Resigning My Job: My Romance with Unemployment

Woman & Money


That title made you shake your head didn’t it? Resign? Romance? Unemployment? You done gone too far Jenn. (Trust me, I can go much further…don’t challenge me.)

I do this thing where I regularly check in with myself and rate how I’m doing. It’s a little something I learned from Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles. In the book, Mr. Canfield talks about how he regularly asks his wife to rate their marriage on a scale of 1-10. If the rating is below 10, he then asks her what he can do to make it better. (Mr. Canfield, my apologies if I’m butchering this story…the version I remember continually makes me challenge myself…so I’m keeping it.)

Last year, I did one of my regular check-ins. While the rating I gave myself was acceptable, it was not good enough.

In spite of having a wonderful boss who genuinely appreciated my non-lazy, non-whiny, rough-around-the-edges work ethic, the job that slowly filled my wallet was quickly draining my positivity. It’s as though I was getting paid for chunks of my soul.

I love my dark and twisty soul. I’d like to hang on to it. Thanks.

I walked into my boss’s office and simply said: “It’s time.” And with a fatherly tone,  he gave me a simple: “I knew this was coming. When’s your last day?”

We picked a day and that was it. See you later bitches!  (I’m not being funny. That place was actually a bitch-gathering hole.)

I had no plans. No job to replace the one I was expelling. I willingly stepped in a black gooey hole filled with flop sweat inducing fears and uncertainty.

And you know what? It was one of the best choices I ever made in my life.

INSANITY: Doing The Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results

I was comfortable and secure in a place I didn’t want to be, both emotionally and physically. I needed different results.  “Jumping into the fear” was the most effective way to light a giant bonfire in under my ass.

Eating too much spicy food does that too, but we’re not talking about that.

I Refocused My Spending

My breakup with steady income made me realize that I was spending money on trivialities that did not contribute to me reaching my goals. $30 for a cool shirt instead of a writing seminar? That’s got to stop. Why do I need a trizillion cans of soup in my cupboard? What’s wrong with me?

I Refocused My Energy

Mama No Money pointed out with her crotchety fingers that I had been spending too much time prioritizing my bar job, devoting emotions to it that deserved to be directed towards the endeavors that truly made me happy. She took away all my bullshit I’m-too-tired-I’m-not-ready-I-have-no-time-wah-wah-wah excuses.

I can be an idiot. But I’m not a complete idiot. I fully realized that I still had to look for a side bartending gig, but I didn’t allow myself to even look for “side-work” unless I had prioritized the “real-work”. And that’s what I did. For 3, sometimes 4 hours every day, I poked and prodded the Gods of Google for writing and acting jobs.

Where Am I Now?

I broke my income-fast with my first paying screenwriting job, for Billy Boy Enterprises, a company that regularly employs me to write blogs for their website.

I get paid to write and act more than I ever have in the past.

I have found writing mentors that are constantly in my ear, pushing me to pump out scripts and guiding me towards inevitable success.

I have reconnected with old colleagues in the film industry who are continually involving me in their projects, whether it’d be on the production, writing or acting end.

Sure, I still bartend to pay the bills. When I chose my career, I did so with a deep understanding of the opportunity costs involved.  However, I only accept jobs that give me the flexibility I need to prioritize my passions.

I spend my money on experiences instead of material possessions.

I am happy and in love.

If You Were Expecting Anything Less Than Success

Then I gotta say, you’re a little sick minded to read through this entire article with that expectation. Go eat some chocolate or something.

Am I saying that everyone should flip the bird to their bosses and go jobless for a few months? No. I understand that this is not a route that will work for everyone.

I’m saying that sometimes, the most practical thing to do is choosing what seems impractical at the moment, because jumping into that fear might be just what your life is missing.

About Jennifer Sorika Horng
Jennifer Sorika Horng is a New York City actress, writer and screenwriter originally hailing from Quebec City, Canada.
She has studied English language and literature, writing for feature film and TV comedy, as well as sketch writing at UCB. Currently, she is a contributing writer at Billy Boy Enterprises as well as Kroma Mag.
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