:50 pm

    This is so exciting! I think this is a really good idea, especially as you’re feeling a lot better about it now. I hope you find what you need to do, as your happiness comes first! x

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:04 pm

      Thanks Jasmin – I literally felt like a weight had been lifted as soon as I’d decided & got it off my chest. Weird, but empowering! x

  7. Handsfullofcreativity@gmail.com' 23/11/2015 / 11:07 pm

    I’ve no doubt you have fantastic things in store Tasha. Jump and the universe will conspire to catch you! X

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:02 pm

      Awww that is such a lovely phrase there Maxine, and thank you for the support! x

  8. jodiepsmith@icloud.com' 23/11/2015 / 11:22 pm

    You deserve to be happy in what you do and if being comfortable isn’t for you then you’ve done the best thing you could have! Im sure there is stuff out there for you that will be perfect, even if it isn’t just the typical 9-6 junior job that you’ve had. At least you do have the experience, and the knowledge to do this now, whilst it isn’t too late. You will be fine my lovely, I’m sure of it 🙂

    Jodie – A Textile Perspective

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:02 pm

      Aww thanks Jodie – really appreciate the support. It’s exactly what I’ve been telling myself for a while now but you know how it is when you have conversations in your head? ha I’m just not really made to be ‘typical’, I think that’s what I’m discovering x

  9. brokeinthebigsmoke@gmail.com' 24/11/2015 / 10:12 am

    Well this is freaking scary and exciting for you in equal measures! I’m a firm believer in everything for a reason even if it takes years for that reason to become clear xx

    • 06/01/2016 / 3:00 pm

      HA I know right? Thanks Leanne – I’m 100% with you on the everything for a reason thinking 🙂 xx

  10. Edshiggins@gmail.com' 25/11/2015 / 12:46 am

    I’ve been in that position before (twice!) it’s bloody scary but, for me, both times its proved to be the best move I’ve ever done, and given me experiences I couldn’t even imagine! I think ‘comfortable’ isn’t a good place to be, particularly for those in design. Hope it works out for you!

    • 06/01/2016 / 2:59 pm

      Thanks Eds – I totally agree that comfortable isn’t good for designers. We need to be challenged!

  11. lukeflorio@sky.com' 25/11/2015 / 6:32 pm

    Hi Natasha. It’s tutor Luke from aeons past here!

    I left my first post-uni job as a graphic designer after four year as the thought that there might not be anything else out there was just too daunting.

    I’ve always found that there comes a point in a job when you start treading water and then its time to move on. I’m really glad that I have listened to my instincts and intuitions when they have surfaced. Good luck to you whatever comes your way.

    • 06/01/2016 / 2:58 pm

      LUKE – what a blast from the past! Thanks for stopping by!

      Yes, it’s pretty daunting but like you say, there comes a point where its time to move on! Thanks for the support & keep your fingers crossed for me 🙂

  12. foundsomepaper@gmail.com' 25/11/2015 / 9:17 pm

    Tasha, you already know how impressed I am by your move! Since we met up at the photography exhibition & you told me your plans I felt thoughtful. You’ve also been an inspiration & I can’t wait to tell you some news. There’s also the project which we have to start. I think 2016 is going to be an amazing & creative year! Well done! x
    FOUND SOME PAPER BLOG

    • 06/01/2016 / 2:56 pm

      Awww I actually am lost for words reading this – I agree, 2016 is going to be an amazing & creative year 😉 To us *raises my cup of tea* ha xx

  13. lix@lixhewett.com' 25/11/2015 / 10:42 pm

    QUITTING!!!!!!!! ISN’T QUITTING THE *BEST*? I LOVE QUITTING THINGS.

    I mean, I’ve never quit a job because I’ve never HAD a regular job but that is not the point, I can be excited for you. I SO get you on the portfolio that doesn’t feel like you too – I’ve had clients like that and I think bumping my prices was such a good choice for me partly because now I get clients (even if they’re few and far between… because I’m shit at promoting myself and I haven’t updated my portfolio since… well it’s been a while. It’s been a long fucking while. Wow.) who actually like my work! They trust me! They like my style. And that’s invaluable.

    Excited for you, for real.

