Last year was a historical period for millions of Americans. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, an average of 3.9 million people quit their job every month, adding up to a whopping 47.8 million workers.
It’s a trend that may be here to stay as nearly 40 percent of the American workforce is considering quitting their jobs.
I learned after quitting my job and beginning a new journey.
Like many people, I spent the early part of my career searching for meaning in my work. I was driven, I put in long hours, and I played the corporate game. Still, I was always chasing something just out of my grasp. I finally discovered it when I quit doing what I thought I had to do to find my purpose.
My career in advertising allowed me to work with major corporate players. It was all very exciting, but I needed something different. I was burnt out by the daily grind and needed a reset.
As a result, I put my career on hold and took off in pursuit of volunteering opportunities, fully expecting to return eventually to my corporate path, if only a little more fulfilled. But what I didn’t realize is that the experience would change the entire trajectory of my professional life.
I ended up selling all my belongings and made my way to Southeast Asia, eastern Turkey and Maasai, Kenya, looking to live a life radically different from anything I had experienced and open to helping however I could. When I arrived at the Maasai school compound, students had recently received computers as a donation and were rushing to meet the Kenyan government’s digital literacy requirements for the following year. But the computers just collected dust without volunteers to develop a learning program.
Living with the Maasai tribe allowed me to learn about Tech Ed and go after partners who could solve some of the challenges with technology in remote areas (the need for low-power hardware running on solar panels, an operating system not dependent on an internet connection, and more). Despite working in the tech industry right before I left on my sabbatical, I knew nothing about developing school computer literacy programs. It was all new to me, and I’m so glad I had the time to learn and figure it out. My intention then became to translate what we achieved in this community with others throughout the globe.
As my sabbatical ended, I had an epiphany: It’s possible to make a meaningful effect on the world by leveraging my skills, professional experience and passion for the environment.
I decided to use my skills and experience toward bringing change through sustainability. Sustainability is the “development that meets the needs of present generations without compromising the needs of future generations,” and that’s precisely what I’m trying to do through a sustainability-focused media company.
Today, I truly believe in the power of seeking out the effects of racial, environmental and economic injustice through powerful storytelling.
Earth Speed Media is a sustainability-focused media company that aims to spread consciousness on matters that have a positive effect on people and our planet. We tell the stories of businesses and thought leaders who are tackling environmental challenges through sustainable solutions and a nature-based lifestyle.
Not everyone can quit their job, sell everything and move to a remote part of the world to find their passion and purpose in life.
For others, a simple beginning is writing down on a blank sheet of paper what drives them, elicits purpose and how they can begin a journey toward affecting others.
But the important thing is ensuring you find a meaningful purpose that affects others. Life has taught me that fulfillment and purpose are best seen when we leverage our talents and gifts toward a career or cause that empowers others toward change and progress.
Disengaging from the rat race helped me re-engage with my true passion, which is helping others and finding a way to amplify the efforts that are happening all over the globe.
I hope others who are quitting their jobs and rethinking their professional lives can see through the clouds what drives them and most excites them to make the world and their local communities a better place.