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March 2, 2015 Comments (13) ONE Proj blog, Travel Philosophies

Why I Just Quit a Job I Loved


Based on the post title, those who don’t know me might think I’m a bit crazy.

Those who do know me, however, might think I’m absolutely mad.

Because they know how much I’ve enjoyed the past 4 years at Energetics, working with some of the most brilliant and hilarious colleagues, whom I still love like a family. How much I’ve enjoyed meaningful consulting to some of Australia’s top companies on all things energy, carbon, and climate change strategy. How much I’ve been grateful for the special flexibility that’s allowed me to travel at least two months a year.

This post is to explain a bit about my plans. I may even convince you I’m not insane – at least, not for quitting.

Beating the amphibians

It seems a sad reality that a lot of people hate their jobs. I’ve read countless stories by these people, recounting the horrors they suffered and their eventual escape. You’d almost believe they were in Guantanamo.  These stories are meant to inspire others, but unfortunately often sound more like a self-congratulatory brag.

And congratulating yourself for quitting a downright tortuous job seems as worthy as congrats for removing your hand from a pot of boiling water. We ought to do better than frogs.

I’d prefer people praise themselves for avoiding the cul-de-sac of job hatred in the first place. For adhering to their principles, following their passions, living an examined life, and being open to the constant flow of opportunities that the universe presents.

The choices we make

Before I’m accused of residing in the proverbial glass-house, let me disclose that I’m definitely fortunate, and grateful, to have had a job ever since graduating. But I’m by no means an outlier. For the last four years I’ve taken home an average salary by Western Australian standards1. Though some have extenuating circumstances, most of us living in good health, above the poverty line in developed countries have the means to create the lives we want for ourselves.

But it requires making deliberate choices – every day, year after year – to get there.

It’s been said that I have high standards. I probably do.  I also try to live by the mantra: “Be a model, not a judge”,  and hold myself to those high standards. I’m not always successful, and Aussies – bless them – are quick to point this out. They take the piss relentlessly. It’s as grounding as it is entertaining.

Waiting until the point where I hate my job wouldn’t be aligned with my principles. And more importantly – at Energetics – I might end up waiting the rest of my life.

Crikey mate, what are you going to do!? 

For years I’ve been considering longer journeys and photographic projects. Wondering how to improve my barely-passable, painfully slow writing. Contemplating the lessons from years of independent travel. And reflecting on how to share my passion for learning and connecting with people of all cultures. 

I just needed a platform, and a playground, to do it. 

Enter stage right: www.MichaelFuller.ca and the ONE Project

My new website launched in January, in the week of my birthday and my four-year anniversary at Energetics. It’s also the week I gave my resignation notice.

This was no coincidence. I knew that 2015 would be my dive into the unknown. I needed a date to whip myself towards, otherwise I’d never find the time between full-time work and part-time volunteering.  The website structure isn’t finished2 – I’ll add art prints for sale – but there are over 70 photographic travel ‘Experiences’ from around the world already there. Plus photos on my Flickr. It’s a good start. And I’m bursting with ideas for adventures, and future content. 

To let me share this journey with you, please join the mailing list. And to help be part of the conversation with me and others, please follow me on social media:

Welcome to my wander off the career path. I haven’t brought any breadcrumbs.


p.s. You probably still think I’m crazy.

  1. source: Australian Bureau of Statistics full-time WA earnings, when subtracting my annual leave-without-pay
  2. Chid explained the software mantra “If you’re not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late”

13 Responses to Why I Just Quit a Job I Loved

  1. Bek says:

    Wow Mike! Your pics are beautiful! Your website has a lovely glossy magazine look. Good luck on your adventure :)

  2. ben says:

    I don’t think you are crazy. I know that you are crazy and I love you for it. Sounds sweet man! Have fun.

    • mike says:

      Haha cheers Ben. Living the dream! Hope you’re well, mate. This 2015 journey will take me into Canadia sometimes in the summer, so I hope to see you then :)

  3. Dean says:

    Hi Mike – Dean from Cosmos here.

    I admire your bravery – well done mate!!

    Look forward to hearing some more from your adventures – don’t forget to post on Linkedin

    Cheers, Deano

    • mike says:

      Thanks bro! What a time we had back then eh. Prepared me for anything :)
      I’ve posted one article on LinkedIn but it’s really not the correct audience for much of what I’m doing. I’ll post what’s relevant.

  4. John says:

    Congrats! Mike
    Most of us dont eventually escape the rat race till retirement, then again most of us dont wheel our balls around in a wheel barrow like yourself. Good luck mate, I wish you all the very best.
    John Bostock

    • mike says:

      John, LoL thanks mate. You’re too kind.
      P.S. I don’t expect this will be a sustainable lifestyle, but I’ll certainly have a good crack at it and hope that people enjoy it enough to help it grow.
      If not, I’ll just get back into the race (there are plenty of great rats to run with!)

  5. Sarah says:

    wow Michael! I just realised who you were when I saw the post. :) This is a fantastic story. I love your photos as well, they are really exceptional. Im going to be following all your ideas on how to improve mine. Best, Sarah

  6. […] I’ve just quit (a job I loved) to focus on travel photography, story-telling, and sharing advice. I launched the ONE Project to […]

  7. […] I’ve just quit (a job I loved) to focus on travel photography, story-telling, and sharing advice. I launched the ONE Project to […]

  8. Connie Scott says:

    I appreciate your work, thanks for all the interesting blog posts.

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