    • 06/01/2016 / 2:33 pm

      Thanks for the support Lix – you get me girl 😉 It’s scary but just gotta do these things sometimes, hey? 🙂

  14. blogabooketc@gmail.com' 10/12/2015 / 9:07 pm

    Despite being scared you have been incredibly brave and I have to take my hat off to you. Although I have no ties I am still so stuck in my ‘box’ and just really don’t know what I would do if I moved away. I have my career but don’t really want to move at the mo!

    Well done on getting out there and the best of luck with finding your feet – I have lived in London for over 25 years and love it more and more every day (despite the odd day trip out of it!), there is so much going on and so many opportunities especially with your skills.

    Once again good luck and if you are ever around Shoreditch when I am we can grab a ‘good’ coffee! Possibly insta worthy coffee!!!

    xx

    • 06/01/2016 / 2:25 pm

      Thanks for the support Fay – there’s only one way to find out these things and as scary as it is, it’s by just doing it… EEEK! P.S. Insta coffee is a must – when shall we make this happen? ha xx

  15. katarzyna.terek@gmail.com' 14/12/2015 / 9:08 pm

    Hey Tasha! I just came across your blog:) I admire your courage and wish you all the best 🙂 I hope you will figure out what’s next soon!

    • 06/01/2016 / 2:21 pm

      Thanks for your support Kat – I love your photography lady! 🙂

  16. shelley_george@hotmail.co.uk' 17/12/2015 / 11:07 pm

    I love this post, and for what it’s worth, I don’t think you will regret your decision. You seem like a very self-driven person, and quitting a job because it no longer challenges you is a testament to that trait. Best of luck exploring your options – I’m sure you’re on track for something bigger and better – onwards and upwards! Shelley xx

    • 06/01/2016 / 2:15 pm

      Thanks for those kind words Shelley – it really means a lot. The future is unknown and scary, but what’s life without a little risk? 😉 xx

  17. Christopher@lestaret.com' 07/01/2016 / 7:22 pm

    Hi Nutty, I know that you think I’ll be the most disappointed but I’m not. You are a force of nature and will succeed wherever you choose to be. I’m proud to have played my part in your life and will always look out for what you are getting up to. If you put as much enthusiasm into it as you have done in becoming a graphic designer, you won’t go far wrong. Whatever you do, always do your best and remember where you came from! Good luck Tash,, and know that I will forever think of you as ‘the crying girl’, whatever you do

  18. hellokatepalmer@hotmail.com'
    Kate
    14/01/2016 / 10:40 am

    Hi Natasha,

    We went to uni together and I always catch up with your blog. It is such a brave thing to do to leave a job, but happiness is more important than any money or job role.
    I currently work in admin 4 days a week which is soul destroying for something with a graphic design degree, i hope this year to find something 3 days a week – I’m always applying for stuff – so I can get back on track with graphics stuff as that is my real passion. I’ve had comments from friends saying I’m lazy as I work part time but if it makes me happy I don’t see harm in it and it gives me more time to do the stuff I actualy enjoy.

    We all worked hard for our degrees and I think we should be doing something we all enjoy.

    The way I see it life is very short, you are still young, you should be living your life to the full and be happy. As a creative who has worked in agency office environments I always found it strange working 8-5 plus more.. it wasn’t for me. Maybe I have the dream of working freelance I mean that would be more than ideal.

    I hope you find something or a path way you enjoy, but just enjoy some life experiance as well. Working 8-5 4 days a week in an office makes me feel bitter as I know there’s more to life than that.

    • 24/03/2016 / 7:41 pm

      Thanks Kate – I appreciate you checking in with me even though it’s been 3 years since graduation almost ha
      I know, it’s a tough decision but like you say we should ALL be doing something we enjoy. I know that for some people it’s not possible because of money or other circumstances BUT I only get one shot at life so when I felt like I had to make the jump, I knew I had to do it… even though I was SO SCARED! I think it’s a hindsight thing too… at Uni the goal is to get a job after we leave, but it’s not until you’ve had a bit of time to breathe outside of education that you can really think about what’s important to you so you can get the RIGHT job, not just ANY job! ha x

  19. malnabanana@gmail.com' 11/05/2016 / 10:53 pm

    Hey girl, just wanted to say that I bumped into this post of yours about two months ago and they really hit home when I first read it. So much so that I went off and took control myself, and now here I am, on to a better job and much happier already! It started something in my head – it was just what I needed to read, and I found it at jus the right time. So thank you for being real and sharing this. Enjoying your blog/YT lots too btw x

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