Change ain’t easy. And a few weeks ago, I made a decision that changed my life.
It’s true. After four years of being a Merchandiser at Perry Ellis, my time at the company has come to an end. This was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made in my professional career. For four years, I never doubted my career, never wanted to leave, and really enjoyed the relationships I created. And then things changed, very quickly. I wasn’t actively searching for a job, but an amazing opportunity came my way that I didn’t want to pass up.
I was afraid of change
I’ve been at Perry Ellis for over four years. It was my first job out of college, the only corporate job I’ve ever known. So yeah, naturally, it was so scary to take the next step in my career. When the time came to decide if would stay with Perry Ellis or take a new position, I had to seriously push myself to accept a new challenge. I knew this opportunity would be the only way to push myself out of my comfort zone and help expand my Merchandising skills. Which leads me to my next point…
I was comfortable
I think it’s safe to say that over four years, I learned really valuable Merchandising skills. I got up every day, settled into my desk, surrounded by people that have become friends over the years. I had a routine, I knew everyone, I understood the company culture, and I just felt comfortable in my role.
But that’s where I think it became a red flag in my mind. If I wanted to climb the ladder, and begin actually succeeding, I needed to get the heck out of my comfort zone. Sure, I could have pushed myself more at work, but I think shaking things up and starting somewhere new will force me to challenge myself in my career.
I still enjoyed my job
This was probably the most confusing part for me. I wasn’t unhappy at Perry Ellis by any means. I built an amazing relationship with my boss. She was by far the smartest person I knew, and I learned everything from her. I had hysterical coworkers that made work enjoyable. I felt proud of the product we were putting out there. So why did I want to leave? You know what? I’m not that sure.
But I do know that it was a familiar feeling.
After four years of college, I just felt ready. Ready to come back home to New York City, and begin the journey to establish myself in the fashion industry. And that’s exactly what I did. I even remember talking to this point in my interview with my future bosses. You know what they both told me years later? That was one of the biggest reasons why they hired me over another candidate.
Now, just a little over four years after I began my career, something inside of me was just telling me that I was ready to take the next step.
This is the funny thing about leaving a job: Nothing can prepare you for the moment when you put in your resignation. Since this was my first job, it meant a lot to me. I’m a sentimental person, and I take my relationships super seriously. It’s not an easy thing to tell people you’re really close with that you’re leaving. It truly was really hard for me to tell my boss that I was putting in my two weeks. I cried to her. A lot. I didn’t want her to take things personally. I didn’t want to leave her at all. While I know this is a bit dramatic, because I know that’s just the cycle of corporate environments.
I didn’t know what to do with my blog
Leaving Perry Ellis wasn’t something that was in my mind for a long time. The process happened rather quickly. But once the possibility of me leaving the company became real, I had to stop and think: “Do I want to go full time with The Champagne Edit?” This thought didn’t last long, and I think the answer is obvious: I am not ready to give my my Merchandising career yet. I shouldn’t say “yet”, because I’m not sure I’ll ever be ready. I had to put things into perspective: while I make a decent amount through my blog, it’s not enough to sustain my lifestyle. Sure, my lifestyle could be altered if I truly wanted to pursue blogging as a full time gig, but at this point, it’s a no from me dawg.
All of these fears, questions, and thoughts lead me to believe one thing: If I was questioning my job, then I needed to change it. I looked past the doubts and saw opportunity. I’m not typically a super optimistic person, but I went with my gut on this decision.
photos by allie provost