Holy Shit…. I just Quit My Job

Holy Shit…. I just Quit My Job

I fucking did it.  WOW.

I turned in my notice today.  In 2 weeks, I will be without a job, with nothing lined up, no income, nothing.  It really is happening, and I am balancing being scared out of my mind with being absolutely exhilarated at the upcoming opportunities that I have in front of me.

In 3 weeks, my journey towards an EPIC 2011 continues, with what will prove to be a life changing and inspiring transition.  My lifestyle, livelihood, profession, goals, will all change.

I will get a chance to take a step back from the corporate world and focus on myself, my family, my passion and my hobbies.  Something that I have not had a chance to do in 15 years.  I can pursue my love of photography or my newfound outlet of creative writing.  I can learn to cook (better).  I can start a new business or pursue a new an alternate career. I can do anything.

The Backstory

My wife and I have lived in Southern California for basically our entire lives.  She is a recognized top salesperson for the largest telecom company in the country.  I am a Senior Systems Engineer in the IT industry.  We have lived the corporate, rat race life that is typical of a Southern California couple with dual income and no kids.  Since we met, we have longed for a life outside of California.  The lifestyle of “keeping up with the Jones'”in suburbia.

Jet Settin'

6 months ago, I walked away from my 8+ year career with an IT Solutions vendor to take a job in the corporate retail space with a national clothing retailer.  That move scared me a little due to the fact that my job security with my previous employer was rock solid, as I had been with them through thick and thin, but in reality, had maximized my potential with my only hopes for a promotion being in the employment of another company with more room for me to move up the ladder.

For the 5+ years, Juliet has worked her way through the ranks as a very decorated and accomplished sales representative with a national wireless provider. For her, the only step up was to move into a managerial role.  With that in mind and the company’s non-official policy that in order to move up in the company, you need to be able to move to different regions, we began looking for relocation and management opportunities for Juliet across the country.  After various interviews for positions in Southern California, Northern California and Atlanta, Georgia failed to pan out, we decided that we needed to just live our lives and when the opportunity was right, it would come and find her.

Taking the leap

Juliet and I got married in September of 2010 and were enjoying a very wonderful first few months of marriage.  The holidays were upcoming, life was good.

Then it got better.

Juliet was alerted to a job posting in New York that was reporting to her old boss form California who had relocated a year prior.  It was as the job was meant to be.  Then there was a delay here, a holiday there, and before we knew it, the holidays were upon us with nothing concrete for the New York job except a few phone interviews.

Then right before Christmas, we got the invitation to head out to New York for a final round of interviews right after the new year.  What began as a trip for an interview and some exploration around New York state, quickly turned into some soul searching and a lot of glances between Juliet and I that were all saying the same thing:

“Holy shit, this is really happening”

Juliet was offered and has accepted the job.  We’re freakin’ moving to NEW YORK!

New York Here We Come!!

The Future

For Juliet and I, our future is bright.  New adventures, new lifestyle, new beginning.  We are extatic.

Juliet is moving into a managerial role, so her responsibilities will be completely new for her, but a welcome change that she is more than excited and ready to take on.

For me, my future, while not as clear, is very bright. I have the opportunity to reassess what I want to do with my career and my life.  The IT industry, while very successful for me, is becoming less of a passion and more of a job.  I yearn for something different, and now I get the opportunity to explore those options.  To say I am excited is really an understatement.

Another big item that I am looking forward to is with this migration to New York, I will be taking our SUV and road trippin’ all the way across the country.  3,000+ miles and 7+ days.  Again, excited is an understatement!

Me and You vs. The World


I would be more upset with myself if I did not get this out there.  First and foremost, my wife, Juliet, my best friend.  You have taught me trust, honesty and a vigor to experience life like I never have. I owe this opportunity to you.  I will not let you down.

To the rest of you.  Just a little over a month ago, Steve Kamb was featured on Gizmodo with his Epic Quest of Awesome.  It was based on reading his blog that I really became enamored and turned onto the idea of working remotely and still making a living.  There is group of bloggers that I follow now that have been instrumental in changing my outlook on what is possible.  Big thanks goes out to Joel Runyon, Jenny Leonard, Steve Kamb, Ayngelina Brogan, Lachlan Cotter and many, many others.

