How to Quit: Talking Pivots, Break-Ups, and Boundaries with the justUS Podcast

May 21, 2024

Quitting—jobs, relationships, bad habits—is sometimes necessary but never easy. It rarely feels like the ideal time, and when you do take the plunge, you inevitably leave a part of your former self behind. To complicate these difficult decisions even further, the path to quitting looks different for everyone—which is precisely why we wanted to tackle the topic at our recent event with the justUS podcast.

On making a major career pivot…

MARGO: At the beginning part of my career, I was willing to give everything of myself for it. I was a lawyer and transitioned into clinical teaching. I applied to a dream job at Georgetown that I did not get and was heartbroken.
My husband and I had decided to take a delayed honeymoon backpacking in Asia. I looked at my email one day, and Georgetown had emailed me saying, “We’ve been trying to get in touch with you. You weren’t answering your phone. The fellow that we hired fell through. Are you still interested in this job?”
I interviewed that day from an internet cafe in Phnom Penh. My husband was crouched in the corner holding up flashcards on which I’d written some talking points. I got the job, and we flew home early. I packed up, left him in Boston, and moved to D.C. This is what I had been working for; this is what I had been dreaming of. The first day there, I met Tashira. And to be clear, I did not think anything of leaving my home, my city, husband, my community, my family and decided to do a pregnancy partially alone.

TASHIRA: I joke about this often, but I’m a really bad employee. In some ways, I have been quitting a job or two my entire life. The longest job I’ve ever had is @politicsandfshn.
I knew when I got breast cancer that it was time to do something different. I’m a third-generation breast cancer survivor, and my mother and I were both in treatment at the same time. I also had a devastating family tragedy occur—my young cousin, who was like my nephew, passed away—and it all just hit me that there was something markedly off with my entire existence. I decided that I was going to do something radically different, and the only thing I knew that I loved was fashion. And so, I printed out some resumes.
I was bald from chemo, and on a day that I felt good enough, I went out and passed out these resumes. I got a call back from Saint Laurent six months later. That was how I first quit public policy and went into fashion. While there, I was able to build up my consulting practice on the side and eventually left to consult and create digital content full time.

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