24, 09, 2015

Why I Quit My “Real” Job for My Internship

why_i_quit_my_steady_day_job_taniqua_russ

Today was a typical work from home day. As I drank my morning green tea, reviewed our Facebook numbers and prepped for a meeting with my boss, I slowly realized that quitting my job for my internship was the best career move I could have made as a post-college 20-something millennial with only one real job so far.

Let me rewind and begin from, well, the beginning.

My college graduation was in December of 2013. During that time I was applying  for jobs like crazy because I really wanted something to do when I moved back home, and of course I wanted to make money. I interviewed with two companies, one for a virtual non-paid internship and one for a paid entry level position. I figured that I wouldn’t get either or, at the most, one of these positions. Well, two interviews and 600 miles (on my mom’s car of course) later, here I am with both positions. Honestly, I can’t recall why I took both positions because each had enough of a work-load to keep me busy on it’s own.

[Read: 7 Apps That Help Me “Adult” ]

I graduated from college on a Friday and was set to start my first real-world job immediately. When I say immediately, I mean it. My start-date was the Monday after graduation. At the time I was very excited; I was about to start what seemed to be the first step in the direction of my dream career. I would be editing Christian/faith-based content for an app and it was a startup. Everything that I loved: Jesus, technology, writing, editing and a fresh innovative company. After months of waking up early, sitting in traffic for two hours, sitting in a freezing cold office, doing the same tasks everyday, eating lunch at my desk, sitting in traffic for two more hours to go home and doing it all over again the next day, I realized that I was NOT about that 9-to-5 life. But it did pay very well.

On a typical day, I arrived home from work around 7 p.m. and worked on tasks for my internship. To my surprise, it really was the highlight of my work day. It was a lot of work, especially given that I had a day job, but each day was something new and I enjoyed it.

[Read: Boss Move: Seeing Your Boss as an Asset and Not an Obstacle ]

I went through his routine for 11 months  and I just couldn’t take it anymore; I couldn’t take the drive, the traffic, the long days and the monotony. However, I knew that just because something is boring or I don’t feel like doing it doesn’t mean that I need to quit, so I had to dig deeper. I really took a hard look at my position and thought about what  was most important to me at a job. For me, it was the following:

  1. Vertical movement

  2. Network/Connections

  3. Growth/Skills Development

  4. Compensation

The only category that my day job was winning was compensation. My internship on the other-hand had numbers one, two and three on lock, which I never could have expected from a virtual internship. So I prayed and handed in my two-weeks notice around this time last year.

When I quit I had no idea what I was going to do; and to say that my parents were concerned is an understatement. I had no intentions of interning full-time, but when I had my first post-quitting meeting with my internship boss, I knew that was the direction that I needed to take.

Fast-forward one year after I quit my day job, I am now a full-time paid employee with a boss who supports and encourages my growth. I’m learning more about my field than I ever did in school, working with people/brands that some only dream of and doing things that some CEO’s are still trying to figure out, all with the flexibility of working from anywhere. The pay is no where near the amount I was getting at my first job, but it’s all worth it. I see everything that I traded as an investment I made in myself.

[Read: 25 Major Life Keys I Learned in 25 Years]

Even though my parents keep telling people that I don’t have a job, I’m satisfied with where I am. I know it was God-led and the BEST career decision I’ve made so far.


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7 responses to “Why I Quit My “Real” Job for My Internship”

  1. Asea says:

    Loved this Taniqua! So encouraging!

  2. Istra says:

    This is a great read and very encouraging. It is great when we can figure out our purpose and walk in it. I wish you all the best and God’s blessings, Taniqua.

  3. Holly Loube says:

    This is great! It’s funny how we always feel the need to justify our decisions, even when we believe we are following the Lord’s will. It is so easy to fall into the trap of concerning ourselves with the thoughts of men and not of God. I do it ALL the time lol. I unconsciously think about how I “look” or “sound” to people without ever really considering how I appear to my heavenly Father. All that really matters is that I am faithful and obedient to Him. He isn’t impressed by what impresses us 🙂 Anyway, this is an awesome post, you’re an excellent writer. I can’t wait to read more and to follow along on your journey.

    • Taniqua says:

      You are so right Holly! It really should just be enough to know that we are following the Lord but we all have those moments when it isn’t. Thanks for the love!

  4. Lisa says:

    Hi Fatima,

    Great article! I hope to one day and I mean very soon to leave my 9-5, well more like my 7-7 job. It takes great faith to step out and do something you love; knowing that the compensation comes in the form of pleasure. You rock girl! I’m proud of all that you will do and become. Keep pushing forward because it will all be worth it in the end!

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