Justin Hamlin

Justin Hamlin is the founder of <a href="http://www.justinhamlin.com">Get Busy Livin'</a>, a blog founded on collaboration and story telling, dedicated to inspiring himself and others to get busy living their lives. He is a writer, photographer, computer nerd, story teller and world traveler. He calls New York home when him and his wife are not hunting down adventure, exploring the east coast or jet setting around the world. You can follow Justin on <a href="http://www.justinhamlin.com">Get Busy Livin'</a>, <a href="http://www.twitter.com/justinhamlin">Twitter</a> or <a href="http://www.facebook.com/GetBusyLivin">Facebook</a>.

  • Oh I can totally relate to this!! Congratulations as well!

    My boss asked me for an official resignation letter yesterday. I realized–I have 3 paychecks left to pay off my debt, maintain my car, and have a leeetle bit to live on before I make some money. :O Yeah–I’m terrified!

    • I hear you there!

      I thankfully have a few small jobs coming in that I can do once I am back in NY, as well as my tax return coming to me. So that should be able to float me for at least 2-4 months.

      What is scary for me is I have been so used to a stable income for 10+ years, now not having one is making me a little nervous.

      But with that nervousness comes exhilaration. I won’t have to be at the office by 8, take my 1 hr lunch, leave at 5, sit in traffic, it will be awesome.

      Best of luck to you in your ventures and your final weeks at your job!

  • Congratulations man,

    I wish you and your wife all the best for this exciting new chapter in your lives

    • Thank you sir. Will definitely be a new adventure, but one we are completely looking forward to.

  • Congratulations Justin. What a huge move man! I think life is about to get a whole lot better.

    • Lach –

      Could not have said it better myself. I think this is a brand new start for Juliet and I, I think it will breathe a new life into both of our lives.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • I tell ya man, there is no greater feeling than waking up on your first Monday morning after leaving a job to work for yourself and then asking “Hmmmm, what do I want to do today?”

    After that, you will never go back.

    Congrats, now it’s time to put a plan in place to turn your passions into a business. Build your audience, ask them what they want, and then provide it.

    Get busy livin.


    • The man, the myth, the legend.

      I have been in that corporate america job for so long, and with everything upcoming, but I definitely think that after a few weeks, once we are settled in NY, that time will come. Until then, I think it will just feel like I am on vacation, with the thought in my head that I eventually have to go back.

      Here is to overcoming those mental blocks and finding my way. Thank you for the inspiration Steve.

  • Congratulations Justin. I can’t wait to see how to choose to live your life now that you have a fresh start.

    • Seriously excited about all of the opportunities. The next 2-3 months are going to be huge. I cannot wait!

  • Hi Justin,

    Love your journey, came here after reading your comments on Ryan’s blog. Speaking of parallels, it’s funny, but your life echoed may aspects of mind, as I have been on a similar journey for the last few years. Highly recommend it to everyone – go live your dream, and recognise that when life does not work out as planned, being flexible is key.

    Good luck on the move to New York.


    • Michael –

      Thanks for dropping by, glad to hear you enjoyed what you read. For me, the first step will be defining my dream. I have worked for too long to where my career became all that I was. Now I have the opportunity to find out what I really love to do, and turn that into a money generating business.

      Wish me luck! And thanks for dropping by!

  • Congrats man! Now go make stuff happen! 🙂 Have fun in NY!

    • Thanks Joel! Gotta figure out what it is I want to make happen, then I will be sure to make it happen!

  • Remember: if you trip getting started, shoulder roll. It works literally and metaphorically in life. Working for yourself is the strangest combination of empowerment and responsibility – I’ve been supporting myself and two kids as a single Mom through a home-based business for 8 years now – and there are going to be months where you’re seriously not sure you can do it. Be smart with the pennies coming in, grit your teeth, and stay honest with yourself. If you’re truly doing what you want to do and you honestly have the skills to make it happen, go pitbull all over it. Failure is just the word people use to define the point in time in which they stopped trying to succeed….

