It was a dangerous environment. Everyone was gossiping about nothing in particular, but trivial things that had no backbone. Employees were programmed to throw themselves under the bus whenever they had the chance.
He sat in his seat that Friday morning and looked at his desk phone, his desktop computer and his colleagues and wondered what he was doing there!
He took his brown leather jacket and left. They called, he didn’t answer. They texted, he didn’t answer. Three days later, he received a dismissal letter. He felt pretty bad all day until he came home, sat on his couch and wondered how he just woke up and quit.
He had tinkered with the idea of working only for brands. He had thrown a few marks, some were hot, most were cold but none were hot. He had never been impressed with the idea of doing things just for a paycheck.
He worked hard so he could get to a place where he could choose projects he believed in. Quickly he realized that he could kill the beauty he had in class, the beauty of mechanics and KPIs and the last thing he wanted was to wear shoes that didn’t fit or didn’t fit him. were fine simply because he had a paycheck in his palms at the end of each month.
He sat down on the sofa in his living room and racked his brains. He looked at the TV, she stared at him blankly. He needed to reinvent the wheel or he was back to tossing excellent leaves and gossiping at the water dispenser with his co-workers about nothing very important. He stared into space and looked at his brown leather jacket. Life had never been so confusing for him before.
As an author, the idea of writing a book was something that crossed his mind daily but felt alien and out of reach. Chimamanda and Ngugi wa Thiong’o write books and are his highlight but who was he to write one? He didn’t even know what he was going to write about, he had thought that if he ever wrote a book it would be something philosophical and deep, like the center of the ocean; something that would sit right next to bestselling author Charles Dickens.
But now sitting on his couch, 28, not wise enough to write Dickens 2.0, the month dipping with cold tracks slipping through his fingers and his brown leather jacket staring at him, he was terrified of his future.
He knew that if he was going to release a book, it had to be electric, done with talent and touch on things that were close to his heart. Yet not so strong that he couldn’t see it fail and be okay with it. He knew it had to have a sense of continuity. Somewhere he could choose and run with if there was demand for a sequel. So he sat down on the couch and wrote his first book in two weeks.
The experience gave him a new perspective and ended many of the fears he had accumulated over the years. He realized he could live doing what he loved. Turn sentences into paragraphs. Carving the words until they ignited the same way they sang in his mind. Telling stories that matter to him the way he wanted to without worrying about mechanics or shoes that didn’t fit or didn’t fit him as he walked to the office each day. That was a year ago, today he unlocks more milestones in his writing career.
Regardless of your work environment, quitting a job isn’t a two-week decision like Philip did. Maybe luck, maybe passion, resilience and zeal, but it worked for him and he plans to stick with his tough decision for so many years to come.
This should be a well-planned move, however, as the streets aren’t as user-friendly as internet CEOs portray it. Philip pursuing his writing-only career might be everyone’s dream – going for what you really love, but whether it’s a bespoke approach, it’s no walk in the park.