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Leaving My Job: Leaping into the Unknown

Updated on September 5, 2017
Karen Hellier profile image

Karen Hellier is a freelance writer and eBay entrepreneur. She happily lives in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband and her dog.

At my desk in the Career Center
At my desk in the Career Center | Source

For the last 7 years I have worked at the local high school, running the Career Center and doing transition work with high school special education seniors. When I was first hired, my only job was the help special education juniors and seniors plan what they were going to do after high school. My desk was housed in the school Career Center so I could have access to computers for students, and college and career information. That was great and I loved working closely with these students, making sure they had plans that followed their dreams but also were realistic in terms of their abilities. At the end of the two years, saving money for the school became an issue, and the person that actually ran the Career Center was given an internship and I was asked to both run the Career Center, and continue to do transition work. That's when the stress began. Exactly one month into doing both jobs, I ended up in the hospital overnight with an asthma attack. I should have known then that this was not the best work environment for me! I hung in there and did the best I could, trying to do the work of two people. After the first year, I did look for other jobs, but I was a single mom, and needed to make a certain amount of money to make ends meet. I couldn't find anything else that would allow me to have the summer off to be available for my 3 children, and give me the pay I needed, so I stayed. My children went to this same high school, so although this was hard for me to do two jobs knowing that so much more could be done, I was happy at least to be at the same school that my children were at, in case they were having a bad day, or needed lunch money, etc.

As the years went by, the job wore me down.I tried to make sure as many senior students as possible graduated with a resume. I taught students how to fill out job applications correctly, how to apply for jobs, how to have a good interview. I showed them options of further education like college, vocational; schools, Job Corps, Americorps Vista, etc.But there was always so much more I could have done. I felt like I was practicing tennis with one of those tennis ball machines that shoots you a ball every so many seconds and you hit it to practice, but then the machine goes out of whack and is shooting balls at you left and right and before long you have to put your hands in front of your face so as not to get painfully hit with a ball...or the other choice is to jump out of the way, and turn the machine off. On Friday, I finally figured out that I needed to do just I jumped out of the way, and turned the machine off.

I had mixed feelings about leaving. The students that graduated this year were not really affected by my leaving since we were all leaving together. My last child to graduate is one of these senior students. My last day of work was on graduation day. But the students who are juniors seemed genuinely sad to see me go. This brought a few pangs of guilt, added to the nostalgia I felt when cleaning out my desk, and finding pictures, cards, and letters from previous students. But I reminded myself I am on to bigger and better things...but am I really?

I actually don't have a definite job to go to in the Fall. I plan on traveling with my husband who travels for work often. We have been married for 2 years, and I haven't been able to travel with him much because I can't take time off from work in the during the school year. I plan on substitute teaching in the area during the times we are not traveling. That is the only job I know of that will allow me to choose my own schedule. But that means I actually don't have a "job" to go to. And what if I start down the substitute teaching path, and don't like it? What will I do then? Maybe this online writing thing will work out for me? If I can do great things with it over the Summer, I may not substitute teach, but this remains to be seen.

I have always been a person who follows my "gut." My "gut" tells me this is the right time to go. Neither my husband or I are getting any younger, and I don't want to waste any more time. So I am off, leaping into the unknown, and hoping for the best, knowing at this time in my life, this is the best decision for me. It's scary, but I am up for the challenge to begin a new life. Wish me luck!


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    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia


      Thank you so much. I am humbled by your words and just reading your comment brought tears to my eyes. You have made my day and I am truly grateful for your encouraging words.

    • hawaiianodysseus profile image

      Hawaiian Odysseus 5 years ago from Southeast Washington state

      I'll be praying for you, Karen. Leaving a traditional job (been there, done that!) is scary, that's for sure. But more powerful than that fear is the faith that God has already prepared an awesome opportunity for you. I'm living on that faithful wing of a prayer even as I write these words.

      You are a very talented writer! The thing that I sense about you is that you're truly only just now beginning to believe that about yourself. Please know this...there are so many people who are reading your Hubs and hanging on every word. Why? Because you intuitively know how to reach us. Your God-favored writer's VOICE is making a wonderful difference here on HubPages. Thank you, Karen.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      LOL...I don't know if it's courage or insanity but time will tell!!! Thanks for reading and commenting quildon!

    • quildon profile image

      Angela Joseph 5 years ago from Florida

      I do wish you luck, Karen. Enjoy the time traveling with your hubby and working on building your writing career. I wish I had the courage to do what you are doing.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Hi sashenkainderby!

