The past year has been a historic time for millions of Americans. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, an average of 3.9 million people quit their jobs each month, totaling a whopping 47.8 million workers.
It’s a trend that could continue as nearly 40 percent of American workers are considering quitting their jobs.
I learned after quitting my job and starting a new journey.
Like many people, I spent the early part of my career searching for meaning in my work. I was driven, I worked long hours and I played the company game. Still, I was always chasing something out of my reach. I finally discovered it when I stopped doing what I thought I was doing to find my purpose.
My career in advertising allowed me to work with big companies. It was all very exciting, but I needed something different. I was burned out from the daily grind and needed a reset.
As a result, I put my career on hold and started looking for volunteering opportunities, fully expecting to eventually return to my professional path, albeit a little more fulfilling. What I didn’t realize, however, was that this experience would change the entire career of my professional life.
I ended up selling all my belongings and making my way to Southeast Asia, Eastern Turkey and the Maasai of Kenya to live a life radically different from anything I had experienced before, and open to it, too help wherever I could. When I arrived on the grounds of the Maasai school, the 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 were just gathering dust without volunteers to develop a tutorial.
Living with the Maasai tribe allowed me to learn about Tech Ed and to look for 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 , which does not depend on an internet connection , and more). Although I worked in the technology industry shortly before my sabbatical, I knew nothing about developing computer programs for schools. It was all new to me and I’m so glad I had the time to learn and find out. My intention then was to translate what we have achieved in this community with others around the world.
When my sabbatical ended, I had an epiphany: it is possible to make a meaningful impact on the world by using my skills, professional experience and passion for the environment.
I decided to use my skills and experience to create change through sustainability. Sustainability is “development that meets the needs of today’s generations without compromising the needs of future generations” and that’s what I’m trying to achieve through a sustainability-focused media company.
Today, I truly believe in the power to uncover the impact of racial, environmental, and economic injustice through powerful storytelling.
Earth Speed Media is a sustainability-focused media company dedicated to raising awareness about things that have a positive impact on people and our planet. We tell the stories of companies and thought leaders tackling environmental challenges through sustainable solutions and nature-based lifestyles.
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 start is to write on a clean sheet of paper what drives them, what makes sense, and how to start a journey to impact others.
But the most important thing is to make sure you find a meaningful purpose that affects others. Life has taught me that fulfillment and purpose are best manifested when we apply our talents and gifts to a career or cause that empowers others to change and progress.
Retiring from the rat race helped me refocus on my true passion, which is helping others and finding a way to amplify the efforts that are happening around the world.
I hope that others who are quitting their jobs and reconsidering their professional lives can see through the clouds what drives them and is most excited about making the world and their local communities a better place.