By Shannon Stull Carrus
Thanksgiving is approaching and like so many others, I’ve been reflecting on those things in my life for which I’m thankful. Though this year brought many amazing people and experiences into my life, I’m most grateful for one I was not expecting: I’m thankful I lost my job.
A year ago today I was “let go” from the in-house position that I held for more than six years. My company had slowly begun shuffling positions to an office many states away. My boss was there, my reports were there and I knew that eventually I would have to move if I wanted to stay with the company (and this Florida girl was not about to subject herself to subzero winters).
Looking back, I had spent years too scared to leave jobs, even when I knew it was time. My steady paycheck and super amazing co-workers kept me in the same place, while the tedium of office life and subpar work fed the nagging worry that there was just nothing else out there. Luckily, this worry was unfounded. It turns out, losing my job really wasn’t that bad after all. In fact, it was probably one of the best days of my life. Suddenly, the choice was taken away from me. And I was relieved. I was FREE!
Today, I still miss some of my wonderful co-workers. But I do not miss office life. Since leaving my company, I started a new one, an ad agency that I own with my husband. He’s the perfect co-worker; a kick-ass designer, a hard worker, and someone I can sexually harass all day long. Plus, business is good. We’re able to operate as a micro agency, offering full-service agency work but with the ability to work at home. Turns out, in a recession like ours clients don’t care about a fancy office. They just want great work.
Now, we have the freedom of freelancers, and take advantage of it by going on vacation every couple of months. My stress level is about 10% of what it used to be even if I don’t always know what my paycheck is going to look like.
This year, I’ve learned that sometimes things happen that are out of our control. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the opportunities the unknown brings. What are you thankful for?
Shannon Stull Carrus is a principal and Creative Director at WHOISCARRUS, a full-service Orlando advertising agency. She has experience on both agency and in-house teams in various roles, including; copywriting, art direction, and creative direction.