Last week we talked about how the system doesn’t necessarily support everyone in their careers or what they would like to get out of their job. Even more importantly, the system does not always hold your hand and guide you when life changes and your priorities shift. You may have heard me talk before about when I decided to leave my corporate job, but you may not realise just how much that corporate world was encouraging me to sacrifice so much of my life.
As always with things like this, it’s a slow burn, a gradual build up until we say enough is enough. And that is exactly how it happened for me. But when we’re playing our ordinary role in the system, we often think we’re stuck on the same path. Let me tell you now that there is not simply one answer.
If “enough is enough” or “I don’t want to do this anymore” plays repeatedly in your mind then read on and let me help you find another answer.
The Moment I Said “Enough!”
In many ways, the moment I said enough occurred as a project I had been involved in with work was not going in the direction I believed would work or deliver the required results. Of course, with the many voices in the corporate world, the decision was taken to move forward with the project anyway and naturally the results which the higher ups were looking for didn’t happen and they weren’t happy. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.
I worked so hard in my job and yet the job itself no longer spoke to me and I was not invested in it the same way I was earlier in my career. Not only that, but I was constantly rushing everywhere. Between getting up and going to work before I even saw the kids, to rushing out the door to collect them from creche and being given that sideways glance from colleagues. I felt like I barely saw my kids, that dinner was always rushed, and we were ticking boxes to get from day to day. I was exhausted and stressed and unfulfilled. I had enough!
When I realised I was stuck on a hamster wheel in a job I didn’t like anymore, sacrificing not only my time with my children , my relationship with my husband and my own mental health, I questioned where was that “more to life” we always imagined? I started searching but not necessarily in the right place. I contacted a recruitment agency but that only led to similar jobs with long working hours and too much travel. I was trying to leave the corporate world, not dance alongside it. I knew there had to be something other than the stressful corporate existence I was used to.
Alongside my realisation of not wanting a corporate job, I also knew I didn’t want to be a full time stay at home mum because I knew that wouldn’t be the best option for me or my family. I wanted and needed my career, my work, to have meaning and if I could help others at the same time, then I would be winning.
Along came my Eureka moment with Mama Moments and after 13 years in a secure, pensionable, corporate job, I jumped ship. I walked away from the stress, the tiredness, the lack of purpose and although it was frightening, I was walking towards something which gave me life, an objective, and a belief in myself. I found, actually I created, a career for myself. A business which not only gives me the flexibility to be there for my family but also work on my own terms. And it is glorious!
Finding the Strength to Pursue Your Own Path
Leaving behind the security of a comfortable job which you are no doubt good at is a daunting decision. It’s not something any of us take lightly as we balance spreadsheets, tick boxes, and do a pros and cons list! But if becoming self-employed, or even leaving a long-established career for something else is playing on your mind, let me give you some advice:
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
A change of career is always a risk and it can be quite intimidating. The reason we often stall at the very beginning of making such a momentous decision is because we often worry about being outside of our comfort zone. When we recognise these fears, expand on them, and understand the emotions behind them, we can face them and aim to being comfortable in our discomfort. We need to recognise that failure is a teacher and to take baby steps. Feel the fear and do it anyway!
Find Your Passion
You are ambitious, energetic, and have a million ideas but you’re not sure what your passion is. Write down all of the things you like to do which excite you and are meaningful to you. Match all of these things up with your talents. Finding your passion is about knowing what drives you, what gets you up in the morning. It’s also about knowing your strengths and your weaknesses and being open to learn. Just because it is a passion, does not mean we understand it all yet.
Follow Your Intuition
There are many times when I may have paused and thought, what am I doing? How can I make a go of this? But that little voice in the back of my head encourages me to keep going. You know your own capabilities and even if you don’t fully know the business just yet, you will. Jumping ship into unknown waters is a great learning experience. Follow your instincts and trust yourself.