It's been five years since I left my full-time job in advertising.
At the time, I was properly stressed out. Every project felt like a shitstorm. My heart wasn't in it anymore.
The sleepless nights were coming thick and fast. I was endlessly ruminating on what I could and should do next.
For months I felt trapped. I was caught between feeling like I was letting others down and doing what I needed to do for my sanity.
Not that most people in my agency would have known. It's amazing how much we keep this stuff hidden.
Eventually, I left - more out of desperation, than with any real plan of what to do next.
All I knew was that I was in my early 40s. I still had plenty of time to use my skills and experience to do something useful.
After a massive sense of relief, I procrastinated. This involved a lot of coming up with ideas for books I could write that would change the world. Haha.
To keep things ticking over, I freelanced. And fortunately have a patient and supportive partner!
Things started to look up for me when I trained to be a coach. I know a lot of midlife career changers take this option. But for me it was perfect.
I instantly saw how I could use everything I'd experienced and learned to serve other people in a way that would be personally fulfilling.
Fast forward to today and my heart is definitely in my work.
Yes, I make less money than I did in advertising and building a business certainly has its challenges, but the intrinsic motivation and satisfaction more than makes up for this.
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If you're in the place I was five years ago - and judging by my recent conversations many of you are - the first thing I'd say is talk about how you're feeling.
Keeping things bottled up does no one any favours.
Also, try not to make any life-changing decisions from survival mode. Obviously, this is what I did, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Any good coach can help you find a healthier, more clear-headed place from which to consider your options.