Why quitting my job was one of the best decisions I have ever made

12th December 2018

On December 12th 2017 I handed my notice in at my full-time job. 

I quit.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I was so miserable and my mental health was a complete mess. I felt like I was just existing, not actually living.

If there’s one good thing that came out of my CBT sessions last year is that it helped me to realise that my job was the root of my unhappiness. I was undervalued and underappreciated, and my career wasn’t going anywhere.

I’d held on for a long time, and in the end it was a single email that pushed me over the edge. As soon as handed my notice in I felt lighter and I knew that it was the right decision.

Of course, it was scary. I’ve always played by the rules and quitting my job without another job to go to was the most reckless thing I have ever done. But it was the start of a wonderful journey and I honestly believe it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since the day I quit my job; 365 days since I said no to feeling inadequate and yes to happiness. But here I am telling you how quitting my job changed my life.

My mental health is in a much better place

As I say, the main reason I left my job was my mental health. I knew I needed time out to take care of myself and to think about what I should do next.

After an unsuccessful course of CBT I was offered counselling, and as I no longer had any work commitments, I was able to start my sessions relatively quickly. So, at the end of January, I had my first session.

I’ve already spoken about my experience of counselling here on the blog, but I just want to reiterate how incredible the experience was for me. Counselling helped me to get right to the source of my anxiety and depression. At times it was hard as it brought up negative memories, but I left every session feeling like I had made progress.

Every day I put into practice the advice of my therapist. Thanks to her I am able to block out the noise and focus on what matters. I’m able to break down my thoughts before they escalate into something worse. And, perhaps most importantly, I have learned to love myself again.

I’m so pleased to say that my anxiety is a lot more uncontrol now and that I haven’t felt depressed in at least 6 months. I honestly feel like a different person.

I’ve learned so much!

This year has been a massive learning curve for me. I started my own business and so I had to learn about how to keep track of my income and expenses, how to do a tax return, how to invoice clients, how to chase clients, how to pitch, how to create quotes, how to market myself and my business, and so much more.

Of course, I’ve learnt a lot about web development too! I thought I knew a lot about WordPress when I decided to solely focus on it, but it turns out there were a lot of gaps in my knowledge. I’m also feeling much more confident with PHP, databases and everything to do with domains and hosting.

On top of all of this, I’ve learned a lot about myself, and I feel like I know myself so much better than I did 12 months ago.

I’m working with my dream clients

I love being a web developer. It’s such an incredible field to work in. But what isn’t fun is building the same websites over and over again. I mean, that might be ok for some people, but not for me.

I was so bored and uninspired at my last job. I was working in such an incredible industry yet it was made to feel so bland. It got to the point where I really considered if web development was the right career for me.

However, working for myself and being in control of the projects I work on has helped me to fall in love with building websites again. In my first year of business, I have had the pleasure of working with some of my dream clients. No seriously; I wrote a list of clients who I really wanted to work with and I’m proud to say I can tick some of them off my list!

The people I work with inspire me so much, and they challenge me and drive me to work harder and harder. The type people you work with really make a world of difference in this industry.

My confidence has grown

I’ve never been a confident person, but starting my own business has really forced me out of my comfort zone.

At first, I would shy away from clients who asked to hop on a call or have a face-t0-face meeting. Like I would genuinely turn down work because I was too anxious to talk to someone.

But now I’m more than happy to hop on Skype with a prospective client and talk about what I do with confidence. I know I’m good at what I do, and saying that doesn’t make me obnoxious or up my own arse! I’ve worked hard to be where I am today, I’m proud of myself for teaching myself to code. Imposter syndrome can do one!

You may have noticed that this year I’ve finally started sharing my voice online. Prior to this year, I don’t think anyone online had heard my voice, unless they had met me in person. I couldn’t stand to listen to my own voice, and I assumed others felt the same.

But this year I’ve started talking on Instagram stories and I’ve discovered that I really enjoy it. In fact, as soon as I posted my first talky Instagram story, I had loads of people messaging me about what I was talking about. It’s like I had connected with them on a more personal level. And I’m starting to think that I don’t sound quite as bad as I think I do!

With my new found confidence I have even started going to local events again. A few years ago I had a couple of unnerving experiences at local meetups that really knocked my confidence and put me off going to other events. But now I’m excited about going to events again, and I no longer talk myself out of going!

My skin has improved!

An odd one, I know, but hear me out!

Longtime readers of this blog will know that I have suffered from acne for many, many years. I’ve tried almost everything on the market to try and clear up my skin, and I’ve ever spoken to specialists about it.

Within days of leaving my job, I noticed a change in my skin. I’ve always had really oily skin, but for the first time in my life, I had dry skin. It was so dry I had to completely switch up my skin care routine and introduce some hydrating products into the mix.

I thought it was just a fluke but the dryness persisted for months. And as my skin dried up, my acne seemed to improve.

I also stopped wearing makeup every day because I wasn’t leaving the house on a daily basis anymore and I didn’t see much point. But as my skin improved I started to feel more confident without makeup on.

Since leaving my job I have rarely had any acne outbreaks. Prior to that, I was breaking out weekly. My face would just start bleeding, and I spent many nights crying myself to sleep because of the pain.

Ironically, I’m having one right now, but it isn’t really bothering me because I know it will clear up soon. And I know it’s not something I have to deal with week in week out anymore.

