I was working for a management consulting company, had recently received a promotion and was making over $100,000 a year. I had just finished a high profile project, built a reputation, and had finally figured out what I needed to do to advance up the corporate ladder. Job wise everything was great, but I still decided to walk away. Why? 4 reasons.
Reason 1: Impostor Syndrome
Imposter syndrome was one of the main reasons I left my job. Although I didn’t have a background in consulting, I had come into the company as an experienced hire. Since I had worked at Goldman Sachs and had an MBA, they hired me to be an Investment bank specialist. The company was new and trying its best to break into the industry. I was to be their topic expert and expected to just pick up consulting along the way.
With my experience, I was able to make an immediate impact in the company and help any project team I joined. However, I still felt like a fish out of water. I didn’t fully understand management consulting or a project manager’s purpose.
I used common sense, and people skills to get through my projects and overcome most situations. Although I was doing well and the clients were happy with my work, I still felt like an impostor. I felt like everyone in the room knew more than me, and at some point would send me packing once they realize my secret.
I was able to keep it together on the outside, but on the inside I was miserable. The impostor syndrome had me questioning my decisions and gave me anxiety. I hated it!!
Reason 2: My Wedding
Since I waited to marry, I wanted a big celebration. Now, I know you might be saying,” wouldn’t paying for a wedding make stay at work?” Well, in my case it didn’t. My husband and I specifically set aside money for our wedding and were able to have two lavish ones paid in full with cash.
My wedding inspired a business idea. We registered for a ton of gifts and were both working long hours. For weeks, we would come home to find a “Sorry we missed you” slip stuck to our door. A few times, we even missed the final delivery and had to go to the UPS or FedEx depot to pick up our packages.
That experience had me thinking I couldn’t be the only one with that problem. I decided to take a leave of absence to see if I could find a solution that would solve it. After three months, I developed a solid business plan and made the decision to become a full time entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship was great. I was able to start a company from scratch, get customers, and make all the decisions.
Reason 3: Motherhood
As luck would have it, when I officially launched my company, I started to have morning sickness. Although the business was profitable, motherhood gave me a different perspective. I realized I got more joy out raising my daughter, than dealing with brides. With that in mind, I decided to close the business when my daughter turned 2.
Although closing the business was a hit to us financially, it made sense at the time. I decided to stay at home raising our daughter while my husband continued to work.
Being a stay at home mom (SAHM) was something totally new to me, but I jumped in feet first. I used the same skills that I honed at my six-figure job and stint in entrepreneurship to manage the household.
My husband was able to advance his career without worrying about any aspects of childcare. We were a team and each had a responsibility to make things work. Many of my peers thought I was crazy to stay at home, but I believed I was doing what was best at that time for our whole family.
Reason 4: Unfair treatment
Even though I was making six figures working, I knew I was underpaid. More than a few instances proved to me I was making less than the guys working next to me. Whether it was a color issue, gender issue, or just a personality issue, I knew it wasn’t fair.
Instead of accepting that fact and staying where I wouldn’t get equal pay, I just decided to take a chance on me. I had education, enough self respect, and great personal finance skills that helped me realize I had options. Of course, I could have stayed and fought for equality, but I was just too drained from all the work I had to do just to get to where I was. Honestly, it’s too big of a world with too many ways to make money. If I’m not valued, I don’t stay. not
Leaving a six figure job, was difficult, but not the end of the world. I had real reasons to leave and a financial plan in place that allowed me to do it. No one should have to stay at a job that is killing them slowly, crushing their spirit, and/or giving them anxiety.
Whenever someone gets surprised that I left so much money on the table, I just simply repeat the saying “ Not all the glitters is gold.” It’s a nice way to remember that although the money was good, my happiness was more important.
Now, my twin and I teach others how to control their finances so that money is not the deciding factor to stay at a job that isn’t right.
Nadia is a Financial Independence Coach from New York City. She holds a B.A from Columbia University and worked 13+ years in Investment Banking and Financial Services. She is an entrepreneur, investor, and partner at Wealth Twins LLC. She reached Financial Independence in her 30’s and is passionate about showing others how to achieve the same.