Just over a year ago, I took a new job – a promotion with my current company. It was a strange time, making the decision to accept the role as I wasn’t sure it was right for me but it seemed like too good an opportunity to turn down.
Why not for me? It meant managing staff for one, something I hadn’t done much of before and hadn’t really enjoyed when I had. Then there was the volume of work and the amount of potential travel involved. I talked all these through with my manager (who I would be replacing as she’d also been promoted), family and friends.
My manager reassured me the support would be there and the amount of travel would be down to me. My family and friends said if I didn’t try, I wouldn’t know….one person in a similar position had taken the “no” route and regretted it ever since, convinced she could do a better job than the person who eventually got it.
And so I went for it, taking a job I didn’t know I should but thinking “how bad could it be?”. Turns out pretty bad. The staff had performance issues I wasn’t made aware of and controlling the amount of travel I did soon became uncontrollable as my diary filled up with meetings that I apparently had to attend (anyone else experienced the joys of travelling for three hours to attend a two hour meeting where they weren’t called on to talk but were talked at?).
Thinking things would settle down or I’d figure out how to make it work, I trucked on. Early mornings, late nights and weekends became part of my every day. No matter how hard I worked, the amount of work never seemed to get any less. Six months after starting, I got ill. It wasn’t terminal or life threatening but it knocked me out for two weeks and I have to say I have never felt so bad.
Stress and exhaustion were to blame and I realised things had to change. And I was promised they would – reduced travel, additional help with managing the team – but it all came to nothing until I finally realised it never would. And so I made a big decision – to quit with nothing to go to.
It’s something I’ve never done before and didn’t imagine I ever would. But it felt right and I feel, finally, free. I’m finishing up my final weeks now and then I’ll be setting up on my own – doing what I love and what I’m good at and not having to get up at five in the morning for another pointless meeting, I can’t wait.
I’m excited and scared in equal measure and praying that in six months (which is how long the pennies I’ve saved should last) I can make a start on my new life, earn enough to convince me I can go on. I’m going to use this blog to share the challenges and successes (along with other things I feel like rambling on about) but also I wanted to use it to get advice.
There are lots of you out there, I know, who have done what I’m about to do and I just wonder what you can share in the way of things to do and not?
Thanks in advance!
images courtesy of freepik