    • Andra –

      Thanks for dropping by. Great thoughts and a great story. So awesome to hear that you have been doing a home based business for that long with little ones.

      I will definitely get to play the role of house husband at first while figuring everything out, but I am excited at the opportunity

      Thanks again for dropping by

  • Mike

    Every morning that I break open another freshly dry cleaned shirt and sit in traffic while trekking north on I-5, I’m going to silently (and perhaps not so silently) curse your name. (I kid, I kid…maybe)

    But seriously, I know from my own foray into the whole working remotely arena how liberating and less stressful life becomes when you take all of the daily hindrances associated with office life away. You’re going to learn how much you are truly capable of and start to see life in a whole new context.

    To you and Juliet, I love you guys like you were my own family and wish you nothing but success and happiness in wherever your journey takes you.

    Now, did someone say road-trip?

    • I will be sending you pictures daily (and blog updates) about not working. Just to keep you in the loop. 🙂

      Now let’s plan this damn road-trip 🙂

  • WOW, that is pretty fucking awesome!!! Congrats on EVERYTHING!!! Looks like you are going to have a fresh start for ummm EVERYTHING!!!

    Oh & hell yes be excited about the cross country road trip. That is something I would love to do one day.

    • Jaime –

      Only 40 some days for you to go! I am definitely looking forward to the road trip and the new adventures that will come from this. Not quite your adventures, but adventures in their own right.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Congrats my man! Enjoy the ride!

    • Thanks brother! Looking forward to being an 8 hour drive rather than a 5 hour flight and a few hour drive.

      Will definitely be seeing you guys soon!

  • When I moved from Southern California to New York City, I took a roadtrip across the country and it was fan-freaking-tastic. Congrats on this big life change and have a blast on the trip!

    • Thanks for dropping by!

      I have driven cross country twice and done 3 long road trips. I love doing it and this move is just a reason and an excuse for me to do another one!

      Thanks for the well wishes, these next few months are going to be awesome.

  • Hi Justin and Juliet:

    I know blog is for Justin only, but I will like to address both of you, because right now this is the best part of your life, that you both are deeply in love and together for better and worse. Remember to cherish what you both have and take care of it deeply. Nurture your souls with togetherness so you are in a position to go with what is not there. Enjoy togetherness and enjoy the mornings when Justin does not have to get ready to be at work. The rest you have to work on. Justin you do have what it takes to be successful to make money online. So read all the information on the Internet for a steady
    income. You can start it immediately.

    Good luck best wishes.

    Fran A

    • Fran –

      Already on it. Thanks for the well wishes and definitely looking forward to this opportunity!

  • Congrats! Moving is always scary, I moved my whole family from Texas to Sydney Australia only to move back in three months. Talk about stress!

    New York is great, I hope you enjoy the cold though.

    • Sean

      Thanks for dropping by.. This whole thing definitely is very scary, yet so exhilarating at the same time. It is nice to have some stability with my wife’s job, I think it is great that it also sets me up to do my own thing. On top of it, she actually likes her job, likes her boss, and has upward mobility. It is truly a case study in itself of how people CAN actually like their job and not mind working for someone else.

      As far as NY, the cold doesn’t bother me. Just a small obstacle anyways, and that part of the country is so beautiful, I cannot wait to explore it more.

      Thanks again!

  • Hi Justin,

    I’ve been exactly where you are and I’m here to tell you that’s probably the best decision (other than marrying a good woman) that you can make. I even started teaching a class on the subject (HOW TO LEAVE THE JOB YOU HATE AND FIND THE LIFE YOU LOVE). Good luck and I know you will be successful in living life fully.


    • Riley –

      It is amazing to see how many people have been in this position. It is a great feeling to be counting down the days until I am out of here. Already planning a road trip and other miscellaneous adventures.

      2011 is going to be EPIC.

  • Hi Justin!

