Career Break: One Year Later


Back in August 2017, I shared a post regarding my decision to take a career break. Almost a year to the day later and I'm back to update you on how everything turned out. 

If you haven't seen my original post you can take a look here.

But before we get into my current situation, I think I need to explain what happened in a bit more detail. Buckle up kids, you're in for a long one...

THE GOOD

For 3 years I was working for an international company, doing a job that was exciting with a team I loved. It was a company that allowed me to travel, taught me to jump out of my comfort zone and as I was the first person in my role there, I got to fully carve out my place with the company. 
However, in March 2017 I was approached by another company in the area whom I had crossed paths with many times over the years. They offered me everything I wanted like it was a shiny diamond wrapped in a perfect Tiffany box. I said yes. 

Beware the Regina George in sheep's clothing.

THE UGLY

I began the first week of April, from day 1 the alarm bells started ringing. In my first week 2 people left. The same the following week, and the week after that. It soon became clear that the team were unhappy, management were overbearing and controlling and once you started scratching at the surface the more cracks began to appear. I found out that over 8 people had taken my position in the 2 years before me, I even reached out to one of them. Emma was my predecessor and I reached out to her to ask if I was going crazy but she confirmed that everything I was experiencing was the exact reason she left. When June rolled around I departed from that toxic company and faced unemployment, almost immediately I noticed an improvement in my mental health! I could finally breath. 

It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. However, I was unfortunately with the company for long enough that the self doubt took a firm a grip. Was I really as good at my job as I thought I was? How had I let these people convince me that I was worthless?

THE BETTER

Having decided at that moment I was taking a hiatus from my 'career'. I returned to my former MD at the international company, mostly to seek reassurance that I wasn't as useless as they'd convinced me. Somehow I ended up working a temp job in their warehouse, I was packing orders with a bunch of guys I adored. It was EXACTLY what I needed. For the first time I wasn't worried about my emails, what was next on my to do list or what I needed for the next meeting. I could finally relax. I just turned up, got my job done, had a laugh while I was working and then went home. I could go home and not think about work until I walked through the door again the next the day.

ONE YEAR LATER

Fast forward to today and I haven't returned to my dream career but I compromised with myself. I am now working for a family run business with a team that are amazing. My focus is divided between a variety of tasks which keep me busy but I came to realise that working under so much pressure isn't healthy. While I miss the fast pace of my glory days and the glamour that it brought, I'm happy. My confidence in my abilities has not been fully restored but I'm well on my way. Plus now I get pizza bought for me on Fridays, so who's the real winner here. 

While the last 12 months have been a struggle it showed me that everything has happened for a reason to get me right where I needed to be. In all, the experience has taught me;
  1. It's better to regret doing it than to not do it at all.
  2. Colleagues really can become the best of friends.
  3. Actually, you CAN go home again.

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If you have any questions, please feel free to tweet me @MyPureFusion