Why I Left My ‘Perfect’ Job

Posted in Lifestyle, Mental Health by

Today is Monday 25th September, which means that one month ago today I left my job of 4 years (and my first job ever!) to seek something that would improve my happiness and mental health.

I’ve mentioned so many times how much I loved my job, and I did – I knew it was a wonderful company who cared about me so much, it used my degree and matched my interests, and it was full of amazing opportunities. Yet somehow, I still wasn’t happy. I have never dealt with change well, and am terrified of the unknown and uncertain, but overcoming that and moving on to something new has been such a positive step forward for me. I’m so glad I took the plunge!

So what’s so great about my new job? Why was it worth the risk?

Being fully independent

My previous job was only accessible by train and then car, so as I can’t drive, I spent 4 years being reliant on my colleagues to get me to and from work. I am BEYOND grateful to all of those people for putting themselves out for me, as they truly didn’t have to, but that was part of the problem; I felt like I owed everyone so much. I can’t even begin to explain how good it feels to hop on a bus and be right at the door of my new office without relying on anyone but myself. My travel anxiety has been hugely reduced, and it feels incredible to be completely in control.

More people & different personalities

I am a very sociable person, so being in a bigger company with more people to interact with suits me down to the ground. The relaxed atmosphere with lots of chat and laughter has helped me to increase and maintain my productivity, and I’ve loved getting to know so many new characters!

A change of scenery

One thing that really freaked me out was the realisation that I’d spent almost every weekday, for 4 whole years, in the same office. The remote location (and my lack of driving ability) meant that I couldn’t really pop out on my lunch break, so I tended to eat at my desk and then carry on working. In contrast, my new office is surrounded by shops and there’s plenty to do within easy reach. I also get a longer lunch break, so I can eat at my own pace before heading out, catching up on blogging, or just taking some time to relax.

A new rush of motivation

As my mental health and happiness have improved, my motivation and desire to perform have too. Previously I’ve struggled to keep my momentum going throughout the day (not helped by working through lunch – ALWAYS take your lunch break!) and have flagged in productivity by the afternoon. Now I feel like I’m constantly performing to my best, and by the end of the day (well, most days – I’m not Superwoman), my to-do list has been checked off, I feel fulfilled and I can go home knowing I’ve worked my socks off.

A month of reflection

I think it’s very easy (at least if you’re anything like me) to ‘settle’ in situations where you aren’t completely happy, particularly if the reasons aren’t immediately obvious. Most of the reasons I was struggling at my job were to do with how I felt mentally, so I think it was easy for me to brush them off as unimportant, and ignore the build up of things that were making me miserable. We spend so much of our time at work, so these little things really aren’t little at all; they’re actually pretty massive.

Having watched friends & family end up working for some horrible companies, and feeling that I was so lucky, the thought of leaving seemed ridiculous to me for such a long time. But I’m not sure I was so lucky, actually; I think I just didn’t realise what else was out there for me. If you’d asked me a year ago, I’d never have believed that I could find another job that uses my degree, is in the home & interiors sector, and that I look forward to going to every single day. I didn’t believe it could exist.

I will forever be so thankful to my previous employer for everything they’ve done for my career, and I do miss my colleagues and the bond we had as a team, but I know this was the best decision for me. I just can’t wait to see what happens next!

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September 25, 2017
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8 Comments

  • Reply Maia

    Lovely inspiring post, Alice! I think this sort of ‘low-level’ discontent affects a huge number of people, and it really is so important to pay attention to, because you’re right, it does build up and spreads to other areas of your life. I’m glad you had the courage and did something positive about it! Good luck in your new job! X

    September 25, 2017 at 7:02 pm
    • Reply Alice

      Ahhh thank you Maia! I have recently had this weird rush of bravery and keep doing things that are really out of my comfort zone, this being one of them. It has just made me realise how unsettled I am by staying comfortable, as weird as that might sound! Xxx

      September 25, 2017 at 7:17 pm
  • Reply Gina

    I really needed this post. I’ve been in my job for 2 years now and I get anxious and stressed and I spend my days off wallowing and recouping for my next shift. I feel like I need to move on but I don’t know how and I have no idea what else I would do.
    This post was very inspirational, thank you
    Gina’x

    September 25, 2017 at 7:50 pm
    • Reply Alice

      Hey lovely ☺️ first of all thank you for reading my post, and second of all I completely know how you’re feeling and it’s such a hard situation. It’s just so hard to envisage yourself moving on, so you think it’s not possible. I would definitely urge you to sit down and work out what is most important to you in terms of work/career, bearing in mind that you spend half of your life there! When you do move on, if it’s still not perfect then that’s okay; there’s nothing stopping you from trying a few things before you find what’s right! Even just a change of people and setting could do the world of good. Best of luck ❤❤❤

      September 25, 2017 at 8:03 pm
  • Reply Effie

    Alice, you’ve hit the nail on the head here! Such an inspirational blog, glad I read it because I feel very much the same xx

    September 25, 2017 at 8:56 pm
    • Reply Alice

      Ahhh I’m glad it resonated with you ❤ and I hope you find a way to improve things xxx

      September 25, 2017 at 10:43 pm
  • Reply Mary | Hello Peagreen

    It takes a lot of guts to do that Alice. Having quit a whole career to change direction I understand only too well that thrumming in your chest feeling.

    September 26, 2017 at 11:18 am
    • Reply Alice

      Thank you Mary. It seems like a lot of people are feeling/have felt the same way I did! That is a bit of a comfort, but just shows how easily we can get stuck in a situation that we aren’t happy about xxx

      September 26, 2017 at 12:38 pm

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