    All I can say is that you are a braver man than me, mate. No, that’s not strictly true. I’m sure that if I were in your position (no kids, and 2 incomes) I could do it too because there’s really no risk.

    Enjoy and make the most of this part of your life, Justin. A part of me thinks it’d be nice to trade places with you, but then I look at my kids and I realise that them having food to eat (not always easy on a single income below the poverty line) is a lot more important than, well, than anything really. So I would never do what you have done, not in my current situation (which can’t change), and I’d never recommend anyone to do it who was in a similar situation.

    I do understand that you are not in my situation and I don’t think you’ve done anything wrong or even foolhardy. It’s just not a good plan for everyone. Good for you, mate, and I wish you all the success in the world.

    Kind regards,

    • Steve –

      That is actually a long conversation my wife and I have had just recently. The underlying passion was to never live our life and say “what if….”

      This opportunity presented itself, and as much as I am very happy about quitting my job, I really had no choice. There is no way to transfer my job back there. The reality is, I have not started job searching, as I just want to take a break. I want to remove myself from the workforce, find my passion, and see what I can do to make some income on the side, or working from home.

      I think while your situation is a little different, it is not impossible. Just going to take more work. I agree completely that my plan is not for everyone, and I will be the first person to tell you that I am EXTREMELY lucky and in a very good place in life to be able to make those decisions.

      Thanks for dropping by and the great reply. Hope to see you around more.

  • That is amazing man. Congratulations! I can’t wait to be in the same boat as you. I wish you all the best and I will be staying tuned to what your up to.


    • Brandon –

      Thanks for dropping by.

      Thanks for the well wishes and definitely stay tuned, this year is going to be EPIC.

  • Congratulations Justin, I know that there is much more in store for both you and Juliet. You have been given an opportunity to move forward in a totally new direction and I have no doubt you will succeed. I can’t wait to hear how the move goes and what’s in store for you in the coming months. Thanks for sharing this exciting news with us all.


    • Adrienne –

      Thanks! It is a great opportunity that I am definitely looking forward to Get to take a breather and enjoy life, then choose my own path. That is what I cannot wait for.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Hi Justin:

    This morning I wrote a comment on your site. My name is Fran and I am from 100 comment challenge of Ryan Renfrew.

    Tonight when I was checking all my comments, I did not find one here. Well I decided to write another one, sometime these comments directly go to your spam box, and you can take them out of there and display it.

    So Justin, you sound like a smart man. Just plan everything seriously, do not let yourself go down too much, find some way of making money before that, as it takes lot of time and effort once you let yourself go too deep with empty pockets.

    I wish you the best of everything including your economic status and a happy life.

    Fran Aslam

    • Fran –

      Yup, that is where it ended up. Thanks for dropping by and the follow up. I am already working on the money making ventures, but at the same time, I have been very active with saving money and paying off debt.

      Few outstanding things to go (namely house and car) but otherwise, we will have absolutely no bills between us except for 2 cars and 2 houses. Not a bad situation to be in!

      Thanks again for the well wishes!

  • Man, I get giddy just reading stuff like this. I feel like the crowd of folks, like you, that I’ve been reading lately are truly going to make 2011 an unbelievable year. I wish you guys the absolute best. After starting my blog, it’s amazing how much my life has already been altered. Especially helpful is following guys like Kamb that are living life of their terms. Looks like your unpaved path is going to be an amazing one. Good luck again!

    • Jody –

      I couldn’t agree more.

      Ever since re-investing myself into my blog in early december, my life has definitely seen a change. I started participating in things like Project 333 by Courtney Carver, the 28 day challenges with the Nerd Fitness group, getting into Travel Hacking with FlyerTalk and Chris G.

      The blogosphere is definitely a great motivating tool.

      My goal is to make 2011 EPIC. This is just the first step.

      Thanks again for dropping by.

  • Justin,

    Congratulations man on all the new changes and trusting your gut and taking the leap. That’s what it’s all about, believing in ourselves and letting the moments create as they may. Best of wishes for you and your wife’s trip to the Big Apple and for everything else life has waiting for you.


