The New Midlife Crisis: Quitting Your Job

I’m not buying a Corvette to cope with my midlife crisis.

Instead, I quit my job. Which is also one of the reasons why I’m not buying a Corvette.

Are Corvettes still the go-to choice for men going through a midlife crisis? They don’t even have a back seat. Where do you put the baby’s car seat? And does having a baby mean you’re in your “midlife?” Or does “midlife” mean my life is halfway over? At 37?!

Sorry. Let me back up.

I’m not having a midlife crisis. It’s more like a rebirth. Or an awakening. “I was blind but now I see.” I could turn this into tons of metaphors.

But the bottom line is I’m 37-years old, my wife and I have a 7-month old baby, and I just quit my job. I didn’t change jobs and take a position at a new company. I flat-out left without a concrete plan for what I’m going to do next.

Pretty responsible thing to do with a new baby at home, right?

Despite what you’d think, quitting wasn’t easy. I had a well-paying job at an amazing company with a great group of coworkers. It helped my wife and me enjoy a very comfortable life. It’s hard to walk away from that.

But the biggest reason it was hard is that I am NOT a quitter. Or at least I wasn’t a quitter.

But the truth is I was no longer cut out for what I was doing anymore. I had a successful run managing construction projects for 14 years. But for the last year or so, something was different. I found myself becoming overwhelmed with the amount of work in front of me, and my to-do list never shrunk. I started feeling like a failure.

Worst of all, I would bring that lingering anxiety home with me. And that had to stop.

Ever since I got married, I knew my life was going to be different (in many ways). One of those ways was going to be my career. And I didn’t know exactly how, but I knew I was going to “reinvent” myself or something.

When we started talking about having a baby, that’s when the voices in my head started screaming at me.

The absolute most important person in my life is my wife. And now we have a beautiful baby boy, and he’s a perfect little angel. And I know that the best thing I can do for our son is to be the best dad I can be.

What does that mean? I’m not sure yet. I just know it means that I want to be there for everything in his life: learning to walk; potty training; elementary school; ball practice; adolescence; learning to drive; swim meets; prom; etc.  I want to be present for everything, and I’ll figure out the details along the way.

Could I have stayed at my job and still be the dad I want to be? Maybe. There are thousands of dads all over the world doing the same job I did. Most of them seem to have figured it out.

But it wasn’t working for me anymore. My head and heart weren’t in it. The work was piling up faster than I could get it done. I was miserable every morning on my drive to work. And that’s bad for both me AND my (former) employer.

So with the full support of my wife, I left my well-paying job to start a new chapter in my life (the pun will be evident in two seconds). I don’t have a “concrete” plan that’s completely mapped out, but I do know exactly what I want to do:

I want to write and create things.

Throughout my 14-year career in project management, there was one compliment I received over and over: “Great email” or “Nice job on that letter” or some variant of that. To most in the industry, that means nothing. You don’t get promotions or bonuses based on your writing skills. It’s all about how much profit you make on a project or if it finishes on schedule.

I had plenty of successes along the way, but those compliments are what I remember to this day.

When we got pregnant with our son, my wife suggested that I start a blog to keep our friends and family up to date. Since I’d already built about a dozen other WordPress sites that never saw the light of day, I could do this in my sleep. And so I did.

Then a funny thing happened. I started getting comments on some of my articles like, “You missed your calling” and “You should have been a writer.” The comments may or may not have all been from my mother, but that’s beside the point.

The point is that all the compliments I’d received at work over the years came rushing back into my head. I won’t say I had a light bulb moment or some other spiritual epiphany, but I will say that I started thinking, “What if?”

What if I can make a living as a writer? What if I can create the things that I want to create, and share them with people who actually care? What if I can create the life that I want to live, instead of the life that high school counselors and college professors and the corporate world force down our throats?

I’m about to find out.

Am I nervous or scared? Absolutely! Why? Because the last thing I want to do is go back to the corporate world a year from now with my hat in my hand begging for a job. In fact, I refuse to let that happen.

So here’s the deal: I’m going to write.

I’m going to share what I write on this blog and any other website that’s a good fit.

And I’m going to write a book. Then I’ll write another one after that. Then another.

I also have some other businesses that I’ll continue to work on. I create physical products and sell them on Amazon and other eCommerce sites. And I write about that process here.

I also build WordPress websites and write content for the construction industry. My home for this is Artisan Digital. There’s a big void in this antiquated industry when it comes to digital marketing, and I want to help fill it.

All that said, this is the first and last article that will be only about me. This one is personal, but from here on it’s all about providing value to everyone who wants to follow along!

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7 thoughts on “The New Midlife Crisis: Quitting Your Job

  1. Fantastic!!!! That was awesome. I’m so excited for you and your family’s new adventure you will do incredible. I think you are so very talented and I wish you the best of luck and I look forward to reading your first book in the near future. ?

  2. Awesome! Seems like all of us middle aged folks are going thru the same crises! 🙂 excited for you to have found your calling and getting out of the rat race.

    Cheers!

    • Adi, I still resent the “middle aged” title! If I’m only living to 74, then I have a lot of things to check off my list.

  3. Brandon,
    I’m proud of you! Your supportive wife has given you her blessing, and that’s huge! Y’all are a team! You are now coaches of a new little team mate! You want the best out of life for your family and yourself and you are going for it! Good for you! May God bless you and your many new endeavors! The best is yet to be!

  4. Proud of you Brandon! Follow your dreams and see where they take you. Everyone deserves the chance to be happy with what they do. You are in a position to do that at this time and I truly believe you are a great writer!!! The Consulting and Amazon projects may keep you busy as well. Who knows what else may be in store for you! I for one am excited to see!!!

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Brandon Richardson is the best-selling author of zero books.

He's never been featured in Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Wired, Inc., or any other business magazine.

But, he did leave a 15-year career behind to start living life on his own terms. And he likes to writes about it.

He also think it's super-weird when people refer to themselves in the third person on their own websites.

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