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Why I fired my boss and went to college

03.03.10 - 31 comments

Believe it or not: I had Compelling Reasons!

  • For one and half years, I was a creative director at a renowned web development company in Belgium, known as a big player in the governmental websites niche
  • Yes, my job title was “CREATIVE director”. As the name implies, you may assume that I was in control, with my creative juices flowing endlessly, blossoming into meaningful and rewarding contributions to my company. Sadly, this wasn’t the case! In a very short period, I tragically went from a driven, motivated and aspiring designer into a helpless design-by-committee pixel-pusher!
  • My frustration was growing exponentially inside me due to the unbearable redundancy, utter boredom, monotonous tasks, etc. … Not to mention, the endless meetings along all kinds of corporate nonsense!
  • In the meantime, I became a self-improvement books obsessed fanatic. Would you blame me?! It was my only escape. I devoured books like “The Four Hour Work Week”, “The Alchemist”, “ I will teach you to be rich”, “Screw it, Let’s do it”, “Good to Great”, you name it!
  • I always knew deep down in heart that I was a free spirit. I love going my way free from all the “do this do that” crippling rules. That’s why, I hated the fact that all my hard work was filling my boss’s pockets!
  • My ambition led me to consider starting my online businesses to do ONLY what I love to do and save myself from turning into another 8-to-5 victim!

So, what finally pulled the trigger?

Well, the economic situation was a huge red flag, especially after a lot of banks and companies were going bust! Some of my colleagues were fired lately and I didn’t feel like joining the club. It feels much better when I choose to fire my boss. A feeling of complete independence?

My 8-to-5 vicious circle was standing in my way. So, I had to break free and dedicate my entire time to my online passions.

So far so good! Why college?

  • Actually, I hadn’t done that yet
  • I love to feel independent and  live on my own (While working, I was living at my parents’ house)
  • Now I have more free time on my hands and I plan to use it well
  • I enjoy being around other like-minded students in the field of web design
  • My best friend was already studying the same course that I was planning to take
  • Above all, getting all the references to an upcoming “why you should start up a business in college”-article

The bottom line is, I realized, fortunately at an early age, that I live only once and it’s up to me and only me to shape my destiny and turn my dreams into a living reality. I invite you to do same and break free from social moulds and the live-your-life-this-way bogus. All you need is to get real and know yourself. Then, decide, commit, and succeed.

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31 Responses to “Why I fired my boss and went to college”

  1. Wouter Van den Neste

    Really enjoyed reading this article. It made me laugh and reconsider your words at the same time.
    I’m sure things will be great due to the choices you’ve made. Stop the pain, be your own boss! If I may suggest a book, “get a grip – your two week mental makeover” is a great read.

    Keep it up!

    • Davy Kestens

      Thank you for your reply! You’re the first one to comment on my new weblog ;)
      Hope you stay around.

  2. Pierre Cornelissen

    Dear Davy,

    Congratulations, what a brave guy you are !
    It is of course the dream of everyone to do the job you like most in the greatest possible freedom.
    Unfortunately , it is not always the case for everybody. You live a privileged life.
    You must have very respectable parents and I hope that you don’t overlook that.
    When you surf my website you will understand why a man of 65 can still love his job and doesn’t want to quit.
    I wish you a successful career and a happy life.

  3. Phil

    Hi Davy,

    Good for you! Stay motivated and dont lose your motivation.
    When i dropped out of school, I knew it was gonna be a rough ride.
    Luckely I found the right people, grew an active network and surrounded myself with
    equally minded people.

    I hope your future will look as good as your website.

    Take care.

    With kind regards / Met vriendelijke groeten,

    Philip Wallage

  4. Davy Kestens

    Hello Pierre & Phil, thank you for your positive comments;
    I truly appreciate them!

  5. Tylor Skory

    Nice article! I liked it a lot. I related to pretty much everything you wrote – being young and creative, in a boring 8-5 job, wanting to do more and make myself rich and not my boss. I aslo picked up the Four Hour Work Week (among other self-help books) quit my job and went to college. Great minds think alike, I guess.. ;)

  6. Karen Verresen

    I know exactly what you’re talking about!! :)

    Thumbs up for making the decision you did!
    With the diverse talent you have (both your design and technical skills) you can do wathever you want to do, for sure!
    Love your work.

    • Davy Kestens

      Hey Karen, thank you for the encouraging words about my work!
      Question: Did you paint the artwork for your latest project “The Bear That Wasn’t” yourself? I really like it!

  7. Pieterjan VL

    Very inspiring story. Respect!

  8. Rodolfo

    Excellent post and great attitude, respect!
    That’s the way to do it, follow your dreams, where your talent is, and you’ll find success.
    Congratulations for your work, there’s great quality here.
    Just read your post on design informer and finally decided to start a personal project that I had on standby, thank you for the push :P

    We’ll be coming back to your blog, cheers!