    • Alyx –

      Thanks for dropping by. Thanks for the well wishes and here is to making 2011 EPIC.

  • John Wart, jr

    Good luck. Picking up and moving somewhere completely different would definitely be an adventure. Do you mean NYC as in NY, or somewhere else in the state?

    I’m envious in many ways. Enjoy the trip!

    • We are actually headed a little more upstate, up the Hudson River about 80 miles. Up in the mountains, should be great for being outdoors, as well as giving us a new base of operations for all of our new adventures!

      Thanks for dropping by John 🙂

  • Congrats Justin. You know, I did the same thing only about 6 months ago. Quit my job and moved my family to a small town. And it was the best thing I ever did! I’m now making more than I have ever made, doing work I love, and my commute takes all of two seconds – from the bedroom across the hall to the office! It is a great feeling to be able to do what you want to!

    • Danielle –

      That is awesome! It is people like you who inspired me to do something like this, and take from it an understanding that I CAN do this.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Well said Justin. Your narration was brilliant and I’m sure that things will work out well for you. I agree with Fran too and hope that you and Juliet will use the break as an opportunity to further nurture what you have.

    Nice meeting you too and I’m looking forward to hearing more from you in the near future.

    • Thanks for dropping by!

      Been settled in New York for a few days now and it is great. Definitely making the most of the opportunity. It is amazing, yet still very surreal.

  • Awesome stuff, though the Weather sucks The NY area is pretty cool. (I ave spent most of my life in NJ when not traveling). Congratulations on your wife getting a wonderful job and you geting a wonderful opportunity. Years ago I quit my 9-5 and stuck out to make a living online. It took a while to “catch’, but since it has i think it was one of the best things to happen to me in my life. I am sure it is still quite a scary feeling, but really it does open the door to possibility.

    • Steve –

      Thanks for dropping by. Definitely the weather takes some adjusting, but it is not something we were adverse to. My wife had never lived anywhere but Southern California, so this change is good for us.

      As far as my opportunity, I am big time looking forward to it. Today is day 2 of my wife working and me being able to get things rolling from home. I am taking a small break and getting caught up on everything that I missed and put off for the last week while I was focusing on getting out here.

      Should be a fun ride!

  • Good luck bro. I left the corporate swamp last year and do online thing full time. Its been awesome. You get busy livin or you get busy dying, right?

    • You got that right!

      Thanks for dropping by and the well wishes!

  • mybluescreen

    You guys are awesome! It’s funny, I live in So Cal, quit my good-paying government job to focus on writing, and we’re moving to New York in the spring…(albeit, Upstate New York…brrr!) I wish you both good fortune and happiness. Great blog!

    • We are headed upstate as well. Where you goin?

      Also, thanks for dropping by. Its craziness right now, but cannot wait to get back there

      • mybluescreen

        We’re going to Ft. Drum, next to Watertown? I’m unfamiliar with the terrain, but it doesn’t matter. I hear they’ve got mad wonderful hiking up there. I must admit I’m a bit nervous about the snow though…I’m in So Cal. You know how it is. It’s already Spring here. 🙂

  • Justin, huge congrats, man. I’m on a similar journey myself, having quit my day job back in November. I thought I’d be scared, but I’m actually having the time of my life. Looking forward to reading more about your journey.

    • Thanks Niall. Definitely looking to connect with more people who have gotten out of corporate america to follow their dreams and be their own boss.

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • it is great to see people really making a difference in life and taking leaps, first congrats on your marriage you look like a sweet couple and the fact that you say it like it is…wow I was grabbed right away by the first line. good luck

    • Talk about a leap! It is still very surreal for me out here. Almost like I am waiting for the rug to be pulled out from underneath me. Crazy times, but I am enjoying it very much!

      Thanks for dropping by!

  • Hi Justin,

    What can I say except wow! cool! exciting stuff! I wish it was me! 🙂

    I have never had the courage to move from my home town but then
    again I’ve been a parent since the tender age of 21. Maybe that has
    had an influence on my life…

    I wish you every bit of success and happiness with the move.