      So happy about your love for your daughter. I am not so afraid of the outcome as bothered by the anxiety of the unknown. I just need to pray and I am sure God has a plan already worked out. I just have a hard time not knowing in advance what that's going to be! Thanks for the comment.

    • sashenikainderby profile image

      sashenikainderby 5 years ago

      My pregnancy was the best thing that ever happened to me!!! Although I did not enjoy it but I look at my daughter and I love her more than anything else.

      What is the best outcome for you? What is the worst outcome for you? When you come to terms with the worst scenario you will not be afraid of the future.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Well, at least it sounds as though your story has a happy ending sashenkainderby. I hope all went well with your pregnancy. I am hoping for a happy ending on my part too!

    • sashenikainderby profile image

      sashenikainderby 5 years ago

      Dear Karen, I left my job more than one year ago. I cannot say that I hated it but there was one aspect of that work that I really could not tolerate any more. I became completely dependant on my husband and, frankly speaking, my spirits went down. I could not get the job that I wanted and did not want to do anything that was connected to my previous position.

      So, I decided to start volunteering and it brought me a great sense of satisfaction and the feeling of a purpose in my life. Then, when I finally got the opportunity to go to the interview for the company that I wanted to work, I found myself heavily pregnant. This is a story of my ordeal.

      Karen, we do not know what life can bring but this is what makes it so interesting and exciting and somehow it makes you feel more alive. Good luck!!!!

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      As someone else who usually just follows their gut (and heart), and sometimes not really their head - I so go for it, and wish you the best of luck! Hope you're going well with your 30 day hub challenge so far! :)

    • prospectboy profile image

      Bradrick H. 5 years ago from Texas

      I wish you all the best Karen with whatever life brings you from this day forward. You have been a great and helpful person towards me since I've met you on here. Continue to follow your instincts and your gut my friend. Well written hub. Voted up, and shared on my Twitter page :)

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 5 years ago

      Good luck, Karen! I left my career too, to go and do something I had always wanted to, and despite a few difficulties along the way, I have never regretted leaving. I wish you the very best of luck for your future success and happiness :)

    • donnaisabella profile image

      Donaisabella 5 years ago from Fort Myers

      Best wishes Karen! God bless your next assignment because turf is surely one.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thank you for sharing. Good karma. I left the best job in the world for my charities. ( the company was moving.)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Karen, I think you know how I feel about this. I'll just say best of luck with your future and congratulations on doing what you needed to do....for you! Hooray for you, Karen!

    • donnah75 profile image

      Donna Hilbrandt 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      Karen, your story of budget cuts and the work load doubling is so familiar. I see it happening to so many people who work in schools. You are embarking on a new life journey, and it will be awesome. Good luck to you. Voted up and sharing!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Thank you so much teaches 12345.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      Follow your dreams, Karen. I am happy for you and wish you the best as you start this new chapter of your life.

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia


      Hey thanks for the tip. I will check out her hub. That would be great if my online writing career takes off and brings in the right amount of money. That's my first choice, but I am not there yet. I will go read that hub right now. Thanks for reading!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      Sparkle Chi,

      Thanks for the encouragement and for reading!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia


      Thanks for reading and the good wishes. Much appreciated!

    • profile image

      SusieQ42 5 years ago

      Karen, you can talk to Sunnie Day about quitting her job for an online income. Her hub about her experience was one of the first that I read when I joined Hub page. She's a beautiful writer. I hope your new career as an article writer works out; I have no doubt in my mind that it will and all will turn out well for you. God bless, Susieq42

    • Sparkle Chi profile image

      Cate 5 years ago from Chandler, AZ

      Following your dreams is definitely the way to go! Good luck on the journey you are undertaking at this point!

    • jasmith1 profile image

      Adrian Smith 5 years ago from UK

      Good for you for following what feels right for you. All the best with your journey!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia


      Thanks for reading and the wish for the future!

    • Karen Hellier profile image

      Karen Hellier 5 years ago from Georgia

      supermomin ny,

      You are right, I hope to make an online income. Would love to make it my full time job. We shall see how it all plays out! Thanks for reading and the vote.

    • profile image

      jasontoheal 5 years ago

      thanks for sharing. good luck for the future.

    • supermom_in_ny profile image

      supermom_in_ny 5 years ago from NY

      I hope you enjoy all the time off with your new hubby. Hopefully, you'll make some income online that will at least help out until you decide what you really want to dedicate your time to. You only live once, so make it count! Voted up and awesome!