It’s usually a long time coming. You don’t just quit your job. You think about how to quit your job for a long time before you finally have the guts to pull the plug. There are 100 questions to answer: “What if I can make it better? What if I’m making the wrong decision?” If you think about it that often and hard, you should have quit your job a long time ago!
Upon reflection, these are the four reasons I quit my job for an epic lifestyle change. Marine conservation and scuba diving life here I come!
I didn’t love it. But I love so many things!
I love so many things in life. So why on earth did I not love my job, which I did all day every day?! I have the propensity to be very positive and get excited by a lot of things. It was a sincere waste that one of those things wasn’t what I was spending most of my waking hours devoted to.
I worked in finance (snore, I hear you say). So I spent my days behind the grasp of at least three 22 inch monitors. Enough to make anyone go cross-eyed. The outcome: I made rich men richer. Arguably, a soulless activity. The work was dull and I was bored. I thought there must be a better way to spend my days! I wanted to spend more time doing what I love, and less time doing what I hate.
The golden handcuffs of good pay kept me there for too long. And city life was ‘cool’. Everyone was wearing the season’s latest pattern in Vogue. And everyone was chilling at the ‘vibey-est’ hipster cafes. But we all lived beyond our means. Worldly possessions somehow made the world seem like a better place. Yet these cosmetics didn’t fill the void in my life. That needs filling with sunshine, saltwater, and a sprinkling of sand. I’m more of a chump for the great outdoors, and Mother Nature!
I made the mistake(?!) of seeing the world
I love to travel so I always spent uni summer holidays and a gap year exploring the world. I made the mistake of seeing how other people live their lives. It turns out this meant I could never settle for ‘normal’ anymore.
I’ve always relished being in the great outdoors. I’ve never missed an opportunity to go swimming in the ocean. But when I finally quit my job, I had time to fall in love with it.
I went scuba diving again. I realized I didn’t care about fine dining and fancy bars, but I’m a sucker for a tan and salty skin. And not wearing shoes. And I love Instagram and Facebook, but even more so, I realize the corners of the earth with no service. You get all this in the world of scuba diving.
Drinking local beer, and being with other people who aren’t afraid of sharks! Learning a local language, and tasting the tropical fruits of the world. You can be on the verge of tears because you’ve seen something so magnificent and there are no words to describe it. Behind the protection of your mask, at the mercy of the currents of the ocean!
My great mistake of seeing what was out there in the world meant that I had to see more! I had to quit my job and pursue scuba diving life and my passion for marine conservation.
I’m a millennial, so I want to have a positive impact on the world
It’s in my blood. I was born this way! ‘Millenials’ as we are stereotyped, have an innate desire to do some good for the world. This is according to popular culture and a bunch of articles online. I always tried to put a spin on my old job, of how it was somehow doing good in the world. But the line of reasoning was convoluted. And job satisfaction hinges on making a difference, and I didn’t feel like I was. Did I want to be a tiny cog in a massive machine?
I wanted to do something more wholesome than slaving away in demonified world of finance. A job in marine conservation was calling me. I love scuba diving and wanted to use that passion in a beneficial way.
I didn’t want to only do my Divemaster course. I wanted to contribute more to what I love – the animals side of things. Gili Shark Conservation’s Scientific Diver and Shark AWARE courses seemed perfect. That is for sure a way to have a positive impact on the world. The world would definitely be a better place if everyone contributed to conservation.
I was already in love with scuba diving and marine conservation
If you ask yourself the right questions, you might be able to realize what it is you should ‘do’ with your life. When reflecting on what on earth I spend most of my time thinking about and doing, the answers were right in front of me. Here’s how I found out, and how you can too!
If you’re an Instagram user, which I’m guessing you more likely are:
What do you like most on Instagram? If I go into my liked photos, there’s an aggressive amount of: @natgeo, @oceanramsay, @fathomlesslife, @oceana, @grumptyturtledesign, and accounts of that genre.
I have been following conservation focussed accounts for a long time. Like plastic-free lifestyle, beach cleanups, sustainable living. I was already living vicariously through people who had a job in marine conservation or scuba diving. The next step was to do it and live it myself.
What are your Instagram saved folders? Of course, I have the standard ‘mates’, ‘travel’, ‘memes’ and ‘animals’ (I assume everyone has these? No?). I also have ‘ocean’, ‘diving’ and ‘conservation’ folders. And these folders are full to the brim with my inspirations.
2. What accounts do I always DM to my friends? Or what do I wish I could DM to my friends if only they cared?! Again, apart from memes, it’s a lot of cute animals. Think bobtail squids, baby humpback whales, dolphins, seals, and nudibranchs. And of course sharks!
3. What do I do outside of work? And of more importance, what do I wish I did more outside of work?
Hang out with friends, drink and eat! That’s what I used to do. Unless I had managed to plan a weekend in the countryside or a ridiculous holiday. But what did I wish I could do more outside of work? To be outside, be with animals, and to do something beneficial for this planet and its inhabitants. If that involves the ocean blue, even better! Scuba diving and marine conservation are in perfect alignment with that.
4. What news articles are your thumb-stoppers!? What do you always read about for fun? Which videos on Facebook make you stop scrolling? Is it the devil rays jumping out of the water? Is it a giant whale shark gracefully flying across your screen? Is it an advert for a beach cleanup in your local area? Maybe you want to have a job in marine conservation but you haven’t acknowledged it yet! That’s what I realized.
If you think enough about anything, it becomes reality. The things I follow online. The things I was wishing I was doing. They manifested themselves into my new reality. Once I had processed this, I had to work out how to make it happen! I don’t have a background in marine science, so how on earth was I going to make that transition? Turns out there are a bunch of opportunities and open doors you just have to look in the right places! Becoming a citizen scientist is possible for everyone. And so is getting a job in marine conservation! There’s a tonne of resources out there to help you work it out.
The glorious outcome of scuba diving and marine conservation
After much research, I was so excited to join Gili Shark Conservation Project. It offers the perfect way to live that scuba diving life and engage with marine conservation. Now I know that quitting your job won’t squash your dreams, changing nothing will! So be brave and make the change.
We want to hear from like-minded people like you! If you have a job in marine conservation, or if you’ve recently quit your job for a career change, message us. Or do you want to get a job in marine conservation or improve your scuba diving skills? If the answer’s yes, why don’t you consider becoming a scientific diver with our research team? The opportunities that could come of it were too exciting for me to miss!
Originally published here