Posted by / Category London /

Do you remember The Clash? They were great. I especially liked their hit song “should I stay or should I go?”. And guess what: I live close to 36 Causton street, in London, where The Clash have recorded their songs.
The Vanilla Studio doesn’t exist any more -it has been replaced by the diocese of London:

 However, every time I walk along Causton Street, I have this tune in my head: “should I stay or should I go?”.
Anyway, today, I have a very personal dilemma to share with you. I am thinking of quitting my day job. You see, I am too busy doing the school runs, taking care of the girls, working full-time and my husband travels very often -too often, in fact. And also, I am knackered all the time. Simply exhausted -in a way that I didn’t think existed-. I always have something to do or to attend (I am writing this while watching The Princess and the Frog).
But I have a secret card to play: 4 years ago, I started my very own business, on top of my day job. It is now tumbling along quite nicely and will require more time if I want to take it to the next stage. Don’t understand me the wrong way, it is not going to make me  become Bill Gates. Let’s just say that being my own boss feels nice, and I could have more time with my daughters and my family, and take it easier generally. Financially, I could always look for another job or work free lance in the future if things don’t work out as expected.
But I spent a long time studying Engineering and I pride myself in being an Engineer in a male-dominated environment. I am reluctant to give it all up, after so much effort. I am finding myself excuses to keep my day job: it represents security, I know the Industry, I am reasonably recognised- whatever it means-… And wouldn’t I miss the interaction with colleagues ? It is difficult to be on your own all the time.
In short, I don’t know what to do. That said, I know that I am very fortunate to have a choice when people around me are struggling to make ends meets.
It is a funny time in my life. My grandparents have now passed 90 and, let’s face it, might not be around for much longer. It feels right to have more time with them now, and it simply won’t happen if I keep my job.
So come on and let me know: should I stay or should I go?
I am hoping that I will not have to make the decision myself, that I will be able to take advantage of one of the many reorganisation plans that my company is going through. It would be so much easier…
Maybe I just need a break and everything will be fine. Again, I know I can’t complain: I am in good health, and don’t have any real problem.
But it is a big deal for me.
I will give myself more time to decide. A few months. End of the year, top…
So come on and let me know:

Muriel – A French Yummy Mummy In London
  • Ah ha! Standing on the end of the dock, toes waggling over the edge while you’re staring into the water.

    I think if your spouse supports you then you should go for it. The worst case scenario is eventually you return to a “9 to 5 job” and/or pick up another part time job, as you mentioned. Otherwise, I’m afraid you might always think what would have happened if you had just taken the road less traveled… I know it’s scary, but it’s a good scary.

  • If you can afford to take the risk, I think you already know the answer. Did you just need someone to say it out loud?

  • Good luck with whatever you decide. Only you can make the decision. 🙂

  • Agree, if you can afford to take the risk, take it! Life is too short. =) PS… The Clash is one of my favorite bands ever 😉

  • Well as a confirmed hater of my own day job I say GO! If you can get away from the stress and live a little then I say go for it! I wish you luck in whatever you decide.

  • Muriel, I think if you read back, you will realise that, save for paragraph #4, you’ve pretty much decided. Your heart knows what it desires and paragraph 4 is the voice in your head, your rationalisation, or worse, the voice of society. But as far as your heart goes, it seems pretty clear to me. You only live once (well, assuming we don’t believe in reincarnation and all that, hahaha). I’d say go with your heart.

  • Go! Go! Go! I worked for years and missed so much of my sons’ childhoods because I was too exhausted. Now I am an at home mummy (rather ancient) of a nearly 5 year old girl and love it. And although I’m still tired (it’s an age thing) I really don’t want to go back to work and all the ‘stuff’ that goes with it.
    Good Luck or should I say Bon Chance!

  • Hi MuMu, this is a very personal decision and only you can make it. A number of things come through to me in your post. One is the need to be with your family more, your children, your grandparents. Another is your desire to grow your own business. To be weighed up against this is what you have invested in your career to date.
    Personally, I think life is too short to be doing something you don’t want to do. Good luck with your decision.

  • If you can financially afford to leave work then I would and make the most of the children whilst they still want to do things with you. Could your company not offer you a part time position where you could have the best of both world’s, adult conversation and time with your children.

    All the best what ever you decide x

  • The advice from that strange creature, The Irish Atheist, is above all unto your own self be true. You only have one life, it is not a rehearsal!

  • Hey, Muriel!
    It’s a tough choice… I’ve done both and I find there are pros and cons both ways. I used to teach high school, and most of my students’ parents then would tell me it’s more important for the kids to stay home with them when they get older, rather than when they are babies. I miss the luxuries of an income and yet… I LOVE being home w/ my girls.
    I’ll tell you, though… I’m more knackered (CUTE expression!) after a day home with kids than a day in the office for the most part.

    Anyway… keep us posted. Tough choice but sounds like you’re going about it the right way.

    What does Mr. Muriel think?



    PS… I LOVE the Clash and I LOVE that song! I’ve been singing it all day now!

  • I always weigh the pros and cons (which you’re already doing) and go with my gut, Muriel. It’s hard to let go of the status you’ve achieved with all your hard work. But, if your calling is elsewhere, your priorities have shifted and your timing seems right, have faith in your instincts and ability to make it work. 🙂

  • I love “Rock the Casbah/Mustapha Dance.” I say follow your heart if you have the means to do it. At least you can say you gave it a try. If it works out, then that’s terrific. If not, you can always get another job. No one can take those great qualifications away from you! Either way, think about all the contingencies first, and good luck!

