As I relax in my lounge on a Monday morning, I think about all of the wasted Mondays I’d spent panicking about the work week ahead. I think about how grateful I am to have taken the (not easy) decision to make a change in 2018, and how I’m now ready to share an update with you all.
At end of January I quit a job I loved and said farewell to lots of great friends I’d made whilst working in that office. I started a new job a week later and in February I wrote about feeling stressed and regretful about my decision to leave. However, you’ll be pleased to know that I feel totally differently about things now and I’m so much happier in myself.
If you love your career and 9-5 works for you then this post isn’t going to be your cup of tea but, for a lot of people it doesn’t whether they know it yet or not and, feeling overworked in an office environment is a very real concern.
I studied Business Management at University and after graduating convinced myself that as long as I was working in an office I was vaguely using my Degree but, that simply just wasn’t true. I’ve learnt so much more working in an office, as a receptionist and in a call centre than my Degree ever taught me honestly, and I’ve never had the opportunity to use my Degree at work.
Up until recently, I’d been working 08:30 – 17:30 everyday and although I loved the people I met and the client interaction, the job began to weigh me down. I was just tired and frustrated about the actual work itself and the long hours. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until my friend left on Maternity Leave that I started to miss her support a lot and that’s when I think I knew my time was nearly up. However, for some stupid reason I stayed for another 4 months before actually handing in my notice. I’d been thinking about it constantly but was too afraid. Then, I had some time off over Christmas to think about where I wanted to be and after speaking with my partner and mum I decided enough was enough.
It was December 28th when I sat down with my manager and discussed the reasons I wanted to leave. They were so considerate and the conversation was great. A weight had been lifted and they reassured me that I was making the right decision. We had agreed that my last day would be January 26th, which allowed me plenty of time to make plans, find a new job and wrap everything up with them. It also meant that they could find someone suitable to replace me and I could help train them.
So where am I now?
I work in Care. A Dementia home to be specific. It’s further away from my Degree than I’d imagined but I love working with people and I have the flexibility I’ve always wanted. I’m working three days a week at the moment, giving me lots of time to blog, have a social life and feel happier in myself. I’m able to progress too by studying for various qualifications in Care after getting my Care Certificate, which I’m working on at the moment.
My now ex-colleagues were so supportive and had such kind comments to say when I’d informed them of my career move, so I knew deep down that I was doing the right thing. I’m so glad that my boyfriend was so supportive too because his opinion means so much to me and I doubt I would have left if he didn’t give me the green light.
Overall, I think making the change and saying goodbye to 9-5 has been the biggest decision I’ve ever made and probably the best. Working in an office isn’t for everyone and we all have our breaking points. I loved my old job and there were many aspects that I’ll forever miss but, certain things really started to swallow me up inside and coming home complaining to my boyfriend everyday wasn’t fair. I’m not saying I won’t ever come back to 9-5 office work because one day it might suit my lifestyle better or it’ll be in a role I really love and care about.
I’m now looking forward to progressing my blog, gaining new skills, learning to drive and having more ‘me’ days. I feel so much more confident and content in my personal life and can now be the best version of myself.
Would You Like to Make a Change?
If you’re considering a change in career but feel scared my advice is to talk to your family, speak with a close colleague or even your manager if they’re easy to approach. There are also things you can do in your free time to help you make the right decision. For me, I found it helpful creating a pros and cons list about the job itself. I started looking into other careers I could possibly persue and the skills/qualifications I wanted to gain as well. I also looked at my existing skills and the aspects of work I didn’t enjoy (e.g. math related admin tasks), which made it easier to narrow down my job search.
It might also be time for you to evaluate your financial situation. You can do this by looking at your account and assessing how much of your total salary is spent on travel to work and lunches for example. You should also consider asking these questions if you’re serious about wanting to make a change…
How can you reduce spending if you choose to stay in your current job?
Do you value a higher salary to be more important than your personal happiness at work?
Is it possible for you to take a pay cut for your dream job?
Your potential is endless!!
We all have good and bad working days and the only limits are the ones we put on ourselves. If you feel your mental health is suffering because of your job, it’s time to rethink. That doesn’t necessarily mean quitting though. It just means reaching out to your manager or someone in the organization with authority. They might be more understanding than you realise and be able to find ways to help you by introducing flexible working hours or allowing you to work from home for instance.
I’d love to hear your career stories and find out how you manage to find balance between work and your personal lives. Tell me why you do or don’t think 9-5 works and feel free to share your honest opinions.