My boss gave me a huge bonus at the end of January. A new opportunity feel in my lap and I can’t turn it down. How can I quit gracefully? Am I ok to do this?

Bit of context (sorry for the novel, I’m just stressed):

  • I’m the solo marketing manager (and only marketer) for 2 1/2 companies. Two full-fledged, one in the beginning stages. I make 45k/year and work remote. I accepted the low pay because I make my own hours and have a lot of flexibility… but with how much work I do and how stressed I am, I’ve been struggling.
  • I have 6 years of experience.
  • I love my boss, love the company – but feel a little taken advantage of.
  • I’m sick of working 8 hours per day. I was freelancing before this and made less money but also had complete freedom, and I miss it.
  • I had my year review in early January but I didn’t get a raise because my boss said he didn’t have the budget. I’m a powerhouse and I built a TON of stuff for him in the last year, I expressed my… disappointment. He gave me a bonus of 6k a week later (once I was really considering going back to freelancing).

So, fast-forward to a week ago. An old client of mine (who is basically family) that I’ve worked with for 5 years (on the side) offered me the ultimate freelance gig. He told me he needs my help and he’ll do whatever it takes.

I can work as little or as much as I want at a rate of $40/hour. Long-term. Years.

If I want to work 5 hours in a week, no problem. 40 hours? Great. Money isn’t an issue for these people and he knows I’m good at what I do and he wants to seriously increase revenue this year.

I just keep track of what I work, send it, and we’re good to go.

No weekly meetings, no set hours, no problem if I want to backpack across Europe while I do it.

My plan is to take this position and work 20 hours per week and essentially make what I’m making now, working 40. I have a lot of other things I’m passionate about that I’d like to pursue in my off time.

So… how do I do this without being an asshole to my former employer, who I am close with and admire? I wish the bonus would have never happened so I wouldn’t feel so guilty.

tl;dr – boss gave me a bonus of 6k in January but a better opportunity came along. How do I quit without seeming like a serious asshole?

(Also sorry for the typo in the title)

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