Adventures in Thailand, lifestyle, travel

How I coped with changing careers, no income and staying positive. Don’t quit your desk job just yet.

It’s not easy. I live with my very supportive fiancé and I have no kids…well I have furkid – a dog. But that’s besides the point, the point is my responsibilities are still relatively low.

I just want to share my experience with you because I know you are out there, like I was, looking for the stories. Perhaps my experiences may serve inspiring or perhaps completely useless. Who knows?

All I can do is tell you that I’m a real person, relating a real life experience and you just take what you need to.

Before you read any further, here are the disclaimers:

I do not know if you should quit your desk job – I did this for me and it works for me.

I do not know if I will go back to a desk job – never say never, circumstances can change.

I love every minute of my experience right now – no regrets, this experience will be cherished forever till I’m old and grey.

I do worry about the future and going off the beaten path from time to time – but I am letting the universe guide me.

So here’s my story.

I am past 1.5 year mark of not being in at my desk job. I did go back to a desk job for about 1.5 months back in September, but that didn’t really count because it was such a short time. I actually took the job ready to commit long term, but things turned ugly really quickly and the worst sides of the oil and gas industry came out and I found myself again, thinking about change.

After quitting, many times, especially at the beginning, I would look at job postings on the daily and send out my résumé. And even though I did not want a desk job, those little voices in my head called me a hippie, a failure amongst other things and I really felt compelled to do so.

After quitting the second time, I went for yoga teacher training. Yoga was the one thing that was my constant in my life no matter where I was or what I did. It stayed with me long after I left the studio. So when I got back to Calgary, I wanted to teach.

I volunteered at a local studio every Sunday doing some light chores for 3 hours, in the exchange of free unlimited yoga. This seems to be quite common in yoga studios these days and it’s a great way to save money and establish relationships with the yoga community.  Those monthly passes cost about $140 and back when I worked in O&G, it was such a small expenditure that I wouldn’t think twice before buying a pass. Then, I asked if I could teach, but they said they didn’t have any openings. Plus, I was a newbie and they probably didn’t want to hire me.

So meanwhile, to supplement my income (or lack thereof), I dog-sat. I used to volunteer fostering dogs for the humane society. So I thought why not dog-sit? It was great. I walked the dogs everyday and enjoyed watching the dogs romp around tails and tongues a-wag. I took on a young Labrador puppy with separation anxiety for 2 months. Her owner was a nurse, so she worked shifts and it was difficult for the young pup. So she would drop her off whenever she went to work and I would work with Madden (the pup) on housetraining, basic obedience and separation anxiety. I spent way too many hours working with that puppy and at times I was exhausted, but I didn’t mind one bit…which really goes to show that when you love something you do, you’d do it for free. It’s so rewarding to know that you were the first person to teach a puppy to sit, stay, lay down, shake paw, roll over, ring a bell and fetch. Some adult dogs don’t even know how to roll over!

Using the law of attraction (ha!), I applied for a yoga teaching job in Thailand and got it. So now I teach yoga at a resort on Koh Chang. I bet you are wondering how much I make and let’s just say I made more an hour at my desk job than I do here a day. But no matter what, when you choose a different career path, one that will make you happy, you take the hit.

It’s a hard pill to swallow at first and it’s definitely not for everyone. Some people like being able to shop, to eat out, to get Starbucks every morning and to fork out $60 for sushi with a friend, like I used to. But I couldn’t do that anymore. My fiancé would take me out, but I didn’t like him wasting the money on what could be a week of groceries. So I cooked lots and guess what? I loved it. It was relaxing and the best part was we ate super healthy all the time and had lots of energy.

So to sum it up, I have managed in the past 1.5 years to hold my ground. I worked hard in O&G for 3 years, saving a comfortable amount for emergencies and an upcoming wedding. I worked really hard doing odd jobs to cover my basic expenses. My dog sitting paid off my flights and my expenses in Canada and I managed to come out deficit free. My yoga teaching term will end up paying off my yoga teacher training and if I’m careful maybe even some savings!

I am still trying to figure out how to make this work long term, but I am not (too) worried. I’m a hard worker and the praise I got while working my desk job has given me the confidence that I can easily do it again if I had to.

At this very moment, I’m the poorest I’ve ever been but I’m also the happiest I’ve ever been.  -The End-

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