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Grad school - has anyone left a PhD program to pursue other options?

I'm currently a first-year in a PhD program, but it's gotten so bad that I've been seriously considering leaving after next fall semester (so I would at least leave with a master's and not have this year be a total waste). I've wanted this for so long, but now that I'm here, I'm just completely miserable. And everyone keeps telling me that's normal, but there comes a point where that doesn't help anymore, because there's only so much misery you can keep putting yourself through, no matter if everyone else is going through it, too.

That being said, I have no idea what to do if I don't finish my PhD. I committed all of my undergrad to going to grad school, so my entire employment history consists of on-campus jobs or research assistant positions. I have no real work experience, and I don't feel like I have any solid skills which would be helpful in any field that my degrees would be useful in (I know how to use a computer, obviously, but not all that much beyond the basics). I've looked a little bit at some internships for this summer (which would mean not studying for my comprehensive exam when I inevitably fail it in June and have to retake it in August), but they all either say "must have x years of work experience" or "for college juniors and seniors only," and I fall into neither category. I have no idea how to make connections, write resumes/cover letters (I mean, I had to make a CV for grad school, but it's so academically focused), interview for a job. I don't even know what kind of job I want, except that I'd prefer that it be somewhat relevant to the degrees I spent 5 and a half years working towards, have decent pay, and involve working with other people, because I've realized that total independence makes me panic, which is why grad school is just soooooo not working for me. I'd also prefer to stay in LA if possible, because my boyfriend is out here, and while I hate feeling like "that girl" at 22, right now he's one of the few parts of my life I'm actually happy with. But I also have only so much money saved up, so if I didn't find a job within a couple of months of graduation in December, I'd probably have to go back home to Minnesota and live with my parents :(((


I don't know. I've just never done any of this before, and my self-esteem is already so destroyed by grad school that everything about the job search process terrifies me.

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