My Bittersweet Farewell to ESL: The Hard Truth About Leaving Your First Job

leaving first job

In just a few weeks, I’m leaving Earn Spend Live and starting law school. When ESL began, I was still a wee intern and I would power through all of my other assignments every week just so I could have a few extra hours to work on this site — and now I’m ending my time here as a full-time Editor and Writer for ESL. And though not every single day of working together has been a breeze (lol, love you guys!), I have genuinely enjoyed every minute of getting to work with Elise and Meleah on their passion project. From podcasts and videos to articles and infographics, I am so proud of everything I’ve had a hand in creating for this website, and it sucks to have to say goodbye so soon.

But despite all of that, around November 2016 (hmm, wonder what happened then..?) I started to feel restless. It took me until inauguration day in January to realize what I should have already known: Sitting around depressed, ranting on Facebook, arguing with my relatives over Thanksgiving dinner — none of that was accomplishing anything. I had to do something. Something big. So I took the LSAT on a whim. A few months later, I got my scores back and started applying to law schools. I still didn’t know if it was something I actually wanted to do until I started getting my acceptance letters in the mail.

Now I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that going to law school and (eventually) becoming an attorney is what I’m meant to do. But that doesn’t mean that leaving my home here with Earn Spend Live is going to be easy. So I thought I’d share some hard, candid truths with you guys about what it’s like to leave your first “real” job — even when you know you’re doing the right thing.

It’s Scary

First and foremost, leaving the first people who took a chance on you, and — in my case — sacrificing the security of a steady paycheck is absolutely terrifying. There’s no sugarcoating that. Quitting your job feels so drastic and permanent, so it’s natural to wonder if you might regret it. But I just keep telling myself that the best things in life are rarely easy — and spending your whole life making “safe” decisions probably won’t get you very far. As my brother says: You’ve gotta risk it to get the biscuit!

It’s Bittersweet

I’m so excited to move on to the next step in my life and career, but I’m also really sad to leave my work family and the comfort of the job I’ve had for more than two years. Going from spending 40+ hours a week somewhere to literally never going back (jk guys, I’ll still stop by and say hi — you can’t get rid of me that easily!) is really strange. Even if you think you won’t miss anything about the job you’re leaving, let’s be real, you’ll at the very least have some major FOMO over being kicked out of the group chat — who will I send all my hilarious GIFs and memes to now??

In all seriousness, working together has been fun, but it’s the friendships I’ve developed that I’m really going to miss. Meleah and I have bonded over being fellow crazy dog moms, overprotective big sisters, and angry liberal feminists. Elise and I share an affinity for perfectionism, the struggles of being a crybaby, and chronic RBF. Our working styles literally couldn’t be more different, but the three of us have connected over our love of wine and the same TV shows, frustration with the patriarchy, and the need to vent about basically anything and everything on a daily basis. Even on the sucky, stressful work days when everything seemed to go wrong, having these two to commiserate with over lunch or happy hour made it just a little bit better. It will be weird not seeing them every day, but one of the best things I’ve gained from this job is two great friends — and me leaving isn’t going to change that (I hope).

It’s Overwhelming

I am basically undergoing a COMPLETE career change at this point, so it kind of feels like one step forward and two steps back — I mean, is all the experience I gained in editing and publishing even going to matter once I start my career over in the field of law? Sometimes I wonder if I’d be better off if I would have figured out what I wanted to do sooner. If I had, by this point in my life I’d be almost done with law school — rather than just now starting. But in the end, I think the journey I took was necessary for my own personal growth and maturity. Honestly, I don’t think I was ready for something as rigorous as law school when I was straight out of undergrad — I couldn’t wait to get out of school and start my career, but in reality, I still had a lot of growing up to do.

The experience I gained working on Earn Spend Live has helped me realize the things that I truly care about and what I stand for as a woman, a feminist, and an American. Writing fun articles about my dogs, drinking games for my favorite TV shows, and reviewing beauty products and book subscription boxes helped me discover the hobbies that I know I have to make time for in order to feel sane. Getting the opportunity to interview fellow female badasses taught me so much about what it takes to be successful. Having a platform to share my personal experiences and give career, relationship, and financial advice to other women who are just like me has forced me to reflect on my own situation — and at least somewhat get a handle on those things in my own life. And finally, starting “The Fact Checker” series fueled my passion for promoting the truth in all things, from local issues to national issues to global issues. I needed that foundation and motivation in order to make it through what will probably be the hardest three years of my life (btw, a message for future Christine: if you’re reading this a year from now, or two, YOU GOT THIS!!).

But It Will (Hopefully) Be Worth It

I could have chosen to go to law school part-time and kept my full-time job… But that would have meant little to no sleep for the next four years of my life and stress levels so high it would be a miracle if I didn’t fall over dead. So I opted to close one chapter completely so I could devote my full attention to the next one. I’m an “all or nothing” kind of person, so I knew this was the best path for me to take. And I know that when I’m holding that juris doctor diploma in my hands three years from now, I will be so glad that I did!

Even though I will no longer be “officially” working for Earn Spend Live, I don’t plan on completely disappearing — so here’s hoping you see me in some unboxing videos or hear me shit-talking in a TV Tuesday in the (near) future. But until then, think of me fondly and often. And wish me luck! I’m going to need all I can get.

Follow Christine on Instagram: @christinemassey

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