Ditching the Golden Handcuffs – Quit Your Job, Follow Your Passions

I took the leap from the edge of the cliff. I had been monitoring the under currents, the wind direction, and the weather. I finally decided to jump.

I decided to resign from my stable, secure, corporate job and follow my passions and my heart.  My heart was calling me home.

It wasn’t a snap decision. No, it had been a decision mulling in my mind for well over 1 year, probably close to 2, and if I were truly truthful, 2 1/2 years. Probably closer to 3.

Yes, 3 years.

That’s it.

Three years of being 100% satisfied at a job, but not LOVING what I was doing. I had changed. Life had changed me and I had grown older. Things that used to give the the “thrill” of working, now tired me mentally and physically.

But I was bound with those golden handcuffs of security called “Stability”. I was paid well, very well, by all outward appearances. We had the choice to live what some would probably call an extravagant lifestyle. But we didn’t. We maintained a pretty frugal life, being very careful not to make debt and not to live beyond our means.

For that I am thankful. It made the decision a little easier.

But, still, it is scary to break free from the golden handcuffs. Terrifying could also be used to describe the feeling. Mixed with elation. Elation because I knew it was the move God intended for my life right now.

If there was ever a day that the battle of the little voices sitting on my shoulder ever happened it was that day. I had weighed the consequences countless times in my head over the past 2 1/2 years. It would cause much inconvenience for others with a shifting of duties. It would upset some people that I had some long term relationships with at the office. I had watched them, mentored them, coached them through the years. It would be hard to leave them.

During the talks with my two bosses it was a relief that they completely understood when I told them I was “mentally exhausted” and either work had to give or family and life had to give. Forsaking family and “life” wasn’t an option.

I explained it in a way most can understand. My zig-zag career path was always embracing for the next thing I could learn. I cut my teeth on modern word processing at that job. Learned all about detailed accounting/purchasing practices, spreadsheets, factory planning and layouts, manufacturing plans, a little IT understanding to get servers rebooted, how to analyze financial data or other database output for various reports…and that may have all been in ONE day!  I enjoyed working in the recycling industry and knowing that ultimately, what I was a part of helped the earth.  I think that’s one of the reasons I continued on.  Because I wanted to continue to ‘help’ in some way.

But, I had worked myself into a corner and wasn’t truly doing what I loved. My days the past 2 years were filled with spreadsheets and numbers and math. I hate math. No, I HATE math. Never liked it through all my years of schooling, didn’t do well with it in school. Yet, my job had morphed into spreadsheets, formulas, and MATH.  I am a woman of creativity and one of those outlets are words (which is why I started this website years ago, as an outlet for my creativity)

I hated to admit it, but my Work Days became Dread Days.  I knew I wasn’t in the “the place” I needed to be.

Where exactly did I need to be?  For now, home. Home with my family being more available to my aging parents, to our son and his family, and to my patient and loving husband.

My heart was calling me home.  Home to be the wife I need to be to my husband, to be of help to my parents, to enjoy more in nature, to have time to heal my mind and spirit after a few years of burning the candle at both ends. Home to minister to and help others.

The day I gave my resignation was a day of “do I, don’t I”.  I had been in a final “battle of the mind” for 2 weeks.

And then I ‘heard’ a question in my head.  It was not an audible voice, but I know it was “THE” voice of spiritual direction.  He said, “Do you really want to be here 3 months from now doing the same exact thing you are doing right now”.   The voice was inaudible, but my response was a loud “NO”.  I’m sure, had anyone walked by my office at that moment they would have thought I was talking to someone.

So, I resigned with a month long exit plan.

I never would have imagined myself as a “professional woman” but was described as such about a year ago.  That description grated on me.  Because I knew it was not what I wanted to be known for. I did not want engraved on my tombstone that I was a “hardworking, professional woman”.

My Heart is Home.  I have probably given myself (and thanks to my husband for supporting me on this journey) the greatest gift of ‘Self Love’ a woman can give herself.

Permission. Permission to be 100% authentically myself.  So, I ditched the heels (I actually ditched those a long time ago because of knee problems), I ditched the big fancy office and the piles of file folders and spreadsheets.

I’m now embracing new things.  I can’t even list them here because the journey is just beginning.

I’ve decided to journal the first 30 days by sharing my morning devotions.

I also know I have my core values that are near and dear to my heart so my days will be filled with staying true to those values.

Are you an empty nest mom looking to repurpose and redesign your life now that the kids have flown the coop?

Follow me on my journey as I have truly put my feet on the edge of the cliff, jumped off and starting to soar. Are you ready to soar too?

Grab your free guide to Discover Your Purpose, The First Step to Living a More Meaningful Life

Hugs and feathers from the nest~~()~~

Kim Steadman is the COOP (Chief Online Operating Person) for The Re-Feathered Nest. A place of encouragement for moms entering the Empty Nest Zone who are ready to RePurpose and ReDesign according to God’s purpose for their lives now that the kids have flown the coop. Kim can be found on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheRefeatheredNest and on Google+ at +Kim.


  • Rachel

    Thanks for sharing your heart Kim! Beautiful post about following the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit, along with your heart. I hope you’ve been able to find some outlets for your creative passions! I hope you’re enjoying your decision. What are you doing now?

  • kimsteadman

    Howdy Rachel! I have found several different things to try, but my passion has always been writing. I’m finding myself doing LOTS of writing, journaling and just “resting”. I felt led to not commit myself to anything firm for at least 6 months. I’ve done a pretty good job of sticking to that. My big things working is a piece I’m doing for a collaborative book which will be in Amazon on November 17th. I’m also doing some guest blog pieces, working on my OWN book, and creating the “Craft The Vision of Your Life” workshop. I’m staying busy, but doing things that feed my soul and I LOVE it! Thanks for stopping by!!

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