    Best wishes,

    • Robert –

      We definitely all have those influences in our life. For me, everything worked out quite well and my wife and I were able to make a quick decision about this path in our lives. I think for us, it made things easier that, even though we have big families, we were always involved in traveling, having friends all over the country, so looking at this as a chance to make new friends and see a different part of the country, we couldn’t pass it up.

      It is like I tell a good friend of mine. I am proof that with a little planning and a leap of faith, anything is possible, you just have to believe in yourself.

      Thanks for the kind words and dropping by!

  • Congratulations on the life journey and successes, I am biased toward NY having lived there for the first 18 years of my life and despise the place. Some parts are really nice and elite, but the vast majority is an accident waiting to happen.

    • To a fellow Justin – Thanks for dropping by!

      New York City was the only place in NY State I had actually visited prior to January. Having now been across Rochester, Albany and settled in to central Hudson Valley, it is nice change from Southern California. Were outside the city, so none of the hustle that comes with that, and not quite in the sticks. A good balance if you will.

      The journey will be a fun one! Definitely looking forward to it!

  • WoW..

    Justin, if anyone is living life to the full it’s you and your wife ( congratulations on the wedding ) and why not. We only live once and life is what you make it.

    I always love to hear inspiring stories such as yours, it really drives me to keep pushing forward in my online business. Things are good at the moment online, I’m making money but my journey has only just began 🙂

    All the best 🙂


    • Kerry –

      Thanks for dropping by! Great job you are doing with your site! I am looking to start making some money online as well, so I will definitely be stopping by more often!

      Thanks for the kind words and the well wishes, same to you!

  • I’m super late coming and saying congrats on this. I left the IT industry behind a number of years ago, and though I have some links still in place (my web development business), it’s great to be able to pursue other passions.

    I see from other posts that by the time you get this comment the old job will be behind you.

    Good luck with your move, and perhaps when my family and I return and (very potentially) move to NYC we’ll meet up.

  • Justin I finally just read this because I followed the link on your tweet… Never caught this before. GREAT post… Love getting more detail on all involved in your move. So happy for both of you!!! Xoxoxo

    • Thanks girlie! Sometimes it is easier to get whole thoughts out when writing something like this than telling a quick story on the fly, so that is probably why you never got the whole story til now, but glad you got a chance to read it and enjoyed it! 🙂

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  • Sonja

    i am leaving my job as a teacher at the end of this school year to embark on a two year road trip with my three dogs. I am 48 years old. I am not scared. I was scared of not doing it, but now that i have made the decision and am preparing for the life, i am elated.  I wish everyone would find a way to live their dream.  Counting the days til May 31, 2011. 

  • Janne

    Will be newly separated, moving out of state (NC) with teen-age son, two dogs, and a husband who will be reloating to same state but different city.  I’ve been with my company for 11 years and I’ll likely be giving notice mid-May.  Scared?  YES!  I imagine I’ll be dealing for the first time with being an older worker competing with younger, etc.  I’m excited about the new life but the job hunt terrifies me!

  • Dennisjackson2009

    ….after being unemployed for a stint in my home state of California, I reconnected with an old friend in North Dakota (I had lived in ND in the past and swore I would never return) over the Summer of 2009.  Things quickly escalated and at 46 years old I packed up my few belongings, took what little cash I had, and drove to ND.  I found a job and for a year lived in bliss with the girl of my dreams.  Then, you guessed it…things began to change.  Our original plan for her to be looking for another Federal position in California changed into her wanting to also look for work in Chicago, near her family.  I was ready to go, Chicago or California…although not happy about the change.  Then, I awoke one morning in early December 2011 to the news that she would like to live alone, wanted to move to Chicaco without me, and was no longer in love with me.  Now, I have a job in a state that I am absolutely miserable in and she moved to Chicago without me.  I am going to quit my job, pack my few belongings, and with only 2K in my pocket, head home at the end of February 2012 to friends, family, and the sunshine and hope for the best.  I cannot outrun my broken heart, but it will be easier to heal at home.  I am scared to death of not surviving, but it is better to be there than on this frozen prarie.

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