    • Davy Kestens

      Hi Rodolfo! I’m already looking forward to your comments on my future articles! Be sure to check out my mailing list, as it will keep you informed about all my projects, articles and news!

      I hope your own personal project will become a big success. Be sure to contact me when it goes live!

  9. Bianca Yvonne

    College + freelancing = a ton of work, but so so much fun. And it’s completely worth it. College is a great way to network and learn some valuable things. Good luck!

    • Davy Kestens

      Hello Bianca, Thank you for your comment! I was looking at your portfolio and must say that you have done some great work!
      I especially love the “Fluorine” works. Will try to create something like it soon :)

  10. mary

    As long as you’re happy. :D

    I’m actually in the opposite situation, I want to stop studying and focus on webdesign (am currently taking a non-web-related course). But I kinda envy you for having the backbone to make a decision and follow through.

    (PS Did you know that tabbing from your comment form fields directs me to the search form? It’s a bit ehm… disruptive…)

    • Davy Kestens

      Thanks Mary, I fixed the tabbing-bug and hope you will try and find your dream career!

  11. Steven David

    Hey Davy,
    in the moment I´m in the same situation as you was before. But I think I got it now. Thank you for that!
    Really nice Site with great color work and harmonic typo. Minimal but effective.
    Love the “be” message in your Logo.
    Hold on Soldier :)
    Greez from Germany

  12. Steven

    I would have done exactly the same if I were in your position back then!

    • Davy Kestens

      Thanks Steven! A lot of people were really supportive in my decision, just like yourself! Thank you

  13. Mark

    Hi Davy

    Through reference of a mutual friend I came across your site just now, and I’m already looking forward to meeting you at our next dutch/belgian (personal development bloggers meetup. (the last one was great, so there’ll be more)

    So related to the post: I’m impressed with your decisiveness and the ability to actually follow through on it. It’s not easy saying goodbye to a steady income and going “back” to living the simple college life. It’s truly an experience you want to have had, I enjoyed it very much myself.
    I’ve just gotten my first full-time job, even though I haven’t 100% graduated but already I’m looking into the possibilities of,… let’s say.. working smarter ;)

    Last, but definitely not least it’s great to meet someone who shares my exact life motto!
    I just refuse to accept mediocrity as a standard for my life, I’m glad you have as well.



    • Davy Kestens

      Hi Mark! Thank you for your elaborate reply!
      Do let me know when the next “personal development bloggers meet up” will be, I’m interested!

      Thanks for visiting!

      • ami

        nice comment design!

  14. Ben Crowther


    Great article and nice site in general.
    I don’t know how but i came accross RunAddicts fairly recently and loved it, despite the fact I hate running.
    All your works really good and seen as i’m still in eductation and am building a little web deisgn company/portfolio it’s good to see what i could do by putting in the hard work. I cant wait for the “why you should start up a business in college” article.

    Keep it up.

  15. James John Malcolm

    So what are you studying?

  16. Kristof Orts

    Hey Davy,

    Great article ! I’ve been working for a company as designer for 6 months now and I’m starting to feel the same way :D So how’s college working out for you ?

  17. Edward Calugtong

    Nice article! It turned out the other way for me though. I’m on my 4th yr in college now and working full time as a web developer. I might also consider going back working independently. I miss the freedom! :D

  18. Jordan Vidrine

    Im kinda with the last guy. The school I am going to is a pretty small school, luckily enough to be accredited in Industrial Design though, which is my major, but I get more fulfillment out of graphics and learning about and practicing web development, all of which I can learn a lot more about online rather than the school I go to. I guess its different for everyone, but it will be really nice to have a design degree under my belt, especially with the skills I am learning in this program.

  19. Duncan McKean

    Did exactly the same thing. Account manager for a document design company, quit, and went to university and studied Creative Product Design. 4 years later came out with the other side with a First Class Honours, a wife, a baby and a move to the Netherlands. Changed my life around and was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

  20. easwee

    Nice article – pretty much sums up my thoughts. Working should be funny – you are creating something – if you don’t enjoy waking up and thinking “Oh, today I’m gonna create something nice at work” or “This lesson at school was fun – I should try that at home” you probably picked the wrong job for you.

    Glad to hear people enjoy what they do. Specially design – it’s so creative.

  21. Ben Stephan


    Just came across your site through dribbble and saw the title of this article… I had to click on it.

    Anyways, your article leads me to believe a lot of 21 year olds (like you and me (22)) are in the same boat. I work as an art director of a print design company in the states and I am also leaving my position to get a bachelors degree in design. Your pros list of why you left to pursue an education matches almost identically to mine… I’d love to see a follow up article about how it’s all working out. Again, sick post.

    +1 Davey Kestens.

  22. Stacey

    I know what you felt!! I had the same problem with my work, I worked as an account manager in a company and my boss was a stupid man who was treating us like shit. So actually I quit and gone to school, I’m a student at Communication and Public Relations. Also I see that you like reading, I recommend you, if you didn’t read it, The girl with the dragon tattoo and Freaky Business.

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