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!