  • In the words of American frontiersman Davy Crockett: “Be always sure you are right – then go ahead.”

  • I agree this is a very personal decision … but like others said, if you can afford it GO FOR IT 😀

  • Great post Muriel, but I really think you’ve answered your own question with regard to quitting your day job, for all the reasons you provide. On one’s death bed it is relationships we will surely remember, not the 9 – 5 rat race.
    Investment in those you love is never lost. I appreciate you!

  • Life is too short to continue with something that doesn’t make you completely happy. I took a risk and quit my job to concentrate on uni….and so many opportunities have opened up infront of me! Good luck! x

  • As everyone else has said, go for it.

  • How exciting Muriel. It sounds like financially you can manage with the business you set up and so why not go for it? as you say you have a strong CV and lots of experience to come back in in a year or so. Could you take a sabbatical perhaps for a year if you are unsure? x

  • Life is too short to spend time thinking too much, leave it and have some fun for some time or just keep in it and keep thinking…hmm, you already know the answer definitely!

  • Ah Muriel – shall I give you the same advice you have given me on many occasions? I think you could do some more amazing things, should take time for yourself as you need it, I know that you can and will go far…and believe that you haven’t exactly been happy in your career, even though you have worked hard to get where you are. Sometimes, my dear, we just need to follow our hearts…don’t we (I may be counciling myself now too!).

  • Life is short and you have to make your own chances. Speaking as someone who recently quit her job to start her own business I can say that the hard work is all worth it. And it’s not about being a millionaire; it’s about enjoying your work/life balance. Do it! GO! Go! Go!

  • I found myself facing that exact same decision eight years ago. In the end, l left my marketing career in favor of spending more time with my kids and putting up my own business. It was definitely scary at first. I found myself struggling to define who I was outside the only career I had ever known. Eventually, I made peace with the change. Follow your heart. Life is too short for regrets, my friend 🙂

  • Hi Muriel,

    From what you have written, deep down inside, you want to quit your day job, however, the ego likes the recognition and security.

    In terms of security, you have said it yourself you can find other options should it not work out. My question for you is “If you know it’s all going to work out, will you quit your day job?” How does that feel for you?

  • As I said the other day to my friend who just quit her job to set up her own business, there’s always a risk. Between grabbing the chance, being your own boss, spending more time with your loved ones and feeling sorry in a couple of years time still in the same job thinking why you did not try.

    The decision is yours but my advice would be, jump now. Life is short and what matters more than recognition and a great job is the time we have with others. With your experience and education you’ll always find work but the times you missed with your family, the joy your kids bring to you life will not wait for you.

    Best of luck and happy wishes for the future.

  • Hey Muriel-
    You know this is all about the unfamilar, right? That is why this decision is such a problem for you. Nobody likes the unfamiliar. I guess you could call it a leap of faith because you don’t know how it will go.

    But personally, it sounds like you’ve already made up your mind. You want to leave, you just don’t know how to do it – severing the ties.

    My adivce: if you can do it – both financially and personally – than do it and let the cards fall where they may.

    And remember – nothing is perminant. So if it isn’t working for you, you can always go back to work later on. 🙂

    I’ll agree with Sam. Follow your heart girl.

  • What happened to my comment? 🙁

    I wanted to ask whether your employer would give you a year off, like a sabbatical or something? That way the jump might not be so scary…

  • If you can afford to…I say take the leap. And I look forward to hearing more about your business.

  • I say if you have the means and you’re willing to prune heavily the multitude of ‘suckers’ in favor of a couple of strong healthy ‘branches’, then do it. If I’ve learned anything over these 50-some years, it’s that freedom and happiness = less stuff and more love…

  • Your identity and career achievements don’t evaporate once you stop going to the office, Muriel. Not if you don’t rely on others to define you.

    Maybe the thing still missing from your almost certain plan to quit is a written business plan, but one for your life. You can always amend it later, but having it in concrete form will be reassuring. Even if you just rehearse what to respond when you’re asked, “What do you do?”, it will help ease the unease.

    “I’ve been to paradise but I’ve never been to me.” It’s time to discover the secret isle of you.

  • It sounds like you already know what’s most important to you in your heart. These kind of decisions come down to priorities and I’m getting the inkling that your family is more important to you than job security, fulfilling your degree or proving yourself in a male environment — you have already had all three and the adjustment could be a welcome change! No one ever asked life to be easy, but the challenges are what make life worthwhile! =) Hugs to you in this transition, Muriel, and if you do get into freelance, please let me know, so I can support you! =)

  • Hello Muriel –

    First off, I totally enjoyed reading you for my first time. This is a warning to you now: “I’ll be back!” Hehehe.

    If you haven’t observed your own words here on your great post, please read them back after the girls go to bed and you have some peace for reflection. You have answered your own dilemma question and I’m not sure you realize it. It’s all in the words you’ve said in your post, and also said more clearly in your unwritten words between the lines.

    I believe that deep inside of you, you do know the answer to your question. Listen to your heart Muriel. I hear your heart talking in this wonderful post. Look into those beautiful kid’s eyes. Reflect on what is most special and important to you in your life; personally and professionally, as a mother, daughter, wife, employee, and entrepreneur. The answer is in your written and unwritten words above. Listen to your heart, keep your brain from influencing your heart, and you will always be the winner you need to be. Thank you. 🙂

  • Muriel, I saw this in my inbox today and hope it helps clarify your decision-making process: