Why I Quit My Job

On May 6th, 2017 I quit my job….

I was working as a professional waitress, like I did it for 14 years. I was so good at what I did that a customer of mine at the restaurant I was working nominated me for a White Hat Award and I received second place in all of Calgary.

The day I found out I won, one of my bosses told me. He is genuinely such a kind guy and I was so pumped to hear from him that I was being recognized for my hard work. But life isn’t all roses and rainbows, and it was in that moment, right fucking then, that I knew I needed to get out.

My managers and shift leader didn’t even recognize that I had won an award. They made no eye contact. Nothing. Sure they may have said congrats, but I can tell when people mean it and they sure as hell didn’t.

Why did I leave?

I left my job for FoodByMaria because at the time I didn’t feel like I had any other choice.  I knew FoodByMaria had potential and that I would most importantly be happy with what I was doing, but I wanted and needed to dive into the deep end to see where I could take it.

Waitressing fulfilled me for many reasons but mostly because I am a social butterfly and I really loved talking to my customers. LIKE LOVED IT! So you’re probably wondering why I left.

I needed to be happy again, that job made me feel like I was walking on eggshells.
I wanted to start my own business and be my own boss.
I wanted to use my education for my career (I did a major in accounting and minor in finance + economics).
I didn’t want to depend on serving for money anymore.
I wanted to test myself.
I wanted to see if FoodByMaria was the real thing – would it be my job?

At my waitressing job, they don’t actually care about me like most jobs do – serving is different. I was easily replaceable and was of no real value to them and I knew I deserved more.

How did it make me feel?

When I finally realized I needed to move on, I felt extreme happiness with the thought of leaving my job. I didn’t give a fuck anymore which made a bad employee but I was excited to challenge myself in a new way, even though it scared the crap out of me.

As soon as I officially quit, I knew it was the right choice because a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I was no longer anyones bitch but my own and I was SOOOOOO proud of myself. I didn’t quit my job to find another one. I quit my job to work for myself and grow something that I created with my own sweat, hard work and tears. I always knew I was going to be my own boss one day and play by my own rules, my own hours, my own hard work and I’m doing what makes me happy. I am using my biggest fear to help change people’s lives.



The elephant in the room

I know you’re probably wondering: “But Maria, how do you make any money?”. But what many people don’t see is what happens behind the scenes. I make money on FoodByMaria Treats, my workshops and events that I speak at, through advertisements, sponsorships and collaborations, and don’t forget my CAMP FOOD. It all adds up!

I’ll be the first to say that quitting your job isn’t for everyone, but if you are reading this and thinking: “yes, I want to make my passion project into a full-time career” then I have some advice for you:

Your problem is you think you have time and I don’t want to spend my time on this planet wasting another second. Over the past three years I have lost five people in my life. That has made me see even more now how fragile life really is, it is sacred and it can be taken away like that. Go out with a bang AND DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY!!! Money will come once you find what makes you HAPPY! You are in control of your circumstances, you can do anything you want to do if you just believe. But it will be hard but it’s much better than being miserable or having regrets.

Before taking the leap or making change…

Here are somethings you should consider. Being your own boss is pretty damn fabulous but holy hannah montana this shit needs to come with a full disclosure agreement, step-by-step guide and a personal therapist, mentor and pick-me-up. It’s hard ass shit and I don’t think it is for everyone.  I do not mean that to be rude but straight up, this shit is not for everyone.  24/7 craziness, working to make your OWN living and depending on yourself, your brand and hard work to succeed.  Today, literally today, I felt sick out of nowhere.  My intern and I were shooting for a big project and I needed to sit down and feel better.  I then said to Maria (yes another Maria).. literally no one else can do my job (the photography part) so if I am not on my A game, we’re fucked.

The don’ts:

I don’t get paid holidays.
I don’t get wicked work benefits.
I don’t get to have free massages or dental appointments.
I don’t get ‘days off’, unless I choose to.
I don’t get to leave work early if there’s an emergency – I have to drop what I am doing (which could potentially cover my mortgage) and ditch.
I don’t have the luxury of a consistent salary to secure myself for the future.

