A Chinese woman quit her high-paying corporate job in October and decided to become a melon farmer, a job that ranked high on her “life wish list,” in search of personal fulfillment.
The woman from Shandong province in eastern China, who uses the pseudonym Doudou, holds a master’s degree from a prestigious university and previously worked in high-paying marketing roles with online game developers.
However, she left three different marketing positions within five years due to feeling overwhelmed by the work’s repetitive nature.
“If I do a project or a job for a long time, I will feel bored. So I quit my job hoping to find something fresh to do,” she explained.
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Doudou’s best friend, identified by the alias Sansan, also wished to leave her position at a private tutoring institution and pursue a career in agriculture.
Together, the two friends started their business in November by renting and renovating an old vegetable greenhouse in a town outside of Jinan, the capital of Shandong province.
Doudou estimated that the cost of renting the space, making renovations and purchasing supplies for their business totaled around 100,000 yuan (approximately $14,500).
Although Sansan’s parents initially could not understand her decision to leave her job in the city to start a business in the village, they have since offered their help by working as employees at the melon farm.
Meanwhile, Doudou has not yet informed her parents.
"My parents are unaware that I am a melon farmer now. They thought I was still working in that game company,” Doudou admitted. “I plan to tell them when our melons mature and send them some to taste.”
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Despite earning only one-10th of her previous salary, Doudou expressed contentment with her current life as a watermelon farmer.
“Farming work has cured my insomnia and loss of appetite. I have gained 5kg in the past three months,” Doudou said.
The duo’s unusual career choice garnered praise from many Weibo users.
“I have to say she has a clear mindset,” one user wrote
Another user expressed a similar desire to live on their own terms, stating, “I also want to live my life in a way that I like.”
Despite the positive feedback, Doudou advised others to take into account their family and other commitments before making any drastic decisions.
“Their situation is different from mine. I am young and single, so I can go anywhere and do anything I want,” she explained.