I’m not saying my skin is perfect, but it’s considerably better than what it was.

I’ve actually saved money

Everyone talks about the financial side of working for yourself, but nobody talks about how much money you save when you start working for yourself!

I don’t buy as much makeup because I don’t wear it every day anymore, and because my acne is now under control I’m not spending as much on skin care products. I don’t crave new clothes because I nobody sees me, and I spend most of my days in loungewear! I’m not commuting to work so that’s saving me a fortune in petrol and tunnel tolls (my tunnels were costing me £50 a month alone!). I don’t go out for lunch every Friday so that’s saving me a little bit of money too.

So yes, while I might not be earning as much as I use to (at the moment), I don’t actually need to because my outgoings are so much less.

I just wanted to wrap up by saying a big thank you to everyone who continues to read this blog and supports me. I know I haven’t been as active on here as I have been in previous years, but I’ve been busy finding my feet with running a business. This whole work/life balance is a real struggle!

But I really appreciate you all sticking around, and I’m hoping that I can get back to a good routine with blogging here in 2019!

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  1. This is fabulous!! Congratulations on your 1 year anniversary!! I can’t imagine how amazingly liberating it must’ve felt last year.

    And I don’t doubt that your health both body and mental improved. I’m pretty sure I’d lose weight if I didn’t work at a full-time job on top of this, because I would have more time to focus on cooking, eating, and exercising. I’m so glad you got to take that leap!

    It’s a dream of mine, but I’m definitely not ready to quit because I’m afraid of not having insurance or stable income. But I hope to, one of these days!

    • Holly Pryce

      Thank you, Hiro. 😊

      I’m so grateful we don’t have to think about things like health insurance here in the UK because there would be no way I would be able to go self-employed if that were the case. I really hope you get the change to be self-employed someday! 🤞

  2. I’ve been wanting to read this post for a while, sorry it’s taken me so long to comment! But I want to say, thank you for sharing your story and for keeping at it. I’ve enjoyed watching you grow this year, I can’t tell you enough how much I see the difference of Holly before and Holly now. What you post on social media feels so much more happier and content than in the past – I totally feel it! I’m so so so proud of you, I can’t say it enough. It can be daunting at first, but you’ve proved that it is possible. I hope to work for myself at some point in my career, I think it’d be a fantastic learning experience as you have highlighted!!

    Congratulations on this anniversary Holly, I hope that you’re giving yourself a fantastic break this Christmas. You deserve it!

    • Holly Pryce

      Aww thank you so much, Pauline! As I said on Twitter I’m so grateful for your support and the encouragement you gave me when I was thinking about quitting.

      It’s crazy that even through social media and my blog that people can tell that I’m happier than I was 12 months ago. I’ve really been working on my happiness and thinking more positively this year. I couldn’t have done it without counselling.

      It’s definitely hard work but for me has been 100% worth it. When you don’t have anyone else to ask for help it really pushes you out of your comfort zone and you end up learning more. I can’t believe how much my knowledge has come on it such a short space of time.

  3. I came across to this site from Pauline’s RT. I must say that I’m confident you’re on the route to greatness. We are work to live, not live to work. A toxic working environment that affects your mental health is the place we all need to get out as soon as possible. I was in the same situation with my other work in the tech start up it was such a mess and no matter how much effort I put in, they just never appreciated it, no recognition (not that I was seeking for that), but the point that got me to say “I quit!” was the moment I got blame with the unrealistic tasks and goals with zero investment. It had started to affect me mentally, I couldn’t sleep at night, I didn’t want to get out to work, my skin condition got worse (due to stress) and that time I realised it’s the time!! Since I quit, I had been doing some freelance and temp jobs with good companies and I have learned so much from them. Yes, it could be risky because it’s not a secured or permanent position but girl as long as you keep upgrading with the skills, positive and willingness to grow, you have no way to be afraid to be jobless!

    Once again, congrats!! I feel happy for you xx

    • Holly Pryce


      I also believe that we work to live. It took me so long to realise how much my work environment was affecting my mental health. I had cognitive behavioural therapy towards the end of last year, and as a part of my therapy I had to keep a list of all of my worries. Every single worry was work-related. As soon as I realised that I knew something had to change.

      Thank you so much! 😊

  4. Reading this made me really happy 🙂 I am so glad things have been going well for you since you quit your 9-to-5. I remember it seemed like a daunting decision at the time (as it would for anyone I imagine!) but I’m very proud you’ve come so far since then. I’m not really surprised that your acne has cleared up because I’ve heard the same from some of my friends about how reduced stress = reduced breakouts! But I know it was taking a massive toll on you so I can imagine how happy you are now ☺️

    I’m SO proud of you that your confidence has grown! I think that is one of the biggest achievements one can have. I used to be very unconfident when I was younger and knowing how far I’ve come since then, with public speaking, talking to people, asking for help, has made me feel proud of myself too.

    Most importantly I am so glad your mental health has improved so much ❤️

    • Holly Pryce

      Thank you, Georgie!

      Every day I would wake up and feel so miserable about my acne, and that would put me in a bad mood for the rest of the day. I tried so many different products to clear it up but in the end all I needed to do was live a less stressful life!

      I lost so much confidence last year, and I didn’t have much to start with. I’ve really had to push myself out of my comfort zone this year, which hasn’t been easy, but I’m so glad I did because it has opened up so much doors for me.