The do’s:

I do get my happiness.
I do get to choose my employees.
I do get to choose where I work.
I do get to choose to work my ass off and make money to jump-start my career and future with my boyfriend and family, one day.
I do get to leave the country a lot to visit family or even paid vacations.
I do get a lot for free, including food, groceries, personal care products and clothes, but not without a social media thank-you!
I do only have myself to blame if something does not work out.
I do have no worry about getting fired, being laid off or hating my ASS hole boss.
I do choose when I want to work.
I do not have to live in Canada. I am not limited to the country or city I currently live in, I can work anywhere.
I do have the choice to show up to work in my PJ’s with avocado on my tee and my big hair-bun as my do.
I do get to choose if I want to do something. If I don’t want to, I just don’t do it.

I hope these tips and my experience helps you see you can do anything if you just believe! Are you currently working at a job you hate?  Or do you love your job?  Tell me your stories in the comments below! I love hearing about your life and what you got going on.

Much love from your Greek Goddess.

12 Comments
  • Yvonne Scott
    Posted at 11:31h, 19 November Reply

    I can’t believe if you where a professional server and won a reward your bosses wouldn’t be astonished. I work at a high class restaurant and I LOVE it, the 12+ hour shifts, the stress, not eating for days because it’s so busy. Food is my passion, it makes me happy when I cook so all of the above doesn’t bother me. But as a kitchen team my works won a lot of rewards and everyone is excited about it so it should be no different with serving. Also some day I plan on opening my own restaurant.

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 08:11h, 20 November Reply

      Hey Yvonne!

      Thanks for reading! Good luck with opening your own restaurant, you will be great!

  • Christina Thorngreen
    Posted at 11:36h, 19 November Reply

    Very interesting and inspiring story. Thanks for sharing it!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 08:11h, 20 November Reply

      Hey Christina!

      Thanks so much for reaching means a lot! Happy week to you!

  • Monica Morgan
    Posted at 13:28h, 19 November Reply

    Thank you fot sharing! Infeel I dont hate my current 9-5 jib but I am parallely working on making my brand. Really aporeciate. Your story!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 08:11h, 20 November Reply

      Hey Monica!

      Thank you for reaching, means a lot! Good luck withy our brand and kick some ass baby girl!

  • Maria
    Posted at 09:48h, 20 November Reply

    Well Maria, I live in Greece. I’m so much fed up with my work that usually end up yelling at him and he is a doctor for Christ… I always need to open the door and run. Money suck really. Recently I became Pro Makeuparist because this thing make in my Stomach butterflies… Thing is that this decision came in my 40s with family, kids and a hubby. It’s not easy as a freelancer so get to know you quickly. So a standard monthly income is a MUST. I struggle so much to balance all this… Hopes. Dreams. Family. Ambitions.
    You are an inspiration. I just discovered you accidentally in instagram… Much love from another Maria!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 10:18h, 20 November Reply

      Hey Maria!!

      You will find what works for you soon, I promise! Just believe that you can do anything you want to do!

      Much love hun, I am happy you found my account!

      Maria X

  • Sarah | Well and Full
    Posted at 12:06h, 22 November Reply

    Maria – I loved reading this. As a fellow business major who has made their career in food blogging, I completely identify with the do’s and don’t’s of this industry. Yes, I get to do what I love, but during the day I’m cooking and photographing, and at night I’m responding to emails, being present on social media, and writing posts. The work is more fun but I would say there’s more of it than in most other jobs – you have to be “on” all of the time. But still, I wouldn’t trade it for anything 🙂

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 17:32h, 22 November Reply

      YOU ARE SOOOOO RIGHT SARAH!!

      We are always “on” and I am with you… I wouldn’t have it any other way!

      Our job is amazing and it really makes me so happy, some days it doesnt even feel like a job but more like my mission in life. For me, thats fucking amazing.

      Thanks for stopping by hun! Means a lot!

  • Eva
    Posted at 12:18h, 22 November Reply

    Such a wonderful article… But you know that happens when you work on the Internet… I work as an online Greek teacher and have never been happier… I feel like it’s my mission!

    • Maria Koutsogiannis
      Posted at 17:31h, 22 November Reply

      Hell ya baby girl!

      That is amazing, I am so happy you are happy!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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