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Make It Happen {why I left my corporate job}

by Marissa on August 1, 2012

Allow me to date myself and say that I’ve been out of college and working in the real world for 10 years. In all that time, yesterday was by far one of the most gratifying days of work I’ve ever had. 

I spent the day on my feet for eight hours in heels, chopping fruit and vegetables under a bright spotlight. And I would do it all over again today. I know this doesn’t sound like the perfect day of work for most people but to me it was bliss.

Not only was I cooking healthy food which makes me ridiculously happy, but I was also being filmed for a popular web site bringing me one step closer to my mission of sharing my passion for healthy eating and simplistic cooking with the world! 

Seven years ago as a Corporate PR Manager, I found myself questioning my role in influencing the greater good. I had a sense that I was meant to do something more than working for someone else writing press releases and that very thought scared the shit out of me. So I stuffed it down and continued doing what I was doing. I was good enough at it and my parents expected it. What would they think if I wasted my years and years of private school education (and tuition) to do something else like become a yoga instructor rather than climb the corporate ladder?

So I did what any responsible daughter would do and spent more private school tuition to go to grad school hoping that thought would just go away and I would find my true calling in a high-paying desk job.

It didn’t and I didn’t.

Fast forward several years and lots of self exploration. I became a certified Holistic Health Coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, started this blog because I love to write and wanted to share my message in my own way and then opened my coaching practice, Marissa’s Well-being and Health. 

Only my closest friends and family knew I was hanging on to the high-paying desk job. They thought I had it made with a regular paycheck, crazy good benefits and my own gig on the side. I thought I was living in my own private hell. 

With one foot in and one foot out my identity was drowning in back to back conference calls, business trips and corporate jargon. Everything I stood for was challenged by a career that forced me to be someone I wasn’t and make a living doing what didn’t feel completely aligned with my highest self.

I was Corporate Marissa by day and Real Marissa between conference calls, by night and on weekends.

Authenticity is not a part-time gig. 

My self care went out the window, anxiety and stomach aches plagued me and old health problems resurfaced.

So I resigned. 

I know that sounds flippant but let me be clear that it was a well-thought and guided decision. I had spent lots of time practicing gratitude for the job and recognizing the years when I needed it. Yet for so long I was waiting to be ready to leave. To have everything perfect and in order. To do it the right way.

But there is no “right” way and I was never going to be “ready.”

The stars aligned and it was time so I felt the fear and did it anyway. And yes, the fear is still there but I take action to control it in productive ways. It gets me out of my comfort zone to that networking event I wouldn’t have bothered with last month or tells me to send  that email I’ve been waiting too long to write because the response may not be what I want to hear.

Today is day 3 of Operation Entrepreneur so you may want to check back in month 3 (and then again in year 3). But so far, I’m settling in just fine.

This was the shoe that always fit, it must have been hiding in the back of my closet.

I want to hear your story. Did you leave a corporate job to pursue your passion? Tell me about a time when you turned fear into motivation. Spill it in the comments below. 

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